Information available at the time of going to press suggests that there will be just one demolition excavator making its first appearance at the Paris showground during Intermat – a prototype of Hitachi's new 470LCH-5. It is to be shown with a two piece boom, not in its high reach demolition configuration. When production machines become available, they will carry one of two forms of three piece boom – a 27 m (89 ft) unit that will carry 2.4 tonne at full reach and a 25 m (82 ft) unit with 3.5 tonne capacity. In the former configuration, the machine will have an all-up weight of 62 tonnes while in the latter it will weigh 63 tonnes.
Unlike the -3 equivalent, which reached 27m using a 2m (6.6 ft) insert on its 25 m equipment, the new 27 m equipment has a separate 2 m longer lower main boom, so customers will have to select the working height they desire (or buy both booms).
A key new feature on the prototype is a hydraulic system on the boom designed to make boom change-overs faster and more efficient that also incorporates quick change couplers on the main hydraulic system. According to Hitachi, it should be possible to change from standard digging equipment to the high reach boom in about an hour.
The range of Zaxis-5 models has been developed by the Design Centre at Hitachi Construction Machinery Co (HCM) in Japan. Yusuke Kajita, general manager of HCM’s Construction Equipment Development Centre recently told sister magazine Construction Europe: “The European market demands comfort, efficiency and controllability. I believe that the Zaxis-5 is even more suitable to European requirements than the Zaxis-3. It has better fuel efficiency [an 18% improvement is claimed], lower noise levels, excellent comfort and even iPod connectivity.”
Fuel costs and total cost of ownership is considered to be key for HCME.
Paul Burger, general manager – international sales department, said at the same time, “It’s all about fuel efficiency – more production and the same fuel. But the new emissions standards use more fuel, so if we can keep the fuel consumption at the same level as other machines, we’d be very happy. What we try to do is increase the output, to get more production, more tonnes per hour, for the same fuel use.”