UK contractor RM Penny entered the high reach end of the demolition industry in early 2014 when it took delivery of its first such machine, a Hitachi ZX350LC-5, which to date has clocked up 1,500 hours. The machine is still the only such model in the UK supplied from Hitachi's Oosterhout facitlity in the Netherlands. In March 2015, the machine started work on a 10 week demolition of a redundant 4 storey office block owned by Marstons brewery in Wolverhampton. The demolition work had to be carried out gradually and precisely due to the scaffolding attached to the exterior walls of the building, which was adjacent to a busy main road. The ZX350LC-5 was fitted with crusher and grapple attachments, and often operated in economy mode to ensure a high level of precision.
The ZX350LC-5 can mount a 23 m (76 ft) high reach or a standard two piece demolition boom and changing the front equipment is straightforward thanks to the hydraulic pins, and removing the additional counterweight when required is easily done., says Hitachi. The carrier’s sound-suppressed, air-conditioned tilting cab is FOPS-compliant, with OPG front and top guards. It is also equipped with a boom angle indicator, swing angle alarm and HRD overload warning system for safe operation.
According to operator Kevin Penny: “We can change to the standard front attachment and bucket to load trucks, dig out and finish the job. Previously I operated the larger ZX650, which would be used to demolish two storeys, then moved to another site. The ZX350LC-5 can stay on site for longer and be used for other tasks.”
RM Penny is a family-run plant hire and demolition company with all-Hitachi fleet that currently includes 23 Zaxis-3 and Zaxis-5 models, including ZX130-5, ZX210-5 and ZX350-5 medium excavators, and a ZW220 wheel loader.