Bobcat showcases the latest developments in the mini-excavator market
According to the management consultancy, Off-Highway Research, the UK mini-excavator market has recovered steadily over the last six years culminating in a total of 13,373 machines sold in 2015, approaching the record of 14,850 unit sales achieved in 2007 before the recession arrived.
With all their inherent advantages for small and awkward job sites, mini-excavators will continue to be a major feature of the UK market, driven by demand in many areas from builders and developers working on new and refurbished properties, making these machines an attractive purchase and a mainstay of many tool and plant hire fleets.
Bobcat continues to take a significant share of this market with a range of mini-excavators covering operating weights from 0.8 to 8.5 tonne. One of many building companies extolling the virtues of the Bobcat excavator range is Southgold, the South London-based family-run construction company, specialising in both new build and conversion projects throughout the South East of England. From internal demolition work to groundworks projects, Southgold uses Bobcat compact excavators supplied by Authorised Dealer, Bobcat of London.
Damien Bradley, one of the Directors at Southgold alongside his father and three brothers, said: “All the new Bobcat excavators from 1-6 tonne we have bought from Bobcat of London over the last two years have provided us with greatly increased power and robustness compared to the machines they have replaced. Our operators are very happy with the machines and really impressed with the increased productivity they have provided.”
One of the most successful models in the range is the easy-to-transport E10 one tonne micro-excavator – a zero tail swing (ZTS) machine with a maximum digging depth of 1.82 m and a machine weight of 1066 kg. Damien Bradley added: “Our first purchase was a E10 micro-excavator which blazed the trail for the other Bobcat excavators in our fleet, with its outstanding performance including working with a Bobcat breaker on demolition work in a building refurbishment project of ours. We bought an E62 six-tonner next and have just taken delivery of the same manufacturer’s E20 and E26 excavators, which we believe will be useful on all our projects in the future.”
The minimal width of the E10 and the smaller E08 0.8 tonne micro-excavators allows for excellent manoeuvrability in confined spaces, while the zero tail swing design of the E10 is an additional advantage when working in tight areas. Thanks to a standard second speed range, the E10 is also able to move quickly around job sites, complete projects faster and work more efficiently.
Once the excavators are positioned and ready for work, the undercarriage on the E08 and E10 can be hydraulically expanded to 1,000 mm and 1,100 mm, respectively, ensuring that the operator has maximum stability in all conditions, for digging, levelling and working with attachments such as a breaker.
In this category of machine, both the E08 and E10 offer several important safety features for operators. A grab bar provides assistance for getting onto and off the machines. Entry and exit from the excavator is also made easier thanks to the completely open, flat area for the feet in the operator station. This design also makes it easier to clean the area for the feet.
The design of the E08 and E10 ensures that the boom offset cannot reach the feet, providing maximum protection in this area. Operator safety and comfort is further enhanced by the completely retractable seat belt on both machines.
Low Emissions for Basement Work
One the key areas of growth in the UK market is basement excavation, which has greatly expanded in recent years as the increasing cost of property makes it financially viable for homeowners to extend their properties underground.
To meet this demand, Bobcat has developed a fully functional prototype of the company’s new E10 Electric model, a zero-emission, electric powertrain version of the E10 micro-excavator. Developed at the new Bobcat Innovation Centre in Dobris in the Czech Republic, in conjunction with electric vehicle specialists, the E10 Electric micro-excavator is a new version of the E10 model with the factory installed option of an alternative all-electric powertrain allowing the machine to be used in areas requiring zero emissions such as interiors and basement construction work. Along with zero emissions, the E10 Electric model also offers very low noise levels on site with an LpA of only 64 dBA.
The alternative powertrain option in the E10 Electric model comprises of an electric motor that can be powered both by a pack of rechargeable Li-Ion batteries or a 400 V mains electric supply via a plug-in power cable. The batteries can be quickly recharged (less than an hour to reach full capacity) and when fully recharged, the excavator can work independently of the mains power for 2-3 hours. The new E10 Electric model also offers the capability of carrying out work while charging via the mains power cable.
The new E10 Electric version has the same ZTS profile and identical external dimensions as the standard E10 machine and offers the same or better performance. As the new machine is designed to be used in demanding indoor demolition applications, it is equipped with auxiliary lines and an efficient oil cooler system for continuous hydraulic breaker operation.
The retractable undercarriage takes the width of the machine down to only 710 mm, allowing easy access through a standard pedestrian doorway for work inside buildings or entry into back yards and gardens through narrow gates. In addition, passage through low headroom openings is aided by the integrated foldable TOPS on the machine.
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