Plantworx picks

Plantworx picks

Consultant Editor Nick Johnson brings the machine highlights at Plantworx to the pages of CPN.

In what was unusually sunny weather for a Plantworx exhibition, this year’s event provided the UK launch pad for an array of machines. Chinese manufacturers were there in force including LiuGong, which was displaying new electric models.

The largest was the 856HE EMax fully electric wheel loader. Weighing 21,0 tonnes and fitted with a 3.5m3 capacity standard loader bucket, this machine utilises 423kWh MSD Catell batteries that are claimed to provide an 8-hour operating shift.

Other new electric LiuGong’s were the 2,680kg 9027FE mini excavator fitted with 20.6kWh lithium-ion batteries and the LA20JE all-electric articulating boomlift.

Two new electric telehandlers were displayed by Manitou. Big brother was the 6,000kg maximum capacity MRTE2660 fully electric rotary telehandler which, when fitted with forks, can lift loads up to 25.9m.

Takeuchi used the new TB20e electric mini excavator for its Plantworx Operator Challenge.

The MRTE2660 can be powered by one or two 700V lithium-ion batteries (to provide a nominal energy of 65 or 139kWh) and there is the option of having an 18.4kW Yanmar engine as a range extender. This machine was Highly Commended in the Engineering & Design category of the Plantworx Innovation Awards.

Manitou also exhibited its new lithium-ion battery powered MT625 all electric compact telehandler. This machine provides a maximum capacity of 2,500kg and its lift path includes a maximum height of 5.85m and 3.4m maximum forward reach.

Takeuchi made good use of its brand new battery-powered TB20e mini excavator. The machine was used to allow visitors to take part in a timed Operator Challenge. With a full charge, the 24.7kWh lithium-ion battery pack in the TB20e usefully provided up to 8 hours of operating time at 65% load.

The largest new machine on the Sunward stand was the SWE155UF-2PB tracked excavator shown with a Steelwrist tiltrotator. This short radius newcomer weighs 17 tonnes and is powered by a 90kW Cummins QSF3.8 Stage V emissions compliant diesel engine.

First time showing in the UK of Sunward’s new 17 tonne SWE155UF-2PB short radius excavator.

This Chinese construction equipment maker also unveiled its new 1,920kg SWE 20FED electric mini excavator in the UK. Powered by a 76.8V lithium-ion battery pack, this mini is 990mm wide and it can dig down to 2,057mm.

One unusual machine being put through its paces was the prototype Grumper. This is a self-loading site dumper that is being developed in the UK in conjunction with Lincolnshire-based civil engineering contractor JJ Mac Ltd. It is claimed to be the world’s first grab loading dumper.

To prove the concept, the prototype Grumper has been assembled using the chassis from a used 3 Tonne Thwaites articulated dumper. The 3 Tonner’s swivel skip has been replaced by pair of arms (in the style of a skip lorry) which carry an innovative clamshell grab like self-loading skip.

Controlled by a single lever, this bottom-opening skip can grab up to around 2.5 tonnes of material at a time. This arrangement makes the Grumper a self-contained load and carry machine.

The Revotruck’s cab and swivel skip are both able to turn independently through 180°.

Prominent on the showground skyline was one of the new small trailer mounted tower cranes shown by The Trailer Crane Company. The models on display were the LT14.14RD and the LT14.14RD-XP cranes which have operational outrigger spreads of 4.4mx4.4m and 5.2mx5.2m respectively. Both remote controlled cranes have a maximum capacity rating of 1,500kg and can lift 350kg at 14.0m maximum radius to a maximum height of 14.1m (with jib horizontal).

In response to the success of Wacker Neuson’s Dual View site dumper range with forward facing cabs and reversible controls, Mecalac has introduced its Revotruck designs. Available with payloads of either six or nine tonnes, these machines both feature a forward mounted cab that rotates hydraulically through 180° so the operator can always face the direction of travel and load discharge.

The Revotrucks are powered by a 54.4kW Perkins diesel engine and have a swivel skip and a rigid chassis with all wheel drive and steer. The machine’s design innovation was recognised by it being a joint winner in the Engineering & Design category at this year’s Plantworx Innovation Awards ceremony.

Bobcat’s recently launched ‘super compact’ TL25.60 telehandler was a highlight of the company’s stand. Powered by a 54.6kW Bobcat Stage V engine, this manoeuvrable all wheel drive and steer machine has a rated operating capacity of 2,500kg. Maximum lift height and forward reach are 5.9m and 3.3m respectively.

Merlo’s new 9 tonne capacity DM9 features a front mounted cab with a 180° swivel seat.

Of particular interest on the Develon stand was the brand new 14.6 tonne DX140LC-7K tracked excavator with a 44.3kW D24 Stage V compliant diesel engine. Replacing the former Doosan DX140LC-7 the newcomer provides better maintenance access, safer access to the upper structure, better rear and right-side visibility and a new dashboard complete with an improved tablet design.

The big Chinese plant maker Sany really made its presence felt at this Plantworx. Amongst its many exhibits were two new wheel loaders – the 129kW SW305K5 and the 170kW SW405K5 with respective operating weights of 14.5 and 18.5 tonnes. Both machines have Deutz engines and their standard loader bucket capacities are 2.3m3 and 3.2m3.

Utilising a chassis produced for its mobile concrete mixers, Merlo used the show for the UK launch of its new 9 tonne capacity DM9 swivel skip site dumper. This rigid frame, all wheel drive and steer machine has a forward mounted ROPS/FOPS cab with a seat that swivels through 180°. Complete with main wear plates made from Hardox steel, it is due to become available in the first quarter of next year.

XCMG exhibited no less than 13 excavators as it ramps up its presence in the UK.

Another Merlo product getting its UK debut was the lithium-ion battery powered Cingo M600TD-e tracked dumper. Able to carry a maximum load of 500kg, this 750mm wide machine provides a maximum high tip height of 1,472mm.

Turkish plant manufacturer Hidromek showed three new machines.The 16.8 tonne H4 Series HMK150WR was its first wheeled excavator to arrive in the UK. This wheelie has a 105kW Deutz TCD4.1 diesel engine and the show machine was equipped with a two-piece boom, front stabilisers and a rear dozer blade.

Also creating interest were the new K4 Series HMK102B Supra wheeled backhoe loader and the HMK62T compact tracked backhoe loader.

Plantworx 2023 saw the large Chinese construction equipment maker XCMG putting on a big display of its earthmovers in the UK. As a new Plantworx exhibitor, the company showed 13 excavators ranging from the 1.5 tonne class XE18E to the 22 tonne XE220E. New tracked excavators on show included the new 13.5 tonne class XE135E and the 23.5 tonne class short radius XE235ECR.

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