Ripping up the rule book

Ripping up the rule book

CPN visited Hasselt in Belgium to watch Hyundai literally manoeuvre its new range of compact excavators into the spotlight and metaphorically park them on the lawn of the competition. 

Those of you old enough to remember Hyundai’s first incursion to the UK car market in the early 80s, might recall the Pony. This compact family car was both affordable and practical but just couldn’t earn the trust of consumers. Undeterred Hyundai ramped up product quality and improved customer service. Its five-year unlimited mileage warranty was unheard of, a truly ground-breaking move at the time and one which began to win over customers. Over the years Hyundai extended its warranty program, offering longer periods and additional benefits. Now Hyundais are all over UK roads, such is the brand’s acceptance.

What’s this got to do with construction machinery, you may ask? Well, it seems that HD Hyundai is following a similar strategy with its new mini excavators, essentially offering a lot of kit as standard, the kind of equipment upgrades you’d normally pay a high price for. At the recent launch in Belgium, the company unveiled eight mini excavators, with operating weights of 1.7 to 5.5-tonnes. The A-Series machines set new levels of performance and productivity, delivering reduced emissions, increased hydraulic capabilities and improved operator comfort, claims the company.

Under the theme ‘Breaking Standards’, to signify a radically different approach to machine specification and functionality, Hyundai has, with the launch, created a seamless range of excavators from the 1.0-tonne HX10A micro, through to the 9-tonne segment HX85A. Five of the mini excavators: the HX17A Z, HX19A, HX35A Z, HX40A and the HX48A Z, are available now, with 2.5-tonne, 3.0-tonne and 5.0-tonne models completing the line-up in the second quarter of 2024.

“The launch of the A-Series mini excavators is part of our strategy to have a more prominent presence in the growing European compact segment,” Peter Sebold, Hyundai’s product manager for mini excavators, told CPN.

“Our mini excavators are breaking standards across the sector and setting new levels of performance, comfort and equipment. We have overspecced the machines to compete with the competition and give our customers something different,” he added.

While all models feature compact dimensions, those with a ‘z’ suffix boast a true zero-tailswing design, allowing the machines to work up against walls and other obstructions without risk of striking the bodywork. The zero tailswing machines can be supplied with additional counterweight if required, to increase stability during heavy lifting operations. Variable-width undercarriages on the smaller models also deliver maximum stability for heavy digging and lifting tasks.

Safety valves are standard on all boom, dipper arm and dozer blade hydraulic cylinders, ensuring maximum safe working when lifting. The boom arm and bucket cylinders also come with guards, to protect the hydraulic rams. All machines can be supplied with optional quick-coupler piping. A float function is now also included in the dozer blade hydraulics, while an optional angle blade is available on HX35A Z and above.

Operators benefit from a large, comfortable cab. An improved air conditioning system is available on larger machines and noise levels have been reduced internally and externally. The cab has Bluetooth connectivity and the machines come with a waterproof 5in digital display. As well as providing operating data, this monitor can be used to programme auxiliary hydraulic flow settings for a range of powered attachments. The screen is also used to set the anti-theft protection code.

The machines use hydraulic joysticks, similar to those found on larger A-Series excavators. Proportional roller switches can be supplied in the joystick heads, for optional auxiliary flow control. All models from the HX40A are now equipped as standard with a load-sensing hydraulic system, delivering smooth but powerful and precise control. A single variable displacement pump with flow sharing capabilities provides for smooth combined use of multiple hydraulic functions, making the machines easy to control for fine digging and grading work. Hydraulic components have been repositioned, with the main control valve now installed on the right of the machine, for service convenience.

Large rear and side engine compartment doors provide easy access to all regular service points, with heavier models offered with a tiltable cab. All filters and fill points can be reached from ground level and there is a lower chassis connection interface for the dozer cylinder hoses, to facilitate replacement.

HX-A Series mini and midi excavators can be supplied with HD Hyundai’s Hi MATE remote management system. This uses GPS satellite technology to provide real-time telematic operating data to machine owners and service departments.

A new mobile app provides machine owners and fleet managers with all of the remote information that they require to run machinery more economically and efficiently. Hi MATE can also be used to set geofence alerts that will automatically notify customers if machines are moved from a predetermined zone without authorisation.

More information about the Hyundai A-Series

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