HG Thomas Plant Hire was founded in 1988 by Harold Thomas, based in Helston, Cornwall, over the years Harold has built up a reputation for being the first in line to purchase new to market machines – especially kit that he feels will offer him an economical and competitive edge over rival companies – in the often-cut throat business of plant hire and civil engineering.
It’s probably fair to say that Harold is a proper old school plant man and prefers his kit to be as simple to run and maintain as possible. The latest machine which tempted Harold was the Hyundai HX130LCR, which he purchased from Hyundai dealer Molson. The machine was delivered to HG Thomas in full livery straight from the Cornish show earlier this year. This machine was the 1stof the mark in the South of England.
Talking about the HX130LCR Harold said, “I liked the look of this machine as a replacement for one of our outgoing 13-tonne machines mainly due to its simplicity and the fact that it is powered by an engine that does not require the AdBlue which can be a bit of a hassle on sites. In addition, this machine spends much of its time on hire to a big groundworks firm in the housebuilding sector, so its compact dimensions will be well received as the sites get more and more congested, it’s a great addition to the fleet.”
Harold is no stranger to the Hyundai brand having already purchased an 18-tonne class R 180LC-9A, so he is familiar with the brand and has nothing but praise for the dealers Molson who he says, “Always go the extra mile to make sure everything is right.”
The HX130LCR has replaced the outgoing R 125LCR-9A in the line-up. This model tips the scales at 12,930 kgs but the machine can also be specified with a dozer blade (HX130LCRD) which pushes the operating weight up to 13,560 kgs.
A pop of the bonnet reveals a Tier 4 Final/Stage 3B emissions compliant 4-cylinder Perkins 854F diesel engine which is rated at 55kw (73.6hp) @2200rpm – and thanks to its use of a Diesel Particulate Filter (DPF) and no need for SCR – the hassle of AdBlue is eliminated.
At the offside front a large opening panel door opens to gain access to the hydraulic valve block. This is also home to the refuelling pump with the quick coupling pipe being stored on the inside of the door. There’s also plenty of space inside for working on replacing pipes if needed in this area which is an added bonus.
The rear offside corner panel door opens to reveal the hydraulic pump, engine oil filter and fuel filters. As is standard on the Hyundai range an easy to use quick release door catch is used to ensure the door stays firmly opened when working on the machine. The advanced hydraulic system fitted on this machine, working in conjunction with the modern engine, can potentially increase productivity by up to 5% and improved fuel efficiency of up to 9% when compared to the earlier models.
In the centre of the counterweight there’s a removable panel which can be taken out to enable access to the rear of the engine block if needed. On the nearside corner the panel door reveals the cooling packs, air filter assembly and a substantial screen washer bottle, for a compact radius machine there is still plenty of room to work behind this panel if needed.
Inside the cab there are all the usual high-end features expected from Hyundai and plenty of creature comforts. The focal point in the cab is 8-inch full colour interactive monitor screen which on the HX models is 30% larger than the previous R series machines. The operator can access a whole host of functions via the menu screens and by using the control buttons below the screen the operator can select power and work modes, travel speed, auto idle and the rear-view camera selection to name a few.
The remote radio control allows for easy selection of stations, volume and muting, while the integrated Bluetooth hands-free function allows operators to take calls while working.
This machine was supplied in standard UK specification sitting on 700mm track shoes with a 3-metre dipper arm and hydraulic quick hitch. Maximum dig depth is 5,570mm with a maximum reach at ground level of 8,220mm.
Operator Danny Hoskins has worked for HG. Thomas for around five-years and has been driving machines all his working life. Danny said, “It’s always great to have a new machine and the cab is very nice and comfortable with everything in there that you could ever need. The machine is certainly very useful in tight situations around the houses and it really is incredible as to where you can get in.”
Summing up Harold said, “We are extremely pleased with the performance of the HX130LCR – it’s an excellent replacement for our old 13 tonne machine – we made the right decision choosing the Hyundai.”