Bridgwater-based BCL Groundworks (BCL) has purchased a new Hitachi ZX225USLC-7 excavator equipped with machine control and special attachment solutions available through Hitachi Connected Technology (HCT). The civil engineering and groundworks contractor selected its preferred options before the short-tail swing machine was delivered by Hitachi Construction Machinery UK (HCMUK) in December 2021.
HCMUK offers HCT to owners of new Zaxis-7 excavators, who have the choice of: Leica, TopCon and Trimble machine control systems; tilt rotators from Steelwrist, Engcon and Rototilt; and height, slew and RCI (rated capacity indicator) monitors from Xwatch and GKD. In addition, a retrofit solution is available for installation to contractors’ existing machines at their own premises.
In the case of BCL, Operations Director Gary Caddick selected Leica’s advanced iCON iXE3 3D machine control system, the powerful Engcon EC226 tilt rotator, and an XW5 system from Xwatch. All of these solutions were installed on the ZX225USLC-7 by HCT’’s factory-trained engineers at HCMUK’s Port of Tyne Product Support Centre. The approved HCT service has been introduced due to market demand, as evidenced by BCL.
“We were working with another Hitachi owner and watching him operate with a machine control system,” explains Gary. “You could tell it was an ideal solution for the ‘cut-and-fill’ job that he was doing, and so we decided to hire a similar system to try it out. Then when it came to replacing our ZX225USLC-6 with the new Zaxis-7 model, we decided to add 3D machine control so that we could undertake all work to fine tolerances and with safety in mind.
“In addition, the tilt rotator allows the operator to follow the contours of a site, and Engcon was recommended by HCMUK for reliability and support. And while we’ve always had a RCI on our 20-tonne machines, we’ve now added height and slew restrictors to increase the machine’s versatility for many different on-site scenarios. HCT is brilliant, because it enables us to operate a larger machine – than we would otherwise be able to do – for deep drainage and heavy lifting work, even in confined spaces.”
HCMUK’s Technical Sales & Support Engineer Jake Walley has managed the installation and after-sales process for the latest addition to BCL’s fleet. His role has been invaluable as Gary and the machine’s operator, Rich Matthews, have become accustomed to the hi-tech ZX225USLC-7 on its first housing development project at Westonzoyland in Somerset.
“It has been 100% to our advantage that we opted for HCT’s one-stop shop approach rather than using a third party,” adds Gary. “Jake and the HCMUK team have been so impressive, and the whole process – from specification to installation and training – has been outstanding.
“Everyone has dedicated their time and effort to answer our questions, and ensure we are happy and understood all aspects of the operation. We’ve really appreciated this excellent service, which is a different league to anything we’ve experienced before! We are so pleased that we have had the same HCT systems retrofitted on to one of our older excavators.”