Carmac Building and Civil Engineering Ltd has opted to have every new Hitachi Zaxis-7 excavator fitted with market-leading 3D machine control and special attachment solutions provided by Hitachi Connected Technology (HCT).
This service is supplied by Hitachi Construction Machinery UK’s (HCMUK) dedicated production facility in the North East. To date, the Finedon-based contractor has selected Leica Geosystems’ 3D machine control and the Engcon tiltrotator to be installed on its new ZX130LCN-7s and ZX210LC-7s. This work is carried out by HCMUK’s manufacturer-trained engineers to ensure that the installations are of the highest standard, as well as supported by both HCT and the manufacturer.
“As a supplier to the housebuilding market, we’ve always aimed to be an early adopter in the use of technology to make us more efficient, productive and safe,” explains Carmac Director Colm Kilroy. “HCT has made it easy for us to implement this across the business, due to its in-depth knowledge, expertise and range of products.
“It’s an all-encompassing service – a one-stop shop for all our needs. When a new machine arrives on site, it is fully kitted out and ready to go. And we also benefit from HCMUK’s great service – we just pick up the phone and they can resolve any issues.”
Flexibility and less downtime
Carmac had Leica Geosystems’ 3D machine control fitted on a trial basis to two of its Zaxis-7 excavators that were working on a large housebuilding site in January 2022. “We found massive productivity benefits, as well as improvements to efficiency and safety,” explains Colm.
“In addition, the Leica Geosystems equipment enabled us to take a more predictive approach by tackling problems before they occurred. The benefits of 3D machine control became clear while working on the roads and sewers, as well as the foundations and external drains for the housing plots.”
Carmac opted for Leica Geosystems because of the simplicity and user-friendliness of the programme. “The flexibility is the biggest benefit as we can change our plans on a daily basis – with less downtime – and the operators are able to carry out their work without the need for tracking or moving around,” adds Colm.
Two of Carmac’s most loyal and experienced operators, Jim Lonergan and Gary Draper, have worked with every generation of Hitachi Zaxis machine, from the -1 to -7 series. In addition, they have 35 and 38 years’ operating experience respectively.
“The Leica Geosystems machine control is sheer genius and the technology speeds up the process so much,” says Jim. “It saves me time, because I can check all the levels and angles, and I don’t have to rely on anyone with a laser. I can also see the model on the monitor screen and hear the alert when I am digging to certain levels.”
“The machine control system is a great piece of kit,” explains Gary. “I don’t have to wait for engineers now that I can be left alone, safe in the knowledge that there’s nobody working around the machine. For each phase of the project, the model is already there on my monitor and I am able to work away.”
Saving time – and money
Similarly, Carmac tested Engcon tiltrotators on three of its Hitachi models on various activities across the whole site. “We immediately saw how beneficial these were around the plots and on piling jobs, as well as for the ponds and roads,” says Colm. “In addition, they reduce the need for people to work near the machine and therefore are well worth the investment.”
“The tiltrotator is very good, as it enables me to dig at different angles from one position – without having to move,” adds Jim. “It’s easy to work with as all the angles and tilts come up on the screen, which means that I can still ensure that everything’s level – irrespective of the machine’s position. It’s perfect and working well.”
Fellow operator Gary agrees: “The tiltrotator is so convenient and easy to use. I can save time by not having to move around the site as much when digging out sewers and levelling stone ready for tarmac on the roads. The integrated gripper is also a useful attachment for grabbing tree stumps and undergrowth.”