Hitachi help Küper Transport reach new levels
ZX300LC-6 super-long-reach excavator proves an efficient solution for Dutch brick factory application
AN excavation and transport company has purchased a Zaxis-6 super-long-reach excavator to work on a longstanding project at a brick factory near Pannerden in the east of The Netherlands.
Delivered in October 2017, the Hitachi ZX300LC-6 special-application machine was selected by Küper Transport as best way to create the correct mixture of materials required by Wienerberger AG – the world’s largest producer of bricks – at one of its Dutch plants.
The first stage of the process involves the building of a 200m x 28m x 0.5m stockpile with different materials – including various types of clay and sand – delivered by Küper Transport’s fleet of trucks.
The new excavator’s superior reach of 15m is utilized to scrape and flatten each load into an even layer. Once all of the layers have been prepared, the ZX300LC-6 is then engaged to mix the various types of material to the specification required by Wienerberger to make the bricks.
Moving from one side of the 28m-wide stockpile to the other, operator Davey Heimen skilfully takes 5–10cm from each layer, scraping down from the top to the bottom of the pile, before pulling the mixture towards the machine.
The bucket is then emptied at an angle to the right of the excavator, so that its tracks can flatten the materials and complete the cycle as it continues to repeat the process and move across the face of the pile.
Founded by current owner Remaldo Küper’s grandfather in 1938, Küper Transport have been working at the Wienerberger factory for more than 40 years. The Spijk-based company bought the ZX300LC-6 super-long-reach machine with a 1,450-litre chain bucket, extended warranty and a service contract from Hitachi Construction Machinery (Europe) NV’s domestic dealer in The Netherlands.
Küper Transport have enjoyed a long-term relationship with HCME, having owned Hitachi machines for 32 years. ‘Hitachi produce a great excavator with a strong quality/price ratio,’ said Mr Küper. ‘In my opinion, anything engineered and manufactured in Japan is perfect, especially when supported by HCME’s excellent maintenance and service here in The Netherlands.’
The primary decision-making criteria determined by Küper Transport for the investment were brand, price and quality. ‘We considered three machines on this occasion,’ added Mr Küper, ‘but we were immediately impressed by Hitachi’s in-house solution and the lifting capacity of the 15m-reach model.
‘We previously used a conventional machine for this project, but for some of the materials it had to do twice as much digging, which cost us more time, fuel and, therefore, money. By comparison, we are now able to save 15 litres per hour and complete our normal cycle 30% faster than before.
‘The ZX300LC-6 is the perfect machine for this job. It is stable in these challenging conditions, compact and light, so it’s easy to transport and doesn’t sink into the ground.
‘Hitachi also have a technical advantage over the other brands. The TRIAS II hydraulic system means that only one of the three pumps is used for the swing mechanism. So, when the machine is swinging and lifting, there is no decrease in capacity.’
Operator Davey Heimen is also impressed with the new machine’s suitability: ‘It’s very smooth and stable, and handles well. This is especially the case when flattening and grading the layers of materials at full reach.
‘It’s also faster at completing this task, as I can position the machine further back from where the trucks dump the materials than a conventional machine. In addition, I can stay in the same place throughout, because everything I need to do is achievable in one movement.
‘The cab is very comfortable with a heated seat, climate control and an excellent all-round view, which is so important for the precise work that I do. I am also able to save one hour per day with the Hitachi machine when scraping and mixing the materials.’