Well known UK owner operators and tiltrotator trailblazers Ollie Kitchin and Eddie Warrener both made another pilgrimage to the Swedish MaskinMassan show in Stockholm earlier this month and while they were there visited the local Hitachi dealer Delvator to check out the detail on how the Swedes prep machines for the domestic market.
Ollie and Eddie were staying in a hotel that as it happened, was just across the road from the local Hitachi dealer and the following morning they both decided pop over and see if it would be ok for them to take a look around. The Swedes being some of the friendliest people in the world, it will come as no surprise to find out that the inquisitive Brits were welcomed with open arms!
Ollie takes up the story, “The manager was only too happy to give us a tour and to show us some of the machines they were preparing for their customers. The machines arrive in a factory finish condition and then the guys at Delvator spec them up to their customers requirements. The owner of one of the machines we saw being worked on, Stefan Eriksson whose company is Steffes Schakt AB, had actually bought the Zaxis 490LCH-6 that was displayed on the company’s stand at MaskinMassan, apparently Hitachi had asked the dealer to put something big on the stand and it was in the yard prior to the show, the customer had popped in to see how works was progressing on his small machine, but when he saw the Zaxis 490 he said, I’ll take that one too!”
Ollie said that the attention to detail during the work is second to none and the guys have every possible thing you could ever need to do the to perform the various tasks. All the additional pipework is made in house and can be curved and shape as is needed.
Another popular feature in Sweden is an additionally fitted strongly built toolbox which they fit down on the undercarriage just below the slew turret, Ollie said, “It’s a really simple idea when you think about it, but a cracking addition to any machine, it enables you to store chains and tools without the need to be lifting them up high into the usual storage places on excavators with the risk of chipping the main paintwork”.
The Swedes are increasingly using a quick fitting system for attaching all your hydraulic pipes in one go, rather than pushing them home manually one at a time, this is a bit like low loader drivers and agricultural machinery end users use to attach hydraulics, a much quicker and more effective way of doing it.
Ollie said, “You can clearly see the connector at the bottom in the photo below, the black box higher up the dipper arm is for the laser system and you can also see that they have “piggy backed” on the electrics, they really are way ahead of the game in all they do and these guys really take pride in the what they do and the standard of workmanship which is a real credit to them all”.
Another item that is becoming increasingly popular in the Swedish market is the in-cab breathalyser kit, this system requires the operator to give a sample of breath before starting the machine, if he gets a positive result, it will not allow him to start the machine for 30 minutes when he can try again.
For two guys who always strive to be ahead of the game in the UK a visit to this dealership for Ollie and Eddie was inspiring as ever and with a mind full of more ideas the pair headed off for another day at the MaskinMassan show. It was while touring the show that the lads met up with another interesting guy called Graham Mackenzie who is half Swedish and half Australian and by all accounts, a real character! Graham has been working on preparing machines for the Swedish market for over 20 years and is currently working for the Case and Doosan dealership Maskinia.
Doosan recently celebrated passing the 400,000 production units milestone with a stunning, specially-designed DX140W-5 Black Edition wheeled excavator which was displayed at Intermat. Doosan chose to auction off the machine to its dealers with the money going to charity. It transpired that Maskinia was the eventual winner of the auction and the machine made its way from Paris to Sweden following the end of French machinery fest. Following some proper Swedish “pimping” by Graham, the machine was a focal point on the Maskinia stand at Svenska MaskinMassan in Sovalla and I think you would agree, it’s a master piece of machinery upgrading!
Concluding Ollie said, “Eddie and I spent the best part of two hours with Graham, which was both informative and inspiring, he told us that anything we want, they will do it and just ship it over, no drama’s, no messing! That approach certainly gave us both food for thought with so many dealers in the UK saying that things cannot be done!
The Digger Man Blog thanks Ollie and Eddie for sharing the photos and information contained within this blog post.