Digger Man

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by Nick Drew  |  Mon 22 Apr 2013

Hitachi launches new Dash 5 mini excavators at Bauma

Amongst the new products launched by Hitachi at Bauma, were the new ZX33U-5 and ZX38U-5 models. I was keen to see what was new on the machines, having purchased a ZX33U-3 just last year.

Hitachi launches new Dash 5 mini excavators at Bauma
On first impressions, the new machines didn’t appear to be much different, but up close there are some significant changes. They certainly appear to have a more rounded compact shape and certainly look the part. I was keen to take a look inside the cab, but sadly the machines I tried were all locked. However, from outside the window they did appear to be slightly more spacious than my current Dash 3 model. 102 According to Hitachi, these new models feature a wider seat with adjustable arm rests, I would like to think there is more adjustment to the seat than on my current model, which to be honest is not that adjustable at all, and in my opinion is set up to high, making it feel like you are perched on the machine rather than sitting in it. From a quick glance, this machines seat looked like a vast improvement. I was also delighted to see a return to a more conventional cab door, as opposed to the two piece wrap around door on the previous models, which did not provide the operator with a very good view to his left, with the door shut. 104 These new models feature a new multi-function LCD monitor, featuring user-friendly controls which gives feedback to the operator on vital fluid levels and temperatures. Noise levels have been further reduced too, by the fitment of a new low noise muffler to the rear of the cab, which will not only benefit the operator, but in addition members of the ground crew working in close proximity to the machine. 113 These machines also feature an auto-shift travelling system, which automatically reduces the speed of the excavator according to the travel load. This system comes into its own when performing dozing duties or when climbing up steep inclines for example. 114 Hitachi also claim that essential maintenance is now even easier on the Zaxis-5 mini range. The radiator cover, for example, now has a handle and hinge, instead of bolts, which allows for easy inspection. The durability of the new ZX33U-5 and ZX38U-5 models has also been improved with the addition of strengthened front joints, a reinforced D-frame and a boom cylinder guard, which ensure high levels of productivity and availability. I have always had a soft spot for Hitachi excavators, throughout my operating career, the company’s excavators have always been top class. I am sure Hitachi fans will be impressed with these latest models.        

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