Digger Man

Digger Man Blog

by Nick Drew  |  Tue 11 Jan 2022

O&K’s RH 6 from the Company Archives

We had a fantastic reaction to last weeks post featuring classic German excavators, with the photos being shared by our friend Dirk Bömer, well I’m delighted to report that Dirk has been in touch again to share some photos with a UK theme, sourced from the O&K historical archives.

O&K’s RH 6 from the Company Archives

The O&K (Orenstein & Koppel) RH 6 Series A, was one of the manufacturers most successful models. Featuring a single boom cylinder ram, the machine was the direct successor to the famous RH 5 which was the first hydraulic excavator produced by O&K in 1961. The RH 6-A was first launched in 1967 and continued in production until 1971.

According to Dirk the company, used to employ their own “in-house” photographers in those days, who much like myself today, would visit sites to catch shots of the machines in action for official O&K promotional literature. Many of these historical paper print photos have since been saved by Dirk, which might have otherwise ended up being destroyed.   

The two photos below of an RH 6 which features a deep excavation clamshell grab attachment was also used in a sales brochure and features a machine owned by the appropriately named O. K. Plant Hire who were based in Egham in Surrey.

There is very little detail available on this, but apparently the machine was working somewhere in West London. I’m suspecting it was a job for Cementation Construction judging by the compressor which can vaguely be seen in the background. Also of note in the first photo is the Dodge tipper truck owned by LANZ who were based in Colnbrook.

In this next shot we have another RH 6-A owned by Charles Brand Demolition at work on a demolition project in Glasgow. The machine features the old-style demolition pole attachment which were used in those days, long before the high reach modifications we see today were the norm, a simple concept, but they did the job!

Finally in this batch, we have another wonderful colour shot of an RH 6 owned by a great old name in British construction Fairclough, who like so many, back in those days, had their own plant division in this instance Fairclough Plant. Judging by the F plate registration I would assume this was taken sometime between 1967-68. This classic photo generated a lot of interest last week when I posted it on the Digger Man Blog Instagram page!

For those who enjoy video content, here's a clip I came across of an ageing RH 6 still operational in Sweden back in 2020, which I understand was up for sale. 

Once again, I would like to thank Dirk for sharing these wonderful historical photos with us here on the Digger Man Blog.







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