Digger Man

Digger Man Blog

by Nick Drew  |  Sun 23 Jun 2013

Smooth operator upgrades to Dash 5 Hitachi

Well known and respected Cornish owner operator Tim Olver, has recently taken delivery of one of the first Hitachi ZX210-5ís to be delivered in the South West. The Digger Man Blog travelled to a site in Exminster, Devon to check out the new arrival.

Smooth operator upgrades to Dash 5 Hitachi
Like many of us of a certain age, Tim Olver started out in the plant game at an early age, helping out his father on the tractors and diggers. From those humble beginnings, Tim has gone on to have a very successful business working for the likes of May Gurney, and Fred Champion Groundworks, as well as working for his own father. Over the years, Timís preferred machine, has been the 21 ton excavator, with his first machine in this size class being a Komatsu PC210-7. This machine served him well, and he later traded it in for a new PC210-8 model, with which he was engaged in reservoir and river work for May Gurney. Timís next machine was to be a Hitachi ZX210-3, which he would run for 4 years, during which time the machine had amassed a total of 6100 hours and in his own words, ďnever missed a beat all the way throughĒ. For the last 3 years, Tim has been on permanent hire to Fred Champion Groundworks, who are extremely busy, and work at a hectic pace, which is a good test for man and machine. So when it came to the time to change the Dash-3 machine, there was no doubt in Timís mind that it would have to be Hitachi again. Tim contacted HM Plantís regional sales manager Phil Carlyon, and a valuation was done on his existing machine, which would be part exchanged for the new Dash-5. Tim Olver has always had an enviable reputation for the care of his machines, and as you can see from the photo above, even with over 6000 hours on the meter, his old machine still looked like brand new. Looking after your kit like this always ensures you will get a good price when itís time to trade in your old model, and one has to say, itís a big credit to Tim that the machine is in such good condition. Since taking delivery, Timís new ZX210-5 has now amassed 83 hours on the meter, and his new mount continues to impress, with fuel economy being extremely impressive so far. Hitachi claim that a 17% reduction in fuel consumption can be achieved in PWR mode, when compared to the old ZX-3 P-mode, with a possible 25% reduction being possible when working in ECO mode. According to Tim, his Dash-3 machine needed to be filled up with fuel every other day, but the new Dash-5 will go for 3.5 days before requiring a top up, which just shows the significant savings that can be achieved with the new models. Tim was keen to demonstrate the machines multi-function display and menu feature, which is controlled by a round dial on the right hand side console. By accessing the menu, the operator can get a whole host of vital statistics, like how much fuel the engine is using in real time, monitoring of all fluids and temperatures, the breaker set up modes, which can also tell you how long the machine has spent on breaker work, travelling detail (which monitors how many hours the machine has spent tracking on site), the DPF monitor, which lets the operator know when the machine is about to go into its regeneration period, and a whole host of other settings for the radio and rear view camera. Tim then tracked the machine up the site to load a lorry. The first thing you notice about the Hitachi ZX210-5, is just how quiet it is when working. The machines Tier IIIB compliant 122kw (164hp) Isuzu AM-4HK1X four cylinder engine just purrs away, as if itís hardly running at all, but behind all that silence there is plenty of power when needed. The machine just goes about its business effortlessly, and you hardly notice any difference in the engine noise as it gorges out another bucketful. For operators of our generation, it often seems strange that there is so little noise coming from these modern machines, and as Tim commented, it often makes you feel like you could do with cranking the machine up a bit more. But there really is no need as the machine is so finely tuned that there is no requirement for all that noise, itís just something we all have to get used to as operators today. Tim invited me to take to the controls myself, which I have to say was a pure delight. I have always been a big Hitachi excavator fan, having previously owned two 13 ton models, and I still run a 3.5 ton ZX33-U3 machine. The cab layout is typically Hitachi, nicely laid out and extremely comfortable, with all the creature comforts we expect these days. Another nice little addition that Tim puts in all his machines is a Bluetooth phone setup, which is wired into the machines radio speaker system. The air suspension seat, which is now fitted as standard was very comfortable, with plenty of adjustment to suit operators of all shapes and sizes. Once fully comfortable, I turned the dial to full throttle and went to work, as previously mentioned the lack of noise is incredible, but one has to say, very pleasant. You could easily hold a conversation with the ground crew at full revs and not have to struggle to hear what they were saying! The machines movements were everything we have come to expect from Hitachi over the years, ultra smooth on the hydraulics and plenty of power in the dig. The big test for any machine is, ďare they any good for fine grading work?Ē Hitachiís have always been legendary for grading, and this current model didnít fail to please me. Even though the machine had a toothed digging bucket on, I could feel that the grading aspect was spot on, which is exactly what I had expected if I am honest. It would have been nice to spend an hour or two on the machine to really get to know her, but as usual time was against me, I did however leave the site feeling very impressed with this latest model from Hitachi, a good all round machine, that is well balanced, and does everything you could want from a 21 ton excavator. Timís new machine is fitted with the latest Hill Tefra quick hitch, which was a Plantworx innovation award winner in the engineering category, at last monthís show. It was an absolute delight to meet Tim Olver, one of our industryís real gentlemen, who has many tales to tell, so much so that I am hoping to write an article on his career for Earthmovers Magazine in the not too distant future; one to look out for I can assure you.            

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