Alliance May 24

MARKET GUIDE: Midi excavators (7.5 to 11.5-tonne)

Peter Anderson reviews the wide range of midi excavators currently available

With 34 midi excavators from 7.5- to 11.5-tonnes available from 16 manufacturers, there is plenty of choice for those needing to plug the capability gap between the largest minis and 13-tonners. For example, applications where more performance is required than a 5- or 6-tonne mini can provide, but without the access or space to use a full-sized machine.

At the top end of the midi market, those machines over 8.5-tonnes, such excavators offer a surprisingly large working envelope, more often than not equipped with a full array of auxiliary hydraulic services and increasing sporting a tilt-rotator. They offer a far more compact, versatile, productive and easier-to-transport alternative to deploying a 13-tonner.

To make the most advantage of the compact and powerful nature of midi excavators, they are offered in a variety of upper-structure configurations, including conventional, reduced and zero tail swing designs, with and without slewing booms.


According to Mecalac, its 10MCR crawler-skid excavator combines the speed of a loader with the functionality of an excavator. Operators can harness the mobility of a compact loader with a top speed of 9kph, carry buckets up to 0.75cu.m and the agility of an 360 excavator with a unique working envelope from its working equipment. With a total swing diameter of 3.76m, tail swing radius of 1.38m and weighing just 9.4t, it is primary designed for urban worksites where space is restricted.



The largest compact excavator in the Bobcat range, the minimal tail swing E85 model weighs 8.6t and provides a maximum digging depth of 4.62m and a maximum dump height of 4.99m. Standard equipment includes primary and secondary auxiliary hydraulic lines, together with a thumb control integrated in the joysticks for precise control of the boom swing function and the proportional auxiliary hydraulics. Options include a third auxiliary line, steel tracks, a long arm and an articulated boom.



Case offers the CX85D SR and CX90D MSR models. Weighing CX85D SR is a short radius 8.5t model, which can work in only 2.92m of space, which is also available configured with an offset boom. The standard offset boom on the medium radius CX90D MSR provides 80 degrees of slew to the left and 45 degrees to the right. There is a wide variety of choice of working equipment. A mono-boom, swing-boom and offset-boom are available, with up to four auxiliary hydraulic lines, together with three track options.



Caterpillar offers four base midi models, the 307.5, 308CR, 309CR and 310, spanning operating weights from 8.1- to 10.2-tonnes. The latest addition to the range is the 308CR, a compact radius model with a fixed boom. Weighing just over 8-tonnes, the new Stage 5 drivetrain features an enhancement hydraulic system, together with auto idle and auto engine shutdown. The 308CR also comes with Cat’s unique joystick travel and steering system, together with the latest 10-inch LCD monitor.



Powered by a modern Yanmar engine, the Doosan DX85R provides a bucket digging force of 6.3-tonnes, a traction force of 6.6-tonnes, a maximum travel speed of 4.7kph and a maximum digging depth of 4.83m. The auxiliary hydraulic services are controlled from the proportional joysticks, as is the boom offset function, together with, if required, control over attachment tilting function. In the surprisingly roomy cab there is a 14.5cm LCD monitor, together with auto tracking down shift and dozer float/levelling functions.



Hitachi offers the ZX85US-6 and and ZX85USB-6 models, the latter having an operating weight of between 8.4t and 9.0t and offering a digging depth of 4.51m. The latest version of the ZX85US-6 features a bit more power over its predecessor, together with a reinforced mainframe and undercarriage. Compact and with a short-tail swing radius, low-impact rubber tracks and offering 10.3m of reach, the ZX85US-6 weighs-in at between 8.1t to 8.9t depending on spec and provides a maximum dig depth of 4.61m.



Although still offering the R80CR-9A model, Hyundai’s latest midi is the all-new HX85A, powered by a Yanmar engine, rated at a shade under 50kW. This latest generation of Hyundai excavator technology features an advanced load sensing hydraulic system, allowing for simultaneous and precise machine movements. A new design of 2-piece boom extends the midi’s working envelope, including working close to its own tracks, enhanced vertical digging capabilities and good load over heights.



JCB offer for models with operating weights between 8- and 10-tonnes in their latest Dash 2 range, the 86C-2, 85Z-2, 90Z-2 and 100C-2. All of which are powered by the latest Kohler engines, which now feature engine auto-stop and a one-touch idle features. The Dash 2 upgrade also includes proportional joysticks incorporating boom swing control, freeing up the floor space usually taken by a two-way pedal. Forward visibility has also been improved, with the counterweight redesigned for better service access.



Kobelso offer the SK75SR-7 and SK85MSR-7 models. Depending on configuration the SK75SR-7 weighs between 7.8t and 8.95t, equipped with 3.82m boom and 2.13m arm, it is capable of a maximum digging depth 4.58m with a dump height of 5.67m, while its tail swing radius is 1.38m. The SK85MSR SR weighs between 8.4t and 9.6t and is configured with a shorter 3.5m boom and 2.13m arm, which provides a maximum dig depth of 4.44m, with a maximum dump clearance of 5.18m.



Komatsu midi excavator range comprises the PC80MR-5 and the more recent PC88MR-11. The PC88MR-11 weighs between 8.5t and 9.13t and can be configured with either a mono or a two-piece boom, its maximum dig depth is 4.68m. Promising improved operator comfort and serviceability over its predecessor, up to 10 attachment settings can be stored in its system, and two-way powered attachments can now be operated in eco mode. The 8-tonne PC80MR-5 provides a maximum depth of 4.34m.



The latest version of Kubota’s largest compact excavator, the KX080-4a2, weighs in at 8.35t and is powered by the latest generation of their in-house engine technology, which features a new Eco e-Plus working mode. This drives a high-tech load-sensing hydraulic system, which promises smoother operation, regardless of load size. The two-piece boom version of the standard model has been redesigned to improve the machine’s working envelope. This midi also features Kubota’s benchmark machine security system.



The LiuGong 9-tonne class 909ECR midi features a short tail swing radius of just 1.41m. When the excavator works alongside obstacles, the swing post and cylinder stay within the tracks when in an offset position, further avoiding the risk of damage. It is powered by a modern Yanmar engine, driving an equally impressive hydraulic system. This provides a load sensing and flow sharing capability, resulting in precise performance with grater controllability and features a bade float function.



Takeuchi offers three midis, the reduced tail swing TB290-2, the zero tail swing TB280FR and the new TB370. The 8.4t TB290-2 and the 8.5t TB280FR offer maximum dig depths of 4.58m and 4.54m, together with load over heights of 5.26m and 4.8m respectively. The TB370 weighs in at 7.9t with a two-piece boom and is powered by a Kubota engine delivering 48.4kN of digging force. The unique TB370 comes well equipped with the latest jog-dial controls and colour touch screen, together with hitch pipework.



The Volvo ECR88D weighs between 8.6t and 9.5t depending upon configuration and features a closed centre, load sensing hydraulic system for fast cycle times and smooth control. Configured with a 3.85m boom and 2.1m dipper, it provides a dig depth of 4.48m, a dump height of 6.38m and a lift capacity of 960kg at full reach across the carriage. The rubber-mounted cab reduces whole-body vibration, the operator gets air conditioning as standard, together with easy-grip, high response joysticks.



Wacker Neuson offers the conventional ET90 and the zero tail swing EZ80 midis, powered by Perkins engines rated at 56.4kW and 42kW respectively. Operating weights extend from 8.71t to 9.98t for the ET90 and 7.92t to 9.21t for the EZ80 while digging depths range from 4.68m and 4.17m. Dump heights of 5.07m and 4.59m to 4.62m with dump heights of between 3.99m and 5.06m for the ET90 and EZ80 respectively. Both feature a load sensing hydraulic system and up to five auxiliary hydraulic circuits.



Yanmar offers the 8.2t B7 Sigma-6 model with a three-piece boom, the SV100-2 at 9.62t and the flagship SV120 model weighing an impressive 11.5-tonnes. Together with a pair of zero tail swing models the 8.06t ViO80-1 and the 8.2t ViO82. The design of the SV100 allows the front of the cab structure to remain entirely within the width of the crawlers when slewing. The large SV120 model features four independent hydraulic circuits, together with a larger cab that provides a 100mm increase in entrance width.

This article featured in the May 2022 issue of Earthmovers


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