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Tuesday, July 16, 2013
Among the first Zaxis-5 models to be delivered in the UK are the ZX250LC-5 and ZX470LCH-5 now owned by one of the country’s leading demolition companies, Hughes & Salvidge Ltd. The Hampshire-based firm put the two machines to the test on a challenging £600,000 project in its home county.
Working on up to 30 projects at any time, Hughes & Salvidge carries out demolition and decommissioning for a variety of blue-chip companies, major contractors and local councils all around the UK. One of its most notable recent customers is pharmaceutical giant Pfizer Group. It won the work to demolish several buildings (including a warehouse, office block, boiler house, workshops and outer buildings) at its manufacturing and distribution site in Havant, Hampshire. The work was due to be completed in December 2012.
Hughes & Salvidge has a total of 20 Hitachi Zaxis excavators, from five to 50 tonnes. Two of the most recent additions (the first ZX470LCH-5 in the country was equipped with a pulveriser attachment, and the ZX250LC-5 had been fitted with a grapple attachment. Both machines were supplied by the UK Hitachi Group company, HM Plant Ltd.
“The larger model was used to crush reinforced concrete, which had been pulled down by a ZX470LCH-3 high-reach excavator with a multiprocessor attachment,” says Site Manager Wayne Jeves. “The ZX250LC-5 was required to handle and process materials from the demolition process, sorting them into piles and loading skips. Up to 95% of materials will be recycled after being transported 30 miles (48 kilometres) to Southampton docks, and shipped to countries such as China and India.”
Both Wayne and the operators on site have been impressed by the performance of the Hitachi Zaxis-5 excavators on this project. With 30 years of experience in the industry, Wayne began operating machines at the age of 18 and has worked with Hitachi excavators up to 80 tonnes.
“I think the ZX470 model has evolved over 30 years,” he says, “I think it’s one of the best Hitachi machines available for this kind of work. It’s reliable, represents excellent value for money and the support from HM Plant is very good.”
Operator Nick Winter agrees: “I’ve worked with Hitachi excavators on and off for 30 years. I started with the old UH models in the early 1980s and they have come a long way since then. Every model is better than the last.
“I’ve operated the ZX460LCH, then Hughes & Salvidge’s first ZX470LCH-3 and now the ZX470LCH-5. The technology has been enhanced on the latest model, it’s also comfortable, and the fuel efficient Stage IIIB engine is another improvement.
“Demolition is a hard life for machines, working 12-hour days,” he adds, “but Hitachi excavators just keep going. I’d choose Hitachi over other brands because they are smooth and responsive, and easy to operate. I think Hitachi has got it right.”
Another Hitachi enthusiast is operator Philip Marsh, who has worked for Hughes & Salvidge for 20 years. He prefers working with the smaller ZX250LC-5 to the ZX470LCH-5. “It’s versatile, I can work on smaller jobs for houses and bungalows, as well as larger projects like this one,” he explains. “It’s a good, all-round machine and easier to use than other brands. The new three-pump TRIAS hydraulic system is really good. I like the fact that Hitachi excavators are easy to control and comfortable, and I think they are the best machines for operator training.”
With such satisfied employees Managing Director, Martyn Burnett, can feel confident that he has made the right decision to continue investing in Hitachi excavators. He is equally passionate about machines and has been operating them since the age of ten.
“I bought my first Hitachi excavator in 2002 for my previous company, K&B Crushers,” he says. “It was an EX220, I had it up to 18,000 hours and it was extremely reliable. It was maintained and serviced properly, which I believe is the key to the performance of any machine.”
Since then, Martyn has been convinced of the reliability of Hitachi construction machinery. “That’s the number one reason why I buy Hitachi,” he says. “The product itself is fantastic, the people employed by Hitachi and HM Plant are easy to get along with, and the support they provide if something goes wrong is second to none”.