8-ton Crawler Excavator Carries Kubota Beyond Minis

By Larry Stewart, Executive Editor | September 28, 2010

Kubota's KXO80-3 crawler excavator
Auto-idling is a standard feature on Kubota's KXO80-3. It drops engine speed to an idle to reduce noise and exhaust emissions when there has been no operator input to the controls.

Kubota dug into the utility-class excavator market, for the first time reaching beyond mini-excavators, with the 18,300-pound KXO80-3. It is the heaviest excavator of the machines in the class with a swing-mounted boom. The 62-hp engine is Kubota's first direct-injected diesel in an excavator.

The quiet Kubota diesel engine can drive 14,660 pounds of bucket force and 8,554 pounds of arm digging force. The standard auto-idling system drops engine speed to an idle to reduce noise and exhaust emissions when there has been no operator input to the controls for a period. As soon as the operator moves a control, the revolutions per minute come back to the preset high-idle.

The counterweight extends 14.2 inches beyond the track width — a bit large compared to most tight-tail-swing machines in the 8-ton class — but Kubota says the unit delivers more over-the-front lifting capacity at maximum reach than fixed-boom machines such as Cat's 308CR and Komatsu's PC78US-6. The Kubota is less stable lifting over the side of the tracks than those fixed-boom machines, but it out-lifts Takeuchi and Bobcat's competitive swing booms.

Ground-drive motors in the KX080-3 automatically downshift to low when making turns, moving on soft earth, or when the machine encounters heavy-duty drive situations. The front-end implements handle smoothly thanks to a three-pump, load-sensing hydraulic system. The system enables users to perform simultaneous operations, such as dozing and using front attachments, without losing speed. Twin auxiliary-service ports — standard equipment — each offer a hydraulic flow rate of up to 26 gallons per minute.

The KX080-3's electronic oil control allows easy auxiliary-flow adjustment to match the needs of various attachments. Operators can store settings to quickly switch from using a tilt bucket, for example, to manipulating an auger or thumb.

The machine is only available with ROPS/FOPS-certified cab, air conditioning and heat. An anti-drop valve on the boom is standard equipment.

Kubota says the excavator has "the industry's first factory-installed anti-theft system." The system allows only registered keys to crank the engine. Attempts to use other keys disable the machine and sound an alarm. Each excavator comes with ready-to-use, pre-registered keys, and a programming key for registering additional keys or changing codes.

The KXO80-3 is expected to sell for about $75,000.

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