Category Shift To Shorter Tail Swings

Sept. 28, 2010
Kobelco SK350LC Acera Mark 8

When Buying File last focused on crawler excavators ranging 60,000 to 80,000 pounds in mid-2007, the average list price for the largest share of machines in the range was managing to remain under $300,000. This share of machines, those ranging in operating weight from 28.1 to 33.0 metric tons or about 62,000 to 73,000 pounds, had its average list price shift up 11 percent from three years prior, but still managed to hang around $285,000. In less time since, the average crawler is now up to $303,505, according to the most recent figures from Equipment

Knowing all too well what has happened around them since mid-2007, equipment managers continually evaluating buying options aren’t exactly brushing off financial numbers these days. Based on the list cost of the 30-metric-ton excavator, they are no doubt left assured this machine remains a versatile, integral, highly valued member of their fleets.

Among the newest model introductions is a 67,150-pound addition to the Hyundai Series 9 family, the R290LC-9, as well as Kobelco’s 66,800-pound SK295LC Acera Mark 8 model. Both represent technology-leveraged enhancements upon the traditional conventional excavator configurations serving this size range.

But it’s hardly any semblance of “same old, same old,” for 60,000- to 80,000-pound crawler excavators today being offered in the marketplace. Among the newest model offerings from the dozen OEMs active in North America, the largest amount of activity is observed in the arrival of short- or reduced-tail-swing machines into a size range traditionally covered by the conventional configuration.

Topping out at 64,043 pounds, the 120-horsepower R 924 Compact is described by manufacturer Liebherr as “a full-size excavator in a compact body. It offers the practicality of a minimum-tail-swing excavator (67 inches) while maintaining powerful performance, whether it is working on the side of a highway trying to keep congestion to a minimum or working in the city on narrow busy roads.”

Caterpillar likewise brought its compact-swing-radius technology well into the 60,000-pound-plus range with the 76,500-pound 328D LCR model, featuring a tail swing radius of 75 inches, “which means that the counterweight extends only a few inches beyond the tracks when reaching over the side. The compact radius design enables the machine to work efficiently in restricted spaces and alongside highway traffic lanes,” Cat says. The 328D LCR is the largest of the Caterpillar compact-swing-radius excavators.

And, introduced in early 2009, the 34.8-metric-ton ECR305CL is the largest model in Volvo’s short-swing-radius excavator offering, following the introduction of the ECR145CL and ECR235CL less than a year earlier. The ECR305CL “overcomes the dynamic challenges of producing excavators that work with high-performance capabilities and exceptional stability in confined areas,” says Volvo. “Precisely engineered weight distribution and increased swing torque also gives the new machine superior swing performance when working on slopes.” While offering the muscle of a 75,000-pound excavator, the ECR305CL’s body swings only “fractionally” outside its track width – slightly more than 3 inches when equipped with a standard shoe – enabling it for work close to walls or other barriers.

A key when pushing reduced-tail-swing excavators up into larger size classes is to enhance the performance of the larger excavators. Having to give up as much if not more than is being gained would be deemed counterproductive.

“The all-new, rounded cab on Volvo’s short-swing models is designed to stay within the rear swing radius,” says Volvo. “Despite this design consideration, it remains the roomiest and most comfortable cab in the market – as befits Volvo’s reputation for providing excellent operator environments. The sliding door provides the operator with the ability to access and exit the cab even when it is positioned close to an obstruction, such as close to a wall. Whilst at work, the heating and ventilation system ensures the perfect working environment, irrespective of weather conditions.”

While, on the whole, the past two-plus years may not go down as the busiest among new introductions in the 60,000- to 80,000-pound crawler excavator market, the significance of the new models being offered can and should not be underestimated. 

At the top end of the 60,000- to 80,000-pound crawler excavator range, the Kobelco SK350LC Acera Mark 8 has a Power Boost feature that provides, with no time limitations, 10-percent more power on command for increased bucket force.
At 271 horsepower, JCB’s 71,000-pound JS330 model powered by an Isuzu diesel engine, is among the carriers at the very top of the chart when it comes to net engine output among crawler excavators in the 60,000- to 80,000-pound range.
The largest short-swing crawler excavator offering from the company, the 74,230-plus-pound ECR305CL model pushes Volvo’s reduced-tail-swing technology into a size range traditionally owned by conventional crawler excavators. Other manufacturers are offering likewise.
Shown here lifting concrete, the Caterpillar 336D L crawler excavator represents a model designation change. Formerly the 330D, the 336D L now weighs in, depending on configuration, at either side of the 80,000-pound mark. It is classified as the largest “medium” excavator by Caterpillar.
In this story:
  • Gallery of Crawler Excavators
  • Gallery of Excavator Attachments
  • Cost of Ownership
  • Crawler-Excavator Specifications (60,000 to 80,000 pounds)
Cost of Ownership
Machine WeightList Price*Hourly Rate
* Hourly rate is the monthly ownership costs divided by 176, plus operating costs. Unit prices used in this calculation are diesel fuel at $2.79 per gallon, mechanic’s wage at $47.49 per hour, and money costs at 4.875 percent.
Source:, phone 800/669-3282
24.1 - 28.0 metric tons$251,267$96.10
28.1 - 33.0 metric tons$303,505$110.43
33.1 - 40.0 metric tons$345,611$127.93
Crawler-Excavator Specifications (60,000 to 80,000 pounds)
ModelOperating Weight (mt)Operating Weight (lb.)Boom DescriptionArm LengthMaximum Dig DepthEngine Make / ModelNet Engine Output (hp)Tail Swing Radius
Source: Xpanded Specs (as of December / 09)
Volvo EC240C LR27.761,520Long Front (Extreme)25’ 9”47’ 0”Volvo D7E EBE31689’ 10”
LBX Link-Belt 240 X2 Long Front2861,729Long Front (Extreme)26’ 3”47’ 9”Isuzu AH-4HK1X1779’ 8”
Case CX240B LR2861,730Long Front (Extreme)26’ 3”47’ 9”Isuzu 4HK1X1779’ 8”
Caterpillar 324D L Super Long Reach28.66963,204Long Front (Extreme)25’ 9”47’ 11”Cat C7 ACERT1889’ 10”
John Deere 270D LC28.6863,229Regular One-Piece10’ 2”23’ 10”John Deere 6068H1889’ 7.8”
Hitachi Zaxis 270LC-328.7763,425Regular One-Piece12’ 4”25’ 11”Isuzu AH-4HK1XYSA 031889’ 7.8”
Hyundai R290NLC-7A29.09864,150Regular One-Piece10’ 0”24’ 7”Cummins QSB6.719710’ 6”
Doosan DX300LC29.364,594Regular One-Piece10’ 2”24’ 2”Doosan DL0819710’ 6”
Hyundai R290LC-7A29.364,600Regular One-Piece10’ 0”24’ 7”Cummins QSB6.719710’ 6”
Case CX290B29.865,697Regular One-Piece10’ 6”23’ 4”Isuzu 6HK1YSS20710’ 4”
John Deere 270D LC Super Long Front29.865,698Long Front (Extreme)25’ 10”47’ 4”John Deere 6068H1889’ 8”
LBX Link-Belt 290 X229.80165,700Regular One-Piece10’ 5”23’ 4”Isuzu AH-6HK1XYSS20710’ 4”
Caterpillar 329D L29.865,746Regular One-Piece10’ 6”23’ 11”Cat C7 ACERT20410’ 1”
Doosan DX300LC SLR3066,140Long Front (Extreme)23’ 0”45’ 6”Doosan DL0819710’ 6”
Volvo EC290C L30.166,390Regular One-Piece10’ 0”24’ 0”Volvo D7E EAE31929’ 10”
Komatsu PC270LC-830.11866,399Regular One-Piece10’ 0”21’ 2”Komatsu SAA6D107E-11879’ 8”
Terex TXC 300LC-230.266,579Regular One-Piece10’ 2”24’ 2”Doosan DL0819710’ 6”
Sany SY310C30.366,799Regular One-Piece10’ 5.2”24’ 2”Cummins QSC8.326010’ 10”
Kobelco SK295LC Acera Mark 830.366,800Regular One-Piece10’ 2”23’ 8”FPT F4H E9684B*J11979’ 9”
Caterpillar 329D L Mass Boom30.467,101Mass Excavation8’ 2”20’ 1”Cat C7 ACERT20410’ 1”
Hyundai R290LC-930.4667,150Regular One-Piece10’ 0”24’ 7”Cummins QSB6.719710’ 6”
Hyundai R290LC-9 Long Reach30.4667,150Long Front (Extreme)25’ 9”48’ 7”Cummins QSB6.719710’ 3”
JCB JS 290 LC Tier III30.567,215Regular One-Piece10’ 2”23’ 0”Isuzu 6HK1X2169’ 10”
Terex TXC 300LC-2 Super Long Reach30.968,120Long Front (Extreme)23’ 0”45’ 6”Doosan DL0819710’ 6”
Volvo EC290C LR31.769,900Long Front (Extreme)25’ 11”48’ 5”Volvo D7E EAE31929’ 10”
Liebherr R 934 C31.9170,350Regular One-Piece10’ 2”22’ 8”Liebherr D934 L20310’ 4”
Caterpillar 329D L Super Long Reach32.170,833Long Front (Extreme)25’ 9”48’ 0”Cat C7 ACERT20410’ 1”
Hyundai R320LC-7A32.271,000Regular One-Piece10’ 6”24’ 2”Cummins QSC23710’ 11”
JCB JS 330 LC Tier III32.2371,052Regular One-Piece10’ 7”24’ 3”Isuzu 6HK1X27110’ 9”
Komatsu PC308USLC-332.6371,938Regular One-Piece10’ 0”21’ 2”Komatsu SAA6D107E-11876’ 0”
Hyundai R290LC-7 Long Reach32.8672,440Long Front (Extreme)25’ 9”48’ 7”Cummins QSB5.9-C19710’ 6”
Kobelco SK290LC Long Reach33.974,733Long Front (Extreme)26’ 4”49’ 4”Mitsubishi 6D16-TLEG19010’ 1”
John Deere 350D LC Super Long Front3474,957Long Front (Extreme)24’ 8”46’ 5”John Deere 6090H27111’ 1”
Doosan DX340LC34.175,177Regular One-Piece10’ 6”24’ 8”Doosan DL0824711’ 6”
Terex TXC 340LC-234.175,178Regular One-Piece10’ 6”24’ 7”Doosan DL0824711’ 5.8”
Caterpillar 328D LCR34.776,500Regular One-Piece10’ 6”22’ 8”Cat C7 ACERT2046’ 2.8”
Volvo ECR305CL34.89576,930Regular One-Piece10’ 0”22’ 10”Volvo D6E EAE31926’ 1”
Hitachi Zaxis 350LC-334.90976,961Regular One-Piece10’ 6”24’ 3”Isuzu AH-6HK1XYSA 0127111’ 1”
Doosan DX350LC35.277,603Regular One-Piece10’ 6”24’ 7”Doosan DL0827111’ 6”
John Deere 350D LC35.22777,662Regular One-Piece10’ 6”24’ 3”John Deere 6090H27111’ 0.7”
Komatsu PC300LC-835.37177,980Regular One-Piece10’ 5”24’ 3”Komatsu SAA6D114E-324611’ 4”
Case CX350B35.86379,065Regular One-Piece10’ 8”24’ 1”Isuzu AH-6HK1XYSS27111’ 4”
LBX Link-Belt 350 X235.979,146Regular One-Piece10’ 8”24’ 1”Isuzu AH-6HK1XYSS27111’ 3”
Volvo EC330C L36.0779,530Regular One-Piece10’ 6”24’ 7”Volvo D12D EBE324711’ 4”
Hyundai R360LC-7A36.179,590Regular One-Piece10’ 6”24’ 7”Cummins QSL27111’ 2.4”
Kobelco SK350LC Acera Mark 836.179,600Regular One-Piece10’ 10”24’ 10”Hino J08E-TM26411’ 6”
Volvo EC330C L ME36.15679,710Mass Excavation8’ 6”22’ 1”Volvo D12D EBE324711’ 4”
Volvo ECR305CL w/Blade36.1879,770Regular One-Piece10’ 0”22’ 10”Volvo D6E EAE31926’ 1”