Hitachi Utility Excavators Work Efficiently

By Mike Anderson, Senior Editor | September 28, 2010

The Zaxis 225USLC-3 is the reduced-tail-swing cousin of the 20-metric-ton ZX200LC-3 excavator. Both have a four-cylinder Isuzu engine providing more horsepower than the six-cylinder plantof earlier models.

When it comes to powering Hitachi's new Zaxis Dash-3 utility-sized excavators, less is more.

Less, in terms of engine cylinders, still results in more horsepower, fuel efficiency and environmental responsibility.

Initially introduced to members of the trade press gathered in March at a Deere-Hitachi training and demonstration site near Phoenix, Ariz., the Hitachi ZX200LC-3 and its reduced-tail-swing cousin, the ZX225USLC-3, began arriving at North American dealerships in late summer. Each is powered by an Isuzu Tier 3 engine generating 159 net peak horsepower in normal operating mode, up from 147 horsepower in the previous series.

"These have the Isuzu four-cylinder engines, which is quite unique because not too many excavators this size have a four-cylinder engine," says Brian Mace, Manager, Mining Product Marketing and Applications, Hitachi Construction Products.

"It's going to cost less to operate, because you're going to use less engine oil. Compared to the previous six-cylinder engine that was in this model, we're about 2 liters less of engine oil in the pan."

At first glance, customers may be taken aback by the thought of a four-cylinder engine in a 20-metric-ton machine, but "the engine's just as big," says Mace.

The introduction this year of Zaxis 225USLC-3, 200LC-3, and the smaller 160LC-3 models continues a rollout that began in 2006 with the first six Dash-3 upgrades, covering the 24- to 85-metric-ton range. Hitachi introduced the inaugural Zaxis excavators in 2002.

As with larger Dash-3 machines, the ZX200LC-3 comes with the larger CRES II cab, featuring a wider seatback, more legroom, and 47-percent more glass on the right side.

"The new multi-language monitor inside is pretty impressive as well," he says. "You can go through it and change your attachment settings, you can set up countdown clocks for your maintenance items, and it's all on a LCD screen, so there are no more gauges, or lights, or buzzers."

Due to its reduced-tail-swing configuration, the ZX225USLC-3 has a "squeezed" version of the new cab, but with the same larger seat and shorter control levers for operator comfort.

Suited for working closer to buildings, the heavier ZX225USLC-3 has a rear-end swing radius and minimum swing radius that are 42 and 32 inches, respectively, shorter than the standard-configuration ZX200LC-3. Many production specs are the same, the exceptions being some slightly longer reach specs for the reduced-tail-swing model.

The new Dash-3 machines use the regenerative HIOS III hydraulic system, which Hitachi says results in increased swing torque, faster arm and boom movements, and smoother multi-function operations.

Key Specs: Hitachi Dash-3 Excavators
ZX200LC-3 ZX225USLC-3
* Over front, on ground, at 15 feet
Operating Weight 47,015 lb. 53,440 lb.
Net Peak Power 159 hp 159 hp
Drawbar Pull 45,620 lb. 45,636 lb.
Digging Reach 32′7″ 32′10″
Digging Depth 21′11″ 22′
Dumping Height 23′7″ 26′5″
Rear Swing Radius 9′ 5′6″
Min. Swing Radius 10′5″ 7′9″
Arm Force 22,924 lb. 22,924 lb.
Bucket Dig Force 29,099 lb. 29,099 lb.
Lifting Capacity* 20,308 lb. 22,077 lb.