Kobelco Compact Excavator Boasts Big Machine Benefits

August 2, 2011

Previously, Kobelco offered five compact excavators ranging in operating weight from 3,640 pounds with a 1.55-cubic-foot bucket to 10,580 pounds and a 5.65-cubic-foot bucket—all with zero tail swing. The most recent introduction, model 55SRx, entered a new size class at 12,295 pounds, but still carries a compact designation and a true short radius.

Although its power comes from the same 39-horsepower Yanmar engine as the 50SR, the 55SRx engine is configured to meet Tier 4-I emissions requirements without the need for special exhaust components. The engine delivers high power while reducing fuel consumption, plus it has more fuel capacity than the next-smallest machine.

Many other attributes distinguish the new machine from its sibling as well, including a larger cab. The 55SRx features an operator station that measures 32 inches wide and a cab height of 8 feet 4 inches for easy transport. The new machine also includes some of the same features found on larger Kobelco machines.

“Kobelco’s legendary hydraulic systems are the foundation for the performance of the new compact excavator, just as they are for our full-size excavators,” says Reece Norwood, platform manager at Kobelco. “The hydraulic performance is scaled to deliver optimum performance in this size class.”

It also uses structural components found on larger machines, such as a cast center swing foot and heavy-duty reinforced boom and arm. Additional shared features include long X-frames for stability and support; and sealed rollers, sprockets and travel motors for extended track life. The 55SRx also sports a large ROPS/FOPS cab with an operator environment similar to a full-sized conventional excavator. It has a larger front window and wider rear window for improved visibility and performance. A retractable front window improves air flow and allows the operator to better communicate with those around the machine. It also includes standard air conditioning to provide all-day comfort for the operator on long summer days.

The excavator comes equipped with a standard two-way backfill dozer blade featuring a 38-degree approach angle for finish grading. An optional four-way dozer blade is also available. Increased rear swing radius and large counterweight give the 55SRx better stability for using larger buckets and lifting heavier loads. Bucket sizes range from 12 to 36 inches with capacities from 3.0 to 9.8 cubic feet; maximum digging depth measures 12 feet 10 inches—more than a foot deeper than the next-smaller model.

For easy operation of thumb or grapple buckets, the 55SRx includes a factory-installed attachment bracket for hydraulics, so it is “thumb ready,” says Kobelco. It also includes piping for secondary hydraulics to handle many attachments or provide a dedicated circuit to a thumb bucket.

“The 55SRx can work in tight spaces similar to zero tail swing models like the 50SR,” Norwood says, “but the 55SRx delivers the extra stability, lift capacity and increased bucket size versus comparably sized standard-swing-radius machines.”

Estimated list price is $75,000 and includes many standard features which are only available as options—or not at all—on other compact excavators on the market, according to the manufacturer.