Equipment Type

Minis or Compacts? (p. 2)

October 01, 2008

One happy family

For compact equipment manufacturers such as Gehl, Kubota, Bobcat and IHI, it's been less a matter of slotting their machines into one family or another, but rather extending the product families they have long established as a corporate focus.

Gehl's excavator family includes the 16,975-pound 753Z, the 17,548-pound 803 and even the 25,397-pound 1202 (with corresponding models under the Mustang brand). Kubota groups its excavators by design, specifically the zero-tail-swing U Series and the conventional KX Series, the latter of which includes the 8-metric-ton KX080-3. Bobcat's extensive compact-excavator family extends to the 16,538-pound 442. IHI's “compacts” include 6.5- and 8-metric-ton models, the 65NX and 80NX-3.

“Gehl has continued to expand the compact excavator offering to include machines larger than the typical 6-metric-ton range because end-users understand the benefits of the compact-excavator design,” says Brian Rabe, Gehl product manager, compact excavators. “There is currently a product gap between compact excavators and larger conventional crawler excavators that customers are beginning to see, and they desire to bridge that gap.

“Incorporating a swing boom, dozer blade and short/zero-tail-swing radius into a larger excavator allows operators to perform similar jobs such as digging against a fence, wall or foundation with much greater efficiency and precision than even a more capable, larger machine. As our customers' businesses grow, their need to work on larger jobsites with more efficiency leads them to machines larger than the typical 6-metric ton, but they still can use the same jobsite techniques as with the smaller machines.”

For those manufacturers offering a full excavator product line servicing all markets, the change is reflected in the type of customer who is using the machines slightly larger than the 6-metric-ton “mini” threshold.

“Traditionally, the 8-ton machine on a jobsite was with a customer who had a lot of large iron, and the machine was more of a utility tractor for that particular contractor,” says Caterpillar's Wilson. “It was the smallest machine on the site — the most nimble, the most agile. It was easy to move around on the job and not nearly as expensive as moving a 20- or 30-ton machine that needed to be in production digging to make its value on the jobsite justifiable. They could use that 8-ton machine to move around and place pipe, where they'd want that 320 hogging dirt dragging a trench.”

Now, says Wilson, that 308 is more than likely to be with a utility customer who's already got the truck and trailer to haul a 305 or 306. The way he sees it, the 308 has gone from being the smallest machine on a site to being the largest machine on a site.

Other approaches

For manufacturers neither repositioning their 6-metric-ton-plus excavators nor extending their sole compact product families, the slotting of excavators is often based on operating weight alone. Deere groups machines by size: 0 to 6 metric tons; 6 to 40 metric tons; and 40 to 80 metric tons. Hitachi's first group is called “compact” and the second is “mid size.” Case's “compact” family ends with the 5-metric-ton CX50B, and its “tracked excavator” family begins with the 7.5-metric-ton CX75SR.

At Komatsu America, the newly updated MR-3 compact series, which features a version of the Komtrax fleet-management system as standard, is topped by the 5.5-metric-ton PC55MR-3. “We felt Komtrax would be an unrivaled feature for the utility product,” says David Caldwell, product manager, compact hydraulic excavators. “There are competitive units available out there, but most guys are having to put them on as aftermarket kits.”

Moving beyond the MR-3 Series, Komatsu America currently offers as part of its “mid-sized class” the new minimum-radius PC88MR-8, which at more than 18,000 pounds takes the place of the PC78MR-6. A new, lighter PC78 is on its way, says Caldwell.

As a Dash-8 machine, the PC88 has the same Komtrax program, working modes and operator features of the larger machines. “It's got big-machine features in a utility product,” says Caldwell. “It incorporates the good of the MR-3 product with the good of the Construction Division product. We're really excited about it.”

So, you're in the market for a compact excavator. Or you think so?

To help out, we extended the definition for the product gallery and specification areas of our coverage, but had to saw it off somewhere. In the product gallery, our cap is 11 metric tons.

The Cost of Ownership
Size List Price Hourly Rate*
* Hourly rate represents the monthly ownership costs divided by 176, plus operating cost. Adjusted operating unit prices used in the calculation are diesel fuel at $3.96 per gallon, mechanic's wage at $44.79 per hour, and money costs at 4.75 percent.
Source: EquipmentWatch.com, phone 800/669-3282
Less than 1.0 metric tons $20,640 $8.87
1.1 - 2.0 metric tons $30,198 $12.22
2.1 - 3.0 metric tons $37,097 $15.34
3.1 - 4.0 metric tons $44,822 $18.19
4.1 - 5.0 metric tons $58,424 $25.69
5.1 - 6.0 metric tons $64,105 $28.05
6.1 - 8.0 metric tons $100,244 $45.72
8.1 - 11.0 metric tons $99,235 $44.54

Compact Crawler Excavator Specs (5 to 8 metric tons)
Model Operating Weight (lb.) Arm Length Max. Dig Depth Reach at Ground Dump Height Net Power (hp)
Source: Spec-Check Xpanded Specs (as of August / 08)
Bobcat 337G 11,040 5'0” 12'0.4” 18'10.7” 12'5.7” 48
Komatsu PC50MR-2 11,110 5'4.6” 12'6” 19'11” 13'10.5” 39.1
Yanmar ViO55-5 11,312 n/a 13'0.7” 20'4” 14'5” 38.7
Caterpillar 305C CR 11,465 n/a 11'5” 18'6” 12'6” 47
Kubota U45S 11,465 n/a 11'10” 19'3” 13'0” 42
JCB 8055 RTS 11,510 6'3” 12'4” 19'6” 13'6” 55.5
Kubota KX161-3S 11,532 n/a 12'7” 20'1” 13'8” 47
Komatsu PC58UU-3 11,540 5'3.8” 13'1.5” 18'3” 15'1” 40
Coyote CE55 11,905 n/a 12'3” 19'0” 12'6” 42.3
Kubota KX161-3 Angle Blade 11,950 n/a 12'7” 20'1” 13'8” 47
Hyundai R55-7A 12,020 5'3” 12'6” 9'9” 13'3” 55.2
Volvo EC55B PRO 12,125 5'1” 12'5” 19'6” 13'4” 49.8
Doosan DX55 12,346 5'3” 12'5” n/a 13'5” 56.4
Takeuchi TB153FR 12,450 n/a 12'10” 20'4” 12'9” 38.2
Terex TC60 12,458 6'1” 12'10” n/a 12'2” 51.5
IHI 55NX 12,498 n/a 12'5” n/a 12'2” 37.1
Gehl 603 12,566 5'6” 12'7.4” 20'0” 13'1” 57
Mustang 6003 12,566 n/a 12'7.5” 20'0” 13'1.3” 57
IHI 55N-2 12,733 n/a 12'8” n/a 13'6” 55.5
Doosan DX60R 12,830 4'10” 12'3” n/a 13'0” 50.4
Volvo ECR58 12,963 5'0.6” 11'9.7” 19'5.9” 13'0.3” 50.8
JCB 8060 13,210 6'2.8” 13'7” 20'3” 13'1” 57.6
Hitachi Zaxis 60USB-3 13,653 4'11” 12'4” n/a 13'8” 54
John Deere 60D 13,653 4'11” 12'4” n/a 13'8” 54
IHI 65NX 14,400 n/a 12'10” n/a 13'10” 55
Caterpillar 307D 15,598 n/a 13'3” 20'2” 17'1” 56
Komatsu PC78US-6 15,850 5'5” 13'5” 20'6” 17'0” 54
IHI 70Z 16,055 n/a 14'1” n/a 16'11” 57
Gehl 753Z 16,193 5'7” 13'3” 22'9” 14'9” 57
Mustang 7503ZT 16,193 5'7” 13'3” 22'9” 14'9” 57
Coyote CE75 16,380 5'5.4” 13'2.3” 21'4.9” 14'9.2” 57
New Holland E70 16,400 6'9.5” 14'10” 21'7” 17'9.8” 54
Kobelco 70SR 16,400 6'9” 14'9” 21'7” 17'9” 54
Bobcat 442 16,538 6'7” 13'11” n/a 17'1” 73
Hyundai R75-7 16,601 5'5” 13'1” n/a 14'11” 56
Wacker Neuson 8003 16,810 6'1” 14'1” 23'0” 15'10.5” 70
Terex TC75 17,086 6'7” 13'11” n/a 13'8” 73
Hyundai R80-7 17,200 5'6” 12'7” 20'4” 17'0” 58
Takeuchi TB175 17,230 n/a 15'2” 23'9” 17'2” 58
Caterpillar 308D CR 17,306 n/a 13'5” 20'4” 17'5” 56
Link-Belt 75 Spin Ace Tier III 17,461 5'7” 13'7” 21'0” 17'3” 54
Case CX75 17,468 5'7” 13'7” 21'0” 17'3” 54
Gehl 803 17,548 6'1” 14'1” 23'1” 15'10.6” 57
Mustang 8003 17,548 n/a 14'1” 23'6” 15'10.6” 57
New Holland E80 17,600 6'9.5” 15'3.5” 24'5” 17'3” 54
Kobelco 80CS 17,600 5'11” 14'4” 23'0” 15'8” 54

More like this

Comments on: "Minis or Compacts? (p. 2)"

Overlay Init