The Machinery Land logo; a blue logo in the shape of a machine's track, with the text "Machinery Land" and two yellow diggers forming the M. It has a yellow outline.

Hitachi have utilised the move to Stage Five emissions standards with their medium to larger sized excavator models for a more thorough upgrade which has seen them evolve to the new Dash 7 series. With the new machines offering a comprehensive catalogue of new design features, they have benefitted from considerable enhancement while many of their original attributes have also been retained including the choice of principal components. Utilising the latest control systems bold claims have been made when it comes to the combination of performance and economy offered by the new generation models.

Since their introduction, Irish dealer TBF Thompson Plant Sales have delivered a number of examples of the latest Hitachi Dash Seven range with the most significant of these comprising the initial two Zaxis 350LC-7 units supplied to Swatragh based HSB Hire Ltd and most recently a Zaxis 690LCR-7 which was the first unit of its type to enter service in Europe. Coincidentally, this new heavyweight joined the fleet of one of Ireland’s largest Hitachi users, Shannon Valley Group whose Hitachi fleet embraces both excavators and wheeled loaders.

Going straight to service on one of the company’s most challenging basement excavation projects at Sandyford, Co. Dublin, the new machine joins three other large Hitachi excavators in intensive excavation and breaking of tough Granite rock. Specified in mass excavation format, the new Zaxis 690LCR-7 represents the provision of a real high capacity machine through the greater bucket capacity afforded by this boom configuration which also allows the fitment of large hydraulic breakers. Through selection of the LCR model, a range of practical benefits are also afforded when it comes to long term structural stability in the most demanding applications with strengthening manifest in all crucial areas over the standard LCH unit.

Confident of the right choice when it came to machine configuration, a high level of anticipation prevailed over the machines operation with Hitachi promising significant fuel savings for this latest model over the already lean burning predecessor. Fuel savings claimed by Hitachi for the Stage Five Isuzu engine at the heart of the machine are quoted as up to twenty-two percent which has proven to be accurate based on the operational experiences in this the machine’s first project as Shannon Valley Group managing director Michael English insists; “The new Zaxis 690LCR-7 is burning two hundred litres of diesel less than the dash six model per day. This saving applies to both breaker work and also in tough digging. This kind of fuel saving on a single machine is massive when it’s looked at over the course of a year.” Fuel consumption ratings for the machine are quoted at seven hundred litres per day in intensive digging operations which reduces to five hundred litres while engaged in breaker operation. However, of even greater significance is the level of performance offered in exchange for this level of efficiency as Michael continues; “Even though the lower fuel consumption is welcome, we have also been very impressed by the performance of the machine in relation to this lower diesel burn and it really has taken performance up to a higher level since it is a faster machine.” These positive sentiments obviously endorse the machine’s hydraulic system which centres on the latest variant of Hitachi’s acclaimed HIOS V system.

However, the latest Dash 7 models are far from just about heightened efficiency as they also herald the introduction of a host of new features in many other areas which include a worthwhile revision of the cabin design and overall layout with the control system being enhanced considerably. In addition this seventy tonne unit comes equipped with the latest Aerial Angle 270 degree view camera system which provides comprehensive real time imagery directly to the control system monitor making machine operation a safe process in addition to the productivity and efficiency benefits the new Zaxis 690LCR-7 yields.

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