Getting the right machine for the job can pay big dividends when it comes to productivity, efficiency and cost savings. So when Bowers Brothers Concrete’s first Hitachi ZW180-5B wheel loader ticked all the boxes at the Matamata branch of their busy concrete and masonry manufacturing operation, it was a no brainer for them to invest in a second identical machine, says Steve Bowers.
"It is a really well balanced loader "
Operators have noticed the machine’s fuel efficiency, and enjoy the spacious, air-conditioned cab, with its comfortable heated air-suspension seat, sound insulation, and excellent visibility making long hours behind the wheel a breeze.
“We bought our first ZW180 wheel loader off CablePrice two years ago and our operators love it. It has plenty of power, and excellent productivity. We operate a loader fed concrete plant, so the big 2.8 m3 bucket on the ZW180 is ideal, as it allows us to load our weigh hopper in just four scoops with four different types of aggregate. This is much more efficient than loaders with smaller buckets, which might take up to six scoops to do the same job.”
Steve is impressed with the ZW180’s ability to handle the larger bucket size with ease. “It is a really well balanced loader, and its cutting edge is ideal for scooping concrete aggregates off a concrete pad.”
Bowers Brothers Concrete is a long-standing family business which has Waikato well-covered with concrete and masonry plants in Morrinsville, Hamilton, Matamata, Putaruru and Paeroa. The firm is building a new ready-mix concrete plant at Riverhead, in Auckland, where the new ZW180 will be based.
The 15.4 tonne machine’s 6.7 litre six-cylinder (126 kW) water cooled turbo engine provides plenty of grunt (800Nm), ensuring a powerful digging performance and impressive travel speeds. The operator can boost the power of the ZW-5B loader using the Quick Power switch, which changes the mode from Standard to P. This is ideal when travelling uphill with a full load or when greater breakout force is required.
CablePrice (NZ) Ltd Product Manager, Anton Snyman is not surprised the company is having such a good run with its Hitachi machines. “Hitachi’s ZW-5B wheel loader series, from the compact ZW140-5B, to the larger ZW220-5B, have almost perfect specs for the concrete, quarrying and general construction industries. Some of the clever features of the range include ride control, which reduces vibration while the wheel loader is travelling on rough ground; and an auto leveller with an automatic return-to-load, or return-to-dig control. The height and range of motion of the bucket can be programmed into the loader’s memory, so the operators don’t have to worry about what the bucket is doing while they are moving. The loaders also have the option to be fitted with a quick coupler, which enables the bucket to be switched to forks or other attachments in a few easy steps.”
Anton says CablePrice fitted Bowers’ ZW180 machines with L3 tyres as they were the best suited to the company’s working environment. “It is important to get the tyres and air pressure right, as this gives the operator a comfortable ride with lots of grip and can help the tyres last up to double the time. The loader is also equipped with inboard mounted, fully hydraulic 4-wheel wet disc brakes.”
Steve Bowers says CablePrice Equipment Sales Specialist, Angelo Capon, has played a significant role in his company’s growing relationship with CablePrice. “We bought a small bucket loader from CablePrice first, and found Angelo really good to deal with. He answers his phone, delivers on his promises, is conscientious and keeps in touch. The great experience buying the small loader has led to the purchase of the two bigger machines.”
After a couple of year’s great service, Steve says he would “absolutely” recommend the Hitachi ZW180 wheel loader to others in the concrete manufacturing industry. “It is a good, reliable, well-balanced machine that is very well suited to our industry. Hitachi is one of the top of the range brands out there, but I believe it is also competitive price-wise, especially when you consider the cost across the lifetime of a machine. Hitachi is a excellent Japanese brand that offers great value, and I’m sure we will get plenty of hours out of our machines.”
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