New ZX870LC-5 working on Alaskan harbor project
In the small city of Valdez, Alaska, terminus port of the Alaska Pipeline, a ZX870LC-5 is working on a big project: The City of Valdez New Harbor Development Project, a multi-year, phased project to build a new harbor basin and upland facilities.
Harris Sand & Gravel purchased the ZX870LC-5 in October 2015, and it’s doing its part to move about half a million cubic yards of rock and dirt for the project, estimated to be completed in the fall of 2016. The company purchased the ZX870LC-5 at the end of a six-month rental after realizing it was critical to successfully completing the project.
“The 870 is a beast,” said Bill Harris, owner of Harris Sand & Gravel. “It can dig out shot rock and load. I was hesitant at first because I wasn't sure if we needed that big of a machine. I'm glad we got it.”
The ZX870LC-5 joins a ZX135US-5, purchased in June 2015 as well as several other Hitachi machines in Harris’ fleet. A longtime Hitachi fan, Harris still owns an EX400 and runs a ZX470 and two ZX450 excavators, one with 10,000 hours on it.
“In my opinion, Hitachi pioneered the modern excavator controls,” Harris said. “They're precise, smooth and you can do multiple functions at once. They're great machines!”Harris Sand & Gravel is serviced by Construction Machinery Industrial LLC, Anchorage, Alaska.
Four Excavators Join Long & Sons Utility's Hitachi Fleet
A pair of ZX210LC-5 excavators, a ZX290LC-5 and a ZX350LC-5 have all joined Long & Sons Utility’s Hitachi fleet, which ranges from an EX60 up to a ZX450LC-3.
Headquarted in Simpsonville, S.C., Long & Sons Utility specializes in wet utilities installation and rehabilitation for residential developments and commercial projects. The ZX350LC-5 was delivered in June 2014, with the two ZX210LC-5 excavators following in August 2014 and the ZX290LC-5 in December 2014.
Since delivery, all the excavators have been busy working on new housing developments, laying water, sewer and storm drainage pipeline. This adds to the more than 8.5 million feet of pipeline –ranging from ¾-inch to 96-inch pipe – the company has laid since it was established in 1990.
Roberto Almanza primarily operates the new ZX350LC-5.
“I love it,” Almanza said. “It's got a lot of power. I've been running Hitachi for over 20 years, and they always get the job done.”
Lee Long, owner of Long & Sons Utility, is a long-time, loyal Hitachi fan. His first excavator was a UH122LC purchased in the early ‘80s.
“We’ve had good success with Hitachi excavators,” Long said. “You can't beat them. They got us through the recession and have kept us in business. We’re ready and rolling!”Long & Sons Utility LLC is serviced by Flint Equipment Company, Simpsonville, S.C.
New ZX350LC-5 working on test track project
Triple T Excavating, headquartered in Nanaimo, British Columbia, has added a new ZX350LC-5 to its fleet. The company, owned by brothers Rick and Curt Tomlinson, covers a spectrum of services including excavation, civil work, acreage development and septic systems.
This ZX350LC-5 is busy helping shape 155 acres of twists and turns on Vancouver Island – the future home of an exclusive high-end membership and company-rental test track for auto enthusiasts. The test track, named Vancouver Island Motorsport Resort, is the vision of GAIN, Vancouver Island’s Premier Dealer Group, which represents performance brands including AMG, Alfa Romeo, Audi, BMW, Mercedes-Benz, MINI, Porsche, Smart, Sprinter, Subaru and Volkswagen.
Triple T Excavating will be moving about 300,000 tons of dirt to bring the test track to life – removing overburden and completing the final cuts and fills to bring the track bed to final levels. Then the company will backfill with layers of gravel to allow for the asphalt paving. Total volumes of dirt removal and gravel backfill will exceed 750,000 tons.
Triple T Excavating is working on the site with Chris Erb from SupErb Construction. The site is estimated to be completed in spring 2016. The ZX350LC-5 joins three Hitachi excavators already working on the site – two ZX250LC-5 excavators and one ZX225LC-3.Triple T Excavating is serviced by Wajax Equipment, Nanaimo, British Columbia.
Caddo Creek Resources puts ZX470LC-5 to work in east Texas
Caddo Creek Resources, a subsidiary of The North American Coal Corporation, is using a new ZX470LC-5 to perform multiple tasks at its Marshall Mine.
The new production-class excavator was commissioned the beginning of the year and is being used to load coal, haul dirt, dig sumps for water management, perform ditch work and more.
“It’s probably the most versatile machine we have out there when it comes to different types of applications,” said Chris Taylor, operations manager at Caddo Creek Resources. “A lot of companies have trackhoes for very specific tasks like overburden removal or coal loading. We’re using it in all applications. It runs every day. It’s always doing something.”
Caddo Creek Resources mines lignite for Cabot Norit Americas’ activated carbon production facility in Marshall, Texas. The facility is one of the largest producers of powdered, activated carbon worldwide and leads the power generation industry in activated carbon technology for mercury removal. Across the U.S. and Canada, many states have implemented regulations and standards to reduce mercury emissions as they can create environmental and health issues.
Taylor’s experience with other Hitachi machines played a large role in the rental of the ZX470LC-5.
“We considered pricing, performance and my experience with other Hitachi machines,” said Taylor. “Seeing how Hitachi machines operate from a cost-effectiveness standpoint made them the better overall choice. And quite honestly, the operators like running the machine. A happy operator makes a productive operator!”
Caddo Creek Resources is serviced by ROMCO Equipment Company in Longview, Texas.
Plattin Creek Excavating uses ZX135US-5 for commercial site development
Plattin Creek Excavating, a site development, excavation and grading contractor located in the Saint Louis area, recently took delivery of a brand new ZX135US-5 ultrashort Hitachi excavator.
The new machine was commissioned in July 2014 and has played a pivotal role in the contractor’s site utility, storm and sanitary water projects. The ZX135US-5 is Plattin Creek’s first Hitachi excavator.
“Most of the machines we own were larger, so we were in the market for a smaller machine that can work in smaller areas,” said Mike Harman, president of Plattin Creek Excavating. “We had rented a Caterpillar machine for a few months with the intent of buying it, but then our Hitachi sales rep brought a similar-sized Hitachi machine for us to try. The performance of the Hitachi machine was way above the Caterpillar machine, which actually kind of surprised us since we had never run a Hitachi machine before. The performance sold the machine.”
The ZX135US-5 delivers all the power, smoothness, precision and ease of operation you’ve come to expect from our larger Hitachi excavators – in an easy-to-maneuver package. With a tight tail-swing radius, this excavator is perfect for working very close to obstacles.
The 13-year-old Plattin Creek is based in Arnold, Missouri and operates primarily in public, commercial, heavy highway, residential and industrial venues.
Plattin Creek is serviced by Rudd Equipment Company in St. Louis, Missouri.
ZX350LC-5, ZX380LC-5 and a ZX470LC-5 join Hitachi fleet at Murray Company
Three brand new excavators are joining an existing fleet of Hitachi shovels at the Murray Company – a 101-year-old mechanical contractor based in California.
The ZX350LC-5, ZX380LC-5 and ZX470LC-5 –all delivered to Murray Company in the summer of 2014 – are primarily being used in the development of the New Tom Bradley International Terminal at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX). As part of the multi-billion dollar, capital improvement modernization program underway throughout the airport, Murray Company is re-routing the utilities – a job that involves a large amount of excavating.
Once the project is complete, the three excavators will join Murray’s existing fleet, said Curtis Mellon, operations manager for Murray Company.
“We purchased our first Hitachi machines eight to nine years ago based on our evaluation of reliability, cost effectiveness and operator comfort,” said Mellon. “We purchased these three new machines as a result of our history with our existing fleet of Hitachi excavators. We’ve had real good luck from a maintenance and service standpoint. Repairs have been minimal at best, and we’ve had a great relationship with our dealer, Coastline Equipment. They are rugged and durable machines.”
Based on these experiences, Mellon and his team have become steadfast Hitachi fans.
“Here in this area, CAT is a big brand, but we think Hitachi is just as good if not better. In fact, there are probably some features that we think are superior,” Mellon said.
Murray Company is serviced by Coastline Equipment in Long Beach, Calif.
EH1100-3 used by Demix Agrégats in Quebec quarry
Demix Agrégats, a division of Holcim (Canada) Inc., has purchased a Hitachi EH1100-3 to carry blasted rock to a crusher at its quarry in Laval, Quebec.
The new rigid-frame haul truck was commissioned the first week of June 2014 and has been part of a fleet of five trucks that moves up to 35 loads per day in 10-hour shifts. The EH1100-3 is Demix Agrégats’ first Hitachi machine.
“The proposal from Hitachi was very attractive,” said Yves Bouchard with Demix Agrégats. “Then, after a visit with Michel Cornellier (Wajax Equipment) to the Hitachi Truck Manufacturing plant in Guelph, Ontario – which was very well appreciated and very instructive – we decided to move on with the Hitachi hauler.”
The Demix Agrégats division operates 10 quarries and 15 sand and gravel pits that supply products used to form the bases of highways, roads and sidewalks and to manufacture concrete and asphalt products. In total, the company’s two aggregates divisions produce more than 18 million tons per year of crushed stone, gravel and sand for the commercial, industrial, residential and civil engineering sector.
“In the two and a half months it’s been in operation, the new Hitachi EH1100-3 has met all our expectations,” said Bouchard. “Product support is very important for us since that truck is a key piece of equipment for our quarry in Laval. So far the Wajax team has provided excellent support to Demix Agrégats, and we are happy about our purchase.”
Demix Agrégats is serviced by Wajax Equipment in Laval, Quebec.
Sabine Mine puts EX1900-6 to work removing overburden
The North American Coal Corporation’s Sabine Mine recently started using a Hitachi EX1900-6 to assist in pre-stripping for its draglines and land reclamation.
The new EX1900-6 was commissioned in April 2014 and has been working with a fleet of 150-ton trucks to remove overburden in a pre-strip operation for two of the mine’s draglines, a Marion 8200 & Bucyrus-Erie 1570. This is the first time the mine has used a Hitachi excavator for this application.
“We decided to give the Hitachi an opportunity to see what it could do,” said Andy Hawbaker, operations manager at Sabine Mine. “So far, things have been going well. It’s a different feel than the equipment we’ve run before so it took our operators some time to get used to it. Now we’re starting to see some of the potential pay off, and we’re feeling good about it.”
In addition, Sabine will utilize the excavator for hauling re-spread material during reclamation efforts.
Sabine Mine began production near Hallsville, Texas, in 1984. It delivers approximately 4 million tons of coal per year for American Electric Power’s Pirkey Power Plant. The mine has approximately 60,000 acres of land under permit and reclaims about 400 acres of land annually.
The EX1900-6 is not the mine’s first Hitachi excavator. It also operates two ZX470KLC-5 excavators for miscellaneous work.
Sabine Mine is serviced by ROMCO Equipment Co. in Longview, Texas.
Hitachi ZX670LC-5 mines clay for Acme Brick Company
Acme Brick Company, the nation’s largest American-owned brick maker, purchased a new Hitachi ZX670LC-5 in December 2013 for its Denton, Texas, plant.
The ZX670LC-5 runs about 40-50 hours per week mining clay for brick production and loading 40-ton articulated trucks. Donnie Hannick, Acme Brick’s ZX670LC-5 operator, experiences the machine’s benefits daily.
“I like the speed. Being a bigger machine, I thought it might be slow, but the speed is great,” Hannick said. “The cab is built for the operator, and the machine has a lot of power.”
Acme Brick uses Hitachi excavators throughout its North Texas operations, which include the Denton plant and a plant in Bennett. A ZX450LC-3 with more than 16,000 hours is the Bennett plant’s reliable workhorse. Hitachi excavators at both plants dig a total of 360,000 cubic yards of clay per year, producing about 170 million bricks each year.
“There’s longevity with Hitachi excavators. They can outlast anything,” said Jim Ogg, Acme’s Denton plant manager. “We first used scrapers then switched to excavators. They’re more efficient and can layer. We run one excavator per mining operation, so it's important that our machines are durable and reliable.”
Acme Brick is a member of the Berkshire Hathaway family of companies headed by famed investor Warren Buffett, and has been mining clay from many of its sites for over half a century.
Acme Brick Company is serviced by ROMCO Equipment Co., Fort Worth, Texas
Bizzack Construction puts new EX1200BE-6 to work in rugged West Virginia
In December 2013, Bizzack Construction LLC took delivery on an EX1200BE-6 to help tackle 5.8 million cubic yards of excavation on a road construction project in Logan County, W.Va.
The nearly $40 million project for the West Virginia Department of Transportation covers 3.5 miles. The project, “Rum Creek Connector to Stollings Road,” is the final section of the West Virginia Route 10 relocation project, which will widen the highway to four lanes from Man to Logan, W.Va.
In the beginning stages of the project, Bizzack is using the EX1200BE-6 to load 40-ton articulated trucks due to the steep grades and the size of the work area. As the job progresses down the slope, larger trucks can be loaded.
“The speed and the strength of the 1200 have been great on this project,” said Steve Arthur, superintendent. “We’re getting the production that we initially hoped we would get. Once we can load bigger trucks, we’ll be able to increase our production.”
Eric Lusk, an operator for Bizzack, said the EX1200BE-6 is exceeding his expectations.
“I didn’t expect the quickness,” Lusk said. “I thought it might be slow because of the size, but it’s really fast and has good production. It’s an impressive machine, and the power is unbelievable.”
Gary Taylor, Bizzack president; Lester Wimpy, vice president; Doug Plummer, vice president and operations manager; Tom Edison, equipment manager; and Larry Herron, fleet manager; all worked with Rudd Equipment to purchase the EX1200BE-6.
“We’ve always had a good experience with Hitachi,” Herron said. “We have a reliable fleet of Hitachi machines and knew we needed a larger excavator. Rudd had aggressive pricing and a good warranty for us.”
Bizzack Construction is serviced by Rudd Equipment in Prestonsburg, Ky.
Hitachi ZX670LC-5 speeds up loading process for Coburg Road Quarry
Coburg Road Quarry, a full-service rock mining company based in Eugene, Ore., is using a ZX670LC-5 to assist in the removal of shot rock blasted off the quarry walls.
The 49-year-old basalt quarry accepted delivery of the ZX670LC-5 in July 2013 and has seen its loading process speed up ever since.
“The critical thing was that I needed a machine that was big enough to move large, four- to six-foot boulders, but I also needed it to be nimble enough to load highway trucks,” said Vern Egge, owner of the quarry. “The 670 does that, and the fact is that it really sped up our loading process. It’s done everything we hoped it would with ease.”
This isn’t the first Hitachi excavator Egge has used at the quarry. He’s owned many other previous models, including the ZX450LC-3, ZX800, ZX650LC-3, ZX350LC-3 and ZX200LC-3, among others.
“We like the engines and the booms,” Egge said. “We’re hard on our booms and they have a tendency to want to crack, but the Hitachi booms are pretty sturdy and they hold together very well. Plus we get really good production off the machines.”
Egge is also very pleased with the service he receives from his Hitachi dealer, the Papé Machinery dealership in Eugene, Ore.
“They’re the ones that keep the equipment going and make sure everything is set up properly,” said Egge. “They’ve been great to work with.”
Hitachi EX1200-6 shovel delivered to Wake Stone Corporation
The shovel started operating in April 2014 and is loading a fleet of 60-ton haulers at Wake Stone’s Triangle Quarry, which was opened in 1982. The quarry, located between Raleigh-Durham International Airport, Umstead State Park and Interstate 40 in Cary, N.C., features stone made of hard, meta-volcanic rock.
The new EX1200-6 replaced a Hitachi EX1100-3, which was purchased in 1998, is still in use at the quarry and is approaching 22,000 operating hours.
Wake Stone has a long history of purchasing Hitachi shovels.
“We’ve had Hitachi shovels for about 20 years,” said Bill Crook, vice president of operations at Wake Stone Corporation. “We’ve had terrific support from our dealer RW Moore Equipment Company and Hitachi itself. That goes a long way toward making us feel good about a future purchase.”
Wake Stone is one of the few quarries in the North Carolina region that uses shovels rather than front end loaders in its operation.
“We like the amount of breakout force that we are able to generate with a shovel as compared with a wheel loader,” said Crook. “Due to the geology of the rock that we’re blasting, we tend to have a very hard-to-dig area at the front of the muck pile. The shovel has the ability to go in there and get the rock dug out efficiently. That really helps us keep our production levels high.”
Wake Stone Corporation is serviced by R W Moore Equipment Company Inc. in Raleigh, N.C.
Dresser Trap Rock Inc. using EX1200-6 shovel to mine one of the world’s hardest rock
A Hitachi EX1200-6 LD is helping Dresser Trap Rock Inc. mine one of the world’s hardest and most indestructible rocks.
The 99-year-old quarry, based in Dresser, Wisconsin, accepted delivery of the EX1200-6 in Sept. 2012 and has been since using it to clear trap rock blasted off the quarry walls.
The quality of trap rock – or altered basalt – varies in the same manner as other mineral deposits, and the Dresser Trap Rock deposit remains the hardest concentration of this basalt-type rock in America. The rock is so hard, that Dresser Trap Rock boulders were utilized by NASA for testing drills employed on the moon probe.
Today, Dresser Trap Rock is consumed extensively in bituminous and concrete applications, erosion control, ice control, road construction, landscaping and ballast for many railroads throughout the Midwest.
Coteau Properties Company Freedom Mine utilizing EX1900-6 for sub-soil removal
To assist in the removal of a four-foot layer of subsoil, the Coteau Properties Company recently purchased a Hitachi EX1900-6 BE for its Beulah, North Dakota-based Freedom mine.
The mine, which is part of North American Coal Corporation, is the largest lignite mine in the United States and recently reached the 400-million ton milestone for coal deliveries.
The EX1900-6 was delivered in June, 2013 and is used to clear the topsoil and subsoil in order for the mine’s electric loading shovel and dragline to remove the more than 100 feet of overburden.
“For our application, this size class machine works best,” said Mark Haugen, engineering manager for The Coteau Properties Company. “The machine we were running before was bigger but not as cost effective due to fuel and maintenance costs.”
Maneuverability of the EX1900-6 was another key selling feature. With its two pits, Haugen and his team wanted a machine that would be relatively easy to move from one location to another.
“This Hitachi is very quick and responsive to move,” said Will Lloyd, operator at Coteau. “The cab is very nice, and the controls are nice because they are shorter and you don’t have to move them as much. Also – the arm rests are adjustable and for a 12-hour shift that little stuff means a lot.”
Coteau Properties Company is serviced by RDO Equipment Co. in Bismarck, ND.
BNI Coal purchases EX2600-6 for overburden removal
BNI Coal, a lignite mine near Center, North Dakota, recently purchased its second Hitachi mining excavator.
The mine accepted delivery of an EX2600-6 in March, and began operating on April 15, 2013. The EX2600 joins the mine’s one-year old EX2500-6 to clear overburden for BNI’s three draglines.
Prior to the Hitachi excavators, BNI was utilizing scrapers to remove the overburden. The implementation of the excavator approach has allowed the mine to realize significant savings compared to moving dirt with scrapers. Luke Retterath, BNI Coal maintenance planner, expects to move roughly 8-10 million yards of dirt per year with the fleet of Hitachi excavators.
“The 2500 was working really well for us and we really liked the cost savings,” said Retterath. “When we had the opportunity to buy a fleet of used trucks, we decided to add another excavator to our fleet.”
Randy Rudnick is the operator of the new EX2600-6.
“It’s faster and smoother to operate, and it’s got more hoisting power,” said Rudnick. “It’s a good machine. I can’t say anything bad about it.”
BNI Coal, a subsidiary of ALLETE (NYSE-ALE) delivers roughly 4 ½ million tons of coal per year to the nearby Minnkota Power Cooperative.
BNI Coal Company is serviced by RDO Equipment Co. in Bismarck, ND.