One of two of new Hitachi ZX350LCN-6 excavators at work at the Basalto La Spicca quarry
Basalto La Spicca has replaced two of its Hitachi
Zaxis-3 medium excavators with two new Zaxis-6 models due to increasing demand at its basalt quarry in southern Umbria, Italy.
The new ZX350LCN-6s were delivered with five-year/10,000-hour HELP extended warranty and service contracts by the country’s official Hitachi dealer SCAI.
In addition to two other Hitachi excavators, a ZX520LCH-3 and a contractor’s ZX470LCH-3, and two ZW250-5 wheeled loaders, the new Zaxis-6 machines are already said to be making a positive impact in the quarry near Orvieto.
They are equipped with double grouser shoes to enhance their stability on the quarry floor and 1.8m³ rock buckets, and one has a quick coupler as it uses a hammer attachment.
Half of the quarry’s materials are currently used to produce stone to be laid around rail tracks and the other half for aggregates used in the production of asphalt. A significant proportion of asphalt is now made from basalt as it helps to drain rainwater from the road’s surface.
Basalto La Spicca has always owned Hitachi machines and the arrival of the two latest models is set to strengthen its 30-year working relationship with SCAI even further.
“We are loyal to the Hitachi brand because of our relationship with SCAI and also due to their close proximity: the SCAI office is only one hour’s drive away,” says Luca Dominici, quarry manager.
“Our machines don’t break down. We had no problems with the ZX350LC-3 after 12,000 working hours, and so the new models, with HELP, promise to be even better.”
Luca and the operators on site have noticed several differences between the latest and previous generation of Hitachi Zaxis excavators. In terms of fuel consumption, the Zaxis-6 models use around 30% less fuel per hour than the Zaxis-3.
Marco Maccaglia has been at the company 14 years and an operator for five.
“The -3 was a very good machine, but the -6 is quicker: for example, when it travels from one part of the quarry floor to another over short distances.
“It has more power, and is more stable and precise. There is also a high level of comfort and less noise in the cab, which allows me to enjoy my work even more.”
Constantin Rotaru, who has been an operator for 14 years and with the company for eight, agrees with his colleague.
“The new machine is more stable, faster and more fluid in its movements. When pulling rock down from the face of the quarry wall, the undercarriage doesn’t move at all. There is a big difference in the speed of movement, even in ECO mode. The seat and overall cab comfort are excellent too.”