Hitachi and Harrybilt bring the S Series Rail Machine to life
What do you get when you cross a Hitachi ZX170W-5 wheeled excavator and Harrybilt Engineering’s rail system technology?! One of the safest and most reliable rail machines on the market.
Harrybilt Engineering noticed the requirement for a rail machine that could withstand extremely severe working conditions whist also being safe, versatile, efficient and simple to operate. The team are not new to this type of innovative product design either, they specialise in the design and fabrication of advanced equipment for rail, transport and general commercial applications.
Established in 1985, the family owned business have become a supplier of choice throughout Australia for road rail trucks, excavators and trailers. With recent developments in their fabrication, machining, hydraulics and painting capabilities, they are more ready and capable than ever to take on new challenges, with the current challenge being the new S-Series rail machine.
“The partnership that Harrybilt has built with Hitachi has allowed the development of a new machine, the S Series, which has a focus on the operators,” States Managing Director Ernest Martino.
Hitachi Construction Machinery Australia (HCA) has a Safety First Priority, which means that all business decisions or actions are taken with safety in mind. This value placed on constant improvement within the area of safety is one that is shared by Harrybilt Engineering and aptly reflected with the development of the S Series Rail Machine, described by the company as one of the safest rail machines on the market.
Harrybilt centred the development of the new S-Series machine on this concept of putting Safety First, installing a variety of features and options which enable this excavator to withstand the most severe working conditions without compromising on reliability or efficiency.
“We have found that the Hitachi excavators have been a great machine to work on and convert for our rail application. On this machine, Harrybilt installed a height, slew and load management system as well as a range of other features which allow it to be the safest rail excavator in the industry,” Ernest explained.
The Rail Guidance System for the S-Series machines allows wheeled excavators to travel on road as well as rail. Retractable rail wheel assemblies are installed on the excavator, positioning the vehicle on the rail while allowing the tires to continue to provide traction and braking.
An important feature of the development process is listening to their customers and utilising the feedback to further improve and increase their product range. Ernest spoke of the importance of safety and reliability for operators when using rail machines. “Operators need a machine that can withstand the most severe working conditions while also being safe and simple to operate.”
“It features a key lock out system for unauthorised actions, therefore ensuring the machine always works in a safe state and prevents movement into exclusion zone which could result in a collision. It also features fewer valves which makes it less complicated while still being a smarter proportional system,” said Ernest.
The S-Series machine isn’t the first Hitachi excavator that Harrybilt has converted into a specialty machine. Harrybilt have partnered with Hitachi previously to provide a turn key rail machine for the expanding rail industry.
Some of the machines that have been converted to date are the ZX65USB-5A mini excavator, ZX135US-5 mid-sized excavator and a number of the ZX170W wheeled excavators.
“We receive very positive feedback from our customers on the performance of the Hitachi’s we convert. Many of our machines are located Australia wide so reliability is important. Having a well-supported product with the many service centres located across Australia is critical to us.” Ernest also spoke highly of the support received from Hitachi sales representative Greg Priestly, “Greg has worked hard to support Harrybilt and our new initiative, the S Series, into the Rail Market.”
Harrybilt Engineering prides themselves on developing innovative and safe solutions for every project, something that Hitachi is proud to be associated with and look forward to continuing into the future.