Business Feature, Earthmoving Industry Insight, Excavators, Large Excavators

Hyundai reaches new heights with new HX500L excavator

Hyundai’s R480LC-9 excavator is widely beloved across Australia’s hard rock quarries and demolition sites. But now the new HX500L is taking that model’s success to new heights

The new Hyundai HX500L sees several improvements, including a new hydraulics system

Hyundai excavators have come a long way over the past 20 years and, Porter Group NSW territory manager Lee Heys says, so too have customer expectations.

“Hyundai is still a modern brand in construction terms – because some of the older brands have been around twice as long,” he says.

“When I started over 13 years ago, I started selling to customers that only ever bought three or four brands because that was all that was available… but in that time I’ve sold over $100 million worth of equipment – so there’s a tremendous amount of repeat business there.

“It’s nice to have seen the evolution of the product and the brand – this is the only company that I have sold construction equipment for, and that’s because I believe in the product – and the brand.”

New excavator

Released locally this year and now widely available in Australia through Porter Equipment, the almost 50-tonne Hyundai HX500L excavator represents the latest stage in that evolution.

Heys explains the new model is the successor to the Hyundai R480LC°9 but represents a fully redesigned and modernised machine – with features incorporated specifically for the Australian market.

Among these features is its new cooling system which incorporates a reverse fan that gives the operator the capacity to control the cooling of hydraulic oil, engine oil and other machine fluids.

“We were not running reverse fans on those previous models,” Heys says.

“That reverse fan is fitted with controls in the cabin, in the computer, to be able to change the intervals of the reverse cycle. In an Australia with extreme climates the capacity to control your cooling with the reverse fan is beneficial to the end user.”

It has been brought out as a standard option locally.

Connected to that is a redesigned air conditioning system that helps keep the operator up to 30 per cent cooler, while the cabin is also 13 per cent larger and has been redesigned for better ergonomics and reduced fatigue.


The new HX500L has a 335 horsepower (250kW) Cummins X12 engine; a new model that Heys says is being used for the first time in an excavator.

“The benefit of this engine over the old Cummins engine is that the service intervals have gone to every 500 hours, whereas in the previous model they were at every 250 hours,” he says.

“So, there is a saving there for the buyer because there is less cost associated with servicing that machine, and there is less downtime.”

The Australian model also runs a Tier 3 emissions engine – which Heys says means it avoids the need for AdBlue, diesel particulate filters or exhaust gas recirculation.

“That means cheaper service costs compared to the engines that are running Tier 5 systems, and there is potential for less complication,” he says.

“It is less expensive to buy than the more complicated ones, and it is cheaper to run and cheaper to service.”

The AAVM camera system provides a variety of views

The new Cummins engine also operates more efficiently, Heys says, requiring 12 per cent less fuel over time than its predecessor model while operating with the same engine horsepower.

“So, it is able to generate more power with less fuel – and that is just an improvement in technology, in the engine and the pumps,” he says.

“The hydraulic system is an improved system. The new pumps are 2×405 litres per minute versus the old model, the R480LC˛9, which was only 2x360L/min.”


Those concerned about fuel usage can keep tabs on their fuel burn data in real time using the Fuel Right application on the Hyundai HiMate suite, the brand’s newly developed remote management system.

This system allows users to remotely evaluate machine performance, access diagnostic information and verify machine locations at the push of a button.

Heys says the system is a great tool for working out the whole of life costs across a vehicle fleet, as well as for monitoring when servicing is required.

“With a HiMate system the owner of the excavator, Porter Equipment as the authorised dealer, and the factory can access the machine when warnings from various sensors show up, letting you know that there is a potential problem,” he says.

“If you’re sitting there with an idea of what the problem may be, and the fix, it saves time and reduces potential downtime if a problem arises.”

The upgraded system also carries a service log, reminding the user when servicing is due and allowing them to record when it has been completed, as well as electronic versions of the operators and parts manuals.

Porter Group

Porter Equipment leads the market with its off er of a four-year, 8,000-hour warranty – and Heys says the company also offers an option to increase that time frame when aligned with the service contract.

“Porter Group are a very customer centric organisation,” he says.

“And you know the preference with sale of all the mid to large excavators is to try to sell service contracts, which brings security and peace of mind to the end user.”

Providing additional peace of mind is Hyundai’s Advanced Around View Monitoring (AAVM) camera system, which Porter Group has incorporated as standard on this model as well as its new HL970 wheel loader.

“There is only one aftermarket system that challenges that

system, and it is a $20,000 upgrade,” Heys says.

“Hyundai makes the safest excavator on the market today.”

The AAVM system comprises cameras that provide 10 different views, all accessible from a touch screen inside the cabin.

“You’ve got various views of the machine, you’ve got bird’s eye view, you’ve got a bird’s eye sideview, a bird’s eye rear view, you’ve got split screens for all four cameras, or you can select each individual camera separately,” Heys says.

The Cummins X12 engine is being used in an excavator for the first time

The excavator also has Hyundai’s Intelligent Moving Object Detection (IMOD) system, which warns the operator when a person gets within a 5m radius of the unit.

“It gives you a warning and when it picks up the movement onscreen it puts a red box around the moving object,” Heys says.

“It is a major selling point…it is quite an innovative thing because nobody else has it. It is unique to the Hyundai excavator.”

For more details on equipment available through Porter Group, visit

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