Earthmoving Industry Insight, Reviews

REVIEW: Hitachi ZX300 LC-5 excavator

Hitachi’s ZX300 LC-5 excavator impresses with its new operator-friendly systems and engine power

Hitachi has become a strong player in the excavator market with its new fleet boasting advanced technology, design strength, ease of operations and overall operating comfort.

It’s not uncommon that construction company owners will refuse to go elsewhere when in the market for a new machine.

The simplicity and bang-for-buck stacks up on so many levels, which has elevated Hitachi’s dominance within the Australian market.

When on site recently in Nerang, Queensland, with Turner’s Engineering, we had the opportunity to operate and explore one of Hitachi’s new models, the medium-sized ZX300 LC-5 excavator, in more detail.

With an operating weight of 28.9 tonnes, the 171kW (229 horsepower) engine’s performance and hydraulic flow seem to be perfectly balanced for fast, smooth and precise operations.

The Power Boost mode allows the operator to add 10 per cent more digging force for powerful excavation by pressing a button on the control lever.


Weighing in at 28.9 tonnes, the medium-sized ZX300 LC-5 excavator comes with a 171kW (229hp) engine

The swing torque has also increased by nine per cent, with the enhanced swing performance making it easier to dig next to side walls and operate on slopes.

Outside the machine, Hitachi remains competitive with grouped remote inspection and service points located inside left and right covers that are readily accessible from ground level.

The new Hitachi ZX300 LC-5 is fitted with an operator-friendly HIOS III hydraulic boosting system, which is an enhanced boom recirculation system to increase operating speed and reduce fuel consumption.

Regenerative valves on the arm and boom cylinders help increase hydraulic flow, making for productive excavation, while the arm speed also increases with the boom weight when the boom is lowered, without needing oil pressure from a pump.

That means the arm circuit flow is increased for higher arm speed, allowing for quick loading of a dump truck and positioning of the front.


The 7-inch (18cm) multifunction monitor

IN THE CAB

The spacious cab has the usual safety structures in place, including a heavy-duty top guard to protect the operator from falling objects and a rollover protective structure.

An operator control shut-off lever is provided with a neutral engine start system that permits engine starting only when the pilot control shut-off lever is in lock position.

There is plenty of leg room thanks to the newly-designed console and excellent visibility from the cab when operating. The front window is easily removed and stored overhead using slide rails. The overhead window also opens for ventilation.

There is no shortage of air conditioner vents, which are located in strategic areas to achieve full air circulation inside the cab. The control panel and control levers are arranged within easy reach and an AM/FM radio and AUX port for a mobile music player are also available as standard.


Additions include a new rear view monitor camera

The comfortable and adjustable cloth seat is fitted with both a headrest and arm rests for operator comfort and is able to slide and recline to suit the operator’s size and preferences. An air suspension seat with a heat pad is optional.

The big tick for us was the easy-to-use multifunction monitor. This new multi-language, multifunction monitoring system comprises a 7-inch (18cm) high-resolution colour monitor and a multifunction controller.

The monitor allows the operator to check varying operating variables: hydraulic oil temperature, fuel level, work mode, full-auto air conditioner, AM/FM radio, rear view monitor camera, maintenance support and attachment flow adjustment.

Menu items can be selected and adjusted by a multifunction controller on the control panel. A new rear view monitor camera always displays the view behind the machine.

The machine’s controls are responsive and smooth as you would expect with surprisingly low engine noise, making the overall operation process pleasurable.


The GNSS system helps operators boost their accuracy

EXTRA GPS SUPPORT

While the Hitachi ZX300 LC-5’s interior is impressive, Turner’s Engineering normally bolsters the GPS offering on its excavators, and this model was no exception.

For this particular model, Turner’s Engineering reached out to Gerald Kirkpatrick from Kommand in Darra on the outskirts of Brisbane in search for an alternative 3D GPS solution that would integrate with its existing systems while delivering consistent results on the ground.

With Kommand having partnered with Arizona-based satellite positioning company Hemisphere, the obvious solution was a Hemisphere global navigation satellite system (GNSS) for high-precision guidance of earthmoving equipment, specifically, the Hemisphere GradeMetrix.


The Hitachi ZX300 LC-5 is smooth and responsive, with surprisingly low engine noise

GradeMetrix is Hemisphere’s solution for high-precision GNSS-based machine control and provides superior performance, with exceptional value for earthmoving equipment such as excavators, dozers, and compactors.

Packed with industry-leading technology, easy to use and delivered at an affordable price, the GradeMetrix system can be installed and calibrated in less than eight hours.

It also helps both new and experienced operators to boost their accuracy, efficiency and dependability.

Overall, the Hitachi ZX 300 LC-5 is a reliable and versatile machine with easy-to-use attachments that delivers low fuel consumption, longer service intervals and a comfortable operating environment.

These all help make it an easy model to consider when next in the market for an excavator.


Hemisphere’s GradeMetrix system provides high-precision GNSS-based machine control
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