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Equipment focus: Takeuchi TB216 excavator

Digging graves from narrow pathways presents a special set of problems for cemeteries, which is why Sydney’s Rookwood Cemetery Trust turned to Semco’s Australian-designed Takeuchi TB216 excavator.

A Semco custom-designed front dipper arm has extended the dig depth by the extra 400mm required for gravesites and this, coupled with a full 180 degree swing on the boom, has given the gravediggers the ability to access the pathway between gravesites and dig to full depth to either side of the path without having to reposition the excavator.

The Trust liked the Takeuchi TB108 excavator’s 180-degree swing but wanted a slightly larger excavator with greater digging power, so Semco applied the same technology to the turret of the new TB216, powered by the standard Takeuchi slew motor with with internal braking.

No extension was needed to the dipper arm as the standard arm was in reach of the Trust’s specification.

“The TB216 has track widths adjustable from 1300mm down to 980mm and is one of the few machines with the capacity to have the gear mechanism and a slew motor mounted on the front turret,” Semco’s Graham Murphy says.

“Additionally, we designed an electro-hydraulic lockout that when engaged, limits swing in very confined spaces to protect the machine and valuable monuments,” he adds.

The Trust’s operators protect stone, memorial granite and marble work from damage by inserting a length of timber between monuments and the outside edge of the excavators track.

The excavator uses a standard 500mm bucket fitted with tiger teeth for accurate profiling, Semco says. The company further customised the limits of the bucket movement to ensure final trimming of the burial cavity was extremely accurate, digging to a depth of 2120mm, the required depth for a two-occupant grave.

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