Kiwis have a variety of choices when it comes to purchasing an excavator and while brand loyalty remains high, buyers now have more options than ever when considering their next machine.
The scene is set for our machine test as we head out towards Auckland International Airport to do a stint in an area that will soon be the home to a large plasticware manufacturer. Civil contracting company, Dempsey and Wood has been tasked with the siteworks and, by the looks of things, is a good way through the programme, no doubt being happy that the weather has moved into a favourable phase for them.
The machine A quick look over the SWE 230E reveals some nice styling lines with the Sunward green being a nice change away from the many variations of orange and yellow that are seen around most construction sites. Safety rails around the top of the body ensures that no one does an unplanned tumble off the machine when carrying out daily checks, although I’m a little unsure if many people actually carry them out each day, thanks to the all-knowing in-cab gadgetry these days. The SWE 230E also has a long carriage underframe which features nine bottom rollers for better stability; these being protected from unnecessary damage by heavy-duty guarding.
Engine Powering the hydraulics is an Isuzu six cylinder engine that outputs 125kW@2100rpm. Isuzu engines have been the choice of many industrial equipment manufacturers for many years, so reliability should not be an issue.
Hydraulics Two Kawasaki piston pumps provide a flow of 2 x 246 litres per minute, providing a working pressure of 31.4–34.3MPa, and as we were to find out, nice smooth controls. The Sunward SWE 230E also comes with factory-fitted breaker piping which is one less thing to worry about if rock or demolition work features anywhere on the agenda. Anti-drop valves are also fitted as standard to the rams of the dipper arm and boom, along with piping for a hydraulic hitch right to the end of the boom.
Cab The interior proves to be roomy and similar to other popular brands, featuring all the trimmings you would expect to find in a modern machine including air-conditioning. Likewise, a monitor with a decent-sized screen keeps tabs on everything an operator would want to know about.
I was genuinely impressed with the capabilities of the Sunward SWE 230E. It is definitely a rock solid option.
In operation Co-ordinating things for our test was Daniel Anderson from Dempsey and Wood, assisted by his father Grant on an articulated dumper. Daniel had prepped for our arrival by marking out a drainage line which required the removal of part of a stockpile to allow its route to proceed. This seemed to be a straightforward task which would test the power and hydraulics of the Sunward SWE 230E excavator well. After discussing the job at hand, it was agreed that I would do a stint at the controls, followed by Daniel. This would give us a couple of different opinions. Spending some time with familiarisation of the controls and systems, I fired the machine up and proceeded to the top of the stockpile. One thing I noticed straight away was the smoothness of the SWE 230E, along with the feeling of stability. It’s a little bit hard to describe, but it felt like there was a weight holding the machine down and I could have sworn the excavator weighed more than it did. After spending a bit of time getting used to the controls and the machine’s balance by preparing a level pad, it was time to call in Grant Anderson and the ADT. Once sited for loading, the Sunward SWE 230E quickly
swung into action, making quick work of clearing a path for the drainage line. If there is one word I would use to describe the SWE 230E, it would be ‘stability’. I suggest this comes from a combination of the weight distribution and the long track frame. There was never any inkling of the machine wanting to stand on its toes, even when dumping a bucket at full reach. Okay, the machine was fitted with a digging bucket which we all know has a lesser capacity than a weed bucket, and it would be interesting to check the performance of the SWE 230E with a wide bucket fitted. Power-wise, the machine performed well and it certainly stood up to the task well with more than enough grunt for the job at hand.
Second opinion More than happy with my time behind the controls, I passed the excavator over to Daniel to continue the work I had started. Some time later we got together to compare notes on the Sunward SWE 230E. Not surprisingly Daniel’s comments related to the stability of the machine, followed by its ease of use. This was something we both concurred on, along with the agreement that it is a machine operators would appreciate.
Summary I was genuinely impressed with the capabilities of the Sunward SWE 230E and take my hat off to Endraulic Equipment for taking the leap of faith to provide buyers with another alternative when considering their next heavy excavator purchase. It is definitely a rock solid option.
For more information contact Endraulic or ph 0800 468 782.
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