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24 July 2017
Kobelco SK300LC-10 in review
Kobelco prides itself on delivering excellent fuel efficiency without compromising on performance and the Generation 10 machines justify the company’s position. The SK300LC, equipped with the Machatro control system, delivers exceptional hydraulic power and has three different settings allowing a selection of power delivery to suit a task. A 185kW, Tier 4, diesel engine offers plenty of grunt while keeping emissions low.
It’s always a pleasure to hear from Kobelco sales and service General Manager Doug McQuinn. “Kobelco machines are engineered for maximum capacity at maximum efficiency, and the SK300LC-10 is no different,” he says. “With the launch of this model we’re delivering what the industry asked for – a tough, reliable, and performance-driven, 30 tonne machine.”
Huge power delivery is only half the equation of course. Efficiency is just as important. There’s no point in running machinery if it can’t be run profitably. “The generation 10 machines are serious diggers,” says McQuinn, “but innovative engineering means they use up to 10 per cent less fuel compared to their predecessor. This dramatically lowers fuel costs while still producing significant power.” The SK300LC’s improved efficiency is down to a hydraulic regenerative system that uses the boom’s weight to force hydraulic fluid to the shovel arm, eliminating the need for fluid to be artificially forced from the pump. That reduces the workload of the engine and hydraulics. Quick and easy maintenance is another feature of the new Kobelco. An improved engine bay access makes day–to-day checking and maintaining the machine a great deal easier than it has been on previous models. “There’s a new compact and easily replaceable canister-type hydraulic oil return filter,” explains McQuinn, “and a new, reinforced air-cleaner element.”
Anyone who stopped in to the Diesel and Dirt Expo in April will have seen the 30-tonne Kobelco in the flesh, but EEM was lucky enough to jump in the cabin and put the excavator to work doing what it does best: moving earth. Lots of it. The first thing that hits the operator is access to the cabin. The steps are just a little larger than on previous models, we didn’t measure the difference, but it’s obvious as the operator either climbs up to or down from the cabin. It’s a much easier and safer process thanks to the change, especially if the machine’s slewed around a little. The larger, longer steps and the increased tread make entering or leaving the cabin a piece of cake. Once in the cabin the controls all fall nicely to hand, but the big gain is Kobelco moving the toolbox back to the opposite side of the cab. The result for the operator is amazing visibility. It may not sound like a big deal as we write, but the difference is massive, especially when the operators trying to sight up different points around the machine.
Comfort inside the cabin is good. The air conditioning worked well and allowed a quite working environment, although the controls on the test unit felt possibly the tiniest bit jerky. The machine was brand new, so it’s very likely we were just experiencing a little settling in, with the few hours of work that could well disappear. Even if it didn’t, it’s just a feel to get used to, not a problem with the machine itself.
During the test session we grubbed up an excavation about 2.5m deep and were very impressed with the power and reach of the Kobelco.
At the end of the very satisfactory session with the SK300LC-10 we came away with the impression that it was a very capable, solid overall package, it was the visibility that made the biggest impact, though. That blue us away!