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Hitachi launches new compact excavator in North America

An excavator moves gravel on a job site
A Hitachi ZX26U-5N compact excavator

With its reduced tail-swing design, the four-foot,11-inch wide (1.5 metres) Hitachi Construction Machinery Americas (HCMA) ZX26U-5N is built to operate in confined spaces. An operating weight of 5,560 pounds (2,520 kg) makes the excavator easy to transport with tie-down holes on the side frame and blade. An independent swing boom and 360-degree rotation let operators set up and work almost anywhere. Plus, ideal visibility and precise control make it a great tool for excavating around existing utilities. This machine was built for landscaping, renovation, trenching, backfilling, drilling, and demolition applications where space is limited.

Despite its compact size, the ZX26U-5N offers enough height and reach to get up and over truck sideboards with a maximum reach of 15 feet, two inches (4.63m). It also provides a maximum dig depth of eight feet, six inches (2.59m). An integrated dozer blade adds versatility, allowing the excavator to backfill or grade.

Working in confined spaces needs precise control. Full hydraulic pilot controls for the bucket/thumb and other attachments help maximize controllability. To suit operator preference and increase productivity, control patterns can be switched from backhoe- to excavator-style controls with a control-pattern selector located in a compartment beneath the seat.

The ability to run multiple attachments enhances the versatility of the ZX26U-5N. A one-way/two-way selector valve accommodates breaker and grapple attachments with extra plumbing installed on the stick. An auxiliary function lever (AFL) is available with an analog switch, trigger switch, and horn for running attachments such as a breaker or an attachment with a swing. A V-shaped boom cylinder guard and hose protector ensure durability in any application.

Fuel efficiency is enhanced with a Tier 4 Final compliant, direct-injected Yanmar engine. The engine provides a high torque level for more pull-through power. This is an efficient package when paired with a Hitachi hydraulic system.

Operator comfort features of the ZX26U-5N excavator

The ZX26U-5N offers a choice of a four-pillar canopy or a cab. The operator station has a wide entryway. Swing boom and foldable travel pedals are positioned where they are easy to operate, yet allow plenty of foot room. A seat with suspension and adjustable armrest adds to the operator's comfort level.

Operators often must get on and off the machine several times throughout the day. An easy entrance floor lowers the distance operators must lift their legs during entry. The cab option has been widened and incorporates a larger door. An enlarged windshield improves visibility.

Maintenance and durability of the ZX26U-5N excavator

The ZX26U-5N is built to the same durability standards as larger Hitachi excavators. Oil-impregnated HN bushings are used on the boom, arm, and bucket joints for increased durability.

The boom end bracket has been reinforced and there is improved abrasion resistance for the joint between the arm and boom to reduce backlash. Hydraulic hoses on the boom have also been relocated to further reduce the chance of damage.

While all the components are packaged in a small space, Hitachi engineers worked to ensure easy access. The ZX26U-5N provides ground-level access to daily maintenance points. They are grouped behind easy-access covers and a large engine cover slides open vertically for access when the machine is working in a confined area.

The design of the cooling package makes cleanout a breeze. A parallel-aligned cooling package is located behind a one-touch open cover.

Hitachi has also made it easier to replace damaged glass in the cab. To reduce the cost of repair, the traditional curved glass used in the cab has been exchanged with more easily obtainable flat glass.

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