New Hitachi excavator for Swiss operator
Lachat purchase ZX870LCR-5 model to help boost production at Asuel La Malcote Quarry
SWISS quarry operators Lachat are using a new Hitachi ZX870LCR-5 excavator to help improve mineral products processing at Asuel La Malcote Quarry in the canton of Jura. Supplied by Hitachi dealers Probst Maveg, the large Zaxis-5 excavator was specified by Lachat to excavate a mixture of marlstone and limestone materials in a much cleaner way than before.
Hitachi engineers in Japan have developed the Zaxis-5 series with reinforced components and added protection to further strengthen the undercarriage and front attachment specifically for the quarrying sector. The bespoke specification has been designed for the rigours of handling hard and abrasive materials, and offers enhanced durability and a long life expectancy.
The steep terrain and configuration at Asuel La Malcote Quarry demand a highly durable machine. The ZX870LCR-5 loads two articulated dumptrucks with its 4.5 cubic metre rock bucket at a rate of up to 300 tonnes/h, depending on the level of demand. The current excavation work is focused on clearing an 8m layer of better-quality limestone-based materials away from the face of the rock to reveal 10m of spoil (marlstone).
Lachat’s immediate priorities are to sanitize the site and modernize the quarrying process. The plan is that the site will eventually resemble a regular quarry after removal of these layers, with benches with ecologically sound practices in place to encourage the natural habitat.
‘Our new production method utilizes the ZX870LCR-5 to extract, separate and sort the materials,’ said Yvan Ryser, general manager of Lachat. ‘The strength and productivity of the machine have been impressive in tackling our biggest challenge, which is how to select the usable materials from the mix of stone. We used to blast the rock, but that meant that the stone was difficult to sort and this issue is more important to us than the actual amount of materials moved.’
Christophe Seghin, who has been an operator for 15 years, was hired specifically to work with the ZX870LCR-5 excavator. ‘This is a good machine and it’s faster than other similar-sized machines that I’ve worked with,’ he commented.
‘The biggest benefit for me is its strength and power which enables me to work more productively, while it is stable and precise for the selection of materials. The fuel consumption is excellent and auto shutdown is a good feature in this respect. All the work modes are useful and routine maintenance checks are easy for all of the necessary consumable parts and other components.’