Test Drives

Huski M-38U zero tail swing mini excavator !

The mini end of the market in loaders and excavators has been a real game changer in recent years for many industries and businesses. The quality of mini excavators has jumped ahead in leaps and bounds. Huski Construction Equipment’s M-38U Zero Tail Swing Mini Excavator is packed full of features with impressive reliability and Kubota power. The Huski is back with a new range of seven mini excavator models – in this review we put the M-38U to the test. An impressive hydrostatic transmission, fully servocontrolled machine and powerful 3-cylinder Kubota engine and more combine to bring an exciting new option into the market for earthmovers looking to take their business and productivity to the next level.

It’s safe to say there are plenty of features and in today’s market new machines like these need to compete. The operator’s controls impressed in this test drive, with the boom swing and the P.T.O. controlled by the rollers on the joystick, removing the need for pedals in the cab. This change has freed up plenty of legroom and made precision control even more accessible with the inclusion of pilot-assisted commands. This feature holds significant weight as more and more varied industries and owners who would have previously hired machines are now tending to step into their own machine, so being smooth and easy to operate becomes even more important for potential new owner/operators as well as achieving impressive workloads for more experienced operators.

The machine is sporting an auto two-speed gearbox with a nice wide stance, dozer blade and rubber 300 track all contributing to the M-38U’s solid and stable grip on the ground. For those landscapers looking to move material, dig trenches or rip into excavation work, you aren’t going to be disappointed when it’s time to flex some muscle. Being predisposed to accept drill and breaker flexibility and durability are high up on the feature list.

For those of you who have owned a Huski or been impressed by the Huski skid steer loader range, you will be happy to know the same robust construction, functional design and high-quality materials and components have been employed in manufacturing, including strict inspection of production and assembly processes.

Weighing 1350kg, the M-38U can be quickly loaded onto small trucks or trailers, which makes it perfect for getting into all your commercial and residential projects. There is no denying the huge benefits that come with a zero swing machine of this size and power. You just don’t need a big truck to float these machines anymore, their size and ease of transportation is as big a factor as the quality of the machine itself.

Despite the M-38U’s short slew radius of only 650mm, the machine ensures excellent working stability, which Heath Thompson from Impact Pools & Landscapes put to the test for us onsite at Active Tree Services in Terry Hills. After putting the machine through its paces for the morning, Heath shared, “It’s been a long time since I’ve operated a Huski. As an apprentice my boss had a Huski loader for a good few years, so it’s nice to see them back with this impressive mini excavator range. I was keen to give this machine a good test of its breakout and general digging and material handling capabilities. I found a nice pile of road base, which had been sitting for a good 6-12 months or so. It was pretty hard on the top, but the standard bucket ripped through the top layer with ease and within 15 minutes or so I’d made a pretty good dent in the pile.”

Heath continued, “In terms of operation the controls were crisp and felt good. They weren’t too sensitive and made for an enjoyable all-round experience. The power was there when needed, and for operators out there looking at a few options, there are plenty to choose from. The machine tested today doesn’t have a cab, it’s all open, but if you want some extra comfort you can include the cab, with air-con, stereo, quick hitch and other options. I think there are a lot of operators out there like me who still have a romantic notion attached to this brand and its history and when they experience the strength and power of this range they will be very impressed.”

In wrapping up this impressive ‘top dog in the dirt’ the machine has a transport weight of 3500kg and operational weight of 3600kg, which means it’s a great size to get serious onsite, but not a pain to transport. From working on road projects and residential development sites to simply wanting to maximise performance – a mini excavator is an important addition to larger machines. The machine will be great for indoor and outdoor use with its low emissions. Our feedback from Heath has verified its comfortable and impressive performance for working with concrete, bitumen, loose gravel, compacted gravel, dirt and grass.

For more information or to contact the Huski team, visit www.toyotamaterialhandling.com.au

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