Independently Test Driven by Earthmoving Equipment Magazine
Class-leading economy and high work performance are the hallmarks of the new Kobelco Generation 10 range, and the SK210LC is an excellent example.
The first of the new generation Kobelcos to hit Australia are the 20-tonners, and while the heavy machines are as much focused on high-class Japanese design and manufacture as they’ve always been, and durability and environmental responsibility are very much in evidence, it’s the incredible fuel efficiency of the SK210LC that’s grabbing everyone’s attention. Still, as we walked around the new machine at Stapylton Quarry on Queensland’s Gold Coast it was obvious there’d been quite a few refinements.
It was a seriously tough worksite, and we don’t know we’ve worked too many machines as hard as we worked this one.
Improved fuel efficiency
Kobelco’s claiming a 16 per cent increase in fuel efficiency compared to the H mode on the SK200-8. A new arm interflow system more efficiently controls hydraulic fluid flow, and a significant reduction in in-line resistance and pressure loss make a big contribution, as does the electronic-control common-rail engine using high-pressure fuel injection and multiple injection with improved precision.
The engine is fitted with an EGR cooler, which greatly reduces PM and NOx emissions and meets TIER3 Standards, and the result is a highly efficient hydraulic system that minimises fuel consumption while maximising power.
The SK210LC is nimble and offers more than ample digging grunt.
The work environment
The operator of a new Kobelco has some very luxurious features to look forward to.
There’s a quick-hitch hydraulic line that makes for faster attachment changes, and while our test machine didn’t have the factory piping tilt circuit, all models from January 2016 will. That should make them even more amazing.
Kobelco claims it takes a whopping 38 per cent less effort to work the operation lever. While that lever’s in use, the operator has a brilliant colour graphic display to show fuel consumption, maintenance intervals, coolant temperature and a stack of other parameters. Directly under the colour LCD display is a switch panel offering nearly as many choices, but one we really liked was the One-touch attachment mode switch. One flick of this switch converts the hydraulic circuit and flow amount to match attachment changes, and coloured icons help the operator to confirm the proper configuration at a glance – a glance the operator can enjoy from the comfort of the air suspension seat.
Of course the cab itself plays a big part in operator comfort, and the high level of airtight sealing helps keep noise levels extremely low and allows the air-conditioning to work with excellent efficiency, while coil springs absorb small vibrations and high suspension mounts filled with silicone oil reduce heavy vibration.
Vision from the cabin is fantastic. It’s a very noticeable facet of the machine. There’s no centre pillar on the right side and the fuel tank has been relocated, so the range of vision almost feels panoramic.
Relocating the tank also prepares the SK210LC for the coming TIER4 requirements and will allow easy installation of the addblue tank.
From the easy access, reclining operator’s chair through the USB connector and 12-volt power outlet right down to the drink holder, the SK210LC offers the kind of work environment that should keep fatigue to an absolute minimum, no matter how long the shifts.
As a final, very pleasing detail, many daily checks and regular maintenance tasks can be done from ground level.
Ready for work
After giving the Kobelco a thorough workout we came away more than a little impressed. Operation of the machine is smooth and precise, and functions were quite quick for a machine of its size, while still retaining good breakout/performance.
Engine type: Direct injection, four-cylinder, water-cooled, four-cycle diesel with turbocharger and intercooler
Bore and stroke: 112mm x 130mm
Displacement: 5.123 litre
Rated power output: 114kW/2000 min-1 (ISO 9249). 118 kW/2000 min-1 (ISO 14396)
Max torque: 569N•m/1600 min-1 (ISO 9249). 592 N•m/1,600 min-1 (ISO 14396)
Type: Two variable displacement pumps plus one gear pump
Maximum discharge flow: 2 x 220 L/min, 1 x 20 L/min, 1 x 44L/min (optional gear pump)
Swing motor: Axial piston motor
Brake: Hydraulic; locking automatically when the swing control lever is in neutral position
Parking brake: Oil disc brake, hydraulic operated automatically
Swing speed: 13.3 min-1 (rpm)
Tail swing radius: 2910mm
Minimum front swing radius: 3550mm
Travel motors: 2 x axial-piston, two-step motors
Travel brakes: Hydraulic brake per motor
Parking brakes: Oil disc brake per motor
Travel shoes: 46 (49) each side
Travel speed: 6.0/3.6kph
Drawbar pulling force: 229kN (ISO 7464)
Gradeability: 70 per cent (35°)
Can and control
Cab: All-weather, sound-suppressed steel cab mounted on the high suspension mounts filled with silicone oil and equipped with a heavy, insulated floor mat
Control: Two hand levers and two foot pedals for travel. Two hand levers for excavating and swing. Electric rotary-type engine throttle
Boom, arm and bucket
Boom cylinders: 120mm x 1355mm
Arm cylinder: 135mm x 1558mm
Bucket cylinder: 120mm x 1080mm
Refilling capacities and lubrications
Fuel tank: 320 litre
Cooling system: 18 litre
Engine oil: 20.5 litre
Travel reduction gear: 2 x 5.3 litre
Swing reduction gear: 2.7 litre
Hydraulic oil tank: 140-litre oil level. 244-litre hydraulic system