Here’s a small excavator with a very big heart and a work capacity to match.
Words // Sean Richardson Images // www.Sassy-Jane.Com.Au
New Holland’s E18B is a conventional tail swing excavator with an operating weight of 1660kg and digging depth of 2400mm. Power for the E18B is a three-cylinder, four-stroke, direct-injection Mitsubishi diesel offering 15hp and a rated top speed of 2100rpm. New Holland says fuel consumption is low and advanced technological design minimises noise and emissions levels. Noise levels comply with the European 2000/14/EC phase 2 directive.
There’s also a 40Ah battery on board as well as a 12.3-litre hydraulic system running three pumps. This configuration is designed so that as the machine begins to dig, extra output from the third pump, which otherwise powers the swing and dozer circuits, is directed to the arm circuit for added power, ensuring fast and smooth arm operation even under heavy loads.
Swing is courtesy of an axial-piston hydraulic motor that delivers a swing speed of 9rpm and arcs the boom up to 80 degrees to the left and 45 degrees to the right, and the system allows the driver to combine movement while driving.
In its standard configuration the New Holland E18B has a relatively light footprint for a compact excavator and is well suited for working in narrow spaces. Track rollers are a new design and are wider for increased stability, and offer better track retention and longer track life. Tension adjustment is simple.
Travel speeds vary from 2kph up to 3.5kph and are controlled by a fingertip selector on the travel lever.
There’s a concave profile, foldable dozer blade, which spans the full width of the machine and allows excellent grading and backfilling performance and helps create a stable excavating platform.
Under the three-pillar FOPS and TOPS canopy is a user-friendly operating environment with hand- or foot-operated travel controls, a readily visible instrument panel, unrestricted visibility in all directions and precise, low-effort, pilot-operated joystick controls offer plenty of options. Contributing to operator comfort on a real-world work day are a large, opening, hinged rear engine hood and two wide side covers allowing easy access to the radiator, hydraulic tank and fuel tank. A panel below the operator’s seat gives access to electric fuses.
It’s not easy to start making big pronouncements about the small excavators these days. Without some of the advanced features and comforts of the bigger machines it’s getting harder and harder to find points of difference among the small excavators.
Still, there were a few things about the E18B that are worthy of comment.
We were a little concerned at the start of the day because EEM’s test operator is a sizable sort of bloke, and while we’re used to him disappearing up a ladder or stairway into air-conditioned cabins and staying in touch by some sort of advanced communication system, the New Holland didn’t look much bigger than he was.
So there’s the first thing. Not only is the machine comfortable for big, hairy-knuckled Aussie operators, it’s also relatively quiet.
In the absence of an enclosed cab, high noise levels would seem a likely outcome, but the E18B has that aspect of its function well under control.
Visibility is naturally excellent and the layout of controls and switching allows the operator to reach and use everything without needing yoga classes or limbering-up exercises, and given the machine’s intended use in tight spaces and on sensitive surfaces, it’s a very well thought-out bit of gear that’ll be an asset in those situations.
The New Holland E18B is a nice, smooth machine to use. It’s very manoeuvrable, compact and user-friendly.