Hitachi Construction Machinery: A household name, known primarily in the construction sector for their excavators. The Japanese heavy machinery brand has, for over a century, been synonymous with quality, value and grunt. Rather than rest on their laurels, Hitachi have decided to hit the ground running in the wake of China’s industrial slow-down, and have since launched their own, brand new series of wheel loaders.
Founded in 1910 by Namihei Odaira, Hitachi Group has seen their fair share of economic conundrums—including World Wars, depressions and the boom and bust of construction markets around the world—and have managed to weather them all to become a world leader in construction equipment. Now that one of their chief markets is slowing, Hitachi Construction has experienced subsequent cuts to their profit margins, and are even expecting sales of their hydraulic shovels to China to be one-seventh of that experienced 5 years ago.
As times are changing, many manufacturers are feeling the pressure of the Asian giant’s shifting focus and tightening of the purse strings. The need for diversification has never been stronger, neither has the need to make the most of burgeoning markets.
The launch of Hitachi’s wheel loader two years ago has proven a huge success and sees them now sitting at #7 in the list of ‘Key Dominant Players in the Wheel Loader Market’, as assessed by Assets Stock. Focusing their energies on the growing USA and European markets, Hitachi is hoping to recover some significant blows to their bottom line over coming years.
Their acquisition of Japan’s wheel loader manufacturer KCM from Kawasaki was the first in a string of proactive moves towards broadening their heavy machinery offering. As the Nikkei Asian Review explains:
“Global annual demand for wheel loaders stands at about 200,000 units, the second highest number for a type of construction vehicle behind hydraulic shovels at about 300,000 units.”
Why are Hitachi’s Wheel Loaders proving popular?
To find out more, we enquired about one of their impressive models—the ZW370-5—on show during the recent Toowoomba FarmFest. Aside from the fact that it just looked damn good, we also discovered there are a number of other (more important) reasons for its popularity…
“The quick power switch boosts the power of the ZW-5 wheel loader when required by changing the work mode.”
Lower Fuel Costs
“The new ZW-5 wheel loader can work in two modes, which provide an appropriate level of performance for the specific job. One mode is for regular operations with the benefit of efficient fuel consumption; the other is for more demanding tasks and increases productivity.”
“A new hydraulic circuit facilitates the combined operation of the bucket and lift arm for loading and prioritises the use of the bucket for loading work.”
“A muffler filter captures air pollutants, which are automatically burnt thanks to an oxidation catalyst and exhaust temperature control.”
“The 15.68-litre six-cylinder water-cooled turbo engine enables a powerful digging performance, impressive travel speeds and benefits from excellent fuel consumption.”
“Hitachi axles are renowned for high performance and durability – ideal for working on demanding job sites.”
Clearly, the move to expanding their wheel loader range has been beneficial for the firm and, if current reports are anything to go by, could herald an ever brighter future for Hitachi.
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