Three Hyundai HX220AL Crawler Excavators make tracks for Dorset
According to Mervyn Vaughan: “Simply the best machine and back-up I’ve ever had” are the words of the owner-operator about his new Hyundai HX220AL Crawler Excavators and the supplying dealers Molson Equipment.
Mervyn and wife Pamela started M&P Plant Hire based in Verwood, Dorset in 2001. The start of the company saw Mervyn undertake a number of landfill contracts across the South Coast, as well as undertaking a variety of operations for Commercial Recycling, who is a leading independent waste management company based in Wimborne, Dorset.
Mervyn explains: “It came to a point where we stopped the travelling work and concentrated our efforts on developing our work with Commercial Recycling. This was ideal for me as it was local, so we decided to get rid of the rest of the fleet and just keep one machine for myself to operate.”
Mervyn took on a competitor’s brand but wasn’t impressed with the product which eventually led him to the door of Molson Equipment in Avonmouth. “I met with Luke (Mercer) and we hit it off straight away.” Mervyn comments: “It was good to meet someone who was very open and honest about the machinery and service they offer.”
That initial meeting eventually led to Mervyn and Pam investing in a new R220LC-9A excavator. “We try and keep the machines on a three-year plan.” Said Mervyn: “Being an owner operator I need that element of comfort knowing that the machine will be covered should anything happen to it.”
Not that Mervyn needed to worry as the R220 proved to be one of the most reliable machines he had ever owned during the first three years. “We didn’t lay a spanner on it in the time we had it.” Mervyn explains: “We thought we were taking a punt in taking on a Hyundai as they weren’t seen as one of the so-called premier brands at the time, but this was nonsense as far as I’m concerned.”
With the R220 coming up to three years old, Mervyn got together with Luke to talk about its replacement and immediately signed up for a new HX220LC. “This was a massive step-up as far as the cab and its comfort was.” Mervyn explains: “I was also impressed with the refinement of the engine and hydraulics over the older machine with it being even smoother to operate and I had a drop in fuel consumption too.”
Most of M&P’s work with Commercial Recycling consists of dealing with the vast amount of materials coming into the yard at Wimborne. From stockpiling to loading trucks and the crushing and screening plants, Mervyn and his Hyundai undertake the majority of material handling on the recycling side of the business. The company also uses his services to undertake muck shifting operations externally for its huge customer base, something Mervyn enjoys doing.
The latest Hyundai purchased by M&P is the HX220ALC, which is working on a recycling site down in Dorset on the South Coast.
Launched earlier this year, the ‘A’ series of the loader and excavator ranges have benefitted from a number of cosmetic changes along with the upgrading of the engines to meet Stage V emissions regulations.
The HX220AL features the new Engine Connected Diagnostics (ECD) system which immediately reports any engine failure to both Hi-MATE and the engine manufacturer to ensure the fastest, easiest resolution. On top of that the new EPFC (Electronic Pump Flow Control) system improves controllability and reduces operating costs. This is something that has really impressed Mervyn he said: “I was really surprised at the smoothness of the hydraulics even compared the older HX. This machine is so responsive and easy to operate.”
Power is still supplied via a Cummins QSB 6.7 litre, 6-cylinder diesel and whilst running on two cylinders more than most of their competitors, Cummins and Hyundai have provided an engine capable of matching, if not exceeding their counterparts fuel consumption figures.
While at the recycling site Mervyn steadily loads a Powerscreen crusher with a mix of tarmac and rubble and during that time the Hyundai recorded outstanding fuel economy figures of just six litres per hour. Mervyn said: “I have been routinely getting around the 7-9 litres per hour when we are moving more material.” The amazing fuel figures have impressed both Mervyn and Commercial Recycling as the company’s fuel bill has dropped whilst remaining as productive as ever.
The standard front-end equipment, now sporting a new grey paint scheme, comprises a 5.6m boom and 2.9m dipper is finished off with a Geith hydraulic hitch and carries a variety of buckets up to 1.2m³ capacity.
LED lighting and Hyundai’s AAVM camera system are amongst some of the extras Mervyn has opted for again on his new A series machine with the camera system being particularly useful he says. Whilst the change to the cab on the HX series from the R series has been widely acclaimed, Mervyn believes the small tweaks to the new A model has made it even better. The excavator now comes with a heated and air suspended seat as standard plus a revised glazing detail on the cab door provides Mervyn with a better view to the floor.
With his knowledge and experience of construction equipment, along with his faith in the Hyundai product, Mervyn undertakes all routine servicing himself. “I can do it when I want to do it.” He comments “The filter and fluid changes are simple enough, and I use the parts supplied by Molson to do the job anyway, I just find it easier to fit it in around my schedule. The only time I have to call Molson is when I want to order the parts and the only time I see Luke is when the three years are up and it’s time to change the machine!”
Mervyn’s previous HX220 was sold with just over 5000 hours on the clock to Commercial Recycling who are using it with continued success within their own fleet. After having the machine hired to them for three years and witnessing the 100% reliability from the excavator, the company snapped up the machine when they were told Mervyn was due to replace it.
“People say I was taking a gamble changing my previous machine for a Hyundai six years ago.” Mervyn closes: “As far as I’m concerned, it was one of the best decisions I ever made.”