Compact excavators brought a new generation of contractors into the heavy equipment universe when they were introduced a couple of decades ago. It’s not an exaggeration to say their unique performance attributes revolutionized construction.
Kobelco has been a key player in this revolution and has continued to refine and upgrade models to keep performance curves on an upward trend.
The company’s latest model, the next-generation SK55SRX-7, follows the Kobelco Performance X Design concept for increased productivity, replicating the feel and operator comfort of larger excavator models.
The SK55SRX-7 is a short radius machine with a compact tail swing and a small footprint for operation in restricted spaces such as urban or residential jobsites. The standard arm is 5 feet 7 inches long, but for jobs where additional reach is needed, you can spec a 6-foot 4-inch arm. Both come with a thumb bracket pre-installed.
With a canopy, the standard counterweight model SK55SRX-7 weighs 11,817 pounds. With a cab it weighs 12,147 pounds.
It runs on a 37-horsepower Yanmar diesel engine. Maximum digging height with the standard arm is 19 feet, 6 inches.
At ground level, the new excavator reaches to 20 feet. Dig depth goes to 12 feet 9 inches, and the working width measures 6 feet 5 inches.
Hydraulics = Performance
Nothing affects performance on a compact excavator more than the hydraulics. The SK55SRX-7 shortens the digging cycle time by up to 7% compared to the previous 6E series, thanks to improved hydraulic performance.
Redesigned travel motors increase the travel speed by up to 12% and hill-climbing speeds up to 10%.
Other hydraulic system benefits include smoother operation and improved leveling performance. The integrated flow pump system harnesses extra output from the third pump, which otherwise powers the swing and dozer circuit. This output is directed to the arm and boom for added power when digging, resulting in a fast, smooth raising operation even under heavy loads.
In terms of operator safety, the high-strength cab/canopy meets ROPS, TOPS and OPG Level 1 (top guard) standards.
New LED work lights are mounted on the boom, top front and left side of the cab from the factory. Mesh type front and top cab guards are available as options.
The wiper mount has also been moved to the upper right of the cab support, and the skylight opening has been enlarged to improve operator visibility.
- A two-way dozer blade with float comes standard. The unique blade design ensures the material falls forward and not behind the blade when dozing, so one pass is usually all that is needed.
- The boom, arm and swing bracket all have large cross-section segments for added attachment strength. The bolt-tightened pins firmly lock the boom to prevent the boom top from opening laterally.
- The bucket features a cast-iron idler link, and the box construction dozer supports provide added strength.
- A newly designed cabin improves ergonomics to enable the operator to move the control levers horizontally without twisting their wrist. The enlarged wrist rests keep the operator’s forearms in position, reducing fatigue and allowing for a stable operation.
- When in S-mode (energy conservation), the SK55SRX-7 operates using 26% less fuel when compared with H-mode, and an auto-deceleration switch is standard.