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Tough test for the EC233

Alf Sundberg, an excavator operator at trucking company Sundbergs Åkeri AB in Sweden, was one of the very first to test engcon's new EC233 tiltrotator for excavators up to 33 tonnes. The test began in the 2016-2017 winter with one of the first prototypes fitted on a Cat 325 Alf was using to build logging roads.

The EC233 did really well on this tough assignment in frozen, rocky terrain. In early June, Alf took possession of a brand new Cat 330 F and moved the tiltrotator over to his new machine.

"The 233 has a great many working hours under its belt, and despite this winter's adverse weather conditions it still feels really stable," says Alf when we meet him the day after he got his new Caterpillar 330 F.

The first day's work involved excavating and reinforcing a minor road with rock masses in a village in the east of Sweden.shut up Maybe not as brutal as building logging roads in minus 25 degrees, but still a pretty serious test as the compacted road surface was hard. The Caterpillar is also fitted with an encon grading bucket, and the machine had to work hard as Alf methodically dug up the old road surface. He uses a Leica excavator guidance system to help him maintain the right height/depth.

"Unfortunately, they didn't have time to fit the rotation sensor before they delivered the excavator, but I'll soon get a visit from an engcon technician to help me with that," says Alf.

Alf takes a few more bucketfuls and thanks to the tiltrotator he doesn't have to move the machine even if he needs to dig alongside it (offset) or when he digs out the roadside ditches which drain away any water that risks building up under the road. The ability to rotate the bucket also means better reach when backfilling as Alf can place the masses further away from the machine. Thanks to the excavator guidance system, Alf doesn't need anyone to help him check the height/depth of his excavations, and he's even able to use the bucket to roll out the fibre membrane himself as the excavation proceeds.

"Well, I never really need to get out of the cab at all during the workday," says Alf with a smile.

The excavation spoil is constantly driven away by colleague Markus Nordlund, who shuttles back and forth in his Ljungby L15 wheel loader picking up spoil and dumping it on a nearby bank. When Alf is done, another colleague, Per-Arne Edholm fills rock masses with his Volvo L70 wheel loader, and during our brief visit, the excavation moved at least 20 metres.

Anders Sundberg, one of the co-owners of Sundbergs Åkeri, is our guide for the visit and he tells us that the company has been involved in many tests for engcon over the years.

"It's always really exciting to test engcon's new products and we have several drivers who know exactly what to do when it comes to prototype testing. The drivers understand that ongoing feedback and a constant dialogue with engcon's staff are important," says Anders.

This is one of the keys to engcon's R&D efforts – constant dialogue with product users. Together with advanced computer technology and laboratory testing, it's what helps engcon create robust, profitable products for excavators.

"The 233 has a great many working hours under its belt, and despite this winter's adverse weather conditions it still feels really stable."

Alf Sundberg, Sundbergs Åkeri AB

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