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Digger Blog gets “Hands on at Hanix” (Part One)

Digger Blogger | 18:46, Wed February 16 2011

Following on from my visit to the Executive Hire Show in Coventry, I headed north to Manchester, to spend the following day with the team at Hanix Europe Ltd, where I was invited to get hands on with some of the company’s latest models.

First machine up was the newly launched H17D, which competes in the 1.5 ton sector. Hanix have always had a good market share in this weight class with the popular outgoing H15B-2 and H15B Plus-2 models.

This new machine did not disappoint, being 100% Japanese built, it had a great feeling of quality about it, I tracked the machine out into the sizeable demonstration area and soon discovered the silky smooth hydraulics that are the hallmark of this long established Japanese manufacturer.

In the dig the machine had plenty of grunt, which is supplied by its 11.4kw Kubota diesel engine and remained well balanced even with a heaped bucketful over side. The H17D is an extendable track version of the H16D and comes with the long dipper as a standard fitment. The H17D has an impressive dig depth of 2,495mm and a maximum dump height of 2,435mm.

When retracted the track frame measures just 990mm making it easily transportable, when fully extended the machine width is 1,300mm and the dozer blade has two wings which also extend to give full coverage of the tracks.

As one would expect from a Japanese product, the cab has been ergonomically designed with the comfort of the operator in mind. I am a relatively short chap so legroom is never really an issue for me but I must say I think even larger operators would be well catered for in this cab, with the fully adjustable fabric seat and joystick controls with integrated soft wrist supports. Visibility in all directions is excellent and often essential as due to the nature of mini excavators they are often working in extremely tight spaces

Two speed tracking is selected by a hidden button on top of the dozer blade control, and offset boom function is now performed with a convenient thumb control switch on the left hand lever; this is so handy when the operator wishes to slew the main upper-structure and offset the boom at the same time.

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Another feature that also impressed me was the placement of the boom lift ram, which is located on top of the boom well away from any potential damage that could occur. I know over the years I have seen many mini excavators whose main lift ram has been damaged by contact with either the bucket, or lumps of concrete held within the bucket, this danger is now eliminated by this new design.

Hydraulic bucket hoses are fully protected by routing through the upper boom section and dipper arm.

The wrap-around counterweight offers superb protection to the rear of the machine, and solid sheet metal service covers are fitted throughout.

In summary, as a former Hanix owner, I kind of knew what to expect - they are a good quality machine, well built and with a sensible price, I simply cannot understand why we don’t see many about in the UK.

These machines certainly have a fantastic following in the Scandinavian markets and it’s not hard to see why.

In part two of Digger Gets “Hands on at Hanix”, I will share my experiences on some of the company’s other models and talk about some exciting developments to come.  

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