Crushing, Features

Kobelco SK380XD excavator: maximum efficiency and durability


The Kobelco SK380XD excavator is built for extreme durability and is engineered to operate in the harshest conditions, making it ideal for quarry operations.

The Kobelco SK380XD excavator is the heaviest in its class at 37,700 kg and promises unbeatable fuel efficiency, delivering industry leading productivity to the most demanding worksites.

The SK380XD is purpose-built, featuring a robust machine body and substantial additional reinforcements to all key areas of stress and wear across the boom, arm, underbody, and undercarriage.

It also has thicker triple plated reinforcement in all key areas of mechanical stress, for unbeatable durability and longevity. This ensures that the SK380XD can last in the harshest of applications.

Likewise, the arm foot boss shape has also been modified and improved to efficiently distribute loading, delivering increased strength for demanding tasks, like rock ripping and quarry mineral extraction.

A specially designed full-length rock guard is installed on the inside of the dipper arm on top of additional steel plating.

The Kobelco features a bucket breakout force of 244 kN and arm tearout force of 180 kN, as well as a powerful slew torque of 120 kN which ensures maximum productivity levels.

“The new SK380XD is the result of Kobelco’s continuous pursuit of being a leader in excavator design and durability,” Kobelco Construction Machinery Australia general manager of product and distribution Mark Johnson said.

“It’s engineered for the most extreme environments around the world. It also builds on Kobelco’s excellent reputation for machine reliability, taking it to a new level by providing a factory installed, comprehensive set of structural reinforcements — not to mention class-leading digging performance and fuel efficiency.

“The result is a machine that is the perfect choice for quarry work, infrastructure contractors, and civil construction.”

The SK380XD in action

It was the SK380XD’s innovative technology, Japanese quality and reliability and fuel efficiency that made it an attractive choice for production at Australian Civil Management Group’s Clarence Sands Quarry in the Blue Mountains, NSW.

Currently, the quarry operates two Kobelco SK380XD excavators for production work.

“Clarence Sands is in its third year of operation,” Sydney Trucks & Machinery (STM) sales manager Mark Morris said. “The SK380XDLC-10 was the obvious choice when they decided to replace their 2020 SK350LC-10.

“Key attributors (includes:) no breakdowns, nil downtime, fuel savings, fast dig cycle times, reduced cost of ownership,” Morris noted.

Australian Civil Management Group director Michael Urus spoke to Quarry about the new excavators.

According to Urus, the quarry initially purchased one Kobelco SK350 excavator, which “did the first four months in production without missing a beat. Hence, we went and bought two more.”

The initial machine was traded in for the SK380XD. Likewise, the quarry was increasing production, therefore the decision was made to invest in two SK380XD excavators to keep up with demand.

“The SK350 got up to about two and a half thousand hours and the new SK380XD was more spec’d for a quarry,” Urus said.

“The arm was slightly beefier, and Kobelco had made some changes to the machine that looked very interesting and more useful for the application, hence why we went for the heavier specification new model that had come out,” he explained.

“The SK380XDLC-10 Excavator is ideal for quarry applications, with its strengthened heavy-duty boom and dipper,” Sydney Trucks & Machinery (STM) area manager, north Sydney Peter Moore added.

Moore has been selling machines for over 40 years and has recently sold his 1500th Kobelco excavator.

Moore is considered a legend in the industry and as has been affectionately nicknamed “Pistol Pete” at STM to reflect his hard work.

“Being purpose built for handling repeated large capacity loads, adding extra durability to a long-life machine,” he continued.

“The undercarriage was also built up with extra strengthening ribs, more track guides, and highly durable chains, also boosting durability in severe working conditions.”

Fuel efficiency and reliability

As with any quarry operation, excavators must wait idle between dump truck rotations.

Therefore, Clarence Sands Quarry required an excavator that could offer fuel economy as well as reliability.

“(For) sitting idle and waiting between dump trucks, Kobelco’s fuel economy was really appealing,” Urus said.

“Hence why it made a bit of sense to go for the machine that had the better fuel economy waiting for dump trucks in between to load.”

The SK380XD delivers an average fuel consumption of under 20 L/hr in typical Australian heavy digging conditions.

The boom to arm hydraulic regeneration system improves fuel efficiency while reducing cycle times and boosting productivity.

The SK380XD has three work modes which allows the operator to select the best mode for the job at hand. They can choose from heavy, standard and an ECO-mode which automatically optimises digging efficiency, delivering a 24 per cent reduction in fuel consumption.

“Kobelco Excavators have long held a reputation of power, speed, and fast cycle times,” Moore noted.

“All this, with excellent fuel efficiency, Kobelco’s matching of modern engines to compliment excellent hydraulic performance which results in less fuel burned while still retaining class leading performance,” he explained.

Likewise, “the SK380XD’S mechanicals, developed from previous models, have had a long history of minimum downtime, excellent reliability, and economic serviceability,” Moore added.

“This leads to lower costs per hour for the owners.”

According to Urus, in addition to fuel economy, the Kobelco excavators are very reliable machines.

“It’s certainly been a very reliable machine. We’ve never had to contact anybody for after service. I’m sure they’ve got very good service backup (but we’ve) never had to contact them,” Urus said.

“It’s doing a great job doing production,” he added.

Australian Civil Management Group has a strong relationship with Caterpillar, which provides a large portion of its equipment but after a business partner recommended Kobelco, they thought they would invest.

The partner “pointed out the benefits of using a Kobelco and we thought we’d give it a crack with them,” said Urus.

“We are certainly impressed with how the Kobelco has performed,” he added.

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