Hitachi Construction Machinery Americas Inc.

The 3.5 cubic-yard Hitachi ZW180-7 and ZW180PL-7 wheel loaders feature a 33,047 pound (1,490 kg) operating weight. The ZW180-7 offers either standard or high-lift front arms that excel in most bucket applications.

The ZW180PL-7 offers a parallel link arm configuration. It excels in fork and tool carrier applications by keeping attachments parallel with the ground as the loader arms move up or down. This allows operators increased control while loading or unloading items. The parallel link arm configuration also allows much greater visibility when using forks and other attachments.

“With the three front linkage options, these wheel loaders offer the versatility to handle any application, whether the loader is used to move pallets around the yard, load materials into trucks or manage stockpiles,” said Matt Koester, wheel loader product manager, Hitachi Construction Machinery Americas Inc.

Both models are powered by a proven 173 horsepower (129 kW) Cummins engine.

Tools enhance productivity

Approach speed control and an auto power up function raise productivity to new heights. With approach speed control, the travel speed can be adjusted with fewer pedal operations during loading. This reduces operator fatigue and fuel consumption. Travel speed is controlled through the five-speed transmission during short loading operations. Limited-slip differentials also ensure traction in demanding applications.

The auto power up function increases hill climbing performance. It identifies slopes and adds power to prevent the engine speed from dropping when travelling uphill.

New for the ZW180-7, a payload weighing system uploads information reporting productivity to the ConSite telematic system. Operators can check the weight of the load in the bucket from the inside cab monitor and log the material loaded. It offers four modes — tip-off to truck, tip-off to pile, auto-add and manual-add. These modes allow the payload weighing system to manage loads according to their application. In addition, the unit is equipped with a warning function that reacts when the bucket is overloaded, improving safety during operation.

Operator comfort reduces fatigue

Hitachi Construction Machinery Americas Inc. improved the overall comfort of the ZW180-7 and ZW180PL-7 with larger and quieter cabs. A seat-mounted armrest with ergonomic electric hydraulic controls, ergonomically located switches, adjustable seat and mirrors further enhance operator comfort. An 8-inch (20.3 cm) anti-glare LCD monitor with Bluetooth radio allows hands-free phone capacity.

Designing cabs with panoramic visibility helps create a safe and comfortable working environment. The position and design of the cab pillars, the layout of the monitor and switch panel have been improved to ensure a wider field of view from the cab.

Hitachi Construction Machinery Americas Inc. takes visibility a step further with its Aerial Angle peripheral vision camera system. It provides a wide 270-degree bird’s-eye view of the machine’s immediate environment. Aerial Angle includes three cameras mounted on the rear of the machine. Operators can see both the left and right sides of the machine on the monitor inside the cab.

Hitachi Construction Machinery Americas Inc. is always exploring new ways to increase safety on the job site. The latest innovation is an optional rear obstacle detection system with automatic speed reduction on the Hitachi ZW-7 wheel loader product line. It offers rear object detection alerts to improve safety and help reduce potential damage on the job site.

Serviceability improves reliability and uptime

Design enhancements help protect critical components from the environment. An inner element of the engine air filter protects the engine from dust ingress while cleaning the outer element. Even the air conditioner is protected with a sealed internal filter that prevents intrusion of dust into the air conditioner unit.

Airborne debris can become an issue in many wheel loader operations, often leading to decreased cooling system performance. Hitachi Construction Machinery Americas Inc. addressed this with an intelligent automatic reversing hydraulically driven fan and wide-fin radiators which prevent clogging.

Daily maintenance has been simplified with easy access filters and improved access to components.

Using telematic tools to monitor machine health also helps boost uptime. ConSite, which remotely monitors operational status and alerts owners and operators to upcoming maintenance needs, is making a leap forward.

ConSite Air is a new optional add-on that allows the wheel loader to be diagnosed remotely, as well as remote updates of the software. No matter where a machine is located, the servicing dealer can quickly diagnose issues that may arise, leading to increased uptime. A ConSite response team is on standby to rapidly resolve issues as they emerge.

It’s rare to find a dad who gives his daughter Sun Tzu’s “The Art of War” to read rather than the usual teen fluff, but Richard and Monique Smith are no ordinary parents. And this is no ordinary family.

As soon as their daughter Savannah was old enough, she was working and learning the difference aspects of her parents’ Chesterfield, Virginia, companies. She’s grown from sweeping the floors, taking out the trash, and weed eating, to now getting new experiences in building and interior design. Their younger daughters, Sheyenne (13) and Sheridan (9) are headed enthusiastically down that same path. “Balance and income statements are a part of our childrens’ growing up,” says Richard.

In 1995 Richard started his first company with the purchase of a single dump truck and hauled clay during the day, fly ash at night. Whenever a client asked if he could do more, Richard’s answer was always “no problem.” And if necessary, he proceeded to acquire any equipment, knowledge or personnel he needed.

Monique and Richard met in 1996 and soon after, Monique ran the books for the company. But rather than settle into the typical roles where the husband runs field operations and the wife runs the office, Richard and Monique had a better idea. Monique had grown up in a construction family. She not only knew how to keep the books, she knew the equipment, the manpower needs, and how jobs operated. With the background Monique had established, she identified a need to diversify the company into different entities. She is now the CEO and 100% owner of several of the companies.

Today this family of companies includes RJ Smith Construction, RJ Smith Demolition and RJ Smith General Contracting, all run by Richard. Monique owns and operates USA Civil and USA Iron and Metal. Savannah is the CEO of USA Materials. All together the network of companies offer demolition, environmental services, site work and infrastructure, utility infrastructure, trucking, general contracting, emergency services and interstate snow removal.

Each company is vertically integrated and has a distinct specialty and focus, but a single job may involve several entities—a strategy that goes back to finding a solution for every customer request. For example, when the demolition company takes down a building, they can use USA Materials to crush and screen the concrete, which will be sold retail or used as aggregate in one of USA Civil’s projects. The rebar and metal extracted from the demolition will be, packaged and sold by USA Iron and Metal. And if you need a new commercial building on the site, that’s where RJ Smith Construction and General Contracting step up to the plate. USA Civil does a lot of work building infrastructure for the grid and energy companies but can tap into equipment, people or expertise from one of the other divisions when necessary.

Women owned advantages

Having two women in ownership naturally attracts other talented women who might be hesitant to work in a male-dominated business and sets the bar at a new level. “We’ve always been taught that you attract what you put out,” says Savannah. “I think entrepreneurial people are attracted to a positive environment. That’s why we don’t have a problem finding good people, because good people want to be here,” she says. “In fact, most of the company’s divisions are run by women and women make up about 20 percent of the workforce,” says Monique. “There are many different areas they can get involved with if they keep an open mind because it’s not just grit work. We have a lot of women doing a lot of different things,” she says.

As an example, Monique cites Zoe, the daughter of Jody, vice president of construction for the last 17 years. “Zoe came on board, and in one year what she’s done is impressive. We put her in charge of the two wedding venues we are building, and she is handling it extraordinarily. I don’t have to push her. She is just on it. And she’s young, right out of college, managing big, multi-million-dollar facilities with me from start to finish.”

“We like to give the employee the opportunity to grow and make decisions,” says Monique. “They start from the bottom and are then able to grow and develop into their full potential.”

Unlike many construction companies, USA and RJ Smith Companies have no problem attracting young, ambitious people. “If you look at our demographics, it is awesome how many young people we have,” says Richard. “They all started at the bottom with high-intensity labor, but we are creating the next generation of managers.”

Like-minded dealer

The idea that good people enjoy working together extends to more than just the employees of the USA and RJ Smith Companies—most notably to its dealer for excavators, cranes and wheel loaders— Link-Belt Mid-Atlantic.

In 2018, prior to the start of this relationship, the USA and RJ Smith companies had worked almost exclusively with a dealer of another brand of equipment. All combined, the various entities owned a fleet of about 125 pieces of equipment, including loaders, dozers, excavators, skid steers, rollers and GPS-enabled units. “Hitachi construction equipment, specifically the loaders, seemed to be the superior product,” said Richard. “We were getting more bang for our buck, and we try to buy the right pieces so we can take care of our customers.”

But when it comes to vendors, a good machine is not enough. Lots of OEMs make good machines, but Richard says he also looks for dealers (and for that matter, customers) who share his passion for excellence—”iron sharpening iron.” That’s why the sale of one Hitachi loader in 2018 turned into the acquisition of 19 additional Hitachi loaders from 2019 to 2021, ranging in size from the smallest ZW80 to the ZW220.

“Link Belt Mid-Atlantic has a similar team mindset,” says Richard. “That’s one of the reasons everybody meshes well, whether it’s the president or the general manager or the mechanic. It’s almost like we’re talking to somebody at one of our companies.”

And it’s not just a matter of good feelings, but smart business. “You have to have great teams from top to bottom,” says Richard. “A weak vendor can take you out. The reason we work with Chris Beal (their Hitachi construction equipment salesman at Mid-Atlantic) and his team is that they take care of our business. And they also just happen to sell a really good wheel loader.”

“If we can present them with a good package, it allows them to make better decisions moving forward,” says Beal. “What’s nice about working with companies like RJ Smith and USA Civil is that they help us become better. Their partnership has helped us grow.”

Perhaps the greatest testament to the strength of the relationship between the USA and RJ Smith Companies and Link-Belt Mid-Atlantic is that the dealer insisted that RJ Smith build their new 17,000 square foot facility. The reason was simple: the dealership knows that RJ Smith and USA Civil would deliver outstanding results. “We got a perfect, grade-A, top-of-the-line facility,” says Beal.

Upgrading to Hitachi Construction Equipment

“Richard and Monique gave us the opportunity to show the ZW180-6, which is a little bigger than the old Kawasaki 150,” says Beal. “But given the type of work they do it was more productive for about the same price they were getting smaller machines for. That’s how they ended up with 19 Hitachi loaders.”

“The bulk of our loader fleet is in the Hitachi ZW180-size,” says Jeremy Setelin, vice-president of USA Civil. “We use the big loaders for materials processing. They are all equipped with Loadrite scales from Trimble, and they’re used primarily to push around big heavy concrete chunks all day long.”

In the Chesterfield concrete processing facility, the concrete demolition waste is crushed and screened right next to USA Iron and Metal. Rebar and other debris is extracted from the rubble and operators use the ZW80s to load it into Gaylord boxes that when full weigh up to 2,500 pounds.

Along with the wheel loaders, the USA and RJ Smith companies have 22 excavators in the field. “That’s a lot of equipment from one dealer, but they do a really good job servicing the equipment and communicating what our needs are for the future, so we don’t have any emergencies,” says Setelin. The ease of working with Sumitomo financing is another reason USA and RJ Smith companies chose the Hitachi loaders, says Setelin.

Given the multiple and sometimes over-lapping jobs of the different USA and RJ Smith entities, a wheel loader that could be useful in wide range of applications was desired. “We are not going to buy a machine for just one thing. If the materials business were to stop tomorrow, we could take those wheel loaders and put them to work, elsewhere.” says Setelin.

In 2020 Setelin also integrated the Hitachi ConSite telematics feed into a Trimble Pulse telematics program that embraces all the company’s construction and trucking assets. The telematics allow anybody with access and a smart phone to track the equipment, schedule maintenance and communicate with the dealer when there is an emergency.

“With the telematics, I don’t have to keep track of so many things in my head and the operators don’t have to wait for their foreman to make equipment decisions on site,” Setelin says. “It has empowered our relationships with vendors and in the end makes my job a lot easier,” he says.

Ultimately the choice came down to performance and operator preference.

“The operators wanted something that is more comfortable and responsive,” says Beal. “With the Hitachis you don’t have a large, complicated computer screen. You don’t have to punch a bunch of buttons or run through a lot of scenarios. You can run everything with your two hands on the joysticks. It’s not overbuilt or over-complicated,” he says.

Radical truth

To keep this ambitious group of people and this diverse range of businesses doing their best work requires what Richard calls a “radical truth” environment. “You only need to open the Bible to learn our value system,” he says. “We will tell you exactly how we feel. That can make you uncomfortable, or it can make you better. If people know where we stand, they can make better decisions for themselves. Some people are attracted to that, and some are not. But you don’t have to micro-manage the ones who are attracted to that. You can macro-manage them, and we’re a macro-manage type of company.”

“It is important that they know what kind of company they’re coming to work for,” says Monique. “We’re very team-oriented and we rely heavily on each other, because we have multiple companies, one person doesn’t have to necessarily do one thing. They’re constantly changing hats.”

“You could drive a truck, and if you want a career change to become a superintendent in the general contracting division, that happens here,” Richard says. “You don’t want to lose that employee you spent 20 years developing, so you give them the opportunity to switch jobs within the same culture. A lot of organizations can’t do that.

“Here employees have multiple opportunities. Everybody is critical to every operation and cross-trained as much as possible. If you build a company around that, you don’t lose customers and you don’t lose employees,” says Richard. “Larger companies hire more people to perform smaller roles. We hire fewer people who can do more.”

Safety and environment

A good portion of the companies’ work comes from federal and state governments as well as other infrastructure clients. These entities place safety and environmental protection on the top of their priority list, as the USA and RJ Smith companies do as well. The companies in the RJ Smith fold have an experience modification rate (EMR) of 0.72, which, Setelin says, is almost unheard of in such a wide-ranging scope of services. USA Civil follows suit with a strong EMR of 0.81.

Each company has a diligent safety team, daily toolbox talks, and twice a year conducts their own safety summits. Because the companies see everyone as a safety officer, this time allows for concerns to be voiced and annual training requirements to be met. Everyone is trained in OSHA 10 requirements, and most supervisors go through OSHA 30 training. Before any of the company truck drivers hit the road alone, they spend their first week riding with a veteran truck driver.

As for environmental protections, the crews are all trained and have certificates in erosion control. Some staff are also trained and certified in the more rigorous Virginia DOT and federal government standards. “We want that integrated throughout the organization, so that we’re confident in whoever goes out to do the work,” says Richard.

God, Family, Country

The family and companies’ fervor to be involved in their community has manifested into the largest flag in Virginia, located just seconds from the USA Companies headquarters. The flag soars at 212 feet, representing their following of the “extra degree” philosophy, and can be seen from I-95 and Route 288. The flag is located at Unity Park and has become a visible symbol of unity and national values in the area.

The “extra degree” philosophy states that at 211-degrees Fahrenheit, water is merely hot. “At 212 degrees it turns to steam, and steam is what drives locomotives,” says Richard. This philosophy is based on the best-selling book 212, The Extra Degree, by Sam Parker and Mac Anderson.

Their family values of God, Family, and Country flow deeply. In a speech Savannah gave at a local event, she showcases their support of community, especially the military and first responders, by stating, “These brave men and women that we stand behind and love are the reason it is possible for our nation to prosper independently and stand securely. Many things change, but one thing that will always stay true is the fact that we are the UNITED States. Our desire to unify and propel forward together is, and will always be, stronger than our faults and divisions because there is only one nation under God.”

This story first appears in Hitachi’s Fall 2021 issue of FOCUS magazine. Download the magazine here.

Seward Township, in the state of Illinois, has replaced their motor grader with a new Hitachi ZW180-6 wheel loader.

“We bought the Hitachi loader last summer after months of researching what our needs and budget would fit,” says Anne Vickery, highway commissioner for Illinois’ Kendall County.

Jason Vickery, the township’s road supervisor (and Anne’s son), says the decision to dispose of their motor grader and replace it with new equipment was driven by the loss of gravel roads in the township.

“When we bought the grader, we had more than 36 miles of gravel roads that needed attention. Now, we have only one. The grader got a lot of use for a while. However, in 2003, our township experienced significant growth and we began to pave our roads. Grader use fell year over year,” Anne says.

In winter 2018, the township began searching for a more versatile piece of equipment. They put out a request for a quote to four heavy equipment manufacturers. “We reviewed specs and demo’d the loaders when possible. Numerous times, features that came standard on the Hitachi were add-ons on competitive equipment,” Anne says. In the end, they purchased a Hitachi ZW180-6 wheel loader from Illinois Truck and Equipment located in Morris, Illinois.

“We appreciate the size of the bucket; we can now load salt into trucks more quickly. Its power allows us to lift heavy culverts, rocks and mounds of dirt with ease. Our other equipment doesn’t have the power or capacity to perform some of the jobs we need completed. Oftentimes, we found ourselves having to rent larger equipment or borrow from another township to complete a project. Overall, the Hitachi loader makes our jobs easier and safer,” Anne says.

Hitachi to the rescue

Seward Township uses the ZW180-6 loader for snow plowing, truck feeding, lift and carry, and light earthmoving applications. A hydraulic quick coupler allows for the quick exchange of attachments. “With the loader, we also remove and replace large culverts, move huge rocks, remove fallen trees and other debris from the road after floods and major storms,” Anne says.

However, shortly after acquiring the ZW180-6, the township added another and unexpected application to the machine’s repertoire: rescue.

Features that came standard on the Hitachi were add-ons on competitive equipment… Overall, the Hitachi loader makes our jobs easier and safer.
Anne Vickery, Seward Twp Highway Commissioner, Kendall County IL.

Flood waters swept a car and its driver into a creek. “The young man was standing on top of his car while it was still moving through the water,” recalls Anne. “Our township’s Emergency Services contacted Jason, who was able to pluck the young driver off the top of his car with the bucket. Now that’s versatility!”

Increased power and fuel efficiency

“The machine’s new Tier 4 Final Cummins engine does not require a diesel particulate filter, thereby reducing fuel consumption and maintenance costs,” says Nick Stipanovich, sales representative for Illinois Truck and Equipment.

The machine’s selective catalytic reduction system uses a simple diesel exhaust fluid system for efficient operation without high engine temperatures. Eliminating the diesel particulate filter components with the SCR system also opens working space in the engine compartment for easier access.

An automatic power-up function responsively increases engine RPM when the loader slows down due to uphill travel. An auto shutdown feature provides fuel and emissions savings. Overall, the Dash 6 model boasts a 7% fuel reduction in V-shape loading and 5% fuel cost in load-and-carry operations.

The transmission is automatic and features a proprietary excavator style load-sensing system. This feature, coupled with a work mode selector, helps deliver the right amount of power for the application. A shift-to-hold switch provides extra traction or torque by overriding automatic transmission settings to maintain the current gear until the switch is pressed again.

“A standard limited slip rear axle helps the operator maintain constant control of the machine and focus on the task at hand,” Stipanovich says.

Cab enhancements

The loader features a rollover protection system, enclosed cab with sound suppression, great visibility, market-leading technologies and intuitive controls.

“Rear-view cameras on equipment is essential nowadays and we appreciate the productivity and safety advantages we gain from having 360 degrees of visibility courtesy of the expansive glass and rear-view camera,” Jason says. “The camera pans out wide and lets us see objects and people located close to the rear of the machine and low to the ground. Lines on the in-cab screen mark out every five feet, which aids in safer and faster machine positioning.”

A proximity detection system also provides audible and visual alerts for stationary and moving objects up to 20 feet away from the loader.

The single, pilot-assisted control lever and an auxiliary function lever plus the in-cab operator-friendly LCD color monitor provide intuitive controls. The monitor displays useful information at a glance, such as fluid levels, oil temperature, power mode and images captured by the rear-view camera.

Technology reveals hidden data

To help maximize productivity, Hitachi provides ZW180-6 owners with a lifetime subscription to Hitachi’s Global e-Service remote monitoring solution. It allows for remote monitoring of the equipment via Owner’s Site, which provides 24/7 online access and ConSite, a precise asset management suite of tools that helps owners extract maximum value and peak productivity on the job. Detailed data reports on working hours, fuel consumption, operating mode ratio and maintenance scheduling are immediately available. With this real-time data, owners can make more informed decisions, especially when it comes to:

A winter warrior

Snow removal is the wheel loader’s primary task, so it is essential that the machine be optimized for working in the snow.

The Hitachi ZW180 comes equipped with a strong heater, an optional heated seat, and optional cold start feature via an air intake heater. Front and rear wipers and washers keep glass clean in snowy weather. “Plus, large, heated mirrors give a better view even in winter,” Jason says.

Machines engaged in snow removal applications work morning, noon and night. Seeing and being seen are essential to safe, efficient operation. “We added additional lighting for safe operation at night and in low light environments. Drivers and pedestrians need to be able to see us, and extra lighting is a great help,” Jason says.

To clear roads of snow, Illinois Truck and Equipment introduced the township to AMI Attachments’ Reactor Wing Blade. The attachment features a quick attach on both the front angle blade and wing blade so each blade can be used in tandem or individually — an industry first.

“The Hitachi ZW180 in combination with the AMI Reactor Wing Blade is essentially two valuable machines in one,” Stipanovich says. The ZW180 performs as a conventional wheel loader during the mild season but transforms to do the plowing work previously required of a grader. The Hitachi ZW180 open center load sensing hydraulic system along with standard third valve hydraulics made the integration of the AMI wing very straightforward.

“We have yet to test it in a major snow event but have no doubt with the power of the machine and the plow attachments, it will be more than adequate for the job,” Anne says.


This story first appeared in Hitachi’s Winter 2020 issue of FOCUS magazine, also available as a PDF, here on our website.

J.D. Raymond Transport expands into concrete market

When J.D. Raymond Transport acquired Haley Construction, they needed dependable, rugged equipment to expand into the concrete crushing market. They chose to replace the existing equipment with Hitachi wheel loaders, a decision based on the breakout force, visibility and operator comfort of the Hitachi ZW180 and ZW220. But it was the strong dealer relationship that sealed the deal.

The history

In 1999, John Raymond founded J.D. Raymond Transport with a single truck and trailer. He began by hauling sludge and waste from Massachusetts to Maine. In the years that followed, he grew the business by adding trucks and owner-operators and expanding the field of materials they produced.

Today, J.D. Raymond Transport is focused on producing and transporting its own materials such as bark chips, mulch and firewood. Raymond was looking to expand the business again in early 2020 and set his sights on acquiring Haley Construction, a Maine-based transit mix concrete manufacturer. He was particularly interested in one of this 85-year-old business’ divisions, Redi-Rock of Central Maine, which produces small and large wall blocks that are all approved for municipal construction by the state Department of Transportation.

In April 2020, J.D. Raymond Transport acquired Haley Construction, now known as Haley’s. The three Haley’s concrete plants in Sangerville, Farmington and Hartland, Maine, were recently supplemented significantly with the purchase of another plant in Monmouth, Maine. Raymond brought on Tyler Erickson, a friend of the family, as general manager of Haley’s, and a few months into the acquisition it was time to replace the three wheel loaders used to move materials for concrete production.Hitachi's Dash-6 cab provides industry-best visibility for loading trucks and processors.

Changing gears

“These were our mainline loaders for plants in Monmouth, Farmington and Sangerville,” Erickson explains. The company was considering Hitachi and two other competitor products before purchasing the loaders.

Haley’s first demo’d the Hitachi ZW180-6 and, because they wanted a larger machine for the Sangerville plant, they also tried out the Hitachi ZW220-6. Erickson says operators leaned toward Hitachi; in particular, the operators said they appreciated the comfort and feel of the machines. The final decision came down to the Hitachi’s excellent access to the engine and service points and good visibility from the cab.

“I like the way they dig. It goes right into a pile of stone the same as sand — it slides right in, smooth and easy,” operator Reginald Page says. “You just fill the bucket and back away. It has really good traction; it’s heavy and balanced enough to hold the back end down when the bucket is full. And it’s got great visibility.”

Erikson says the operators reported that the Hitachis had better breakout force and more engine power. “And we actually saved money by going with Hitachi. It was a no-brainer at that point.”

With some of the competitor machines, “you always felt like you were going in blind. You can’t see what you’re doing very well, especially loading trucks,” Erickson says. “The Hitachis offer great visibility. It’s a good, comfortable cab, there’s plenty of power, there’s great controls, and I like the speed of the hydraulics,” he adds.

Raymond also got in and tried out the Hitachi Dash-6 wheel loaders to give his stamp of approval. “I liked the visibility, I liked the power, I liked the ergonomics and the way it felt — it’s a pretty rugged machine. It’s a really nice machine,” he says. Ultimately, Haley’s opted to lease two Hitachi ZW180s and one ZW220 specifically for Sangerville, which is the company’s only rock-crushing operation.

The Hitachi loaders offer great visibility. It’s a good, comfortable cab, there’s plenty of power, there’s great controls, and I like the speed of the hydraulics. – Tyler Erikson, general manager of Haley Construction.

Going the extra mile

In this case, the decision to go with Hitachi wheel loaders was also dependent on the service provided by the dealership, Frank Martin Sons, which has branches in Fort Kent and Madison, Maine.

That service is supported by ConSite, Hitachi’s reporting and analytics system that monitors operational performance of the loaders. “ConSite allows us to be proactive on the service side,” says Kris LePage, manager of the Frank Martin Sons Madison branch and an outside salesman. “We can see hours on machines, and we can see trouble codes sometimes even before they know about them.”

“Service is the name of the game,” he continues. “I always say that I make the first sale, but it’s parts and service that come behind me and sell the rest.” The dealership handles all scheduled maintenance and any problems that arise utilizing their mobile service trucks.

“Sales-wise, Kris put more into this than any other salesman,” Erickson says. “The service and the work that these guys put in has been second to none, including anybody I’ve dealt with in any area of this industry. Kris followed up, was here to answer questions and was all over it, so the service side of Frank Martin Sons was great from the start.”

LePage — who started out as a heavy equipment operator and then worked as a technician before getting into sales — spends much of his time on the road traveling out to see customers, many of them remote. “I have a beautiful office where I get to work,” LePage says about the company truck where he traverses the Maine countryside on his way to see clients.

Forging ahead

“We’re very happy with the Hitachi machines. We’d certainly consider Hitachi if we need more,” Raymond says. Haley’s, which produced 60,000 yards of concrete in 2019, easily surpassed that amount for 2020.

The Hitachi loaders helped support that increased productivity.

Haley’s recently installed a parking lot wall at Puritan Medical Products, which produces COVID-19 testing swabs. “We just did a big wall for Puritan. It was a huge project, and we sold all the blocks for this one wall and it wraps all around the parking lot. We’ve had some awesome work this year,” Erickson says.

Even in a difficult economy, it’s all that Haley’s can do to keep up with demand. “Right now, our inventory for our blocks is across the board in the red.” Erickson notes. “I have salesmen that I basically can’t let them go out and sell because we can’t keep up with the orders that they’ve already taken. We’re extremely busy. Good news, for sure.”

This story first appeared in Hitachi’s Winter 2020 issue of FOCUS magazine, also available as a PDF, here on our website.

Construction Equipment magazine revealed its annual “Top 100 New Products” award winners, announcing the Hitachi ZW180-6 wheel loader as a winner in the Heavy Earthmoving Division. The announcement can be seen on Construction Equipment’s website. To learn more about the Hitachi ZW180-6 wheel loader visit the HCMA ZW180-6 site.

Introduced in Spring of 2019, Hitachi Construction Machinery Loaders America’s (HCMA) updated ZW180 — a member of the Dash-6 line-up of mid-sized wheel loaders — weighs in at 32,100 lbs. 14,560 kg), delivers 26,530 lbs. of breakout force and is powered by a Cummins 173 HP Tier 4F QSB6.7 engine. Customers are offered a choice of a 3.7 cu. yd. (2.8 m3) general purpose bucket or a 4.2 cu. yd. (3.2 m3) material handling bucket. Able to lift as much as 23,000 lbs. (10,440 kg), the ZW180 can reach loading heights up to 12.9 ft. (3.9 m).

Explore More

Check out our latest promotional video for the ZW180-6!

Featuring interviews with sales rep Adam Mikell of Cowin Equipment, and his customer Brandon Harp, president of B2 Contracting, this promotional video will give you a sneak peek of first hand experience owning and operating a Hitachi ZW180-6.

Click here to view.

Hitachi Construction Machinery Loaders America’s updated ZW180- a member of the Dash-6 line-up of mid-sized wheel loaders- weighs in at 32,000 lbs (14,560 kg), delivers 26,530 lbs of breakout force, and is powered by a Cummins 200 hp Tier 4F QSB6.7 engine. Customers are offered a choice of a 3.4 cu. yd. (2.6 cu. m) general purpose bucket or a 4.2 cu. yd. (3.2 cu. m) material handling bucket. Able to life as much as 3,000 lbs. (1,360 kg), the ZW180 can reach loading heights up to 12.9 ft (3.9 m).

A key element in the ZW180-6’s design for versatility is Hitachi’s new power mode switch, conveniently mounted on the steering joystick. A touch of the power mode switch gives the operator immediate access to additional rim-pull and breakout force for digging into heavy piles or for climbing grades while carrying a full load. Available in any auto and manual ranges, the switch to power mode instantly produces a 10 percent burst in engine rpm. The power mode allows faster acceleration without limiting the loader’s top speed on flat runs. The extra power also boosts hydraulic flow to allow quicker bucket lifts for faster cycle times.

To read more about the ZW180-6 featured in Construction Equipment Magazine, click here.

With the addition of the updated ZW180 to its Dash-6 line-up of mid-sized wheel loaders, Hitachi Construction Machinery Loaders America, Inc has claimed a place among premium production machines for top tier construction contractors, farm operations, and infrastructure fleets.

Hitachi developed the Dash-6 Series to compete with the industry’s most productive and durable equipment brands. Designed to serve as a true workhorse in loader applications, the ZW180-6 loader is built to stand up to long, hard-working days while adapting seamlessly to a full range of varied loader tasks.

Weighing in at 32,100 pounds, the ZW180-6 delvers 26,530 pounds of breakout force, powered by a Cummins 173 horsepower Tier 4 QSB6.7 engine. Customers are offered a choice of a 3.7 cubic-yard general purpose bucket or a 4.2 cubic-yard material handling bucket. Able to lift as much as 3,000 pounds, the ZW180-6 can reach loading heights up to 9 feet.

Click to read the full Hitachi Partner Solutions article on the ZW180-6.

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