New mini excavators, telematics from Wacker Neuson

By Murray Pollok18 April 2012

Wacker Neuson's new range of sub-3t mini excavators.

Wacker Neuson's new range of sub-3t mini excavators.

Wacker Neuson used Intermat to introduce three new sub-3 t mini excavators and a new telematics system for use with its compact range of machines and retrofitable to older Wacker models as well as other brand machines.

The three new mini excavators are in the 1.7 t to 2.4 t class and comprise the ET18, ET20 and ET24. These machines - modified versions of which will be launched by Caterpillar under the manufacturing alliance between the two - replace Wacker Neuson's 703, 2003 and 2004 models.

Among improvements to the range is a new hydraulics layout. The two valve blocks used previously have now been combined into one, which will produce a 10% increase in performance, said Adolf Pernkopf, product manager at the Linz factory in Austria where the minis are produced.

Other changes include a larger cab, with 100 mm more legroom for the operator, and an 80 mm wide door. The cabs can be entered from doors on both sides. Dimensions have also been reduced, with the ET18 and ET20 units now under 2.0 m height - the ET18 is 8 cm lower than its predecessor - and the ET24 under 2.4 m.

The equivalent Caterpillar machines have different attachment linkage at the front and do not have the double door cab or the option of fitting Wacker's VDS (Vertical Digging System). The VDS is now sold with around 70% of Wacker Neuson's mini excavators.

The German company is also launching a new telematics system that will be available with its entire compact range of excavators, dumpers, skid steers, compact wheeled loaders and telescopic handlers. Wacker's largest vibratory plate, the DPU 130, will also have the telematics option.

To be launched this summer, an important feature of the system will be the ability to retrofit to brands other than Wacker Neuson, allowing rental companies to operate a single telematics 'platform' for a wide range of equipment.

Wacker said it would be selling the system in 1 to 4 year packages at very reasonable prices.

The system will give fleet managers information on the location of machines, basic engine running/not-running data, information on machine travel speed as well as the ability to 'geofence' the machine for theft protection. Service reminders will also be sent directly to the machine owner by text or e-mail.

At the company's Intermat press conference the company's CEO, Cesk Peksaglam, gave an upbeat assessment of the company's prospects for 2012; "We are still very positive about getting double digit growth this year."

The forecast 11% increase in turnover this year would generate sales of €1.1 billion and he said the company would exceed EBITDA margins of 15% for the second year in a row.

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