rocket POCKET

Sim­ple re­ally is bet­ter with the Case CX26c ex­ca­va­tor, which sets about its tasks with min­i­mum fuss, writes Evarn Covich I was im­pressed with the strength and break­out force when it came to excavating.

Earthmovers & Excavators - - New Machinery Review -

When it comes to talk­ing about ex­ca­va­tors, Case Con­struc­tion Equip­ment is not a name that read­ily springs to mind but I’m sure that most of you out there are fa­mil­iar with the range of trac­tors and load­ers as well as var­i­ous other plant equip­ment that this com­pany has man­u­fac­tured for over 175 years.

In 1957 it pro­duced its first trac­tor loader/ back­hoe con­fig­u­ra­tion with the Case Model

320, so it’s not sur­pris­ing that it moved into the ex­ca­va­tor mar­ket around 10 years later. I was in­ter­ested to see what the re­sults were from more than 50 years of ex­ca­va­tor man­u­fac­tur­ing, as this was one of the few brands of dig­ger that I had never had the op­por­tu­nity to op­er­ate. With this in mind, I set off down to Kelvin Grove in Bris­bane to check out the lat­est ac­qui­si­tion for Mine Boss Earth­works in the form of a 2.5-tonne CX26c mini ex­ca­va­tor.

I ar­rived on the job site where the Mine Boss boys had al­ready been hard at work for a num­ber of hours. They parked the ma­chine on a con­crete pad that was later to be part of our test­ing ground and im­me­di­ately be­gan to apol­o­gise for get­ting the ma­chine dirty be­fore I had op­por­tu­nity get there and pho­to­graph it. I as­sured them that it was quite al­right, it’s not of­ten that I get to test a new ma­chine in a proper work­ing en­vi­ron­ment, plus I wouldn’t have to worry so much about get­ting it dirty my­self.

IN­SPEC­TION

As I started my walk around I no­ticed the track frame looks to be well con­structed and a good length as I start to check the ma­chine out from ground up. Dou­ble flange rollers aid in keep­ing the tracks firmly in po­si­tion and the top of the track frame is an­gled slightly to help al­le­vi­ate dirt build up.

The blade looks to be made of a sturdy box con­struc­tion and sits quite a long way for­ward of the tracks with a good size shield sit­ting over the top of the ram.

I open the rear door to ac­cess the Tier 4, 3-cylin­der, Kub­ota D1305 en­gine which looks to have a small amount of room to spare around it. Flu­ids and fil­ters are eas­ily ac­ces­si­ble, al­though the en­gine oil dip­stick is slightly awk­ward to ac­cess as you have to ma­noeu­vre your hand in be­tween a cou­ple of hoses to reach it but fill­ing points and bat­tery iso­la­tor switch are in ex­cel­lent po­si­tion.

The side door gives ac­cess to fuel and hy­draulic tanks with clear view to both sight glasses. Hy­draulic pumps, fil­ter and aux­il­iary line valves are also lo­cated in easy reach.

BOOM

The boom looks to be well con­structed with strong look­ing welds. Aux­il­iary lines are se­curely fas­tened along the top edges and onto dip­per arm with the tilt hitch and bucket ram lines neatly tucked away over the back of the boom and down the back of the dip­per.

Grease nip­ples are in easy reach with the ma­chine, set up in the cor­rect po­si­tion, and the main lift ram has a shield to pro­tect the spear. The boom pivot mount looks to be well con­structed and sturdy.

IN THE SEAT

En­try into the op­er­a­tor sta­tion is quite easy with good-size ac­cess af­forded by the safety lever en­gaged, tuck­ing the left con­trol lever up out of the way. The seat is com­fort­able to sit in and the con­trol levers feel good to hold with small pads also po­si­tioned un­der the op­er­a­tor fore­arms.

Al­though you will al­ways be pushed for space in this class of ex­ca­va­tor, legroom I feel was good for a ma­chine this size. The travel levers have small foot ped­als at­tached with a foot rest lo­cated to the left and aux­il­iary hy­draulic foot pedal to the right that all look to be de­signed to take up the min­i­mum amount of floor space yet af­ford a good amount of us­abil­ity.

A small and sim­ple dig­i­tal dash is po­si­tioned on the right-hand side pro­vid­ing fuel level, coolant temp and warn­ing lights such as en­gine oil pres­sure, bat­tery charg­ing, low fuel etc. The En­gine Start Lim­i­ta­tion (ESL) is also ac­cessed through here, en­abling the op­er­a­tor to set a fivedigit pin code in or­der to stop un­wanted us­age by unau­tho­rised op­er­a­tors.

The blade con­trol lever is po­si­tioned next to the right-hand arm­rest with a cou­ple of cup hold­ers, one small, one large and a stor­age com­part­ment big enough to fit your phone situated near the op­er­a­tors el­bow area.

The left side is where you’ll find the rev con­trol lever tucked away un­der the arm­rest along with the but­ton to open and close the af­ter­mar­ket Do­herty tilt hitch. The canopy is ROPS, TOPS and FOPS rated, with good vis­i­bil­ity af­forded around the whole ma­chine.

TIME TO DIG

I cranked the ma­chine into life and im­me­di­ately set about swap­ping the wide clean­ing bucket for the smaller GP bucket. It’s al­ways good to be able to do this with­out the need of get­ting on and off the ma­chine to fit safety pins thanks to the cer­ti­fied af­ter­mar­ket tilt hitch.

My first job was to pull up an old con­crete pad about 10 square me­tres in size with a small con­crete block re­tain­ing wall situated on one side. It looked like it should be a fairly easy task as the con­crete was only about 100mm thick and the wall was only three blocks high.

As I placed the bucket un­der the cor­ner of the con­crete, re­al­ity quickly set in as we re­alised that this lit­tle pad had been grossly over en­gi­neered with a good amount of steel mesh run­ning through it and re­in­forc­ing up into the block wall – not to men­tion the large, round foot­ings that also bore around 400mm deep into the ground … this was not go­ing to be an easy task for a ma­chine this size!

Let’s just say that I had the ma­chine up on its

1. The Case CX26c ex­ca­va­tor is get­ting plenty of use at Mine Boss Earth­works 2. Easy ac­cess to the guts makes for easy main­te­nance

3. The en­gine put out 18.5kW/24.8hp @ 2400rpm 4. The fea­tures in the cabin are well-ap­pointed

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