Manitou has filled out its compact excavator lineup with the addition of 5.5 metric ton compact excavators under both of the company’s Gehl and Mustang brands.
The Gehl Z55 and Mustang 550Z increase the number of Manitou compact excavators available in North America to six, ranging in size from 1.7 to 8 metric tons.
And while a new Tier 4 Final-compliant engine along with two fuel-saving modes are key features of these models, their biggest benefit is the extra power they offer.
Manitou says the zero-tail-swing Gehl Z55/Mustang 550Z provide 19 percent more power and 10 percent more dig depth than the Z45/450Z they now fall in front of in their respective lineups. As such they provide a meaningful middle-ground for contractors who don’t necessarily need the power of the 8-metric-ton Z80/800Z.
The models are powered by a 47.6-horsepower Yanmar turbocharged diesel with electronic throttle. And thanks to an ECO mode and an auto deceleration feature, they’re capable of reducing fuel by 20 percent over normal operation.
ECO mode reduces engine speed by 10 percent without any effect on power, while auto deceleration decreases engine speed to idle after four seconds of no hydraulic movement.
The cab on the Z55/550Z is available enclosed with heating/cooling or with a canopy and features a display giving operators access to maintenance history and adjustable reminders. Uptime hours for the last 90 days are also recorded and can be viewed without starting the engine.
The cab also features a four-way adjustable seat with custom height, weight and backrest positions with a retractable seatbelt. The enclosed cab’s front window can be stowed overhead for additional air flow and/or visibility.
The machines’ controls include a hydraulic rocker switch and allow operators to select ISO or an optional backhoe control pattern with the turn of a lever.
A 68-degree boom offset swing allows for digging a square hole without having to reposition the machine and an angle blade with float and bolt-on cutting edge is a factory installed option. Manitou says operators can use the rocker switch on the blade lever to angle the blade 25 degrees in order to push material aside as the machine moves forward. The blade can also be simultaneously angled and raised or lowered.
The machines come standard with the Power-A-Tach pin grabbing coupler allowing operators to switch buckets in seconds.
Access to components is tool-free thanks to large swing-out doors which reveal the entire engine and daily maintenance points.