If you’re among those who regard Takeuchi exclusively as a manufacturer of compact construction machinery, think again. Takeuchi certainly made its mark as a pioneer of compact equipment in North America. And many start-up contractors cut their professional teeth on Takeuchi compact excavators before moving on to larger pieces of construction equipment. In fact, says Mike Ross, national product and training manager for Takeuchi, many of these contractors were pushing the company to introduce larger machines in the United States. The result is Takeuchi’s new 14.5-metric-ton TB1140 excavator.
Initially, Takeuchi considered expanding its product line closer to its 7.8-metric-ton TB175 model. The thinking was a machine in that class would naturally complement the company’s current compact excavator offerings. That would have meant a machine somewhere in the 8- to 10-metric-ton range. But after looking at the market and realizing the 14.5-metric-ton excavator class is one of the hottest in the United States right now, Takeuchi decided to go big.
Takeuchi is using the TB1140 to introduce some of its compact machine philosophies to the larger excavator market. “We are offering a standard dozer blade as well as primary and secondary two-way-flow auxiliary hydraulics,” Ross explains. “The hydraulics will be plumbed halfway down the arm.”
Standard flow on the TB1140’s primary auxiliary hydraulics is over 28 gpm, with close to 5,000 pounds of pressure. “You can adjust the pressure up and down from there,” Ross explains. “And you’ve also got 13.7 gpm running through the auxiliary system. So effective attachment use, even with high-flow attachments, is a given with this excavator.”
In addition, the TB1140 has standard independent boom swing, allowing it to hew to the left 77 degrees and right 53 degrees. “This gives you the ability to angle the boom when working closer to buildings, where a fixed boom unit would limit you to basically digging straight out from the machine,” Ross adds.
One of the most important design directives, according to Ross, was that the TB1140 retain the performance and machine feel contractors have come to expect from the company’s compact equipment line. “The bucket break-out force on the TB1140 is highest in this machine class,” he says. “And that pulling power gives you a little bit extra effort to break through tougher ground; through rock or even hard Georgia red clay.”
In addition, Takeuchi opted to retain its four-pump hydraulic system, which is consistent with its smaller compact excavator offering. “This system gives you simultaneous operating functions so you can slew the cab, work the boom, work the bucket, and not slow down at all,” Ross notes. “And that, in turn, gives you a highly responsive machine with the size needed to tackle projects too large for a compact excavator.”