Wacker Neuson has introduced a redesigned 2.5-ton excavator, the EZ26, which offers a modern design, flexibility and operator-friendliness typically found in larger models.
When working in more confined spaces, the minimal tail-swing design machine fits comfortably, reducing the fear of damaging surrounding structures.
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"You may be familiar with our 2.5-ton machine that's been in the market for some time," said Jay Quatro, commercial product manager at Wacker Neuson. “However, this is a completely redesigned 2.5-ton machine.”
Powered by an 18.2-horsepower Yanmar diesel engine with a maximum digging depth of 9 feet 10-inches, and bucket breakout force of 5,080 pounds, the EZ26 is ideal for utility applications such as fiber optics, plumbing, and drainage, as well as general landscaping and rental.
Key takeaways cited by Quatro include an improved hydraulic system to increase power for the operator, and increased overall comfort in the cab. “We've also added some new features for EZ26 that make us a little bit unique in the marketplace,” he said.
The compact machine features a cab that is similar in design to those found on Wacker Neuson's family of 4- to 6-ton models, including the 5.8-ton ET58, a conventional tracked excavator, the 4.2-ton ET42 and the minimal tail-swing 5-ton EZ50, that have been released over the past couple of years.
“We've worked hard to make sure that this design was cost-focused for both rental and retail customers," Quatro said. In the U.S., it will be about a 5% to 8% increase.
"Compared to the old machine and including the air conditioning, including the new coupler and all of the new features that you're getting, you're getting a better-performing machine for not much of a price increase," he said.
A new feature added to the EZ26 is a load-sensing hydraulic system that regulates the flow rate according to demand. This provides consistent and precise control regardless of the load, the company says. The machine adjusts to the load, and the joystick movements are always kept the same for the operator, resulting in a smooth experience.
The EZ26 is based on the traditional proven design, but some key changes have been made, including the mechanical coupler now coming standard from the factory, according to Wacker Neuson.
“It is very easy and intuitive to use all the same safety features that you know on our larger hydraulic quick couplers and to switch between different bucket sizes,” Quatro said.
Like many other manufacturers, Wacker Neuson has found that comfortable operators are more efficient and more productive.
“We took a lot of time to make sure that this cabin was ergonomic and had the space that customers are used to from larger machines,” Quatro said.
The cab door opening is wider than even the EZ42 or EZ58. “We continue to try to expand the sizes of our cabins to make every operator comfortable,” he said, noting the ergonomic seat, the jog dial and controls that customers are used to from prior Wacker Neuson machines.
The cab offers nearly 360-degree visibility, plenty of legroom and headroom and a wide entry. This promotes a high level of safety and flexibility in the workspace, adjusted to the individual needs of the operator.
“By shifting the center point of the boom arm a few inches outboard, we've improved visibility to the front of the machine,” Quatro said. Also, by sloping the side hood, operators can see the front tracks. “It's very ergonomic and safe from an operator standpoint.”
Air conditioning is now standard on all cabin models of the EZ26. Quatro said the excavators are tested in hot temperatures and is confident the air conditioning will perform as expected.
Side windows that open from the front or the rear and the two-part front windshield are designed for ventilation and easier communication between operators and others on the jobsite. The upper front window can be raised over the operator’s head, where it is stored, leaving the lower pane in place for splash protection. The lower pane can also be raised to completely open the front of the cab.
The EZ26 also is available in a canopy edition.
All the daily access points are accessible from two hoods, one on the side and one on the rear of the excavator.
On the side are the fuel, washer fluid and hydraulic fluid. There are no panels to remove, and it's all accessible from ground level.
At the rear is a single hood that opens to the engine and all the filters for hydraulic fuel and oil for daily maintenance checks.