Hitachi releases grade control technology for select excavators

By Riley SimpsonApril 27, 2021

With Hitachi Solution Linkage 3D Grade Control, the machine controls the boom and bucket as the operator handles the arm

After teasing this new earthmoving solution at 2020’s CONEXPO-CON/AGG, Hitachi Construction & Mining Division introduced grade control technology, with which operators can set and hold grades, on select Hitachi excavators, according to the manufacturer’s release.

The factory-integrated technology is available on the ZX210-6, ZX210LC-6 and ZX350LC-6 excavator models in the U.S. and Canada.

Hitachi is offering four options for grade management technology: 2D Grade Guidance, 3D Grade Guidance, 2D Grade Control and Solution Linkage 3D Grade Control.

Hitachi’s grade management technology involves the machine controlling the boom and bucket as the operator controls the arm, and the company said the solution increases efficiency and lowers daily operating costs by allowing operators to get the grade right the first time on a job site.

“It’s thrilling to share this solution with our customers for increased efficiency,” said Justin Steger, solutions marketing manager with Hitachi. “We know grade management technology is the future of the excavator industry, and we’re glad to provide a variety of options for our customers.”

Hitachi, an operating division of John Deere Construction & Forestry Company, said that with the grade control technology, less experienced operators are able to achieve the correct grade more efficiently while a crew member who previously had to check for the grade can now be assigned elsewhere on the worksite.

Solution Linkage 3D Grade Control with Global Navigation Satellite System controls position and elevation with respect to a global reference while the 2D Grade Control manages the elevation of the cutting edge in relation to a benchmark, according to the manufacturer.

Through Hitachi dealers, which fully support the new grade control systems, the 2D Grade Control technology can also be upgraded to 3D Grade Control.­

“Our 2D Grade Control and Solution Linkage 3D Grade Control unite advanced grade technology with the smooth hydraulics and fast cycle times of Hitachi excavators,” Steger said. “It saves time and helps make good operators great.”

The grade control technology comes with an over-dig protection feature to prevent the machine from digging past a defined surface or depth; Hitachi said the prevention of over digging means operators can finish jobs more quickly, reduce material cost and save fuel costs.

The Virtual Front feature has several applications: It hydraulically limits and automatically stops the bucket cutting edge from contacting the front of the machine at a selectable distance; operators can set virtual boundaries helping prevent damage when working around jobsite obstacles; and the Virtual Ceiling, Virtual Floor, Virtual Swing and Virtual Wall features provide visual and audible alerts to the operator as the machine approaches an adjustable set point.

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