The highly anticipated release of the new Huski mini excavators through Toyota Material Handling Australia has the industry abuzz with excitement.
From the company that bought you their legendary Toyota forklifts and Huski skid steer loaders, it’s time to introduce a new range of compact mini excavators featuring high break-out forces whilst still offering zero-tail-swing manoeuvrability.
Toyota obviously needs no introduction. A motor vehicle brand synonymous with quality, their reputation also extends to their industrial equipment machines. Toyota brought out their first forklift way back in 1956. Over 70 years later and they have established themselves as a market leader in Australia with their selection of robust warehouse equipment.
While Toyota Material Handling Australia (TMHA) is best known for its range of forklifts and warehouse equipment, they also offer sweepers, scrubbers, lift platforms, tow tractors, AGVs, Taylor-Dunn electric vehicles and then of course to add to their fleet they proudly distribute the range of Huski skid steer loaders and Huski scissor lifts.
“Toyota Material Handling Australia has been distributing Huski for over 30 years with their range of Huski skid steer loaders,” explained Huski Product Manager Matt Meddows. “Since then the brand has evolved to also incorporate scissor lifts and now mini excavators.”
It was a natural progression for the THMA business to bring out mini excavators as they fit perfectly with their current product offerings. A long time in the making, it certainly wasn’t something they decided to launch spur of the moment.
“The introduction of Huski mini excavators to complement the skid steer loaders has been something Toyota Material Handling has been looking at for many years,” continued Matt. “We know that operators trust our skid steer loaders because they’ve proven reliable in the field for three decades. A lot of customers have been asking about excavator offerings for many years and we are proud to announce we now have a range with powerful break-out force and zero tail-swing.”
Scrupulous research and development went into the new Huski mini excavators. It was firstly about finding the right businesses to collaborate with to create a machine that would meet the standards and live up to the reputation of both Toyota and Huski. TMHA ended up finding the ideal partner in Italy, which has been building compact machines and refining its manufacturing processes for the last 25 years. It was then a matter of testing, modifying and perfecting the machines specifically for our harsh Australian environment.
Matt Meddows ran through the practical and analytical processes the early model prototypes were put under: “We conducted field tests throughout Australia in all types of conditions and with all types of customers for over 18 months, obtaining feedback from operators before finalising the end product. We went over everything thoroughly in order to make modifications to suit our standards and the applications we expect them to be working in. The feedback resulted in slight changes to the original machines that will be going to market.”
So with Toyota’s powerful backing, Huski’s years of knowledge, and all the research, development and testing that went into it, what is the end result? The answer is a first-class, first-release range of mini excavators that will shake up the market and astound the industry and users alike.
The product line-up will initially comprise of seven machines in total, ranging from the smallest at 1.3-tonne, through to their biggest 6-tonne model.
One highlight feature of the new Huski mini excavators is the zero tail swing on all of their machines, bar the 1.3-tonne M-13K Short Radius model. This means the cab will never go over the tracks of the machine as it is being rotated 360 degrees, allowing the user to operate in even tighter, enclosed spaces without fear of damaging surrounds or the excavator itself. Essentially it doesn’t have a big butt. Often a disadvantage to minimising swing with a less-protruding behind is a compromise in power and lift capacity when compared to traditional counterparts. However, Huski excavators dispel this trade-off and have worked tirelessly on maintaining strength within the machines while still offering manoeuvrability.
“We have tested their break-out force and digging power and it compares quite highly with other machines in-market,” Matt proudly boasted of the range.
With Kubota engines powering them, there are many other impressive standard features as well as added extras in the different weight classes. Factory quick-hitch piping comes standard on all models; a boom swing lockout function provides the ability to fix the swing boom in any position to stop any accidental movement; there are dozer blade float options on all models (and standard from 2.8-tonnes upwards); extended counterweight options from the 2.8 to 6-tonne machines for operators who might want a different style of hitch on the front, or just require more stability; a choice of canopy or aircon cabin options on the 3.8-tonne model; and the 5.5 and 6-tonners come fitted with locking valves standard, as well as adjustable boom safety switches to ensure the bucket cannot make contact with the cabin.
“The 6-tonne machine will be the only mini excavator in the market fitted with a two-piece boom,” Matt elaborated.
“Two-piece booms allow you to change the bend of the boom to decrease its working height. They are very versatile and can out-lift a conventional single piece boom up close to the machine. A two-piece boom is also prefect for those tight confined areas where you are limited when slewing the machine around to load and unload material.”
Of course, as with all Toyota vehicles and Huski machines, the excavator range will come with all the leading performance benefits, but also the highest safety standards whilst still being competitively priced.
“Sales, service and support will be the same as any TMHA product we sell,” Matt went on to say. Although this should not be taken lightly as TMHA is renowned for the very best sales and support service experiences in the world.
With 18 branches and over 450 service-related personal around Australia, TMHA service techs are already adept in the new Huski excavators. On-site maintenance
and services will be conducted in the same efficient manner that Huski skid steer customers would already be accustomed to. “Customers like to use a single point-of-call for servicing and parts. We can look after their needs for both machines, minimising inconvenience to them and helping to streamline their business.”
So The Big Question Remains: When Will These Bad Boys Be Dropping?
“Due to COVID-19, production was delayed and restricted in the early part of the year, but machines will start arriving in Australia ready for sale in August with all models being available by the end of 2020,” Mr Meddows revealed.
Make way for the Toyota Huski mini excavators … although not much room needs to be made because these machines can fit into the tightest of spaces.