Kobelco Produces 250,000th American-Made Excavator

Kobelco has produced its 250,000th American-made excavator, which was manufactured at the company's facility in Calhoun, GA.

Highlighting the continued demand for fuel efficient, high-performance excavators, Kobelco Construction Machinery America announced the production of its 25,000th American-made excavator at the company’s manufacturing facility in Calhoun, GA. During a ceremony to mark the special occasion, Kobelco executives recognized staff and management who helped achieve the significant manufacturing milestone and presented the 25,000th unit to local dignitaries – including representatives from Georgia Governor Nathan Deal’s office of Economic Development, representatives from the offices of Georgia’s U.S. Senators Saxby Chambliss and Johnny Isakson, and Calhoun Mayor Jimmy Palmer – special guests and more than 200 plant employees.

“This momentous occasion reflects the continuing demand for Kobelco excavators and further emphasizes the long-term success of our machines and our tradition as a technology leader,” says Jim Hasler, vice president, CNH Construction, North America. “We could not have reached this important milestone without the skills, support and dedication of the employees at this facility.”

Located an hour north of Atlanta, the 280,000-square-foot plant in Calhoun produces Kobelco excavators in six model classes – ranging from 16 to 48 metric tons – for customers in the United States, Canada and Latin America. The plant is on track to produce more than 1,100 Kobelco excavators in 2012.

“At a time when some companies have moved production offshore, we are proud to celebrate production of the 25,000th Kobelco excavator, made right here in America,” Hasler says. “For nearly 30 years, Kobelco has been manufacturing high-performance excavators in the United States, and we look forward to building our next 25,000 excavators in Calhoun.”

The 25,000th unit, a Kobelco SK350 Mark 9 Series full-sized excavator, will be delivered to CLM Equipment Co. Inc., a Kobelco dealer based in Louisiana, with locations across the Gulf region.

“The SK350 Mark 9 is one of the most productive machines in its size class,” says Reece Norwood, Kobelco platform manager. “Built for heavy applications, the 25,000th Kobelco excavator will be able to tackle any road and bridge, sewer and underground utilities or mainline pipeline construction job out there.”

Featuring industry-leading breakout force and lifting capabilities, this fast, powerful and versatile excavator can dig the trench, crane the pipe and finish with impressive precision.

“The SK350 Mark 9 excavator sets the industry standard in terms of controllability, especially in multifunction applications,” Norwood says. “Operators will appreciate the impressive control and smoothness, and the added confidence will make them even more productive. The ease of operation allows even a novice excavator operator to be productive on the job.”

The excavator features an upgrade to Kobelco’s legendary intelligent hydraulics, as well as a new Economy power mode that takes Kobelco’s patented ITCS to a new level, maintaining productivity while increasing fuel efficiency by an average of 10% over previous models.

The SK350 Mark 9 also features the industry’s first selective catalytic reduction (SCR) emission solution for excavators, delivering more engine power and fuel efficiency. By choosing SCR technology for meeting Tier 4 Interim emissions regulations, Kobelco provides leadership in engine performance, productivity and fuel efficiency. SCR is an aftertreatment solution that allows the excavator’s engine to do what it does best – generate power. The high efficiency in the combustion process significantly reduces fuel consumption.

Delivering 269 horsepower (201 kW), the SK350 Mark 9 has an operating weight of 80,909 lbs. (27,056 to 36,000 kg) and a dig depth of 24 ft. 10 in.

World-class engineering and state-of-the-art technological innovations are built into every Kobelco excavator. Kobelco’s history has included a number of important excavator “firsts”:

  • Swing priority
  • Power Boost with “no time limit”
  • Heavy Lift with “no time limit”
  • “Blade Runner” excavator/dozer
  • Independent travel system
  • Hydraulically adjustable tracks
  • Intelligent Total Control System ITCS
  • Integrated Noise & Dust Reduction INDR
  • First hybrid excavator