Construction Worker Goes for a Wild Excavator Ride

Ever look back and reminisce about the joy and exhilaration of all the rides at a circus? This construction worker obviously did, too. The driver of this Hitachi excavator must have known there wouldn’t be any representatives from OSHA around. But what were both of them thinking?

First, the worker has a full size climbing harness similar to what is required to operate at heights greater than 6 ft. These harnesses are extremely expensive and reliable. That’s why cell phone tower climbers use them to latch onto thin steel beams at heights of up to 330 ft. The harnesses seen and the tower climbing one are actually called Fall Arrest harnesses. That’s because their job isn’t necessarily to help someone climb but to work with other equipment to ensure the climber doesn’t fall.


These harnesses are typically rated for up to 2,000 lbs of force. That’s essential when, while working at height, anything from a mechanical failure to an act of nature can strike at any moment. This is important as everyone from oil workers to roof construction. And when it comes to construction site amusement rides – OSHA certainly doesn’t approve.

However with a bucket swing of the ZX290LC-5 excavator weighing in around 28,551 lb-ft of force, it’s certainly not something to ever underestimate. Thankfully, with the proper fall arrest harness and the correct HLL cable system, the only thing the rider has to worry about is the operator of the excavator.

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Hitachi is one of the major producers of light duty and heavy duty machinery used in construction, mining, and the logging industries. Their main competitors – Cat and Komatsu – both produce similar medium sized excavators. But which one has the best handling and power?

• Cat 320 E Excavator

The CAT 320E is the closest in comparison to the Hitachi shown. Featuring a Cat C6.6 ACERT engine capable of 164 hp, it’s a powerful tracked earth mover that runs on 98 tracked shoes. Weighing in at over 54,000 lbs, it’s swing mechanism boasts a powerful 45,000 lb-ft of torque! Maximum Drawbar Pull is estimated at 46,000 lbs – making this powerful beast a heavy weight fighting in the welterweight class of excavators.

• Komatsu PC210LCi-10 Medium Excavator

From the manufacturers of some of the finest off-road mining trucks in the industry, Komatsu has recently released its equivalent to the CAT 320E. The PC210LCi-10, as Komatsu claims, is the world’s leader in intelligent Machine Control for their excavator line. The guidance system is factory integrated to prevent digging too deep or upsetting a target surface. This excavator has become an industry favorite for both finished grading and intense digging operations.The Komatsu PC210LCi-10 features a powerful six cylinder turbocharged diesel engine. Capable of drawing upon 165 hp, it has a swing torque of 49,907 ft-lbs. That’s definitely a whirly ride for sure! All fun aside, that sort of swing torque is needed to help position extremely large loads of steel girders, rebar, and concrete. It’s some of the advantage to having the PC210LCi-10 at the work site.

• Hitachi ZX290LC-5 Excavator

And finally, we have the ZX290LC-5. It’s the Hitachi excavator and surely a boon to any building crew (that’s not being swung around wildly). It features a HIOS III hydraulic system that makes both the bucket tilt and arm swing much smoother than other competitors. It borrows its main power house from Isuzu. The IT4 engine is an extremely fuel efficient diesel perfect for working in all conditions and plenty of overtime. Each bucket pull can grab upwards of 4 square yards of material – meaning this is definitely overkill for somebody looking to dig a new below ground pool. What makes this system ideal is it has the right amount of power (188 hp) matched with the right swing torque of 28,000 lb-ft. Priority was placed into the bucket force – because people hire an excavator to tear up the ground much more often than simply swing around. The Hitachi ZX290LC-5 has a bucket force of 45,636 lb-ft. To put that into comparison, it could out swing the full capacity pull of a team of 6.7 L Cummins turbo charged diesel engines.

What do you think? Just a bunch of bored construction workers or something else? Tell us about it in the comments section below and make sure to check back often when we feature more exciting posts from the workplace.

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However with a bucket swing of the ZX290LC-5 excavator weighing in around 28,551 lb-ft of force, it’s certainly not something to ever underestimate. Thankfully, with the proper