What is excavator hybrid technology all about – featuring Cat 336E



‘Fuelling Thought’, from Issue 1 of the Finning News magazine, established that fuel is the most significant additional cost outlay to those in the plant hire sector. Of course, this is also the case for anyone buying new equipment. In this article, Ian Chapman, Product Specialist at Finning, looks at how Hybrid technology on the optimal equipment, with the right attachments, can bring the cost benefits of saving fuel, directly back to machine owners and operators.

“Fuel costs are critical to anyone investing in new plant equipment. It is arguably the case now that fuel cost, and the potential savings, are more important to new equipment buyers than the initial cost outlay of the machine. This is because the cost benefits will come directly back to the equipment owner.

“Hybrid technology will play an essential role in delivering the fuel savings that are so important to machine owners. Although the technology has only recently started to penetrate the construction equipment market, the fact that hybrid machines are using so much less fuel than their conventional counterparts, even up to 40% in some cases, is making everyone stand up and take notice.

“Take Ash Contracting Ltd., for example, now using a Cat 336E Hybrid hydraulic excavator to extract ash from a former colliery. It has used previous iterations of the machine, starting with a Cat 336D, which used 36 litres of fuel per hour, before switching to the standard Cat 336E, and making additional cost savings by getting fuel usage down to 26 litres per hour. Its latest machine, the Cat 336E Hybrid, is now using just 17 litres per hour, a further huge fuel saving. The Cat 336E Hybrid has been equipped with a far larger bucket, also improving productivity, and this combination will see the contractor make up investment on the machine within a year.”

Commenting on the Cat 336E Hybrid hydraulic excavator, Roger Clark, Contracts Director at Ash Contracting Ltd., said: “We paid an extra £18,000 for the new Hybrid unit, compared to a standard unit. From the reduced fuel consumption alone we can expect to see payback in just one year. Combined with the productivity improvements, in part due to the bucket modifications made by Finning, this was a very powerful incentive for us to invest in the new machine.

“The hybrid technology is now bringing the significant cost savings of reducing our fuel usage directly back to us. I can only see its popularity increasing with machine operators and owners in any application.”

Ian Chapman concludes: “Potential buyers of new plant equipment now have a fantastic opportunity. Hybrid equipment is a great solution for all sorts of job sites, especially anyone using their machines in high productivity, high hour applications.”