Hyundai Construction Equipment paid a visit to Industrial Training Services' operator training site in Billericay Essex to have a chat with Managing Director, Alf Aldridge. We went to see how he was getting on with his latest Hyundai machine, a 14-tonne HX140LC, which has joined his training fleet! Along with his team of eight instructors, Alf delivers CPCS and NPORS training for construction operators.
Alf purchased the machine from local Hyundai distributor, Ernest Doe who he had a longstanding relationship with, from when he was working in the agricultural sector. This is Alf’s third Hyundai in seven years – all purchased from Ernest Doe, based in Ulting Essex.
The latest excavator has replaced an older 14 tonne machine and joins the Hyundai 25Z 9AK 2.5 tonne mini.
Alf explained that he was looking at all the options, “ We did own and run a competitors machine before, but having tried the Hyundai – I liked it very much!”
Alf added, “ The Hyundai was also priced right over the other brand, however, that was not the deciding factor. We had the latest HX140LC on trial here for ten-days and the instructors and the candidates on the courses we run spoke very highly of the machine – so it wasn’t just price, it was also the quality of the Hyundai.”
"having tried the Hyundai,
I liked it very much!” - Alf
“The Hyundai performs better than its competitor in the same weight category and the fuel economy is better, probably by as much as 10% on our fuel costs. It’s more powerful than the other brand – but what influenced us the most, is it’s a smooth operating machine and is very operator friendly.” Continued Alf
Alf also reported the cab is very good on the HX140LC, with plenty of adjustment on the seat, which is perfect for operators of all shapes and sizes! He also said that you could work in the machine all day, which they will do whilst training, apart from tea breaks etc, and feel no fatigue. The machine also benefits from Hyundai’s AAVM camera system, which Alf also rates highly.
He also pointed out that some machines are very ‘jerky’ but the Hyundai was particularly smooth and very good for precision digging.
Alf was particularly impressed with the easy access for maintenance - as the students also learn to do their ’15 minute’ excavator check in the morning as part of the course.
Alf prides himself on providing the machines in excellent order for his trainees, he said “ A lot of training companies use older machines for their CPCS courses - we like to teach our students on the latest machines as this gives the operator a true insight into the machines working on the jobsite.”
Although, talking to one of the students, Tommy Howard, aged 23, who was attending the current ten-day course, reported that brand new kit on site was not necessarily the case!
He explained, “This Hyundai is a lovely machine, my mate Alvin, who encouraged me to get my 360 ticket, his machine he operates onsite is beat up as hell! This Hyundai is shiny and very comfortable. I thought I would struggle as I have never operated before and was very nervous. But the all the controls are gradual and it’s all about finding a balance – I’m very confident in the Hyundai. And hope that when I get to operate - professionally I don’t get given a beat up machine!”
Tommy added, “The first part of our training we learn to operate with the AAVM cameras off – but as we get more experience of spacial awareness – we use them in the latter part – they are very good.”
Hyundai also spoke with another trainee on the course, 36 year old Daniel Bycraft, who is a supervisor at a local firm but wanted to upskill to operating. Daniel reported, “I have not operated before – but wanted to be able to turn my hand to operating on site, as well as being a site supervisor. The Hyundai is a lovely machine – I find the controls so smooth – it feels so good to be in machine operating. The course shows every aspect of operating too – which includes machine maintenance.”
Hyundai finally got to speak to ITS trainer Tommy Smith, who has been working as an instructor for the company for seven-years. He said, “I tried the HX140LC out for a week, it’s a good machine, nice and smooth and the controls are nice and tight with not a lot of travel on the controls.
Tommy added, “It’s nice and basic inside the cab – so good for training and not too complicated like other machines – the quick hitch is a good example as some are really technical. The dash is nice. Ease of maintenance is good. Also the Ad blue has a simple indicator on screen. This machine is no trouble at all.”
The HX140LC and the smaller 25Z-9AK are in operation on most days and the firm, which was established in 1989, welcome around 120 candidates per year, with an impressive 90% pass rate. Ages range from 16 to 65 and is a mix of brand new operators, operators that are upskilling and others just renewing their ‘ticket’. ITS also provide training for blue chip companies including Transport for London and UK Power Networks.
Alf concluded, “The Hyundai is a quality machine and we are very pleased with the service that Ernest Doe provide us, but to be fair we have little or no trouble with them.”
So it’s a thumbs up from ITS for both Hyundai and Ernest Doe!
Industrial Training Services can be reached at https://itstrain.co.uk