Hitachi Construction Machinery celebrates 70 years

From building its first hydraulic excavator to manufacturing today’s technologically advanced equipment, Hitachi Construction Machinery is celebrating 70 years of innovation.

By Kristin Stires and Sarah Larson

For Hitachi, 2020 marks more than just the beginning of a new decade. It is a milestone achievement highlighting the start of full-scale production for Hitachi Construction Machinery. 

“In 2020, Hitachi Construction Machinery Co. Ltd. marked the 70th anniversary of the start of full-scale production of construction machinery. We would like to express our sincere gratitude to our numerous stakeholders, including customers and business partners, who have supported Hitachi Construction Machinery during this long period,” said Kotaro Hirano, president, chief executive officer and director of Hitachi Construction Machinery Group.

“We will continue to inherit the aspirations of our predecessors who built this growth to the present and have a deep sense of gratitude to everyone. In the future as well, we will continue to take on the challenge of realizing our vision of ‘toward the richness of earth and prosperous communities in the future.’ Hitachi Construction Machinery is contributing to the creation of comfortable living spaces.”

Hitachi’s mass production of construction machinery kicked off in 1950 with the development of the U06 cable-operated shovel.

Hydraulic pioneers 

The company also pioneered hydraulic technology in 1965 by building the UH03, the first hydraulic excavator in Japan made completely from domestic technologies. 

Since then, the company has continued to succeed as a major heavy equipment manufacturer. From compact excavators and foresters to mining shovels and haul trucks, Hitachi continues to develop a wide range of machines. 

“This milestone is possible because of Hitachi’s incredible customers and employees,” said Jonny Spendlove, product marketing manager for excavators at Hitachi Construction Machinery – Americas. 

“Hitachi’s longevity is so impressive, and it’s a tribute to the machine quality and innovation. We continually provide the efficiency, reliability and durability our customers are looking for.” 

Powerful partnerships

The company has established partnerships along the way. 

In 1983, Hitachi and John Deere collaborated to reach an OEM supply agreement. Since then, two joint venture companies with three manufacturing facilities have been created. 

In 2002, Hitachi and John Deere also integrated marketing operations in North, Central and South America to streamline decision-making and improve customer support. 

Hitachi continues to make significant investments in its manufacturing facilities to boost future production capacity and efficiency. Each machine is built to order, made possible by a lean manufacturing system combined with a quality assurance process.

The company has kept its focus on integrating advanced technology into its equipment to further help customers increase efficiency, reliability and durability on jobsites. One such technology is Hitachi Solution Linkage Integrated Grade Control with Topcon. The new construction excavator technology allows an operator to set a grade and hold it – increasing efficiency while also lowering daily operating costs.

Innovative path

As Hitachi continues trekking its innovative path, new machines are introduced to meet and exceed customers’ needs. 

In 2019, that included the fuel-efficient EX-7 Series excavators: the EX1200-7, EX2600-7, EX3600-7 and EX5600-7. 

“The Hitachi team is constantly developing new machines and technology that can give our customers a competitive edge,” Spendlove said. “We thank our customers for trusting Hitachi equipment the last 70 years and look forward to a promising future.”

Here are some of Hitachi’s workhorses that are still running today:

UH181

ZX225US

  • 14,000+ hours
  • Pivetta Brothers Construction Inc.
  • Serviced by Papé Machinery, Fife, Washington

EX200 – “Old Faithful”

  • 15,000+ hours
  • M&H Logging and Construction
  • Serviced by Nortrax, Westbrook, Maine

ZX330LC

  • 8,500+ hours
  • Rogers Construction Inc. Serviced by Honnen Equipment,
  • St. George, Utah
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