Skipton Properties has UK’s first R 920 Compact in service
Builder and property developer Skipton Properties has a growing fleet of Liebherr machines, including an R 922 crawler excavator and a PR 736 crawler tractor. Its latest purchase is the first R 920 Compact excavator to enter service in the UK and the company’s first task for its new machine has been on a large housing development in Haworth…
Builder and property developer Skipton Properties has returned to Liebherr for its latest purchase: the first R 920 Compact excavator to enter service in the UK.
Founded in 1986 by current Managing Director Brian Verity, Skipton Properties is a multi-award-winning developer with over thirty years’ experience and a mission to create homes that are sympathetically designed and woven into their natural surroundings but also energy efficient and sustainable. The family-run company develops distinctive residential properties built with quality materials and prides itself on the quality of workmanship from its teams of long-serving craftsmen.
Unlike many developers, the company owns and operates a mixed fleet of earthmoving and civil engineering plant to undertake quarrying, landfill and property development throughout the Yorkshire region and into Lancashire. Skipton Properties has recently purchased a number of excavators and a dozer from Liebherr-Great Britain. The company’s fleet now includes a Liebherr PR 736 dozer, an R 922 excavator and its new R 920 Compact.
Launched at the end of 2016, the R 920 Compact complements the popular R 914 and R 926 Compact excavators that are already in the range and the soon-to-be-launched R 936 Compact crawler excavator.
With an operating weight between 19 and 21 tonnes, depending on specification, the R 920 Compact is powered by a Stage IV / Tier 4f emission standards compliant 150 HP diesel engine that is longitudinally mounted to the offside of the upper structure. The mounting of the engine, hydraulic pump and cooling system allows for the reduction in the rear overhang, which is only around 600 mm in the specification chosen by Skipton Properties.
Constructed around a tried and tested X-frame undercarriage that can be specified with an optional dozer blade, the R 920 Compact packs a lot into its small frame. In common with reduced tail swing machines from a number of manufacturers, the Liebherr cab has seen a reduction in depth to accommodate the internal mechanics of the excavator. This reduction has enabled Liebherr’s designers to install an access panel that gives service personnel safe access to the top of the upper structure. The height of the upper structure has been kept to a minimum to increase the view to the rear of the machine from the operator’s seat. The offside of the excavator is dominated by the large gull-wing canopy that covers the engine, hydraulic pumps and cooling pack, all of which are safely accessible from ground level. All daily checks can be made from the ground or via the operating system within the cab. The four-cylinder diesel engine has been developed to be extremely fuel efficient and environmentally friendly.
The R 920 Compact has been supplied in a basic ground works specification with a long undercarriage sitting on 700 mm pads, a 5 m mono boom and a 2.65 m dipper. A Hill TEFRA lock and Hill TITAN buckets complete the package. Perfectly balanced and producing almost 100 kN of breakout force, the R 920 Compact excels in both excavation and lifting operations, thanks to the powerful 300 litres / min hydraulic pump, and with the refined hydraulic system, control of the excavator’s functions is precise and intuitive. Capable of a maximum dig depth of almost 6 m and a reach of over 9 m, the machine can compete with any other machine within this class.
Skipton Properties’ first task for its new purchase has been on a large development in Haworth where the company is constructing a selection of detached homes and retirement apartments adjacent to the heritage railway line, which is a huge draw for the area.
The well dimensioned, well specified and economical excavator has made a good impression at Skipton Properties and joins a growing fleet of machinery from Liebherr. Roger Sadler, Plant Manager at Skipton Properties, said: ‘Even with the compactness of the R 920 Compact, the lifting power is excellent and the cab is really spacious. The controls are intuitively laid out, easy to reach and operate. Our operators and ground workers are very surprised by how quiet the machine is in operation both inside the cab and working with the machine externally. But the Liebherr really shines when it comes to maintenance: all service points are accessible with ease from ground level so that daily checks can be quickly and safely carried out with minimum downtime.’