CablePrice (NZ) Limited dates back to 1951 when two companies, A & G Price and William Cable Ltd merged.
• 1964 CablePrice signed Distributor agreement with Hitachi Construction Machinery for NZ
• 1965 CablePrice sold first Hitachi Hydraulic Excavator
• 1996 CablePrice becomes wholly owned by Hitachi Construction Machinery
Today, CablePrice employees more than 380 staff and has a nationwide network of 15 branches spanning New Zealand.
At Tsuchiura Works near Tokyo, in July 1965, Hitachi Construction Machinery broke new ground by developing the first hydraulic excavator composed entirely of Japanese technology. The UH03. This excavator can be seen as the starting point for the hydraulic excavators of today, with features such as hydraulics and two boom cylinders. Today, in the CablePrice Head Office reception, in Wellington, New Zealand, you will find a shining example of one such UH03DT that has had a very productive and long life working in the South Island.
UH03DT displayed in head office reception
This particular UH03DT was sold new by CablePrice in March 1974 to Mervin Newton from Mataura, a small town deep in the South Island of New Zealand. Mervin was a contractor doing civil drainage work and occasional work for the local meat processing company as well. After that Mervin sold the UH03DT, to then 18-year-old, Keith Muir.
Then after a few owners, in 1988, after the excavator having done 13,000 hours it was purchased at a South Island machinery auction in Gore by Sydney Taylor of West Dome cattle and sheep station near Mossburn, another small South Island town. Sydney put the UH03DT straight to work on his 2,600-acer farm, performing general farm maintenance tasks and in some cases, it was also used in forestry applications. Sydney says, "it was a very good, reliable machine, also very well balanced and stable." After 20 years of loyal service Sydney traded the UH03 back to CablePrice for a later model Hitachi. Still to this day Sydney is an avid Hitachi Construction Machinery supporter with a UH083 and a ZX240LC-5G.
UH03DT of Mervin Newton
Once back at CablePrice Invercargill Branch, the southernmost CablePrice and Hitachi Construction Machinery branch in the world, the UH03DT went in to storage for a number of years until word was sent that it was to be refurbished to go on display in the brand new CablePrice head office reception.
Over 6 months the CablePrice Invercargill team gave the UH03DT a full refurbishment. Body panels were repaired and the entire UH03DT received a new paint job in original colours. The engine was given a full service and minor fuel and oil leaks were repaired. Lastly, but importantly, time was spent on ensuring the operator's cab was up to the same high standard as the rest of the machine.
Once completed, the UH03DT was transported to CablePrice Wellington where it was a main feature at the new Head Office grand opening in 2012. It has now been on display in the Head Office reception as a proud showpiece for 8 years. Many New Zealanders will remember seeing these UH03 excavators hard at work around New Zealand. There is still the odd machine scattered throughout the country in active but somewhat more sedate use today.
Working in forestry at West Dome
|Operating weight||9.4 t|
|Engine rated power (PS/rpm)||58/1,800|
|Feature||Hitachi UH03 was launched in 1965, which was the first hydraulic excavator to be developed by original Japanese technology. Adopting "2 pumps/2 valves system" replacing "1 pump/valve system" which was very popular in those days, and combined flow system for boom, its operating performance such as loading extremely improved. In addition, applying "Swan neck" shape boom design and dual boom cylinders, digging performance upgraded. Soon, these UH03's technology combination became a de facto standard for hydraulic excavator in the world. In 2018, it was recognized as a "Future heritage" by the National Science Museum for its contribution to science and technology in Japan|
|■Address:||41-51 Bell Road South, Gracefield, P.O.Box 38-040, Wellington mail Centre, New Zealand|