A Wacker Neuson 6503 6 tonne wheeled excavator equipped with a triple boom has recently been purchased by the South West Region (Wessex Area) of the Environment Agency, principally to assist with flood defence work in North Somerset.
Because of the nature of the land in this area of Somerset there are several permanent pumping stations which require regular maintenance, including the clearing of weed screens. This particular task demands a machine small enough to fit onto concrete platforms above the screens and an arm capable of reaching their entire surface.
Having tried several sizes of rubber duck, the EA's field team responsible for the area decided that a 6 tonne machine would be the best match for the job in hand and that the Wacker Neuson unit offered the best combination of quality and performance. In addition, the EA has been impressed with the advice and assistance provided by the local dealer, AJB Plant Services of Bridgewater.
AJB was able to design and manufacture a specially adapted bucket with an hydraulic clamp in conjunction with the EA team that is not only able to effectively clear accumulated weed off the screens without damaging them, but also remove any larger debris such as logs and even dead animals.
During the summer months the Wacker Neuson machine will still earn its keep, in line with the EA's policy of maximising usage of all its plant, by being used to carry out a variety of routine maintenance jobs using additional attachments such as a weed cutting bucket, grass cutting head and a variety of buckets for river embankment work. And being wheel mounted, the 6503 will be able to travel between local sites without the need for expensive low loader transport.
Wacker Neuson's highly versatile 6503 model is powered by a Yanmar 4-cylinder diesel engine developing 51.1 kW (69.5 hp) @ 2100 rpm and, in the triple boom configuration chosen by the Environment Agency, has a maximum digging depth and reach of 3865 and 6495 mm respectively.