Discover the Mighty Hitachi EX1200XXL: Ashleigh Contracts’ Excavation Marvel

Heavy Equipment Blog 27

Ashleigh Contracts, a renowned name in marine civil engineering throughout the UK and Ireland, boasts an impressive fleet of heavy equipment, including the powerful Hitachi EX1200XXL Triple Boom Long Reach Excavator. This beast of a machine is a testament to Ashleigh Contracts’ commitment to delivering high-quality projects, from coastal defenses and dredging to underwater demolition.

We recently visited the Isle of Arran off the west coast of Scotland to witness the amazing capabilities of this modified excavator. Acquired in 2018 and modified by Van Leeuwen Sloopwerken in Holland, the Hitachi EX1200XXL is a marvel of construction technology. Its reinforced undercarriage, extended and widened to an impressive eight meters long with tracks seven and a half meters wide, supports its 200-tonne weight and 45-tonne lift capability. The excavator’s outreach extends up to 25 meters, making it a powerhouse for heavy lift duties.

Heavy Equipment Marvel in Action

The Hitachi EX1200XXL has proven its worth on significant projects such as the Aberdeen Harbour Expansion and the Alexandra Parade Revetment in Peterhead. This summer, it was pivotal in demolishing the old ferry terminal at Brodick, demonstrating its power in underwater demolition tasks.

The project required an extreme demolition machine, and Ashleigh Contracts delivered with their Hitachi EX1200XXL. Transported from their yard to Larne Port and assembled on a CW-6 spudleg barge, the excavator was then taken to Brodick. Using a range of attachments like the Atlas Copco HB4200 underwater hydraulic breaker and the Mantovanibenne CR80R concrete pulverizer, the machine efficiently demolished and processed the old pier structure.

Cutting-Edge Technology for Precision

Operating underwater presents unique challenges, but the state-of-the-art James Fisher Prolec PCX Pro 3D GPS system ensures precision. This technology shows the operator the position and orientation of the excavator’s attachments in real-time, significantly enhancing accuracy and efficiency.

Ashleigh Contracts has heavily invested in these GPS machine control systems across its fleet, including Hitachi and CAT machines. This investment increases productivity and precision, particularly in harsh environments and during short windows of low tide.

Impressive Fleet for Diverse Projects

Ashleigh Contracts’ specialist fleet includes a variety of powerful machines, all equipped with the Prolec PCX Pro 3D GPS system. Their Hitachi ZX750 (25m), Hitachi EX1200 Super Long Reach (28.5m), CAT390 (17.5m), CAT 395 (21m), and CAT 345LR (19.5m) are currently engaged in the London Gateway project, expanding the DP World deep-water port.

The Hitachi EX1200XXL has also played crucial roles in projects like the Aberdeen Harbour Expansion, where it helped construct a 450m length of the North Breakwater. The project involved handling 110,000 tonnes of Rock Armour and placing 3,000 Accropode units, each weighing 20 tonnes.


Ashleigh Contracts’ Hitachi EX1200XXL Triple Boom Long Reach Excavator is a testament to their expertise and commitment to excellence in the construction and earthmoving industry. Its advanced capabilities and cutting-edge technology make it an invaluable asset for complex projects.

For more information about Ashleigh Contracts and their impressive fleet of heavy equipment, visit

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