Kobelco SK380SRLC
Kobelco Construction Machinery Australia PTY LTD.

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Kobelco SK380SRLC Review

Jul 23, 2021 by (Kobelco Australia Team) | Updates


WHEN YOU’RE LOOKING FOR A NEW ITEM OF PLANT AND WEIGHING UP THE OPTIONS, THERE ARE A FEW THINGS YOU LOOK AT.

Performance? Yes.

Features? Certainly.

Reliability? Absolutely.

Price? Definitely.

Not all machines were created equal and in the construction class excavator market, you’re spoiled for choice which makes the decision harder. For something to stand apart from the pack and truly shine, it needs to be powerful, versatile, stylish, and offer great value for money. The Kobelco SK380SRLC embodies the key features you’ve been looking for, as well as some you didn’t know were available.

The Kobelco SK380SR offers the digging capability of a 30-35T class excavator with the capacity to tackle “tight access” applications. The reduced tail swing geometry enables it to rotate within a standard 3.5m traffic lane, with only 300mm of tail overhang. With the amount of infrastructure upgrade work in the pipeline across the country, the ability to lay pipe, dig deep trenches, load body trucks and do so without encroaching on adjacent live traffic lanes is a feature that sets the Kobelco SK380SR apart from the competition.

The SK380SR comes packed with standard features including;

  • a heated and air-cushioned suspension seat,
  • an easy to read multi-display screen with 20 attachment settings allowing quick change of flow and pressure,
  • an in-cab hydraulic pressure relief switch for added ease of implement change out,
  • a GEOSCAN remote monitoring system with 5 years free service,
  • a powerful automatic climate control heating, ventilation, and air conditioning system,
  • integrated cameras on 3 sides,
  • a Bluetooth stereo system,
  • a FOPS Level 2 guard, which is hinged to allow easy access to clean the top glass,
  • bi-directional hydraulic piping as well as secondary auxiliary lines for tilt/rotate functions,
  • a separate dedicated pump allowing precision multi-function control of any attachment with a tilt or rotate function,
  • factory quick hitch hydraulic lines.


The long undercarriage gives the machine a stable base, providing the overall balance required to compensate for the reduced counterweight. The SK380SR boasts a swing torque of 120 kilonewtons, accompanied by fast cycle times, making it ideal for high production applications. Kobelco’s exclusive swing priority system automatically and instantly delivers dedicated one pump flow to the swing circuit when the arm-in and swing functions are used simultaneously. High breakout forces and fast implement cycle times mean this is no ordinary compact radius machine, but also a competent load out tool. Power comes by way of a 7.7 litre Hino J08 engine producing 200 kW @ 2,100 RPM turning 2 x 246 L/min pumps.

Operator comfort is one area that all OEMs have really focused on in recent years. Each new model has more cabin volume, larger glass area, a more comfortable seat and additional functionality from the instrument display.

The Kobelco SK380SR provides all the creature comforts of its conventional counterparts, without trading off swing radius geometry. The operator station is designed to be quiet, spacious, and comfortable.

The LCD display enables up to 20 preset attachment settings to be selected, from the comfort of the cabin, with independently programmable settings for flow and pressure. Three work modes including an ECO mode that automatically optimizes digging efficiency allows the operator to select the best mode for the task at hand. The easily recognizable on-screen graphics and helpful one-touch attachment mode switch icons let the operator confirm the proper configuration at a glance, while continuing to work efficiently.

The high output climate control system is clearly designed to cater for the extreme temperatures we get here in Australia. High cabin pressurization and performance cab filtration means a dust-free work environment. An ergonomic air suspension seat and these low-effort true pilot hydraulic joystick controls ensure that you’re comfortable and productive even on long shifts where fatigue may be an issue.

Kobelco have a reputation for providing equipment engineered for durability and reliability, with quality Japanese components ensuring a long and reliable service life. Unlike many OEMs, Kobelco are primarily an excavator manufacturer. This means their entire engineering team and R&D budget are channeled into developing their construction excavator market offering. The results are evident.

Kobelco excavators are known for their excellent fuel burn stats and seem to not have the paint quality issues other OEMs are plagued with. These both make an impact on your owning and operating costs and will certainly prop up resale value at the point of disposal.

Kobelco excavators boast a feature not available on competitive products, that is their flashing lights that function automatically when the slew circuit is engaged. These are great for worksite safety, giving a visual queue by blinking when the machine is in motion.

While most machines these days have a power boost button with a short time limit of around 10 seconds, Kobelco’s power boost button has no time limit, which means you can get added digging pressure for as long as you need it. I’m told that it’s also the fastest when it comes to real world digging.

With its increased digging performance, high lift capacity and Kobelco’s refined hydraulic control, it’s an ideal machine for everything from trenching to on-site material handling, to rock breaking. Kobelco sees this as the main appeal for customers seeking a machine of this size. It’s ideal for an operator that wants the most performance possible—but often works in limited spaces that might not suit a conventional machine.

Kobelco is a market leader in the short radius heavy excavator market, with very popular models in the 14-16T and 21-23T classes. This new SK380SR is the first machine that Kobelco has offered in the relatively newer segment of 35T short radius machines. This is a growing class globally, so it’s the perfect time for Kobelco to release this model. The SK380SR is the heaviest short radius excavator in the 35 tonne segment when comparing similar machine specifications.

The Kobelco SK380SR is available at capital city dealers in Australia right now.

You can learn more about this gorgeous machine here or by getting in touch with your local Kobelco Dealer by calling 1300 KOBELCO.

Written by Australian Earthmoving Magazine

SK380 excavator

SK380 excavator

SK380 excavator




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