Up Close with Hyundai’s New, Completely Redesigned HX Compact Excavators


Hyundai Construction Equipment Americas revealed three new compact excavators at this year’s ConExpo.

To give a more detailed look at the HX35AZ, HX40A and HX48AZ, Vice President of Sales Jeff Pate speaks with host and professional operator Bryan Furnace on this week’s episode of The Dirt.

Pate reveals the company’s plans for more new compact excavators in 2024 and highlights the features that stand out on the recently released HX series models, which have been completely redesigned. The excavators are loaded with standard equipment, including load-sensing technology.

So to find out why Pate calls Hyundai “the best-kept secret in compact equipment,” check out the latest episode of The Dirt.

Quick Specs on HX Series


  • Engine: 24.8 hp Kubota
  • Operating weight: 8,300 lb.
  • Dig depth: 9 ft. 8 in.
  • Bucket breakout force: 7,081 lb. 


  • Engine: 37.4 hp Yanmar
  • Operating weight: 9,479 lb.
  • Dig depth: 11 ft. 2 in. 
  • Bucket breakout force: 9,846 lb. 


  • Engine: 37.4 hp Yanmar
  • Operating weight: 10,912 lb.
  • Dig depth: 11 ft 5 in. 
  • Bucket breakout force: 8,223 lb.

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In This Episode:

  • 00:00 - Hyundai’s New Compact Excavators
  • 00:31 - Overview of Hyundai’s New Compact Excavators
  • 02:28 - Why Did Hyundai Release 3 New Compact Excavators?
  • 03:09 - What Makes These Compact Excavators Unique?
  • 05:30 - What Do Operators Like Most About Hyundai’s New Excavators?
  • 06:08 - How Does Hyundai Overcome Being a Lesser-Known Brand in the US?
  • 07:30 - Most Notable New Feature on Hyundai’s New Compact Excavators
  • 08:14 - Final Thoughts


Bryan Furnace (00:00):

Today we're here to talk about Hyundai. They are not one of the biggest names nor the first name you think about when you think about construction equipment, but that doesn't mean you should write them off. Hyundai's got a strong presence overseas. They are all over the place. And they've also got a great product offering here in the US. Here to tell us more is Jeff from Hyundai.


Well, Jeff, thank you so much for taking time to be on The Dirt today. I appreciate it.

Jeff Pate (00:33):

Yeah. Thank you, Bryan. Thanks for having me.

Bryan (00:35):

From what I understand, you guys introduced three new models of excavator at CONEXPO, particularly compact excavators. Would you mind giving us kind of a brief overview of the new machines?

Jeff (00:47):

Sure, absolutely. So you're right. We did introduce those at CONEXPO and the HX series as we're calling them, they're all new for Hyundai. They've been redesigned from the ground up. Now the three models that we introduced at CONEXPO were the HX35, the HX40, and the HX48. We'll also be introducing two more HX series models in early '24 and three more HX models in late '24. Our largest excavator in the compact range in that zero to 10 tons, the HX85, that unit's already been on the market for about four years. We introduced it in 2020. And our full line of mini HXs range from just under 4,000 lbs to just over 20,000 lbs.


Now you may have noticed, just after CONEXPO we introduced a new tagline for compact. It's Hyundai: The New Standard in Compact. The new HX series, we've set the bar really high and that's why we're calling it a new standard, if you will, in compact equipment. What we're really saying, Bryan, is two things when we refer to the new standard. One, we offer more standard features than any other manufacturer out there. Features like hydraulic quick coupler standard, integrated utility lifting hook, cylinder guards, dozer blade float, auxiliary flow control in the cab, password security, HiMATE telematics. There's six, seven other items on there that we, again, we offer as standard.


And then two, it's not only about the standard features that we offer, it's also about setting that bar high and establishing a new standard, if you will, for compact excavators that customers we think are going to come to expect after experiencing the new HX product.

Bryan (02:26):

Gotcha. And so just out of curiosity, of the three new models, what made Hyundai kind of decide to invest in these models? Why make these new machines?

Jeff (02:36):

So the 35 size machine, the 3 to 4 ton segment is the largest segment in compact in North America. About 30% of zero to 10 ton excavators is in that size class. And then the 40 and the 48 and the 40 teeters on that 3 to 4 and 4 to 5 ton, 40 and the 48 are both brand new models for US. So we didn't have an R series in those sizes. And the 4 to 5 ton segment, it represents about 15% of the segment [inaudible 00:03:01] and zero to 10 tons. So we felt like those three models give us the most bang for our buck, if you will.

Bryan (03:09):

So I do want to reference back, you kind of talked about Hyundai's kind of wanting to set the standard here. What are some of the things in your mind that kind of set that standard, that really sets Hyundai apart from the competition?

Jeff (04:42):

It's four or five different things. It is quality, it's reliability. We offer a standard three year, 3,000 hour warranty, plus a five year 10,000 hour structural warranty. And then we also offer a Hyundai-backed extended warranty. It's productivity, obviously the standard features and then performance. We'll put our units up against any other manufacturer on the market.


We recently, Bryan, had our heavy metal sales training and our product center in Carnesville, Georgia. In addition to giving our dealers the opportunity to test the new HX series, we also brought in four other manufacturer's machines to let the dealers directly compare in a side-by-side comparison against the HX35. And the feedback from the dealers on the new product was overwhelmingly positive. And quite frankly, the competition really never stood a chance.

Bryan (05:29):

What in particular kind of stood out on the Hyundai models versus some of the competitors? Was there something in your mind that the users went, "This really shines in this area"?

Jeff (05:38):

Yeah, a couple of things. One, the bigger, better cab, the ergonomics of the cab, the screen itself within the cab, the performance itself, the four major manufacturers, the other OEMs that we had there on site. The dealers told us that the HX series 35 simply outperformed whether it was digging force, breakout force, tractive effort. It simply outperformed the competition.

Bryan (06:06):

Interesting. So that is one of the things. I guess Hyundai is not one of the biggest known brands here in the US. They're one of the bigger brands, but I wouldn't say they're the first one that jumps to mind when you talk about construction equipment here in the US. And so I do feel like for you guys, you have that kind of uphill battle that you almost have to prove yourself even though you shouldn't have to because globally Hyundai is a huge brand. Thoughts on that, just what that does for you guys coming out of the gate?

Jeff (06:36):

One, I'd tell you, Hyundai's probably the best kept secret in the compact market. On the heavy side here in North America and other parts of the world. They are more well known. It's a great brand. I recently went to Korea, to the plant, to the testing facility in R&D center and was really blown away the amount of testing that these guys do on the product to make sure when it comes off the line, it's turnkey, it's ready to go and expecting no downtimes out of these units. But you're right, it's going to be challenging. We've got to rely on our dealers, make sure we've got the right dealers in the right markets, and that those guys are able to effectively penetrate the segment. And then from a marketing perspective, making sure that we're getting the name out there and making it more well known that Hyundai competes in the compact segment, not just on the heavy side with large excavators and large wheel loaders.

Bryan (07:29):

Well, my final question is, any new features or updates that have been added as you've continued to improve on the line?

Jeff (07:36):

Yeah, for the most part, product remains very similar to the older R series unit, although enhancements have been made to every aspect. But I guess one big one is the load sensing. The load sensing hydraulics, given that HX85 has been very successful with its load sensing hydraulics, we're adding that to the 40 and larger machine. Anything 35 and smaller, still the three pump system, but the 40 and larger with that one pump system that better detects where the flow and pressure is needed, we think it's going to set us apart.

Bryan (08:09):

Well Jeff, thank you so much for all the information and thank you for your time.

Jeff (08:13):

No problem. Thank you, Bryan.

Bryan (08:14):

Well thank you again to Jeff and Hyundai for taking the time to come on the show today. As always, I hope this has been informative and gives you a little more information to help you in your business. Thanks for watching as always, and we'll catch you next time on The Dirt.