Sunward SWE 230E excavator review

Check out this review of the 22.6-tonne Sunward SWE 230E excavator.

The 22.6-tonne Sunward SWE 230E is the largest of this brand that distributor Endraulic has brought into the country. With its smaller Sunward excavators proving popular, it’s only natural that Endraulic sees what positivity it can bring to the balance sheet with the arrival of the larger models.

The scene is set for our machine test as we head out towards Auckland International Airport to do a stint in an area that will soon be the home to a large plasticware manufacturer.

Civil contracting comnpany, Dempsey and Wood has been tasked with the siteworks and, by the looks of things, is a good way through the programme, no doubt being happy that the weather has moved into a favourable phase for them.

The SWE 230E

A quick look over the SWE 230E reveals some nice styling lines with the Sunward green being a nice change away from the many variations of orange and yellow that are seen around most construction sites.

Safety rails around the top of the body ensures that no one does an unplanned tumble off the machine when carrying out daily checks, although I’m a little unsure if many people actually carry them out each day, thanks to the all-knowing in-cab gadgetry these days.

The SWE 230E also has a long carriage underframe which features nine bottom rollers for better stability; these being protected from unnecessary damage by heavy-duty guarding.

Powering the hydraulics is an Isuzu six-cylinder engine that outputs 125kW@2100rpm. Isuzu engines have been the choice of many industrial equipment manufacturers for many years, so reliability should not be an issue.



Two Kawasaki piston pumps provide a flow of 2 x 246 litres per minute, providing a working pressure of 31.4–34.3MPa, and as we were to find out, nice smooth controls.

The Sunward SWE 230E also comes with factory-fitted breaker piping which is one less thing to worry about if rock or demolition work features anywhere on the agenda.

Anti-drop valves are also fitted as standard to the rams of the dipper arm and boom, along with piping for a hydraulic hitch right to the end of the boom.


The interior proves to be roomy and similar to other popular brands, featuring all the trimmings you would expect to find in a modern machine including air-conditioning. Likewise, a monitor with a decent-sized screen keeps tabs on everything an operator would want to know about.

In operation

Spending some time with familiarisation of the controls and systems, I fired the machine up and proceeded to the top of the stockpile. One thing I noticed straight away was the smoothness of the SWE 230E, along with the feeling of stability. It’s a little bit hard to describe, but it felt like there was a weight holding the machine down and I could have sworn the excavator weighed more than it did.

After spending a bit of time getting used to the controls and the machine’s balance by preparing a level pad, it was time to call in Grant Anderson and the ADT. Once sited for loading, the Sunward SWE 230E quickly swung into action, making quick work of clearing a path for the drainage line.

If there is one word I would use to describe the SWE 230E, it would be ‘stability’. I suggest this comes from a combination of the weight distribution and the long track frame. There was never any inkling of the machine wanting to stand on its toes, even when dumping a bucket at full reach.

The verdict

I was genuinely impressed with the capabilities of the Sunward SWE 230E and take my hat off to Endraulic Equipment for taking the leap of faith to provide buyers with another alternative when considering their next heavy excavator purchase. It is definitely a rock solid option.

Read the full article in issue #229 of Farm Trader magazine. Subscribe here.

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