Daewoo Matiz Transformed Into Excavator for Rs 70,000 by ISRO Engineer

by Chandrutpal Kashyap | 15/01/2021
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It's been over 15 years since the Daewoo Matiz's production was ceased in India. Being an ISRO engineer, this second hand Matiz owner modified it into an excavator instead of scrapping it.

Ben Jacob, an ISRO engineer, has transformed his old vehicle into something useful and at a low-cost instead of just scrapping it. Ben decided to modify his old Daewoo Matiz into an excavator/backhoe loader. The backhoe loader has a vertical and horizontal reach of 14 ft and can exert a force of six tonnes for digging and can lift up to 500 kgs. The full modification cost him Rs 70,000 which is not even 5% of the cost of a commercial excavator which are priced at over Rs 20 lakh. Ben resides in Choozhattukotta and today he explains how he modified this Matiz.


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Ben says it took him two months to convert his old Daewoo Matiz into a mini backhoe loader. The vehicle was purchased from the used car market for his wife a few years ago, and the car is now over 20 years old. With tighter emission norms kicking in, instead of scraping it, Ben instead turned into something useful and settled on the idea of a backhoe loader. The car weighs 1.1 tonnes and the ISRO engineer did most of the modifications himself. Most of the equipment was derived from his home workshop while he had to seek professional help for punching 44 mm holes for the hinges. The modification was done during the Covid-19 lockdown and most of the delay occurred due to the slow delivery of the additional parts he had ordered from Gujarat, but still was able to complete the project in 2 months. Inventions like these are for the greater good to society. Not everyone can afford a  Rs 20 lakh excavator for digging. Considering the fact that this only modification costs Rs 70,000, mini excavators like these can be used in villages where a full-size excavator would cost a whole lot more.

Ben, during an interview with a media outlet, said – “This is a mini crane... It can be made using an old car at a cost of only 70 thousand. If you want to buy a commercial excavator in the market, the minimum is Rs. 20 lakhs that you would need to spend. Although my car is 20 years old and in good condition, I wanted to do something that would benefit the community. After many thoughts, I got fixed to the mini crane. I have been working on this project since May and I have brought spare parts for it from Gujarat. I completed this in August as the lockdown restrictions delayed the arrival of the required products for the project. It can be used for excavation of ponds, roads, ditches and canals.”


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Daewoo Motors, the company that made the Matiz, ceased its Indian operations in 2003-04. The Matiz used to be a popular hatchback, its tallboy design gave the car spacious interiors. But the likes of the Hyundai Santro and The Maruti Wagon R overshadowed the Matiz in sales numbers, leading to its discontinuation.

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