Neil Winfield, Kubota’s Business Development Manager, looks at the rise in popularity of mini excavators amongst building firms and speaks to Level Peg, a construction and landscaping company that couldn’t be without its Kubota K008-3.
Traditionally, large and medium sized excavators have been a dominant force within the construction market. However, building businesses are taking a big swing towards utilising the smaller machines for their day-to-day needs, especially on domestic projects where space is at a premium. Whether building the foundations for a conservatory, grading land for a patio or building a public garden’s new embankment, mini excavators offer a cost effective solution.
Purchasing or hiring the machines can be equally beneficial depending on the operation in question. Factors can include: capital resources, operator performance and servicing capabilities. One thing that rings true though, is that whether the firm in question decides to buy or hire a mini excavator, smaller building projects will always benefit from deploying them.
Recently we visited a domestic project to meet an ardent Kubota user; Warwickshire-based landscaping and construction firm, Level Peg, who were at work transforming a back garden from being two tiers into one flat outdoors space. In order to achieve this, the company elected to use Kubota’s ultra compact K008-3 mini excavator.
With nine years experience in the landscaping and construction industry, Level Peg is going from strength to strength in terms of winning projects, whether soft or hard landscapes. This is the latest in a line of projects where the two-man operation has utilised the excavator’s services.
Connor McCafferty, Level Peg’s landscape excavating expert who joined the business owner James Watson seven months ago, commented on the value of the machine and the fact they now consider it as part of the company’s workforce:
“Having the mini excavator on projects such as this back garden renovation has really helped our operational needs. Because of the excavator we can complete jobs more efficiently and the machine’s capabilities provide an array of solutions to the landscaping and construction challenges we face.”
“We refer to the Kubota K008-3 as our ‘third man’, as it effectively has replaced the need for another employee within our team, saving us the expense of paying for man hours, whilst being able to complete demanding tasks at a rate that would be impossible for a human to achieve.”
Connor went on to discuss the practical benefits of the excavator: “In terms of performance, the machine offers a lot. It is fuel efficient, powerful and dynamic, but also the compact size is a really useful feature. For example, on this current project, thanks to the fold down ROPS (Rollover Protective Structure), we were able to drive the machine through our client’s garage in order to access the back garden.”
As this particular job involves leveling out a garden that initially had a 6 ft differential between its two levels, there was a significant amount of natural and man-made material being moved. The excavator provided solutions in many aspects of this demanding process:
“We have used the excavator in many applications so far in the project: Moving the material, tracking and have began to excavate to shape the landscape. When it comes down to the finer details of the landscape construction, we will use it to grade the levels, making sure the landscape is consistent. The power of the hydraulics is also impressive for a small machine – we have pulled out tree stumps with it, a job that would ordinarily be a lengthy and arduous process.”
Connor closed by commenting on the financial benefits of the excavator’s consumption and slim line tracking: “On other domestic projects, we have made use of the K008-3’s adjustable track gauge to get through regular doorways, which the machine can do with ease, allowing us to access previously restricted locations.
“The fuel efficiency of this has kept our running costs down and there’s no doubt that deploying the excavator has improved Level Peg’s profitability on projects and enabled us to take on more work.”
At Kubota, we are seeing an increased number of building and development firms benefit by deploying an excavator into their fleet. The capabilities and therefore opportunities they bring to an operation are significant. Like with Level Peg, a mini excavator could end up becoming a key member of staff.
- The Kubota K008-3 mini excavator is a 980kg super compact mini excavator
- The Kubota E-TVCS (three vortex combustion system) engine reduces exhaust emission, noise and vibration
- The adjustable track gauge (down to 860-700mm) and folding ROPS make it ideal for access through doorways
- 2870mm lift height, 1700mm digging depth and a max digging force of 9.8kN