Taking a look at the Takeuchi TB217R mini excavator

Taking a look at the Takeuchi TB217R mini excavator

A Takeuchi TB217R mini excavator is paving the way for Brett Spencer Surfacing

For any local jobbing builder, a good reputation is a hardearned but essential commodity, especially if you’re securing business by word of mouth and recommendation alone. It is, of course won from a consistently high standard of work, but projecting a professional image is undoubtedly a part of the whole package. With his sign written Ford Transit Tipper, company branded Takeuchi TB217R, and his Brett Spencer Surfacing emblazoned workwear, one Northamptonshire tradesman has made a considerable investment in the equipment to do the job correctly, and his clients have the reassurance of knowing it.

Integral to the Desborough-based groundworker and landscaper’s business is his 1.7 tonne Takeuchi. Brett’s previous TB215R unit saw three years service before he upgraded to a TB217R in 2022, both of which were supplied by Corby-based Willlowbrook Plant. “My TB217R actually has a lot more power and reach than you would credit a relatively small machine with,” enthuses the 49-year-old. “At the same time, there’s a really smooth operation, and that gives you lots of control when you’re slewing, for example, especially when you’re working around an existing property.

“It is also a combination that makes it versatile enough to easily move from excavating and digging out to grading work. I’ve never had any problems with either of the Takeuchi minis I’ve owned. Both have been very reliable, and I now make use of my current machine on a daily basis. Willowbrook Plant has been first rate. I’d actually forgotten it need a service recently. I rang them in the morning and they turned up that same afternoon. When you order anything it’s also with you straight away.” 

The R designation in the name signifies a compact, short-tail design, which is ideal for the work that Brett undertakes, where space is often limited, and he’s required to work close to walls and other obstructions. At the same time, when the retractable tracks are extended, it provides a greater level of stability when digging. That track width adjusts from 980 to 1,300mm, with the obvious advantage of accessing narrow spaces at its minimum. When seated at the controls Brett is protected by a ROPS/TOPS/OPG canopy, whilst the reassurance and peace of mind of the TSS Takeuchi Security System safeguards his investment against unscrupulous thieves.

“I often leave my machine on the job, which will invariably be on a driveway”, continues Brett. “The anti-theft device ensures that it can only be started by a programmed key and is, therefore, very important to me. I wouldn’t leave it at any unsecure location without it but being able to do that without worrying can be convenient.” 

As Brett has discovered for himself, a maximum dig depth of 2,390mm and ground level reach of 3,945mm delivers an excellent working range. On the job we visited him on in his native Desborough, the client wants the existing tarmac and gravel replaced by block paving. His trusty Takeuchi is removing the existing surface and will subsequently spread stone and lay out the sand prior to paving.


It is, however, just as at home on more substantial excavating tasks, as Brett reveals. “In addition to my driveaway work I’ve dug out 1.5m deep footings for extensions and it’s more than capable on heavier projects. I turned up at one job and the customer was worried that I’d need a bigger machine. I rounded up 60 tonne of muck that day and that’s a testament to its performance. I’ve also got every bucket you can think of, depending on the job, and that makes it a very versatile solution.”

Brett Spencer Surfacing has been trading for six years, but the eponymous owner of the business can boast more than a quarter of a century of experience. His range of services includes everything from block paving to drop kerbs and tarmac driveways. “The beauty of my work is that you can drive around and see what you’ve done, and it is a source of pride when it’s still looking good many years later.”

For further information on Willowbrook Plant visit Willowbrook Plant LTD | Construction and Plant Machinery

For further information on Brett Spencer Surfacing visit Brett Spencer Surfacing | Kettering | Facebook

For further information on the Takeuchi TB217R visit TB217 Compact Excavator – Takeuchi Mfg. UK Ltd. (takeuchi-mfg.co.uk)

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