Capital Equipment News

When PlusNet’s Chris Vermeulen was introduced to the Kubota U-50 mini-excavators at Smith Power Equipment’s (SPE) Nampo 2017 stand, it did not take long for him to make up his mind. “I was immediately impressed with their power to size ratio, the manoeuvrability in tight spaces and the range of features which promoted efficiency. So we bought three units with attachments including augurs, breakers and standard buckets,” he says.

“One of the most impressive features of this machine is the superb matching performance of every front attachment which contributes to the smooth and efficient overall operation,” Vermeulen says.

Kubota PlusNet 131405

One of his attachments is the BTI BX6 hydraulic breaker, which is extremely effective across a wide range of applications including trenching, construction, demolition, quarrying, mining and recycling. Some of its more important features include stable, high-speed percussion; exceptional durability; long stroke piston design providing high levels of constant blow energy; and optimal sound dampening making it the ideal tool for high density population areas.

Another attachment he acquired is the Auger Torque 5500 auger, which comes standard with Augur Torque’s unique Non-Dislodgement Shaft – a single-piece drive shaft assembled top down and locked into the augur housing. This design guarantees that the shaft will never fall out making for a very safe work environment for both operators and surrounding workers. “This is a must-have feature for any safety conscious company,” says SPE excavator sales manager Charl Kemp, adding that the auger’s unique planetary gearbox enables the motor’s output torque to be increased with extreme efficiency helping to ensure the tool’s durability and reliability.

Two features of the Kubota U-50 that help to bring the best out of these attachments are, firstly, the third line hydraulic return which, when working with one-way hydraulic attachments, allows oil to flow directly back to the tank without running through the control valves resulting in less oil contamination, reduced back pressure and greater oil-flow efficiency.

The second feature is the one-pump load sensing system, which adjusts hydraulic pressure automatically according to the load changes and reacts precisely to the movement of the control lever. Since the engine load is small, various inching and compounding operations can be undertaken while eliminating unnecessary loss of hydraulic flow.

The Kubota U-50s are not a ‘nice-to-have’ tool for PlusNet. They are fundamental to its operation. “We use them to drill holes, dig trenches and break rock for the installation of our standard product, which is shade cloth structures, or windbreaks, that cover very large areas of agricultural crops, including fruit-trees, table grapes, vegetables and more,” says Vermeulen.

Erecting this netting will often entail digging of holes for 10 000 anchor poles and digging of trenches at the end of each row of poles to accommodate anchors that stabilize the netting. “We need to work very accurately and fast and the Kubotas have been instrumental in our success in this regard,” Vermeulen says. “The machines work as a ‘team’ – one drilling, one breaking rock and one digging and removing waste – and they have done this efficiently and reliably. I am more than satisfied with their overall performance.”

The excellent performance of the Kubota U50s is, of course, not surprising. The fact is that in its almost 40 years’ involvement in the mini-excavator industry Kubota has continuously set the standard with technological innovations that have rocked the industry. The integration of the zero tail swing and ability of the boom to swivel was one such innovation. Others, which also helped create the future of compact construction machinery, included the pioneering, advanced features of Auto Idle, an LCD panel with self-diagnosis function and Kubota’s revolutionary one pump load sensing system.

The Kubota U50’s Auto Idle system helps save up to 10% fuel. When the control levers are in neutral for more than four seconds, the engine idles automatically. Move any control levers and the engine immediately engages. This innovative feature reduces noise, exhaust emissions and running costs.

Contact Capital Equipment News

Title: Editor
Name: Munesu Shoko
Email: capnews@crown.co.za
Phone: +27 11 622-4770
Fax: +27 11 615-6108

Title: Advertising Manager
Name: Elmarie Stonell
Email: elmaries@crown.co.za
Phone: +27 11 622-4770
Fax: +27 11 615-6108

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