One of the UK’s most patriotic plant hire firms has applied its distinctive Union Jack livery to four Kubota U30-3 zero tail swing mini excavators after adding them to its fleet.
Birmingham-based Savage Plant Hire, whose eye-catching equipment is a familiar site across the Midlands, has bought the 3.3 tonne machines in a deal which represents its biggest investment in Kubotas to date.
The move marks a change of direction for Savage, which has traditionally filled its yard exclusively with machines manufactured by JCB. The company’s joint owner, Paul Savage, said that the firm has rung the changes in its fleet of minis because the reliability of the Kubota U30-3 is unrivalled and their excellent resale value will help Savage to enjoy a healthy return on investment.
Kubota is the UK, European and world-leading manufacturer of mini excavators and the U30-3 is one of eight zero tail swing machines in its range, which is in itself the largest selection available from a single manufacturer. A key feature is its width of 1.55m, which, together with zero tail swing, will allow Savage’s customers to access and carry out excavating and trenching work in the tightest of surroundings.
Sitting between the existing 2.5 tonne U25-3 and 3.5 tonne U35-3 models, the U30-3 generates 26.0kN of maximum digging force at the bucket and has a maximum reach of 5.060mm at ground level, with a maximum digging depth of 3,060mm.
It also comes complete with Kubota’s unique key-based ‘ANTI-THEFT’ system which is approved by Thatcham, the Motor Insurance Repair Research Centre. This accreditation is recognised by insurers, so that in addition to providing increased machine security, this should help achieve a worthwhile insurance saving.
Savage Plant’s decision to buy the U30-3s follows a trial period when the company purchased three Kubota minis in order to win the business of a local authority customer which had specified Kubotas for a grave-digging contract three years ago.
"We’d always used JCBs and I wouldn’t really have considered Kubota but for the fact that the client specifically wanted them," said Paul Savage.
"Over time the machines proved to be everything expected of them and we were pleasantly surprised. You hear lots of claims from manufacturers about their machines, and they’re not always borne out. But the Kubotas did everything we were told they would do, and more, and we were very impressed."
The defining moment came when it was time to sell the machines. Savage prides itself on providing up-to-date plant and is therefore committed to disposing of its existing equipment at the three year mark. When it took the Kubotas to market, the firm was delighted with how well they held their price.
"A large percentage of our machines are operated by the people who hire them, so consequently they do get worked hard," added Paul. "Despite this, we never had one problem or breakdown with the Kubotas and what’s more, after three years they showed very little wear and tear.
"Other than routine servicing they needed very little maintenance and as a result the running costs were very low. So although buying more Kubotas is a break with tradition for us, there is no doubt in our mind that we have made the right choice."
Savage’s machines – which have been specially liveried in their yellow colour scheme to match the rest of the company’s range – were supplied by the local Kubota dealer, Avon Equipment Sales, based in Stratford-Upon-Avon.
Zac Clulow, sales director at Avon, said: "Savage Plant Hire is famous for its association with JCB, so getting them to make such a significant investment in Kubota machines is a real coup.
"This is testament to the performance and build quality of the Kubotas, which prove time and time again that they are simply the best machines of their type on the market.
"Paul was extremely impressed with the resale values achieved through his previous machines and we are delighted that he has returned to purchase these U30-3 models. I am sure that they will prove to be extremely valuable additions to his fleet."
Kubota has 19 mini excavators on the market, ranging from 980kg to 8 tonnes, and they are all known and respected for their quality, performance, versatility, reliability, durability, resale value and overall value-for-money, combined with outstanding dealer support.
They also come with an industry-leading three year warranty as standard.
Richard Harrison, Kubota (UK) Ltd – Construction Equipment Sales & Marketing Manager, said: "Our U30-3 is widely recognised as the best machine of its size on the market and we are confident that they will give Savage Plant Hire excellent service.
"They incorporate a host of advanced high-tech features and equipment and, thanks to their exceptional reliability, provide unbeatable value-for-money.
"Established machines such as the U30-3, new models and continuing enhancements to our world-leading product range should help ensure Kubota’s continuing leadership of the mini excavator market for many years to come."