Plant hire firms, builders, contractors, utilities, local authorities and owner operators alike have enthusiastically welcomed the new generation of Dash 4 mini excavators from Kubota (UK) Ltd – Construction Equipment, praising the machines’ unrivalled blend of power, reliability and the very latest technology.
The manufacturer’s new U48-4, U55-4 and KX057-4 models have already been pressed into service following their UK introduction at the company’s Kubota Live! event at Rockingham Castle earlier in 2010.
The machines have built upon the excellence of their predecessors by offering users more strength per pound, thanks to each one’s increased boom lifting force, which has allowed Kubota to step up the weight scale.
The new U48-4 zero tail swing excavator offers 4.7 tonnes of lifting power, combined with the ability to work in confined spaces. This makes it the most powerful zero-tail swing machine in Kubota’s range, while still offering a smooth travel performance.
The Kubota U55-4 tight tail swing machine sees the range breaking new ground with 5.4 tonnes of lifting power, complemented by excellent stability and high performance in restricted areas.
The Kubota KX057-4, meanwhile, hits the 5.5 tonne mark, added to a maximum dig-depth of 3,890mm and an impressive bucket digging force of 4,315kgf.
The machines also offer a host of easy-to-use features and unrivalled user comfort. There is better visibility and a space-age digital display, which indicates fuel level, engine temperature, service intervals, auxiliary circuit oil flow settings and even the machine’s operational history.
Each has a new load-sensing hydraulic system which provides optimum oil flow to each cylinder, offering smooth operation and enhanced fuel economy, as well as an auto-shift system which enables automatic travel shift from high to low, depending on traction effort and terrain.
Their Tier 4 engines have a fuel-saving Auto-Idle function and can all be serviced from one side, while, on the outside, all three models now feature a new look black cab livery, which will be subsequently rolled out across the rest of the Kubota mini excavator product range, as and when new Dash 4 models are launched.
One of the first companies to invest in the Dash 4s – in this case, two KX057-4 models – was Jarvie Plant Group Ltd, which is one of Scotland’s leading independent hire companies and operates out of seven bases in Central Scotland, including its HQ in Grangemouth, near Falkirk.
The group’s managing director, John Jarvie, said: "We have bought Kubota equipment for many years and are committed to a continual investment programme for our fleet, so it was a natural decision for us to buy the very latest KX057-4 machines.
"Customers these days want mini excavators that are quieter, offer enhanced performance and which are more fuel-efficient. The KX057-4 achieves all of these targets, providing the benefits direct to our clients."
Further north, in Aberdeen, MTM Construction Ltd bought a Kubota U55-4, which has been added to its fleet in order to answer the growing need for machines capable of working in confined spaces.
Bill McDonald, plant/transport manager for MTM Construction, said: "We’re very pleased with the machine, it’s the biggest Kubota mini that we’ve got and gives us a powerful excavator for tight areas.
"It also accommodates a wide range of attachments and you can pre-set the oil flow so you don’t have to get a fitter to adjust it for you when you use another attachment.
"We’re always keen to buy Kubotas because they’re extremely reliable. We like to keep them for a number of years and we’re confident we’ll get good service from this one."
All three new Dash 4 machines were sold by Young Plant & Equipment Sales, based in Doune, Stirling, which is one of the largest compact equipment sellers in the world and one of Kubota’s largest dealers for mini excavators.
It has sold Kubota minis for 31 years, but managing director Brian Young said that the host of upgrades incorporated into the Dash 4s are as impressive as he has seen.
He said: "Our customers are thrilled with what they are getting with the Dash 4s, and still know that, like all Kubotas, they are reliable, need minimal servicing and hold their value.
"The differences between the previous Dash 3 models and the new Dash 4s are significant and once again show how far in front Kubota is compared to other manufacturers. If you take the U48-4, for example, not only have you got a bigger machine with the same footprint, everything is well thought-out and the digital control layout is revolutionary.
"It’s products like this which make me glad that we sell Kubotas and I can guarantee that whatever Kubota does today, the rest of the industry will be doing it tomorrow."
Like other Kubota mini excavators, the Dash 4s are fitted with their unique key-based ‘ANTI-THEFT’ system as standard, which has gained the certification of Thatcham, the Motor Insurance Repair Research Centre. They also come with an industry-leading full three year warranty.
Kubota (UK) Ltd – Construction Equipment sales and marketing manager, Richard Harrison, said: "It’s not just the new black livery that is making the new Kubota Dash 4s distinctive, it’s the host of modifications, improved technology and the extra power that we have given them that really makes them stand out from the crowd.
"We are pleased that all the companies in question are thrilled with their new machines and we are getting more excellent feedback every day. The introduction of the first models in our new Dash 4 range is a significant step forward for Kubota, so we are delighted that the innovations we develop in the factory are now providing our customers with significantly increased benefits."
Kubota is the UK, European and world leader in mini excavators, with 19 models spanning the weight range from 980kg to 8 tonnes, providing the widest choice of machines from a single manufacturer and the largest selection of increasingly popular zero tail swing minis.
The excavators are all known and respected for their quality, performance, versatility, excellent residual values and exceptional dealer support, together with legendary reliability and durability.