A Kubota mini excavator is proving a money-saving jack-of-all-trades at a stately home in the Midlands. Boughton House, near Kettering, described as the 'English Versailles', is the Northamptonshire home of the Duke and Duchess of Buccleuch and Queensberry.
The 2.6 tonne Kubota KX61-3 is used for general maintenance duties in the 12,000 acre park, which is Grade One listed in the Register of Parks and Gardens of Special Historic Interest. It features a spread of lawns, lakes, waterways, woods and historic avenues of trees.
The Kubota also works on the estate's other properties in the area which include six villages and seven farms, all within a three mile radius of Boughton House. In all there are 200 estate-owned houses plus commercial properties, many of them converted barns.
The KX61-3 was bought by Buccleuch Building Services, the estate's internal construction company, from local Kubota dealer, Shellplant, of Northampton, who provide a service contract. It has a 4270 mm long arm fitted as standard to provide a maximum dig depth of 3870mm. The digging force of the bucket is 21.5 kN (2190 kgf).
The machine was supplied with 9, 12 and 24 inch digging buckets, a ditching bucket for grading and a Quick Hitch device for the speedy changeover of attachments.
Like all the models in Kubota's KX Series it has advanced hydraulic systems to improve its response and reduce energy wastage. It features an ergonomically designed control lever layout for smoother operation with reduced driver fatigue, together with Kubota’s unique key-based ANTI-THEFT security system.
The machine's versatility is used to the full at Boughton House. As well as digging out for drainage work, preparing the footings for building extensions and new builds, and digging post holes, it handles general site clearance. It has also assisted with the ongoing restoration work to the park's historic four-mile-long perimeter brick wall.
Bruce Oram, Buccleuch Building Services' works manager, said: "We used to have a Kubota on long-term hire from a local hire company pretty much most of the time. When we recently took a close look at the hire costs versus buying our own machine, we realised it was far more economic to buy than carry on renting, particularly as the Kubota's has such a good resale value".
"It's a very good piece of kit which is extremely versatile and easy to use, and we haven't had any problems with it. Many of the properties on the estate have restricted access and the machine is compact enough to get into the smallest garden."
In addition to the financial savings Mr Oram said that having their own machine on hand at all times was much more convenient. "If we have an emergency, say a burst water pipe, we can now get the mini to it right way without having to wait for the hire company to deliver it."
As the machine weighs in at 2.7 tonne with a bucket attached, it can legally be towed on public roads by a tractor or other suitable estate vehicles.
Boughton House was originally purchased by the Montagu family in 1528. The modest medieval buildings were transformed over the next 250 years, turning Boughton into what is claimed to be one of the great houses of Europe.
It is administered by The Living Landscape Trust, an educational charity established by the 9th Duke in 1986 to foster understanding of the House, its heritage and the surrounding Boughton Park and the wider estate. The Trust is currently into the fourth year of a major 10-year project to rebuild the water features in the park, with occasional help from KX61-3.
Kubota is the UK, European and world leader in mini excavators and provides the widest range of machines available from a single manufacturer. Customers can select from 19 base models spanning the weight range from 850kg up to 8 tonnes and including the largest selection of increasingly popular zero tail swing machines – all featuring Kubota's unique E-TVCS (Three Vortex Combustion System) engines, which enable high energy output, low vibration and economic fuel consumption, whilst minimising exhaust emissions.
Their compactness, legendary productivity, versatility and cost-effectiveness make them ideal for many different applications and end-users; from building, construction, civil engineering, quarrying, demolition, recycling and landscaping, to plant hire companies, utilities and owner operators.
All new Kubota models in the UK and Ireland, from 1.5 tonnes upwards, now feature their unique upgraded 'ANTI-THEFT PLUS' security system, the first and still the only one of its kind fitted as standard equipment by a mini excavator manufacturer.
This security system has also gained the certification of Thatcham, the Motor Insurance Repair Research Centre, and is recognised by insurers, which should result in substantial discounts on premiums for users of Kubota mini excavators.
Kubota has also again outstripped its competitors with the recent announcement that all new machines, in the UK and Ireland, now carry a full 3 year warranty as standard. The new 3 year (3,000 hours) warranty applies to all models across the entire Kubota range. Typically most other manufacturers currently offer a maximum 2 year standard warranty period.
Coupled with outstanding nationwide dealer support, Kubota minis provide unbeatable value for money – a vitally important consideration in the current economic climate.
To find out why more people choose Kubota than any other mini excavators contact: Kubota (UK) Ltd – Construction Equipment Division, Dormer Road, Thame, Oxfordshire, OX9 3UN, Web: www.kubota.co.uk or to receive a free copy of their Investment Information Pack contact the Kubota response hotline on Tel: 01889 565111, Fax: 01889 565700 or Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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