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Recommender: What’s your company’s preferred brand of compact excavator?

September 28, 2020 -  By
Compact excavator at work (Photo: ProGreen Turf and Landscape)

Service, size and performance-to-weight ratio are a few factors companies consider when choosing a compact excavator. (Photo: ProGreen Turf and Landscape)

What’s your company’s preferred brand of compact excavator?

Michael Hall
Owner, ProGreen Turf and Landscape
Newport, N.C.

“The Yanmar Vi035-6 was an easy choice for us when we were in the market a few years ago. For us, it all comes down to service as the top deciding factor when we purchase any new equipment. We have purchased several mini skids from Ditch Witch of N.C., who has been phenomenal over the years. They are also a Yanmar dealer and were our first and only call to purchase a mini ex. The zero-tail-swing adds a huge benefit in addition to the 35-hp size and weight, making it easy for us to tow without a commercial driver’s license. We went with an enclosed cab to provide safety from objects, insects, noise and dust, and, most of all, to provide employee satisfaction. To date, with almost 1,000 hours, we have not had a single problem with the machine.”

Headshot: Donn Vidosh

Headshot: Donn Vidosh

Donn Vidosh Jr.
Owner/operator, Vidosh North
Petoskey, Mich.

“We use a host of compact excavators. We own an 88-hp Volvo that is a great machine. Aside from that, we rent the right size piece of equipment for the specific job. I know we pay a premium to do so, but I think the efficiency savings in having the right tool for the job makes up for the cost differential. Two key components that our excavators must have for versatility are a thumb and a blade for light-duty grading.”

Headshot: Justin White

Headshot: Justin White

Justin White
CEO, K&D Landscaping
Watsonville, Calif.

“Our favorite brand is Kubota; our favorite model is the Kubota KX033. The performance-to-weight ratio is one of the best on the market. We want an excavator that can be easily towed with an F450 but also handle moving large boulders into place. Another reason is reliability; as long as you perform routine maintenance, you should have no problem with breakdowns or issues with your machinery. Unfortunately, other brands we have utilized in the past would overheat, have hydraulic issues or engine trouble. The Kubota series has been a very solid investment for us with no added costs for repair. The two-way pattern selection system allows you to switch between International Standards Organization (ISO) and Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE), depending on the operator’s preference. Another feature we like is the comfort of the cab and visibility from the operator seat. Finally, the angle blade makes backfilling trenches or grading effortless. We really like the ability to angle the blade on the KX033 model.”

Headshot: Frank Shang

Headshot: Frank Shang

Frank Shang
Owner, MRD Landscaping
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

“I love Kubota mini excavators, which have never broken down for me. My Kubota U25 works great in limited spaces. It’s a small excavator with big power, like a giant on-site. The Kubota KX040 is powered by a 29-kW/1826-cc Kubota diesel engine and weighs just 4.2 metric tons. It’s the ultimate landscaping machine for any purpose. Another reason I choose Kubota is because the nearest Kubota dealer, DLE, provides friendly and professional services.”

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