Kubota KX080-3 excavator used in nature reserves
The environment at some of the UK's nature reserves has been given help by a Kubota KX080-3 excavator, which has been modified to work effectively in these landscapes.
The machine, owned and operated by Moorlands Specialist Excavations of Leek, Staffordshire, incorporates a host of modifications including low ground pressure, extra-wide tracks and fully biodegradable oil.
It has been in constant use on Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSIs) in and around the Staffordshire Moorlands and Peak District ever since the adaptations were completed towards the end of last year.
Previously, the sites were off limits to conventional excavators because of the potential damage and disturbance they might cause.
The machine belongs to Eddie Warrener, owner of Moorlands Specialist Excavations, which undertakes contracts on terrain that is both difficult and sensitive to access or work on.
When Eddie approached the market with his requirements, he found a suitable and receptive partner in Jon Barnfield, sales director at his local Kubota dealer, BTE Plant Sales in Leicester, who had no hesitation in recommending the KX080-3 model.
The KX080-3 is a high performance, turbo-engined, short tail swing 8.2 tonne machine which offers comprehensive technology as standard.
It also comes complete with Kubota's key-based Anti-Theft system, a full three year warranty, and benefits from Datag CESAR - a construction equipment security scheme promoted by the Construction Equipment Association (CEA) and supported by the Construction Plant Hire Association (CPA).
Combining low running costs with exceptional safety, durability and reliability, it is the largest machine in the Kubota range and has a well-balanced arm and bucket, providing the operator with unparalleled digging force.
Adjustable maximum oil flow on the auxiliary circuit optimises the use of an extensive range of attachments, while the reduced tail swing provides increased machine stability, meaning that it can work in some of the tightest and most restricted locations.
The Kubota machine required radical structural modifications to the undercarriage.
Most notably, the existing 450mm rubber tracks were removed and replaced by 900mm steel versions, which gave the machine a ground bearing pressure of just three psi.
The rear blade was extended by 18 inches each side to measure 9ft 6in wide.
Two bottom rollers were added to the frame each side to support the track and the frame was made five inches taller to help with debris removal and aid ground clearance.
For recovery purposes and additional safety on steep ground, Eddie had a 13,000kg line pull Superwinch H30P hydraulic winch custom-mounted.
The Engcon tiltrotator, has a quick hitch top and bottom and an integral grab, all controlled via a full proportional set up.
BTE replaced the oils in the hydraulics and engine with fully biodegradable oils from the Fuchs Lubricants Planto range.
Eddie's modified Kubota KX080-3 was first put into action at the end of 2009, on a wet, rushy pasture site at an SSSI near Flash in Staffordshire, managed under Natural England's Higher Level Stewardship (HLS).
Since then, Eddie's special Kubota has been in virtually constant demand for work on many other environmentally sensitive sites.
Eddie also equipped his machine with a heavy duty Osma flail through JCC Engcon Group and during the modification work, the firm's managing director, John Craig, became so impressed with the standard Kubota KX080-3 that he subsequently purchased one for his own hire fleet.
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