Selecting the Best Excavator for Your Project

How do you go about selecting the best Kubota excavator for your latest construction project?

There are several things to keep in mind, starting with the size and location of your jobsite (is it a big site in a rural area with room to maneuver or a small site in a cramped urban locale)? Also, will you be working on flat or even ground? What applications and attachments are required? Are you going to be primarily working with dirt, stone, clay, concrete, or something else?

Once you settle on your job requirements, the hunt for an excavator can begin in earnest. Factors to consider in a new excavator include size, engine power, performance, reliability, versatility, cab enclosure, hydraulics, digging depth, weight, lift and bucket capacity, tail swing and cab comfort.

It’s a good idea to pick a machine “that provides easy access to the key maintenance points: oil filter, hydraulic filter, fuel filter, fuel/water separator and air filter,” adds Kubota Canada Product Manager Jonathan Gardner in a January 25, 2021 post on the Heavy Equipment Guide website.

Given this, Kubota’s new KX057-5 and U55-5 excavators are well worth a look.

The KX057-5 compact excavator features a 47.6 gross hp Stage V direct-injection engine, long arm reach and powerful bucket digging force. A load sensing hydraulic system ensures smooth operation while an innovative Auto Idle function kicks in when control levers are in neutral for over four seconds. At 5.5 tonnes, this machine has a seven foot 11 inch minimum turning radius (without swing), a six foot six inch minimum turning radius (with swing) and a maximum digging depth of 12 feet 9 inches.

Using the dozer lever, the operator can position the KX057-5s Hydraulic Angle Blade to the right or left to push soil aside while the excavator travels forward, making it easier to backfill trenches. A dozer blade can be put into float position to follow the contour of the ground when back grading.

Performance data is displayed on a seven-inch, full-colour LCD screen in the cab, along with real-time video from a factory-installed rear-view camera. A ROPS/FOPS canopy enhances safety, bright LEDs enhance visibility, and a turn-off lighting delay means operators can securely exit the cab when it’s dark. Adjustable joysticks, climate control, a keyless start option and noise reduction technology contribute to cab comfort.

The compact, tight tail-swing U55-5 is also adept at working in small spaces. The U55-5 features a direct-injection 47.6 gross hp engine and load sensing hydraulics. It can be fitted with trenching and ditching buckets, rakes, rippers, and hydraulic breakers. An operator can control the position of a Hydraulic Angle Blade and floater blade float from the cab.

The U55-5 comes with Auto-Idle and Auto-shift (the system can automatically change the travel shift from high to low, depending on terrain and traction). As per Gardner’s point, the bonnet can be fully opened, and the interior components are optimally arranged for easy maintenance.

The redesigned cab features climate control, adjustable seats, adjustable joysticks relative to seat, enhanced visibility, and noise-reduction technology. Operators can view performance data on a seven-inch, full-colour LCD screen or use screen controls to adjust oil flow.

In summary, if your new project requires a small but powerful machine, consider Kubota’s KX057-5 or U55-5 to get the job done.