Kubota UK has achieved the landmark sale of its 50,000th excavator in the British and Irish market.
This is a major milestone for the company that pioneered the concept of mini-excavators in the UK in 1979. Back then, with no products of this kind on the market, there was some serious scepticism about the introduction of mini-excavators and the value they could provide to building projects. In fact, just 41 Kubota machines were sold in 1979, with one of the first being the classic KH10 mini-excavator model, a machine that can still be found working 37 years later.
Pictured below is the very first model to come off the production line in Japan.
Liebherr describes Bauma as a double-home fixture. Its roots are in Bavaria and Germany still accounts for 20% of group sales. Many companies invest hugely in success at major trade shows, but none invest as much as Liebherr at Bauma.
Liebherr’s investment in Bauma extends way beyond the 60+ machines exhibited, a third of which were making their market debut at Bauma 2016. It also flies in customers and guests from all over the world, putting them up in hotels that are, for one week only, made criminally expensive.
Among these guests was your correspondent, one of a dozen or so ‘social media representatives’ ranging from hardened hacks to amateur bloggers. For many of the bloggers it was the first time that a major equipment manufacturer had invited them inside and given them the media treatment usual reserved only for accredited press. It should go down as a landmark moment in the evolution of construction industry media relations.
It was a flying visit through Bauma for me this time, with too little opportunity to see most of the great stuff that there was on show. However, here is a quick snapshot of some of what you missed if you did not manage to get to Munich this week, or what you’ve probably already seen if you did.
First of all: a transparency disclosure. I was there courtesy of Liebherr, who take a special interest in social media. There is of course much to report on the Liebherr stand, but that will be the subject of a separate post. This is an account of some of what I saw when I managed to escape the clutches of Liebherr’s very warm and convivial embrace.
While Liebherr may have had the biggest stand, it did not have the biggest machine. As far as I could tell, that honour goes to this.
This month JCB celebrates the production of its 200,000th Loadall telehandler. Here we present a pictorial history stretching back 39 years.
The first JCB telehandler was launched in 1977 as the JCB 520 (above). It was a two-wheel drive machine with a 6.4-metre lift height and a maximum lift capacity of 2.25 tonnes. Until that time contractors had lifted materials with masted rough terrain fork lifts, backhoe loaders and loading shovels. Over the years the JCB Loadall range has expanded beyond recognition, to incorporate machines with working heights of up to 20 metres and maximum lift capacities exceeding six tonnes.
From that early two-wheel drive 520 model the range grew rapidly, with the addition of the heavier lift 525 in 1980 and the lighter second generation 520-2 and 520-4 in 1981, the latter introducing four-wheel drive and larger rear wheels for improved traction on construction sites. These models were also notable for the introduction of JCB’s Q-fit implement carriage, which allowed operators to work with a range of bucket and attachments, as well as pallet forks.
For anyone who thinks that tracking devices are just for getting reduced insurance premiums, here’s further evidence that they do actually get machines back home too.
Police on the trail of a stolen dumper tracked didn't just quickly track it down; they also found more nicked plant into the bargain. And the credit goes to the AMI Nexis plant tracking systems, it seems.
It all began with the theft of the 1-tonne Terex dumper, worth £15,000, from a construction site in Sheffield. Luckily, the equipment was protected against theft with an AMI Nexis battery-operated tracking device using GSM and RF technology. It was also registered with CESAR, the Construction & agricultural Equipment Security And Registration scheme. [Why don’t they call it CAESAR? –ed]