Kubota's 2006 mini-excavator lineup will include three new zero-tail-swing models — the Super Series U15, U25 and U45. These new machines will compete, respectively, in metric-ton classes 1.5, 2.5 and 4.5, with horsepower ratings of 13, 21 and 42.
At the small end of the scale, the Super Series U15 is a 3,704-pound machine that digs to 7 feet 7 inches and features hydraulically adjusted tracks that can change in gauge width from 3 feet 3 inches to 4 feet 1 inch. With the touch of a single lever, says Kubota, you can reduce track gauge to navigate narrow spaces, or expand the gauge to improve stability. The U15 also features Kubota's Two-Pattern-Selection System, which allows operators to easily choose between ISO and SAE control patterns. This new mini provides two-speed travel and is equipped with an OSHA-certified ROPS/FOPS canopy.
The middle machine in the zero-tail-swing trio, the Super Series U25, has a maximum dig depth of 9 feet 3 inches and features Kubota's Intelligent Control System, which provides diagnostic readings, routine-maintenance alerts and current-operating parameters, along with a fuel-overflow-prevention display. Like its smaller U15 counterpart, the U25 is designed for two-speed travel, allows switching between ISO and SAE operating patterns and is fitted with a certified ROPS/FOPS canopy. The U25 also features a thumb bracket and an auxiliary line to the bracket, simplifying the installation of an optional hydraulic thumb that can be used to clamp difficult-to-handle materials.
The big gun in the three-machine release is the Super Series U45, which can dig to 11 feet 10 inches and features big-excavator design elements. At the heart of this model is a load-sensing hydraulic system that automatically regulates and distributes the optimum volume of oil to each cylinder, based on the weight of the load. Complementing the efficiency of the new hydraulic system is an auto-idle system, which, according to the company, reduces fuel consumption by as much as 10 percent.
To further boost the U45's overall versatility, it is fitted with an angle blade that has a float position. With the simple movement of the dozer lever, says Kubota, the hydraulic blade can be set 25 degrees left or right. The payoff is easy trench backfilling, which can be accomplished as the machine moves continuously forward. Without the angle blade, says Kubota, backfilling would necessitate repeated repositioning of the machine perpendicular to the trench.