Construction & Mining

Smith Power unveils new U17-3 mini-excavator

KubotaSmith Power Equipment has introduced the new Kubota U17-3, a one, seven-tonne compact excavator that punches above its weight with greater power and smooth performance in space-restricted working environments


Replacing the predecessor U15 model, the new Kubota U17-3 further entrenches Kubota as the ‘pick of the bunch’ and an unquestionable first choice for tackling jobs in the tightest of spaces.  

While the machine is similar to the U15, Michele Cicognani, national product & sales specialist at Smith Power, said, the U17-3 “packs a bigger punch” with more power under the hood to handle a variety of tasks as well as better ground breaking force, excellent digging depth and reach. 

“One of the key selling points is the Kubota 16 hp engine, delivering superior horsepower and performance, as well as low noise, vibration levels and exceptional fuel efficiency,” stated Cicognani. 

The HMS hydraulic system also ensures greater operational performance. Kubota adopts a three-pump system, which uses three independent pumps for boom, arm and swivel to make the cooperation of bucket, boom and swivel as smooth and efficient as possible. 

The Kubota U17-3 particularly excels in tight working spaces. The zero-tail swing means that the operator can rotate the cab of this one, seven -tonne excavator in any direction without any part of it going over the tracks. This makes it a perfect choice for working in tight, enclosed areas where bigger excavators can’t get to. 

With the U17-3, Kubota also paid particular attention to operator comfort, which is critical to overall productivity on site. The work station is more spacious than the predecessor model and features a selection of enhancements to make long days more comfortable. The deluxe high-back seat provides optimal comfort for any size operator and the wide foot area is spacious and reduces operator fatigue.

To further reduce operator fatigue, the two-speed travel switch has been relocated to the dozer level, opening up the floor and creating more space, while also being convenient and quicker to access and operate. 

“With the touch of a single lever, you can reduce the track gauge to navigate narrow spaces or increase it to improve functionality. Changing the blade width is as easy as removing two pins by hand,” explained Cicognani.

To reduce maintenance costs and improve site efficiency, the Kubota U17-3 has an improved maintenance layout and access points, making it quick and easy for service technicians to access and maintain or repair key components in the excavator.

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Terex Trucks rebrands to Rokbak

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Power systems supplier Kohler unveils M139 generator canopy

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80,000 housing sites serviced by the DA-led government

AdobeStock 208601111Since 2010, under the leadership of the DA, the provincial Department of Human Settlements serviced 80,000 housing sites across the Western Cape, revealed a parliamentary reply


This excludes all housing developments and social housing initiatives undertaken by the provincial department which focuses on using innovative and affordable methods to addressing the housing crisis that is facing South Africa.

By allocating around US$260mn to servicing sites, which includes the supply of water and electricity, and laying of bulk infrastructure, the Western Cape government has once again showed its commitment to bring housing opportunities to our residents as bulk infrastructure remains the costly part of any development.

The provincial department of agriculture, environmental affairs and development planning is currently finalising the first ever inclusionary housing policy framework for any provincial government in the country where the provincial department of human settlements also provided input. This policy framework alongside the development of service sites in the Western Cape accelerates the delivery of housing opportunities for deserving beneficiaries.  

Initiatives such the iclusionary housing policy framework as well as the Western Cape asset finance reserve, which will empower local municipalities and unlock further funding opportunities, are game changes for the Western Cape. This Reserve is the first and only of its kind in the country.

The standing committee on human settlements will engage the provincial department on this reserve fund and the ways in which this will support local municipalities across the province to deliver housing opportunities for our residents. As the budgets for human settlements continues to shrink year on year, finding ways to accelerate dignified housing opportunities for residents must remain a top priority for all the governments.

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The role of the 3D geological model in geotechnical BIM

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