Combining traditional craftsmanship with contemporary designs, Rose Builders located in Manningtree, Essex, has earned itself a reputation for delivering the very highest standards of design and construction.
With a sustainable business built on quality, a solid reputation, and a desire to improve the communities in which it works, this fourth-generation family-run house building company is clearly not your average construction firm.
Having recently won a five-star award from the House Builders Federation for customer satisfaction, it’s clear to see that Rose Builders holds quality in much higher esteem than quantity.
Part of that ethos can be attributed to the way it manages and controls processes. And having its own groundworks division, complete with highly skilled operators, brings an additional element of quality control to the business.
“Running our own groundworks division instead of hiring in contractors, brings an additional element of quality control and time management to the business,” explains Daniel Frost, Rose Builders’ operations and fleet manager. “As a result, we’re in a far greater position to control and manage our quality control processes by having our own fleet of excavators,” he says.
Needless to say, its core values of honesty, integrity and trust apply as much to the machinery it buys as they do to those who eventually invest in a Rose-built home.
“As a builder, contractor and developer, quality is very important to our business,” says Daniel. “And it’s one of the areas that is high on our agenda when sourcing plant and machinery. It’s not just our customers who expect the best – we want top quality too.”
It explains perhaps, why the mini excavator fleet is gradually morphing into a shade of orange, with a total of 17 Kubota models now supplied by local dealer HOS Plant. The lion’s share comprises six of Kubota’s flagship eight-tonne KX080 models, with a further five KX030 three-tonners and four short radius U17s. In addition, Rose Builders operates a five tonne U48-4 and a K008 micro excavator.
Daniel Frost says past experiences with Kubota machinery prior to him joining Rose Builders proved that strong residual values combined with high reliability, make the Japanese brand an obvious choice.
“Demand for clean, tidy, used Kubota mini and midi excavators continues to impress,” he says. “Our kit doesn’t sit around for long when we trade up. And the used values also contribute to a low total cost of ownership.” He says the firm’s excavator replacement policy is five years, in which time the Japanese machines are likely to have clocked up around 4,000 hours. “We do like the reassurance of Kubota’s own warranty, but seldom have to call on it,” he says. “But when we have, the service and support from HOS Plant and Kubota UK has been faultless.”
“But just as importantly, we aim to keep the same operator on all machines of eight tonnes and above. This gives each operator responsibility and pride in the kit they use – and that is also reflected in residual values.”
When it comes to machine specification, a selection of buckets and breakers tend to cover all bases for groundworks. “It’s why we operate so many eight tonners,” he says. “It really is a jack-of-all-trades machine. The KX080 is relatively compact but with a generous working envelope – and that makes it ideal on our building sites.”
The firm also operates a further 12 larger excavators, comprising 14 and 21 tonne machines for heavier work and bulk excavation during the early phases of site development. “If Kubota produced 14 and 21 tonne excavators, we’d probably have those on the fleet too,” he says.
Phil Hempstead is one of Rose Builders’ many machine operators. He spends his days in the cab of an eight-tonne KX080-4 a2, which he views as a versatile all-rounder on building sites.
“I use the Kubota with a selection of Rhinox buckets that extend from narrow trenching to grading,” says Phil. “A low pin height and a bucket hook for easy handling improves on-site convenience, and we can flip the buckets round to work in reverse, which is handy when laying shingle over drains.”
“Compared to other midi excavators I’ve used, the Kubota is very smooth, it’s a lot quieter and packs more comfort too,” says Phil. “The cab is quite wide, which is also good for the operator.”
Phil has particular praise for the built-in refuelling pump, which avoids having to climb on the tracks to refuel. “This is just one of many small improvements that all add up to create a great machine,” he adds. “Blade float is a brilliant feature, and it makes back-filling both fast and efficient.” He also has praise for the cab’s interior trim. “Plastic panels in the cab are smooth finished, which makes them easy to keep clean and bright compared to those with a rougher surface,” he says. “It’s just a very well-built excavator.”