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Inside Kanga Loaders

An engine to stand on

Starting from humble beginnings in 1981 with a concept of motorised wheelbarrows, Kanga Loaders has grown to be the leading manufacturer and distributor of mini loaders in Australia and recognised around the world as a proven symbol of quality, reliability and performance. After the rippling effects of the Global Financial Crisis in 2010, Kanga Loaders was acquired by the Digga Group. Shortly after, Rod Lehpamer was appointed as the General Manager for the global business to transform, develop and grow Kanga Loaders internationally.


Today the concept of motorised wheelbarrows has evolved into a general and specialist piece of equipment, widely used in a range of industry categories. And in a continually changing market there is a need to closely monitor trends, keep ahead of the game and deliver a reliable product that gets the job done – something Kanga Loaders prides itself on. Kanga Loaders created the first commercially produced, ‘stand on’ compact skid steer loader. Over the years Kanga Loaders has grown its product offering to become a multifunctional, hydraulic power plant with various attachments for all types of applications and industries.

As a business priding itself on world’s best practice manufacturing standards, it was a no brainer for Kanga Loaders to partner with Kubota as a supplier for engines across its loader range.
“When choosing a supply partner, it’s critical they can meet the needs of our strategic vision, and when it comes to engines, Kubota’s are second to none,” Mr Lehpamer said.


“Kubota provides our engineering department with the expertise and knowledge we require to deliver the best outcome for any new products we develop. “This process extends from initial product selection to Kubota working with our onsite engineers to ensure we meet the engine matching criteria. This allows them to deliver an engine which meets our specific requirements from the Kubota factory in Japan.”


Mr Lehpamer has seen the industry transform over the last ten years with the evolution of the loader itself, as well as the market acceptance. “Loaders were traditionally a hireable or rentable item and while there is still a strong market in this category, they have become more of an essential tool of trade across a wide range of industries including arborists, irrigators, fencers, hobbyists, developers, builders and farmers,” Mr Lehpamer said. “It’s a more versatile piece of machinery with more than 60 attachments – making them well suited to dig, carry, plant or build almost anything.


“Efficiency, reliability and cost of ownership are the three biggest factors for customers’ consideration when they’re purchasing a mini loader. Meeting these needs are the reason they purchase again from Kanga Loaders and now 60 per cent of our range are powered by Kubota engines.”


Kanga Loaders has a full range of products including mini, mid-size and maxi machinery – all defined by weight, power and width. “The Mini 2 Series Loader is our more compact, lightweight and versatile product offering that can fit through the doorway of a house, providing hydraulic power into areas you never thought possible. Our Mid-Range loaders have an independent four wheel hi-torque drive system and 23-inch tyres making it perfect for all terrains.


“Finally, we have our Maxi Loader, which is a much larger, heavier and more capable piece of equipment. Powered by Kubota’s D902 three-cylinder diesel engine and the V15-05 four-cylinder 35 horsepower engine, the Maxi Loader delivers increased digging force, dump height, ground speed and more reach.


“Generally speaking, Kubota offers one of the quietest engines available and provides more power for less fuel consumption.

“Kubota’s is world renowned for reliability, ensuring consistent, trouble-free operation and the engines are perfect for our application and rigorous demands of earth moving equipment that we manufacture.”


For Kanga Loaders, the running costs are one of the biggest considerations with a plethora of moving and serviceable parts which is where Kubota exceeds expectation. “Kubota are exceptional business partners and their product and general support is unparalleled. We want to partner with companies who are successful, have a strong work ethic, integrity and when we ask for support, they give us what we require,” Mr Lehpamer said.


As an Australian market leader in the loader sector with a strong presence in the United Kingdom and New Zealand markets for several years, Kanga Loaders is looking to expand its presence in the United States in its next chapter of international recognition. “Competing with overseas manufacturing is not easy and it’s a testament to the Kanga Loaders customer base and Kanga team supporting the brand that we’ve stayed at the forefront of the domestic market. We are looking forward to demonstrating that across all markets we operate in.


“We rely on having a strong brand, loyal customers and supply partners to stay ahead of the game. The current state of the industry is very buoyant, but it is our reputation that will ensure we continue to grow within this market. One of the biggest challenges within the Loader industry are cheaper, inferior products. “We are well aware of the drawbacks of these products and recognise the importance of our machines being reliable, user friendly and easily maintained with after sales support, which is another reason why we will continue to partner with Kubota.”


In a rapidly changing world with technology advancements, moving towards battery technology will be a consideration for Kanga Loaders in the future. “While the evolution of products will continue, it’s important that we don’t lose focus on what this category was founded on. “Above all the pressures of technology, we will continue to produce quality machines that offer more benefits with a strong working capability. Afterall, this is a singular focus which we do extremely well,” Mr Lehpamer said.


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