Devon-based Martin Parish Contracting puts versatile Yanmar Equipment to the test
If there is one thing that Yanmar Compact Equipment EMEA ViO38 mini excavator is guaranteed to offer, it’s versatility. Digging out an extensive pond in the morning, then trimming and felling roadside trees in the afternoon? Pah! That’s a typical day in the life of a ViO38. But don’t just take our word for it; ask Martin Parish Contracting (MPC), a multifaceted forestry and agricultural contractor in Chulmleigh, in deepest rural North Devon.
Agriculture is fundamental to Devon and its rural communities, with farming being the mainstay of the local landscape for centuries. While MPC’s owner – Martin Parish – launched his business as recently as 2016, he has been working with machinery since his teens. MPC, as is often found in the countryside, needs to be a jack of all trades, one day making household driveway alterations, to next day landscaping lakes.
For these tasks and many more besides, MPC relies on a single Yanmar ViO38 mini excavator, fitting the zero-tail swing unit with various attachments and taking pleasure in regularly testing the breadth of its capabilities: “As a small business, having a multitask machine that can do everything is very important to us. We fit our Yanmar mini excavator with a variety of different buckets for landscaping and groundworks projects; a cutter for hedge and tree trimming; a wire roller and post driver for erecting our fences; a grapple for lifting timber. So many of our tasks rely on the performance of our ViO38. It’s also so easy to operate, and its cabin is really comfortable and surprisingly spacious given the machine’s compact size. This is a huge advantage given how much time we spend working in it every day.”
Hydraulic Quick Coupler enables the operator to hydraulically open and close the couplers from their seat at the flick of a switch. The ViO38’s spacious and airtight cabin also features foldable pedals for more operator space, improved ergonomics, and optional air conditioning to maximise comfort around the clock.
Much of MPC’s daily jobs revolve around forest management, where Martin and his team will head into Devon’s dense woodland to complete drainage and maintenance work, along with other general forestry activities. These woodlands can often be found on steep valley slopes, and having a robust, reliable unit that can maintain surefootedness while working on difficult terrain is vital, explains Martin: “The forestry work is always challenging, as nine times out of 10 the conditions are steep, wet and in the middle of nowhere. We certainly put the ViO38 mini excavator through its paces with such projects, but it has stood up to the test and proven itself capable of continuing to perform reliably and efficiently.”
Yanmar has combined many clever design features to make the ViO38 exceptionally stable, including a low centre of gravity and long undercarriage to ensure a smoother, safer ride. The unit is also fitted with an EU Stage V compliant engine, with an output of 18.9 kW at 2,200 rpm, and an eco-mode that reduces its engine speed, thus lowering fuel consumption. Its fuel efficiency, Martin explains, was one of the key reasons for MPC opting for the ViO38 as its excavator of choice.
MPC originally purchased its excavator from Machine Serve, an approved Yanmar dealer also situated in Chulmleigh, conveniently just 10 minutes away from MPC’s facilities. Machine Serve specialises in selling and servicing plant and agricultural machinery for the whole of the UK’s South-West, and is responsible for providing parts, maintenance and repair services to MPC. As Martin says: “Having a local dealer is incredibly valuable to us, and the support that Phil Davey and his team offer in terms of getting us parts, maintenance and repairs for our Yanmar unit has been brilliant. They even go out of their way to help us outside of their opening hours if we need it! We are very happy with our decision to have chosen the ViO38, under Machine Serve’s guidance.”