Taniguchigumi commenced operation in 1953, a year when heavy rain, landslides and flooding in the Kishu area inflicted the worst climatic damage in Wakayama Prefecture on record. This marked the start of the company's history when the current chairman's father, who was a carpenter, undertook civil engineering work to help with reconstruction efforts. "My father was very strict, and he made me help him with his work from when I was at junior high school. I can still handle a shovel or a saw as well as any of the young workers." says Chairman Kunihiro Taniguchi. Along with his younger brother, Senior Managing Director Fumihide Taniguchi, he would help out with the family business from his student days, supporting the company's development and growth.
By the time Taniguchi joined the company (after graduating with a degree in architecture), the core business was already shifting to construction. "I don't think today's new graduates would believe me, but at that time, when you graduated from university, you were expected to have people reporting to you immediately." said Fumihide Taniguchi. It was at that time that the company was introduced to Hitachi construction machinery (HCM) through Sakiyamagumi, to which Taniguchigumi outsourced work as the main subcontractor. "Until then we had used wire-type machines, but when I saw the HCM hydraulic excavator that Sakiyamagumi was using, I thought 'Wow! That's fantastic.' So in 1979 we purchased the UH02. And when I got in the driving seat, it really was fantastic." said Chairman Kunihiro Taniguchi.
The construction machines used at building sites are limited by the characteristics of the land where they operate, and a 5cm difference in body width can make a significant difference. If two machines have the same specifications, Taniguchigumi uses the smaller one. Introduced in 1986, the UH025-7 was appreciated for its compact size, which was easily transported by truck and easy to use at confined construction sites.
Chairman Kunihiro Taniguchi
Katsuhisa Hosoda, one of the company's operators, had this to say about the machine. "Though small, it has a very robust engine. Even if it hasn't been used for a while, the engine starts straightaway. The tracks don't move so well now, but the machine is still usable." Long an active player in building foundation work and ground leveling, the machine is currently used for leveling the ground at the stockyard.
When asked about the appeal of HCM products including the UH025-7, Fumihide Taniguchi simply replied, "The brand. The same goes for electrical appliances and cars; the brand-name delivers exceptional quality. Just the name gives you an idea of what kind of product it is. We look after our equipment so that it lasts a long time, but even so, a big plus is that we don't need to worry unnecessarily about breakdowns. It all comes down to trust. In that sense, HCM's construction machinery are the best." said Fumihide Taniguchi. The company has used HCM construction machinery exclusively almost for over 40 years.
Katsuhisa Hosoda, Operator
"HCM personnel are easy to consult with, they listen to unreasonable requests and do good inspections." said Kunihiro Taniguchi. "All the reps we've had so far have been really nice people who know how to greet you loudly and clearly." said Fumihide Taniguchi. In over 40 years of doing business, Taniguchigumi and HCM Hidaka Sales Office have continued to enjoy an excellent relationship.
On the subject of a 'brand powered by people,' Fumihide Taniguchi went on, "In every kind of work, it is important that the sales rep shows his or her face. The more times he or she puts in an appearance, the better acquainted we become. It doesn't matter if the reason for calling is simply 'I was in the area'. The visit could be nothing more than bringing a brochure of new machine." The company even welcomes visits from sales reps that might be regarded as persistent.
"We value getting along with people. You could even go so far as to say we are willing to accept if another company in the same line of business steals a job from us by socializing. If I were the customer, I would make the same choice." confirms Kunihiro Taniguchi.
Senior Managing Director Fumihide Taniguchi
Taniguchigumi's corporate philosophy is 'Trust is a Treasure.' President Hikaru Taniguchi says, "Our craftsmanship is long-standing. We are committed to a 'plus-one spirit' whereby we deliver more than the customer requested, thus earning their trust." Whereas other construction firms simply do a job according to the budget, Taniguchigumi goes beyond such bounds to finish a job with care.
Taniguchigumi is committed to work speed. Deadlines are met as a matter of course with 'plus-one' speed. As Fumihide Taniguchi says, "It is not that 'slow and cautious equals good' when it comes to a craftsman's work. Carpenters, plasterers, tilers ... If you compare someone who works slowly and cautiously with someone who works briskly and carefully, the work done by the latter is better. There is nothing good about doing things slowly, particularly in a country where it rains a lot. Someone who works quickly is very organized."
This 'plus-one' spirit is most obvious in foundation work. The care and artistry of the company's foundation work has earned it a reputation among local designers and new work sometimes comes to the company because of that reputation. "Foundations not visible, but as we get work through trust, even the part that isn't seen is important."said Fumihide Taniguchi. The company's need to thoroughly trust its construction machinery emanates from those words.
About 80% of the employees work as engineers
"The number of shops in town that have closed down is increasing and the population has fallen. Both the company and myself want to do something to contribute to the local community" says Hikaru Taniguchi. He is executive committee chairman of 'Onpaku' which is held every summer throughout Gobo City and Hidaka District. Onpaku refers to Gobo Hidaka Expo which creates the interaction between people living in Gobo and Hidaka and visitors to the area through interactive experience programs. The aim is for the people who provide the programs as well as the people who participate in them to rediscover the attractions of the town where they live, leading to a revitalization of the entire area.
In addition to the declining population, Gobo City faces another chronic problem - measures against tsunami caused by earthquakes. Facing the Pacific Ocean, it is presumed that Wakayama Prefecture would suffer devastating damage in the event of a tsunami caused by a Nankai Trough earthquake. Gobo City and Hidaka District where Taniguchigumi is rooted are low-lying and tsunami damage has been recorded throughout the area in past major earthquakes that occurred along the Nankai Trough.
The company was involved in Gobo Tsunami Evacuation Tower Development Project in 2019. However, there are currently only three tsunami evacuation towers standing in Gobo. Wakayama's measures are way behind those of other prefectures such as Shizuoka where the same amount of damage in a Nankai Trough earthquake is expected. "It's the same with disaster recovery work after recent typhoons. There is so much more that we can do. We will do our best to ensure Taniguchigumi is a company that is essential to the town." according to Hikaru Taniguchi.
HCM supports companies that support their communities through construction machinery. There must still be so much more that HCM can do.
President Hikaru Taniguchi
The engine still sounds powerful
ZX75USBL-3, successor to the UH025-7, introduced in 2013
Construction services provided by Taniguchigumi range from private works, such as company buildings, shops, factories, condominiums and warehouses to schools and other public works. The company also carried out construction work at Wakayama Prefectural Minabe Senior High School Training Center in 2019.
With Kishu wood used throughout, the center attracted attention as the biggest wooden building in Wakayama Prefecture. Being a huge wooden structure with a total area of over 1,700 m2, it was not possible to cut the columns and beams directly from the raw timber and many processes such as laminating were required. In addition, the materials were limited, so the difficulties at the site were never-ending. Fumihide Taniguchi praised the staff, saying, "Wooden construction seems easy, but in fact it is difficult because wood is a living material. The workers really made a tremendous effort in a limited work period."
At present, a sales training room has been set up in the center offering fresh farm produce, bread, ice cream and other products, creating a large, open space for communication between locals and students.
|Engine rated power (PS/rpm)||53/2,150|
|Feature||UH025-7 enabled an operator to drive straight, in case of a combined operation during traveling, by applying new 3 pump/3 valve OHS(Optimum Hydraulic System) equipped with triple gear pumps. In order to enhance convenience at urban civil engineering job sites, this model was launched with ample attachment options such as offset boom and blade, in 1984.|
The UH025-7 has retired from main construction work. Even today, its engine works well and is used in the material storing site.
|■Business:||General construction work (civil engineering, building construction, piping, landscaping, painting, etc.), design and construction|
|■Representatives:||Chairman Kunihiro Taniguchi,
President Hikaru Taniguchi,
Senior Managing Director Fumihide Taniguchi
|■Established:||Established year 1973, 1953(Business began)|
|■Address:||698-6 Takara, Yukawa-cho, Gobo City, Wakayama Prefecture|