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Old 07-07-2007, 03:35 PM
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Looking for equipment

I'm going to be in the market for a used backhoe. My father-in-law used to have one that somebody built. They mated the backhoe from a Case CK to an old ford tractor.....he finally got rid of it because it was breaking down all the time.

I THINK I want a backhoe with a front bucket. My plan is to look for about a year before I buy. I figure this gives me a chance to learn what to look for and what to stay away from.

I see them all around but I've not seen many for sale. So, I figure I'd start my education by asking questions.

Thanks!

Joe
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Old 07-07-2007, 11:30 PM
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My first question would be what do you intend to do with it?

Are you digging 6 or 7 foot deep ditches, basements?
Or more like 3 foot deep ditches?

If you are going to be into small stuff, the Kubota is a very good choice.
4x4 is always a better choice for a wheeled tractor.
Diesel is much cheaper to operate.
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Old 07-08-2007, 08:08 AM
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I've got a good sized lot that I need to level.

My plan is to buy either a small 1 ton dump or find a good tandem axle dump trailer. The backhoe is primarily to load fill. Secondary is to help move the fill to level the lot.

I can see some ditch line work...the 3 foot variety but I don't see us doing any basements etc.

I agree with the diesel and the 4x4. The availability of parts would be important because I'm not buying new.
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Old 07-08-2007, 03:11 PM
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Sounds like either a small backhoe or a mini excavator is what you need.
Most mini's have a blade you can push dirt with and are excellent diggers.
Small backhoes will also do the job, but take longer.

An excavator is a much better digger and pusher than a wheel machine, but they are not worth a darn for carrying materials very far at all.

Money will be about the same on either.
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Old 07-09-2007, 09:43 AM
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I never thought about an excavator because of the tracks. My experience with tracks has been limited to loading/unloading on aircraft so I'm in new territory with them.

Is there a big difference in maintenance between wheeled and tracked?

Good info thusfar! This is exactly what I had hoped to learn BEFOREHAND.

Joe
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Old 07-09-2007, 10:32 AM
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Actually a small dozer with a root rake will push & dig well for trees.

Don't know if you can burn onsite?

But with the dozer and root rake it will rip out all the underbrush and then remove the root rake and backblade it to smooth it all out.

If you can burn onsite the dozer will do well at compacting the brush to get a faster burn, instead of just smoldering.
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Old 07-09-2007, 12:04 PM
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Thanks Warthog but the lot has already been cleared, it's just not level. Right now it's part of the mobile home park that I own.

I'm thinking about getting rid of the mobile homes, pouring a really big slab and putting a roof over it. Then I'll just rent out covered storage for folks with boats and RVs. I'm within 2 miles of a marina that closes up at the end of each season.

Mobile homes are maintenance intensive and I love the idea of a low/no maintenance replacement for them! A slab, a metal roof, and an 8' chain link fence....pretty low maintenance.

Joe
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  #8  
Old 07-09-2007, 11:48 PM
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The tracks are lower maintenance than tires.
A flat track is not nearly as bad as a flat tire.

Better traction, better flotation on soft ground.
When you dig, you can dump the dirt anywhere in a 360 degree circle.
Backhoes are limited to 90 degrees or less to either side of center.
The dig power is usually better than a comparable weight backhoe.
Our Cat 304 mini weighs just under 10,000 pounds, which can be towed behind a 3/4 ton truck with a good tandem axle trailer.

The down side is the tram speed is slow, so they are not good for carrying something very far.

Just for reference a new Kubota KX 121 excavator sells for around 45,000 dollars.



A mini backhoe in that weight class is usually built a little light weight for much work.
Usually you have to dig the dirt loose with the backhoe before you can load it with the front bucket or you will break something.
You could get a 24 plus HP 4x4 backhoe for about the same money.
The only advantage to the backhoe is several of them can also take a belly mower or tow behind mower or brush hog after you remove the backhoe.
The mower will add to the cost though.

But as with all multi purpose tools, the more things it can do, usually means it does each of them less satisfactorily.

A full size backhoe will be in the 16,000 pound range or more.
You are going to need a much bigger truck and trailer to pull it anywhere.
Full size backhoes come in two forms.
The construction type where the backhoe/front loader is part of the machine and not removable.
Or the farm tractor type where the front loader/bachoe are just detachable attachments.

These machines are in the 100,000 plus price range for the construction model new and in the 65 or 70 thousand plus range for the farm tractor model new.

The construction grade machine will be much better suited for digging and much better built.

The farm tractor type, since the attachments are removable is more versitile.
But just like the mini backhoe, more versitility means less desirable operation speeds of the attachments and usually not nearly as sturdy in it's construction.

Warning, I have not priced any of these in the last several years.

Most of the prices I have been looking at recently have been in the 750,000 range.
But we are talking a 100,000 pound excavator with a 5 yard bucket for that kind of money that takes a 10 ton bite out of the ground with every bucket full an can reach anything inside an 84 foot circle.
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Last edited by Dave Sponaugle; 07-10-2007 at 12:00 AM.
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  #9  
Old 07-10-2007, 05:18 PM
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i've got a hardly used shovel and a rake that has only been used for leaning on that i'll let you borrow
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  #10  
Old 07-10-2007, 10:44 PM
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We had a guy that wanted to be an operator.
He could not even use a shovel or rake properly.

Outlawwv,
Most training shovels and rakes I have seen have broken handles.
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  #11  
Old 07-11-2007, 06:35 AM
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Thanks Outlaw....but I need equipment, not supervisory training tools. LOL

Joe
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Old 07-11-2007, 06:35 AM
 
 
 
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