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  1. #1
    Silver Member
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    Sep 2007
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    102
    Location
    Ankeny Iowa
    Tractor
    JD650

    Default Harbor Freight Back Hoe Trencher?

    Has anyone seen one of these in real life, seen it operate or would care to comment? Need to do some shallow trenching or digging up to about 4 ft deep, time is no problem!!

    Link> Harbor Freight Tools - Quality Tools at the Lowest Prices


    OR am I better off with a 608 CAD Digger plans/Kit for my JD650? I'm wondering if the 608 uses a PTO pump vs trying to use my tractor Hydraulics??

    Bill in Iowa
    Last edited by wmgeorge; 01-06-2008 at 02:09 PM.

  2. #2
    Elite Member Skyco's Avatar
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    Jul 2007
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    2,718
    Location
    SC/NC

    Default Re: Harbor Freight Back Hoe Trencher?

    $3000 ! How much would a used backhoe be for your JD?

  3. #3
    Gold Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Posts
    298
    Location
    Omaha area
    Tractor
    LK3054

    Default Re: Harbor Freight Back Hoe Trencher?

    My brother built the Cad Digger 628 some years ago. He lives south of Austin and has very hard rocky ground. Used the crud out of it. I tried it out and thought it would work great in soft soil. Beats a shovel. The big thing I noticed was if you tried to pull to hard, it would drag itself forward easy. We have 2 Harbor Freight stores in the area. I have not seen this at any. For the $3k you might be able to find a decent used 3 point.

  4. #4
    Veteran Member wedge40's Avatar
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    Oct 2007
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    2,134

    Default Re: Harbor Freight Back Hoe Trencher?

    You can pick up small 6' 3 pt. backhoes for less then $3K off Ebay. But they weight about 1000#'s so I'm not sure if the JF650 would handle it.

    Wedge
    1967 Ford 4000, Box blade, straight blade, FEL, Rake, Bushhog, Backhoe, Jinma chipper, KKII tiller, Grapple.

  5. #5
    Platinum Member bx24's Avatar
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    Jan 2006
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    663
    Location
    Indiana

    Default Re: Harbor Freight Back Hoe Trencher?

    As Jim mentioned, the lack of weight will be the biggest issue. If you leave it tethered to a pickup or other "heavy thing" (maybe your JD), it will help a bunch.

    I would second the notion of finding a BH attachment though. I would also consider renting a BH or mini-excavator for a couple of days rather than buying something like this if you are not going to use it a bunch.

  6. #6
    Platinum Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Posts
    500
    Location
    20 miles southeeast of downtown Sacramento
    Tractor
    Kubota BX23

    Default Re: Harbor Freight Back Hoe Trencher?

    A buddy of mine built a thing like that and took a few wild rides down some hills. It really was too light to do any real digging and pretty "tippy" too. He did all kinds of "modifications" without really helping much. In the end it was just too scarry for him and he sold it.
    Get a real backhoe or rent one.
    Kubota BX23, BT600 BH, LA210 FEL, Maschio L125 tiller, Gearmore BB 20-48 BB, King Cutter 6' rear blade, Homemade PHD, Brinly BST-50 broadcaster, ? 6' cultipacker, log & chain drag.

  7. #7
    Silver Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Posts
    102
    Location
    Ankeny Iowa
    Tractor
    JD650

    Default Re: Harbor Freight Back Hoe Trencher?

    Quote Originally Posted by bx24
    As Jim mentioned, the lack of weight will be the biggest issue. If you leave it tethered to a pickup or other "heavy thing" (maybe your JD), it will help a bunch.

    I would second the notion of finding a BH attachment though. I would also consider renting a BH or mini-excavator for a couple of days rather than buying something like this if you are not going to use it a bunch.
    The problem with renting, this place is 2.5 hour drive from anywhere that rents. So I really can't get by with a 1 day rental, it needs to be a 3 day at least. I'm leaning toward a small kit built type loader for the 3 point. Perhaps a 5 ft BH, as nothing needs be over 4 ft or so below grade for trenching. The local people are nice, but it takes forever to get anything done, and you need to stand there and make sure they do it right. If I did not care I'd let them do it and screw it up. We have houses moving downhill (slowly) because they did not understand what makes a house foundation stable on a hill. So yes, it would be cheaper to hire it done, but I want things done right.

    Since most of the owners at the lake are not locals, I think there would be a small market for the "do it right" vs "cheap when we get to it" contractor.

    I've got a small fabrication set up in my home shop, and I'm retired so unless I can buy one used, I'm looking at the CADdigger website.

  8. #8
    Super Member California's Avatar
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    Jan 2004
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    5,400
    Location
    Sonoma County
    Tractor
    Yanmar YM240, YM186D, and another YM186D

    Default Re: Harbor Freight Back Hoe Trencher?

    Quote Originally Posted by wmgeorge
    ... care to comment? ... for my JD650?
    Been There Done That. Well, I asked the same question on TBN.

    After everyone here told me to forget it, I researched what would fit and watched all the regional Craigslists within a half-day drive.

    I found an ideal real backhoe for $2,500. The size I got would be fine on the 3-point of a 650 but watch the weight. I think the common one you see on Jinmas is too heavy for your tractor to lift.

    Here's where I asked your same question and got several thoughtful replies: Harbor Freight's little Towable Backhoe.

    And: a thread about the hoe I bought.

    Now that I have some experience I realize it would be impossible to back a towable hoe into nearly every place where I need it. In this picture it had rained for days. Then my tenant's sink drain backed up. It would have been impossible to get that HF rig in where I needed it; any tow vehicle short of a tractor would sink to the axles.

    And thinking about it, trying to back the HF hoe along an open trench any time to backfill it would be a nightmare, especially on poor traction like in this picture.

    P1140941rBH-DigSinkDrain.jpg

  9. #9
    Silver Member
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    Sep 2007
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    102
    Location
    Ankeny Iowa
    Tractor
    JD650

    Default Re: Harbor Freight Back Hoe Trencher?

    Excellent!! What size tractor do you have HP wise and weight? My little JD650 has 16 HP and is gear driven 8 speed and is about 2000 lbs or so with the FEL. I think the 3 point is rated at 1000 lbs or so... anyway this is the way to go.

    How much did you pay for this setup and what does it weigh?? Did it come a PTO pump and tank? Thank you. BG in Iowa

  10. #10
    Super Member California's Avatar
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    Location
    Sonoma County
    Tractor
    Yanmar YM240, YM186D, and another YM186D

    Default Re: Harbor Freight Back Hoe Trencher?

    Quote Originally Posted by wmgeorge
    Excellent!! What size tractor do you have HP wise and weight? My little JD650 has 16 HP and is gear driven 8 speed and is about 2000 lbs or so with the FEL. I think the 3 point is rated at 1000 lbs or so... anyway this is the way to go.

    How much did you pay for this setup and what does it weigh?? Did it come a PTO pump and tank? Thank you. BG in Iowa
    The answers are in those threads I cited, you just have to wade through my longwinded style while I discuss alternatives and make up my mind!

    But to summarize:
    My YM240 is a near twin to JD 750/850. It's 24 engine hp and supposed to be about 1700 lbs bare. On a truck scale with this loader and the oversize tires (but no ballast) it was 3,000 lbs. That hoe was designed for Kubota's equivalent of my Yanmar.

    This hoe is small enough that I think I could have bought a larger one. It's not going to tear the tractor apart, even on a 3-point mount, but it may be 80%??? of what the 3 point can lift. For a larger hoe I would start thinking about an undercarriage mount. That might be essential to use this hoe on your 650.

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