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  1. #1
    Silver Member
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    May 2005
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    188
    Location
    Deadwood Falls Louisiana
    Tractor
    Jinma JM200LE

    Default Harbor Freight (HF) Trencher(Backhoe)

    I just found HF sells a Towable Trencher at their Internet Store. It would cost about $3100 delivered. The local store does not stock it. I would like to have a LIGHT DUTY backhoe for ocassional use. I don't need an industrial grade machine and I am able to do and live with repairs. I have not tried any of the Central Hydraulics gear from HF. Any constuctive comments?
    hbaird

  2. #2
    Super Member Dargo's Avatar
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    Mar 2004
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    S. IN
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    Jinma, Foton, TYM, Belarus, Yanmar, Branson, Montana, Mahindra and maybe some green and orange too.

    Default Re: Harbor Freight (HF) Trencher(Backhoe)

    Quote Originally Posted by hbaird
    Any constuctive comments?
    hbaird
    If by "constructive" you mean positive comments about the machine you are considering; no. I don't have anything good I could possibly say about it.
    1982 18" Murray push mower (B&S industrial 8 hp engine!) custom deck, new blade - became unbalanced when one side old blade broke off!
    HF moving dolly - high torque! Dogbone multi-wrench too..wait, it split on first use.
    My trash man is the greatest. No matter how bad the economy gets and how bad stocks drop or how bad home values drop, his business is always picking up.

  3. #3
    Platinum Member
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    May 2006
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    726
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    St.Marys County. Maryland/Tall Timbers Md.
    Tractor
    Farmtrac 300 dtc

    Default Re: Harbor Freight (HF) Trencher(Backhoe)

    Might want to steer clear of that one.



  4. #4
    Elite Member CurlyDave's Avatar
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    Dec 2005
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    4,081
    Location
    Grants Pass, OR
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    JD TLB 110

    Default Re: Harbor Freight (HF) Trencher(Backhoe)

    I have always had good results with Harbor Freight tools, but I have never spent more than $50-100 on any single item there.

    I would check their return policy carefully before making a major purchase, plan to have several days available to test the trencher in a real working environment as soon as it arrives, and just to be on the safe side, use a credit card for ordering, so I had the option of disputing the charge if it was lower quality than I really wanted.

    A debit card does not offer the protections a credit card does.

  5. #5
    Super Member Dargo's Avatar
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    Mar 2004
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    5,979
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    S. IN
    Tractor
    Jinma, Foton, TYM, Belarus, Yanmar, Branson, Montana, Mahindra and maybe some green and orange too.

    Default Re: Harbor Freight (HF) Trencher(Backhoe)

    Quote Originally Posted by CurlyDave
    I have always had good results with Harbor Freight tools...
    Wow, that's amazing. I don't think I've ever seen that statement before. It took me several years (slow learner) to learn my lesson, but other than the few name brand items they carry, I've never have even what I'd remotely consider fair results from their junk.
    1982 18" Murray push mower (B&S industrial 8 hp engine!) custom deck, new blade - became unbalanced when one side old blade broke off!
    HF moving dolly - high torque! Dogbone multi-wrench too..wait, it split on first use.
    My trash man is the greatest. No matter how bad the economy gets and how bad stocks drop or how bad home values drop, his business is always picking up.

  6. #6
    Elite Member CurlyDave's Avatar
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    Dec 2005
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    4,081
    Location
    Grants Pass, OR
    Tractor
    JD TLB 110

    Default Re: Harbor Freight (HF) Trencher(Backhoe)

    I've never have even what I'd remotely consider fair results from their junk.

    I am not connected with HF at all, but let me explain what I mean by "good results". Almost every tool I have bought from them worked just as I expected it would, and the only failure I have ever had was a tire inflator, the kind with the gauge built in. $6 down the drain.

    Now balance that against hundred$ or thousand$ I have saved over the years by buying tools there, and I am far ahead of the game.

    A HF drill is not going to be a pleasure to use, like my Milwaukee, but the holes are going to be the same.

    Sometimes their stuff is surprisingly good. I have professional-quality solderless connector crimpers from HF which are better than the Channel-Lock ones I also own. I have 4 or 5 $3 multimeters, which are just as good as the $100 kind from an electronics supply store. And I can keep one in every toolbox: in the house, in the garage, and in the RV.

    Most of the time the quality of their tools is lower than the name brands, but then the price is about 20-50% of what I would pay for the name brand.

    Frequently it comes down to a choice of buying a seldom-used HF tool and doing the job myself, or hiring it out.

  7. #7
    Super Member Dargo's Avatar
    Join Date
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    S. IN
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    Jinma, Foton, TYM, Belarus, Yanmar, Branson, Montana, Mahindra and maybe some green and orange too.

    Default Re: Harbor Freight (HF) Trencher(Backhoe)

    Okay Dave, after some thought, you caught me. I do like the $1 Chinese made claw hammers with a yellow handle I got there and the digital calipers have actually continued to work.

    I guess it's the power tools and hand tools that always burned me. I think the Pittsburgh brand of hand tools, wrenches and socket sets in particular, are made from pot metal. Not one has survived even moderate use. I burned up their metal cutting chop saw on it's first use and had it replaced by them. In the mean time I bought a nice DeWalt chop saw, so I gave the HF chop saw to my dad. After a week he brought it back. I put it out with the trash with a note to the trash man that it worked and he was welcome to it. I happened to be out there when he picked up the trash and was going to put it in the front of his truck (where he puts all of his prize 'finds'). Nope. He said he could have had a dozen or two of them by now. He said everyone seems to throw those things away. He said that he constantly gets those, the orange drills, the blue 18 volt stuff, and the 4" grinders trying to be pawned off on him. He just tosses them with the rest of the junk.
    1982 18" Murray push mower (B&S industrial 8 hp engine!) custom deck, new blade - became unbalanced when one side old blade broke off!
    HF moving dolly - high torque! Dogbone multi-wrench too..wait, it split on first use.
    My trash man is the greatest. No matter how bad the economy gets and how bad stocks drop or how bad home values drop, his business is always picking up.

  8. #8
    Elite Member AlanB's Avatar
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    Jan 2004
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    2,531
    Location
    Clarksville, TN, USA
    Tractor
    NH 1925

    Default Re: Harbor Freight (HF) Trencher(Backhoe)

    While not on the level of that "backhoe" we bought the vibratory compactor.

    The boss (wife) has installed several patio's with it and it has worked fine so far. Only shut it down once, the bolt holding the pulley onto the engine shaft came out and was rolling around in the cover,,, Talk about a racket. New bolt and some blue loctite later.....

    Is it as good as a whacker, or a Mikassa or Bomag or whatever my brand of choice would be? Nope, I am sure it is not. But it was $600 instead of the $1500 on Sale I was getting quoted around here. It is really a pretty simple machine and does have a B&S motor on it which for how much that thing will get used, will last a real long time.

    I am in Dave's camp on this I guess, I do not have the same expectations of HF tools as I do of their name brand counterparts. But, as Dargo say's I have found most of their electric tools to be junk.

    I have had their 3/4" socket set though for about 15 years, and their is the occasional Craftsman socket in there,,,,,, but for the most part it has worked fine.

    We have looked at that same backhoe,,, it certainly has some advantages.

    I just took a pass on a very,,, Very rough terramite for $3000, working, but did I mention it was rough.

    Full tilt back hoes can be had for $5K in rough shape if you have patience. And lord knows there is no comparison in what the machine is capable of.

    I have also looked at doing the cad plans ones, but heck, by the time I bought all the pieces, I could probably have the HF and be out there working.

    I must also say in a bit of defense of HF, their return policy has always been very favorable too me. Look at the thread about the Quick hitches and a number of guys have returned them. I do not remember seeing anyone saying that HF would not take their's back.

    I am certain though, if I was too buy that tool, that the first job I would want to do would be just heavier then the machine could handle............................

  9. #9
    Elite Member RobJ's Avatar
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    Jul 2005
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    3,470
    Location
    Spring, TX (Houston)
    Tractor
    Kubota L2500

    Default Re: Harbor Freight (HF) Trencher(Backhoe)

    Quote Originally Posted by CurlyDave
    I've never have even what I'd remotely consider fair results from their junk.

    I am not connected with HF at all, but let me explain what I mean by "good results". Almost every tool I have bought from them worked just as I expected it would, and the only failure I have ever had was a tire inflator, the kind with the gauge built in. $6 down the drain.

    Now balance that against hundred$ or thousand$ I have saved over the years by buying tools there, and I am far ahead of the game.

    A HF drill is not going to be a pleasure to use, like my Milwaukee, but the holes are going to be the same.

    Sometimes their stuff is surprisingly good. I have professional-quality solderless connector crimpers from HF which are better than the Channel-Lock ones I also own. I have 4 or 5 $3 multimeters, which are just as good as the $100 kind from an electronics supply store. And I can keep one in every toolbox: in the house, in the garage, and in the RV.

    Most of the time the quality of their tools is lower than the name brands, but then the price is about 20-50% of what I would pay for the name brand.

    Frequently it comes down to a choice of buying a seldom-used HF tool and doing the job myself, or hiring it out.
    I've also had good luck with HF stuff. Keep in mind if I was a contractor I might not feel the same way. But if my saws are getting dropped or stolen every other week why buy yellow?

    Most of their larger stuff you can get an extended warranty for up to 3 years or so. Might check on that.

    BTW HF has one of the best no questions return policy I've seen. Several items I bough, and tried or just didn't like it out of the box. Returned with my shipping!!

    Rob
    L2500

  10. #10
    Elite Member schmism's Avatar
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    Jul 2006
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    4,829
    Location
    Peoria IL
    Tractor
    New holland TC(33)

    Default Re: Harbor Freight (HF) Trencher(Backhoe)

    you might also consider looking for a used Ditchwich 2310.

    late 80's with backhoe and trencher, ride on. can be had for $5-8K depending on condition.

    not only would you gain the backhoe but also the dedicated trencher.
    Steve - TC33D 4x4 FEL, dual rear remotes with toys

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