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  1. #11
    Super Member Robert_in_NY's Avatar
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    Silver Creek, NY
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    Case-IH Farmall 45A, Kubota M8540 Narrow, New Holland TN 65, Bobcat 331, Ford 1920, 1952 John Deere M, Allis Chalmers B, Bombardier Traxter XT, Massey Harris 81RC and a John Deere 3300 combine, Cub Cadet GT1554

    Default Re: What type of mini excavator should i buy??

    A traditional excavator has the engine and all the hydraulics mounted behind the cab. These usually make the tail of the excavator stick out along with the counter weight. When you are digging the tail swings outside of the tracks so if you pull up along side a house the tail would hit the house if you swung the bucket away. A zero tail unit has everything compact behind the cab so that the tail doesn't swing outside of the track width. This way you can pull up tight to a building and swing the bucket away from the house without risk of the tail hitting the building or anything else outside of the tracks. This style allows you to concentrate on everything in front of you and not worry about what is behind you.


    God must love stupid people; He made so many

  2. #12
    New Member
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    Nov 2012
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    Buffalo, NY
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    Massey Ferguson

    Default Re: What type of mini excavator should i buy??

    Quote Originally Posted by Robert_in_NY View Post
    A traditional excavator has the engine and all the hydraulics mounted behind the cab. These usually make the tail of the excavator stick out along with the counter weight. When you are digging the tail swings outside of the tracks so if you pull up along side a house the tail would hit the house if you swung the bucket away. A zero tail unit has everything compact behind the cab so that the tail doesn't swing outside of the track width. This way you can pull up tight to a building and swing the bucket away from the house without risk of the tail hitting the building or anything else outside of the tracks. This style allows you to concentrate on everything in front of you and not worry about what is behind you.
    oh i see i see!! All the hydraulics and the motor are kept WITHIN the radius of the tracks, so when you spin, as long as the tracks arent hitting anything, you wont hit anything as well

  3. #13
    Super Member Robert_in_NY's Avatar
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    Aug 2001
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    Silver Creek, NY
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    Case-IH Farmall 45A, Kubota M8540 Narrow, New Holland TN 65, Bobcat 331, Ford 1920, 1952 John Deere M, Allis Chalmers B, Bombardier Traxter XT, Massey Harris 81RC and a John Deere 3300 combine, Cub Cadet GT1554

    Default Re: What type of mini excavator should i buy??

    Quote Originally Posted by RPPaving View Post
    oh i see i see!! All the hydraulics and the motor are kept WITHIN the radius of the tracks, so when you spin, as long as the tracks arent hitting anything, you wont hit anything as well

    Exactly


    God must love stupid people; He made so many

  4. #14
    Platinum Member
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    Jul 2007
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    857
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    WV
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    John Deere 1026R

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    If you didn't know what. ZTS meant you should rent some different units before you buy. If you can't turn a profit with a rental you probably should reconsider buying. Keep your 15k for advertising, insurance, taxes, etc so you have a buffer zone. When you are renting once a week or more for a couple of months back to back then buy one.

    This will let you test multiple machines for low cost.

  5. #15
    New Member
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    Nov 2012
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    Buffalo, NY
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    Massey Ferguson

    Default Re: What type of mini excavator should i buy??

    Quote Originally Posted by swick1 View Post
    If you didn't know what. ZTS meant you should rent some different units before you buy. If you can't turn a profit with a rental you probably should reconsider buying. Keep your 15k for advertising, insurance, taxes, etc so you have a buffer zone. When you are renting once a week or more for a couple of months back to back then buy one.

    This will let you test multiple machines for low cost.

    Yes, this was actually my original plan, but i created this thread to see what machine I needed when I did buy one. But renting can get pretty expensive at times, I looked into local hardware stores and united rentals and they varied from $225-$400 per day...so ill have to weigh my options.

  6. #16
    Platinum Member
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    WV
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    John Deere 1026R

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    It does get expensive, and you may make a little less, but it insulates you from the risk. If you have the money to blow and want one anyway go ahead, but I would want a newer more dependable machine. You could have it break down on a job and be in trouble when you have to drag it off a jobsite and arrange for another rental.

  7. #17
    New Member
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    Nov 2012
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    Bridgeport, wv
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    Kubota BX25

    Default Re: What type of mini excavator should i buy??

    Not sure of your stumps and trees around your parts but Robert because right here in wv anything smaller than 5 ton takes awhile digging stumps. Zero tail swing is kinda like a hatch back car as in no trunk the rear end fits inside the tracks. Makes huge difference in tight spots.

  8. #18
    Super Member Robert_in_NY's Avatar
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    Aug 2001
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    Silver Creek, NY
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    Case-IH Farmall 45A, Kubota M8540 Narrow, New Holland TN 65, Bobcat 331, Ford 1920, 1952 John Deere M, Allis Chalmers B, Bombardier Traxter XT, Massey Harris 81RC and a John Deere 3300 combine, Cub Cadet GT1554

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Rouzee04
    Not sure of your stumps and trees around your parts but Robert because right here in wv anything smaller than 5 ton takes awhile digging stumps. Zero tail swing is kinda like a hatch back car as in no trunk the rear end fits inside the tracks. Makes huge difference in tight spots.
    That is how it is here as well, I can make due with a bobcat 331 digging stumps but I have to be careful loading. I wouldn't even attempt it with anything less (well maybe if it was one of my own stumps that I wanted to play around with). An 8 ton unit does a lot better but a 12-13 ton unit is great for general excavation work around farms and jobsites. Minis are great in residential areas.


    God must love stupid people; He made so many

  9. #19
    Silver Member Foxtrot08's Avatar
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    May 2011
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    163
    Location
    North East Ohio
    Tractor
    John Deere 2305

    Default Re: What type of mini excavator should i buy??

    We have a CAT 301.5 and a JD ZTS50

    The cat is tiny, the ZTS 50 is about a 10,000lb / 5 ton machine. Maybe a little more at full weight with a thumb, etc.

    We have no problems digging stumps out / trees out / hogging dirt with the ZTS 50. Given, bigger is better - but in your price range, if you could pick one up, it's been a **** of a machine for us. It's dug everything from hard pan clay, to rock.

    It is a bit wide, so if you're doing drainage work in tight areas it could be hard to maneuver.

    I dug my basement foundation out last year, using our 301.5 cat - it was smaller and took longer, but it worked great. And I only had about 12-13 feet to pile dirt up and move the machine. Could of never done it with a larger excavator. It also does great for small projects, but it doesn't have enough weight to really dig in hard clay in the summer.

    So you have to pick and choose what you want an excavator for. One size isn't going to do everything.
    ~Fox
    Tractors: JD 2305 w/ MMM & 200CX, NH TN60A w/ 32LA loader, NH Boomer 2420, IH 806 Turbo (Restored, 1964), Farmall Super C (Restored(1952), MF 240S,IH Cub low-boy.

    Attachments... too many!

    Equipment - JD 317, CAT 262, JD 50ZTS, Cat 301.5, Cat 910, CAT 416C IT w/ EHOE, IH TD7E, IH T6(Restored w/ BE Blade package, 1948 w/ 1952 blade)

  10. #20
    New Member
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    Nov 2012
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    Buffalo, NY
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    Massey Ferguson

    Default Re: What type of mini excavator should i buy??

    Quote Originally Posted by Foxtrot08 View Post
    We have a CAT 301.5 and a JD ZTS50

    The cat is tiny, the ZTS 50 is about a 10,000lb / 5 ton machine. Maybe a little more at full weight with a thumb, etc.

    We have no problems digging stumps out / trees out / hogging dirt with the ZTS 50. Given, bigger is better - but in your price range, if you could pick one up, it's been a **** of a machine for us. It's dug everything from hard pan clay, to rock.

    It is a bit wide, so if you're doing drainage work in tight areas it could be hard to maneuver.

    I dug my basement foundation out last year, using our 301.5 cat - it was smaller and took longer, but it worked great. And I only had about 12-13 feet to pile dirt up and move the machine. Could of never done it with a larger excavator. It also does great for small projects, but it doesn't have enough weight to really dig in hard clay in the summer.

    So you have to pick and choose what you want an excavator for. One size isn't going to do everything.

    Thank you for the advice man, I appreciate it.

    But from what you said, I think I can tell that youre a fan of the smaller mini's. You said you dug a foundation with the cat 1.5 (1 1/2 mini), so that alleviates alot of worries because thats about as small as a mini as you can get. Some of my focuses would be on doing foundations, digging out stumps, digging out concrete/rocks/blacktop, trenching, and anything else that pays

    Im still trying to figure out what machine to get, but I definitely wouldnt be opposed to getting one on the smaller side (1.5 ton-3 ton)

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