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  1. #21
    Silver Member Foxtrot08's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Posts
    163
    Location
    North East Ohio
    Tractor
    John Deere 2305

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

    I didn't dig the whole foundation, I just dug to fix a wall that was bowed in 3 inches, then put a floor drain.

    I had limited space so I needed something small. I put it this way, when I back filled with gravel, I was using my 2305 since I didn't want to haul the skid loader from the farm - and I could BARELY make the turn to dump it straight.

    It was about a 7 foot trench, about 3 feet wide.

    My father did all the landscaping / work / etc around the farm with it when we built the new house. (Had a Komatsu PC200 to dig the foundation) but that little CAT worked it's tracks off. We laid 300+ feet of pipe with it, dug 1/2 mile trench for electric (seriously, 1/2 mile) with it. It's not the fastest - a bigger machine will do jobs much quicker - but it will get it done.

    I imagine for most cases, a 5 to 7 ton machine would do everything that you want to do. Then if you're working in ultra-tight spaces, you can rent a 1.5-3 ton.

    If you can budget it, an extenda-hoe for the machine would be awesome. And of course, a thumb is mandatory pretty much! Our ZTS 50 has a thumb and yeah... best investment ever. Moving large landscaping stones (Cut stand stone, big lime stones, etc) takes seconds, instead of hours. Grabbing stumps / downed trees / etc. Plus, I know our ZTS 50 has no problem tearing a building down. I can PM you a link of my father tearing my barn down with it.

    We also put in about 200 yards of concrete - the area cut and leveled with the ZTS50 in solid stone, packed by semi's. And put a 3000 gallon oil/water separator in with it. A 3000 gallon tank is a bit much for it to lift and set, but it did it.

    We've done a TON of work with it... but we've done a TON of work with the CAT too. But if I had to make a living off my equipment - a 5 ton would probably be ideal. You have the GPM to run different attachments too. A decent sized hammer, compactor, etc. Plus, you're close~ish to me - I assume you have the blue clay like I do.
    ~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)

  2. #22
    New Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Posts
    16
    Location
    Buffalo, NY
    Tractor
    Massey Ferguson

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

    Wow thats ALOT of trench to dig, 1/2 mile with that machine.

    and ya, from 5-7 ton is probably all that i would need in most cases, and like you did say for ultra tight jobs i could rent a 1.5-2 ton machine

    also from what ive seen and experienced with, i 100% agree that a thumb is a must have so you can literally grab anything!!

    --you can definitely pm me that video, i would love to watch it!

  3. #23
    Super Member Robert_in_NY's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Posts
    8,423
    Location
    Silver Creek, NY
    Tractor
    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 RPPaving
    Wow thats ALOT of trench to dig, 1/2 mile with that machine.

    and ya, from 5-7 ton is probably all that i would need in most cases, and like you did say for ultra tight jobs i could rent a 1.5-2 ton machine

    also from what ive seen and experienced with, i 100% agree that a thumb is a must have so you can literally grab anything!!

    --you can definitely pm me that video, i would love to watch it!
    Go with a hydraulic thumb when you do get it. Their a lot handier then the fixed position mechanical thumbs. The Hydraulic thumb is really like having an extra hand while the mechanical feels like your hand fell asleep. Just not as nice for precision work. My thumb is always out of the way unless I want to grab something then I push a button and it does what I need. Mechanical requires you to either leave it folded back or in work position.


    God must love stupid people; He made so many

  4. #24
    Super Member Robert_in_NY's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Posts
    8,423
    Location
    Silver Creek, NY
    Tractor
    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

    Foxtrot, can you share the link of the barn demo? I know a lot of the guys on here would like to see it.


    God must love stupid people; He made so many

  5. #25
    Silver Member Foxtrot08's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Posts
    163
    Location
    North East Ohio
    Tractor
    John Deere 2305

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

    I would prefer to share it in private... Mostly because this is the internet and I still don't trust it.

    If you would like it, PM me and I can probably privately share it. (Just have to figure out how to)
    ~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)

  6. #26
    New Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Posts
    16
    Location
    Buffalo, NY
    Tractor
    Massey Ferguson

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Robert_in_NY View Post
    Go with a hydraulic thumb when you do get it. Their a lot handier then the fixed position mechanical thumbs. The Hydraulic thumb is really like having an extra hand while the mechanical feels like your hand fell asleep. Just not as nice for precision work. My thumb is always out of the way unless I want to grab something then I push a button and it does what I need. Mechanical requires you to either leave it folded back or in work position.
    Ya ive heard this before, almost all the thumbs ive seen on machines for sale though are mechanical. An easy way to tell the difference is just by seeing if there is a hydraulic piston running from the thumb right?

  7. #27
    Platinum Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Posts
    938
    Location
    Hawthorne, FL
    Tractor
    Kubota L285

    Default

    I know im new to this forum, but I do roads, storm sewer, excavation inspection for a living, consider a full sized rubber tired hoe. They are around 14,000# and can do almost anything. If you prefer track hoe, dont consider anything less than a JD 50, Cat 305, ect. If you get a mini you probably will be in the market for a tracked skid steer to help soon. Keep in mind if someone wants an 18" concrete culvert, or a stump removed you will need the size/power.

  8. #28
    Super Member Robert_in_NY's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Posts
    8,423
    Location
    Silver Creek, NY
    Tractor
    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
    Ya ive heard this before, almost all the thumbs ive seen on machines for sale though are mechanical. An easy way to tell the difference is just by seeing if there is a hydraulic piston running from the thumb right?
    Yes, it is very easy to tell the difference.


    God must love stupid people; He made so many

  9. #29
    Gold Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Posts
    253
    Location
    Texas
    Tractor
    NH TN70D, NH L190

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

    Hey guys,

    Interesting discussion. I have been toying with the idea of buying an excavator for a year or so now. Based on this discussion and previous research, I think a 5 ton machine will be right for me. It will have enough power to demo small buildings, remove stumps and ditching. I want something with a cab and AC ( it gets hot down here in Texas). It also needs to be light enough to be hauled legally with a 1 ton truck and a 14k trailer.

    I get the advantage of the zero tail swing machines but are there disadvantages to them? For instance, with more weight further behind the center point is it easier to handle greater weight further out in front of the machine as with using a bucket and thumb? Is there less tendency for the machine to tip when picking up heavier weights? Other disadvantages?

    Tim

  10. #30
    Platinum Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Posts
    874
    Location
    WV
    Tractor
    John Deere 1026R

    Default

    Regular tail swing is just like a tractor loader that is properly ballasted.

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