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  1. #1
    New Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Springfield, MO
    None yet

    Default Point me in the right general direction

    Hi guys

    I am searching for land in the Liberty Hill area of central TX, north of Austin. I am going to build my house on it, as well as try to be as self sufficient as possible on it. ~10 acres. Still looking for the exact right property, but the plan is moving forward to prepare for it.

    I am looking for equipment I can use to help build the house, the outbuildings, as well as maintain the property as a whole. I'm planning to buy used.

    I'm just starting the process of identifying the type tractor & attachments I'd need. Here are the aspects I am trying to cover:

    1. Digging a basement - this is the primary piece now, but is of course short term
    2. Clearing trees & brush (light duty, mostly just hauling short distances)
    3. Moving heavy items (filled water barrels, concrete to pour, debris leftovers, etc)
    4. Long term duties will be gardening / fencing oriented
    5. Fuel consideration - diesel or gas (open to debate, preference is diesel for storage reasons)

    I have my house plans from a prior home built in Pennsylvania, and am adapting it for integrated concrete form construction. I'll have a local contractor handling the ICF build, but I am focusing on doing everything I can myself. That starts with digging, which of course will be extra fun if I find limestone and would totally change my plans.

    Love to hear recommendations on what equipment I should be considering.

    Budget - the house & property combined won't reach $200k. Whatever I pay for the tractor has to come out of the same total cost, and be cheaper than just paying for the work to be done. I'll trade my time for the labor savings.

    Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    Super Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2000
    Cedartown, Ga and N. Ga mountains
    1998 Kubota B21, 2005 Kubota L39

    Default Re: Point me in the right general direction

    I think I would looking for a used construction backhoe like a Case 580 with the idea of selling and replacing after the build. Digging a basement is a bigger job than many think. How do you plan to move the dirt? That is often harder than the digging. Good Luck


  3. #3
    Silver Member TBarD's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Rural mountains, SW Colorado (also NM)
    Kubota M59

    Default Re: Point me in the right general direction

    Sounds like you need a modest sized CUT for small jobs and long term use, but it would be better to just rent an excavator to do any large scale earth moving (dig the basement), or hire that job out. It depends upon how much excavating you need to do. I did something similar - my M59 is a pretty good earth mover as TLBs go, but I hired a guy with an excavator and a dump truck to excavate the barn site. I then spent a week with the tractor on the smaller stuff around the site, but it would have taken weeks to do the main part of the excavation with just a backhoe / loader. On the other hand you will need a small tractor to do the routine stuff you mention. Diesel is the only way to go if the tractor is of any size.
    Kubota M59 TLB w/thumb, Bradco forks, Befco 84" grading scraper, McMillen 3K2 hydraulic auger, CA 8' boom, hay forks
    CA 80" 4n1 bucket, Bison 84" Box blade w hyd scarifiers, Anbo Rancher grapple, Befco 6' brush hog
    Ram 5.9L, PJ 22' 14K trailer, PJ 16' 16K dump trailer, Hobart 250amp MIG welder

  4. #4
    Platinum Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    kubota 7040sud

    Default Re: Point me in the right general direction

    digging a basment with a backhoe lol maybe a dozer like a cat 943

  5. #5
    Silver Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Dripping Springs, Texas
    New Holland TC30

    Default Re: Point me in the right general direction

    Welcome to the neighborhood I looked around just south of that area (Leander, Cedar Park) before giving up finding something in my price range and moving to eight acres in Dripping Springs (SW of Austin) last July.

    A basement there will be rare. They're expensive in your area because the ground has a tendency to shift and crack, pulling the basement walls with it. Further west it doesn't do that, but only because we're on rock.

    I ended up with a used '01 TC30. Almost everything here in that range will have a FEL. I also looked at Kubotas and JDs and a Mahindra, mostly on craigslist. I ended up buying the TC30 because of the relatively low hours and the attachments. You're probably only going to find diesels in this area.

  6. #6
    Veteran Member mikim's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
    Paige Texas
    NH TC45

    Default Re: Point me in the right general direction

    I'm thinking the dirt you buy will make a good sized determination on the equipment you will need to work it. You may want to find the dirt first before jumping to equipment. Like you said, if you find limestone - you're gonna have to rethink.

  7. #7
    Veteran Member RPW's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2009


    After you've had your ground tested for stability then rent an excavator. It will cost you less and you'll get done faster.
    2008 JD 5103, FEL, 6' Frontier, 6' HD boxblade, 7' Landscape rake, More impliments to come, Bobcat (clark) 742 SS.

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