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  1. #21
    Veteran Member CliffordK's Avatar
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    Default Re: Single Tractor vs Skidsteer AND mini EX combo discussion

    Xfaxman,

    I like your tilting flail mower.

    I am actually looking for something like an Oliver HG-68 with a front mounted flail mower. Hopefully it will be a project for the future, although I'm worried about the power. Perhaps I would need an auxilliary power system, or a way to get a much beefier engine in a lightweight dozer.

  2. #22
    Elite Member Xfaxman's Avatar
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    Bobcat V417 Toolcat 5610 F TORO+Loader

    Default Re: Single Tractor vs Skidsteer AND mini EX combo discussion

    Quote Originally Posted by CliffordK View Post
    Xfaxman,

    I like your tilting flail mower.

    I am actually looking for something like an Oliver HG-68 with a front mounted flail mower. Hopefully it will be a project for the future, although I'm worried about the power. Perhaps I would need an auxilliary power system, or a way to get a much beefier engine in a lightweight dozer.
    It is a 6' box blade that was pictured on the first page of this thread, Piston was asking how the Versahandler would do for grading trails into a hillside, so I showed the Tilt-Tach tilted.

    Attachment 309068 Attachment 309069 Attachment 309070

    I had an Oliver HG-68 with a front loader on it, neat little crawler, but not geared low enough for dirt work. It is possible to add a Ford Model A 3 speed transmission ahead of the transaxle, put both in reverse and you have a crawler gear for the crawler!

  3. #23
    Gold Member
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    Tractors16-600hp Farm & Earthmoving Equip, Trucks etc.

    Default Re: Single Tractor vs Skidsteer AND mini EX combo discussion

    Quote Originally Posted by Piston View Post
    MBTRAC,
    I remember seeing an amazingly impressive list of all your equipment in one of these threads........
    Whilst we have a bit of gear, if it's not earning $'s contracting/farming it's generally older & purchased s/h at bargain $'s so we can justify the ownership (e.g for the price of a new skid steer we'd still have enough change after buying the FEL+BH+2x8wd Tippers pictured for a s/h mini excavator),

    According to your recommendations (which I absolutely respect!) I already have a pretty good setup.
    Right on, for most general smaller tasks

    I do have the JD410 but like I mentioned, would have to transport.........
    Transporting anything is a hassle & costly, so plan the tasks to minimise (but underutilising machines is worse).

    .....I do feel like my tractor is not going to make a huge dent in the forest without taking quite a bit of time.
    Apart from time, it's going to be a lot of hard yards clearing anything major.....
    As for the excavator and how slow it moves, that is certainly an issue. Would you change your recommendations though if I said that I won't be moving it around from place to place, but rather bringing it to my land and leaving it there, to clear the trees/forest for a small building lot? (about 5 acres or so, plus a couple small fields throughout the property)
    Excavator "travel time" is slow & costly (on the undercarriage) if you're moving it constantly from a worksite back to say your shed, as with any tracked machine the less unproductive time the tracks are turning the less cost you're incurring.

    I've never heard of, or seen, a "tipper" like you posted..........
    In some areas they're fairly common & with a low centre of gravity/high traction great on farms - just avoid the tracked versions (high cost to maintain) - try searching http://www.machinerytrader.com/list/...nSearch=Search & irrespective of price listed they're only worth what someone will offer....

    Have any of you ever used a tree shear on a skidsteer? My neighbor has a 14" tree shear and Fecon mulching head for his RC100.
    I've only used shears on excavators, we also run mulchers on Skiddies & Takeuchi TL150 CTL's

    Would I be better off just paying him to do the work?
    Depends on how much/heavy your work is....an RC100 is fine for scrub/smaller stuff but your not going to be clearing hardwood stumps or 10acres economically with it.

    ...........it's a Hitachi 230 LC5 which I guess is around 50k lbs............I can't help but think I could buy this machine, clear the land, then sell it and replace it with a small mini ex, or just sell it altogether and use the money towards my next tractor.
    Hitachi's are sound machines & a c.20T will clear & dig ponds/dams fine - grapples or thumbs make stacking pile burns & rock landscaping easy - if you're heading down this path invest in machine oil sample analysis (engine/hyd/drive motors )/undercarriage inspection prior to parting with any $'s - Yep if I had 5acres+ of heavy land clearing & some pond work this what I'd be doing - With patience I'd expect you should get something sound for under c.$20K (avoid an "ex" that's had a hammer fitted or been used in demolition)..the resell for close to what you paid

    So many choices.....
    Spend your hard earned $'s wisely

  4. #24
    Veteran Member Rustyiron's Avatar
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    Default Re: Single Tractor vs Skidsteer AND mini EX combo discussion

    Piston, you'll love the ex. Is that the one your looking at in your photos? You might want to consider that your needs will change from your clearing & construction stage (excavator & SS wins big) to later on during your living there "landowner" stage. Where I'd say that your tractor will suit you better than a SS. I have all 3 and up until lately only had my SS & ex. here, finally after 3 yrs. (another story) I have my tractor here as well. The excavator is really a fantastic tool that I doubt you'd ever want to get rid of. I use mine for so many things that you just can't do with either a trac. or SS, all the way to the wood pile, (an ex. with a thumb makes the best "sawbuck" for bucking up firewood, ever). As for clearing your prop., forget the tree shear & take the tree with the stump with the ex. I have the biggest SS made, @ 5 ton and 115hp with OTT's (over the tire tracks) it is just about unstopable, that is until you meet a stump or rock (poor ground clearance) but it'll run circles around a tractor doing dirtwork & other loader chores, and really compliments an excavator's ability. With the 2 you could dig your own foundation, septic, well & utility lines, driveway & clearing. Lot's of choices & decisions not to mention budget considerations. Now that I have my tractor here (my bldgs are built and now am more in the "landowner" phase) I had forgotten how sweet a tractor is to hop on and off and it's MUCH inproved mobility in the snowy woods, but still for loader work, the unbeatable visibility of a SS, and it's boom & bucket that was designed for abuse vs. a tractor loader & bucket, that (IMHO) is designed for chores & loading loose materials only. Now the telehandler aproach is a good idea, but again similar to a tractor when it comes to manuvering although better with the different steering modes.
    ]We need more people to WORK for a living and less people to VOTE for a living!
    (proven on 11/6/12)

  5. #25
    Elite Member Piston's Avatar
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    Default Re: Single Tractor vs Skidsteer AND mini EX combo discussion

    Transporting anything is a hassle & costly, so plan the tasks to minimise (but underutilising machines is worse).
    I'm definitely guilty of under utilizing the backhoe. For instance, I bring my tractor up to the land fairly often because it is easy to transport, and the backhoe sits probably 300 days a year. Although it's my father's backhoe, I could pay to haul it up to my land in the spring, and leave it until fall, and use that. There is nothing on his land (he only has a few acres of non-lawn) that he couldn't accomplish with my tractor, so I could leave him my tractor (which is where I keep it anyways) and take his backhoe for the spring/summer/fall, then go up there and use the backhoe which would be more productive than my tractor anyways.

    .....I do feel like my tractor is not going to make a huge dent in the forest without taking quite a bit of time.
    Apart from time, it's going to be a lot of hard yards clearing anything major.....
    I can take down a tree, chip the brush, grind the stump, and level the area in a small amount of time. However, multiply that by hundreds, if not thousands, and it seems almost impossible without tearing up my tractor and taking 10 yrs to do.

    if you're moving it constantly from a worksite back to say your shed, as with any tracked machine the less unproductive time the tracks are turning the less cost you're incurring.
    IF I decided to go the excavator route, I would be hauling it up there and leaving it right where I'm working. At the end of the work day, I'd shut it down and walk back to my grandfather's house that I stay in. I wouldn't be driving it back and forth to the barn or equipment shed, so at least that would minimize any unnecessary movement.

    Most of what I'm clearing is small pine's up to 20" dbh (and there aren't many of those) as well as small hardwoods, mostly less than 10" dbh and anything over that I won't be taking down anyways. I don't want to "clearcut" the land and I'm going to save any nice trees. A LOT of the land is somewhere between 2" to 8" saplings. Not small enough for my heavy duty brush cutter but not big enough to be worth anything. (I will keep the smaller hardwoods for firewood)

    Thanks for the advice on the excavator oil and undercarriage inspections.
    Kubota L4610 and John Deere 410 - WR Long 64" Grapple (best attachment ever!) QA front forks, rear forks, Brown 472 HD Rotary Mower, Land Pride RBT4096 hydro blade, Woods 7200 Power Rake, homemade 3 pt log splitter, Land Pride rake/blade combo, Land Pride HRL 3578 box blade (Hydro scarifiers), Shaver SC50 3 pt. Stumpgrinder, FitRiteHydraulics TnT, 6" Vermeer PTO Chipper (Hydro feed), Disc Plow, Ratchet Rake, LP HD25 Hydraulic PHD, Woodmizer LT15 portable sawmill
    Rear Remotes Install

  6. #26
    Platinum Member
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    Kioti DK40SE HST

    Default Re: Single Tractor vs Skidsteer AND mini EX combo discussion

    So what's the goal with the land? Making several acres into a park like setting? Leaving lone trees out a dense stand may have them blow down anyways depending on the exposure and especially if their roots have been damaged. I'm still loosing the odd softwood tree from when the previous owner had a selective cut done in my woods 10 years ago.
    You may be further ahead to have a pro land clearing crew do their thing and plant some saplings where you want them?
    2011 DK40SE HST

  7. #27
    Elite Member Piston's Avatar
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    Default Re: Single Tractor vs Skidsteer AND mini EX combo discussion

    Quote Originally Posted by Rustyiron View Post
    Piston, you'll love the ex. Is that the one your looking at in your photos? ....
    Yes that is the one I'm thinking of buying. My father's lifetime friend is in the excavating business, has been since his father started the company when my dad was a kid. The good part about this is that I trust the guy selling it, he's been using it for jobs for a while now, and I know I wouldn't be getting screwed on the price for it.
    I don't know the year yet, but I found out that they started building them in '97, so it's somewhere between then and now I also don't know the hours, or undercarriage condition, or really anything about it. I won't be home for a couple weeks but I'm going to look at it when I get home and ask him questions and try it out.

    It's a Hitachi 230 LC5 and from what I found online is a 50k lb machine. It seems like a decent mid sized excavator. My father told me that the owner has been using it for a while and it is currently on a job doing a septic system or something like that, only a couple miles from my house. The guy is getting closer to retiring and is starting to sell his equipment and downsize. He isn't advertising it and he's not in a hurry to sell. When the guy asked my dad how I was doing (I used to go on fishing trips with them as a little boy) he told the guy about my plans for building on my NH land. That's when the guy mentioned that he had this excavator that I could buy, clear my land with and dig a foundation/driveway, and probably sell it for what I buy it for. And that is where this crazy idea started

    It does not have a thumb, but you can see it has mounting for a mechanical thumb. I recently built a thumb for my 410 backhoe and I overbuilt the heck out of it, so I think it's actually a bit too big for the backhoe, but maybe slightly too small for the ex. I could probably mount it and just "go easy" on it and it should be fine. I'd also look into adding the hydraulics to make it a hyd thumb, but I have a feeling this could get expensive. I'd be okay with mechanical I suppose.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rustyiron View Post
    .. The excavator is really a fantastic tool that I doubt you'd ever want to get rid of.
    That's what I'd be afraid of, I wouldn't want to sell it! However, I could see myself selling it and buying a mini ex just to have around, but as mentioned, they seem to be some pretty expensive pieces of equipment "just to have around"

    Quote Originally Posted by Rustyiron View Post
    With the 2 you could dig your own foundation, septic, well & utility lines, driveway & clearing.
    I wish I had a rough idea of what it would cost me to hire it out, vs. buy the excavator and do it myself. I may try and get an estimate from someone to get a rough idea. However the problem is, I'm not 100% sure exactly where I want to clear and what. I figured if I do it myself, I can slowly clear a section, then take a step back and look over, and decide where to clear next. I'm a little afraid of clearing too much at once, and then wishing I didn't knock all my trees down, which I feel would happen if I hire it out.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rustyiron View Post
    Now the telehandler aproach is a good idea, but again similar to a tractor when it comes to manuvering although better with the different steering modes.
    I looked up the prices on used Versahandlers. It looks like those are around $70k even for a used one
    Kubota L4610 and John Deere 410 - WR Long 64" Grapple (best attachment ever!) QA front forks, rear forks, Brown 472 HD Rotary Mower, Land Pride RBT4096 hydro blade, Woods 7200 Power Rake, homemade 3 pt log splitter, Land Pride rake/blade combo, Land Pride HRL 3578 box blade (Hydro scarifiers), Shaver SC50 3 pt. Stumpgrinder, FitRiteHydraulics TnT, 6" Vermeer PTO Chipper (Hydro feed), Disc Plow, Ratchet Rake, LP HD25 Hydraulic PHD, Woodmizer LT15 portable sawmill
    Rear Remotes Install

  8. #28
    Elite Member Piston's Avatar
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    Default Re: Single Tractor vs Skidsteer AND mini EX combo discussion

    Quote Originally Posted by IndyIan View Post
    So what's the goal with the land? Making several acres into a park like setting?
    Not park like, but ultimately I want a nice 1 acre or so area of lawn, then a couple acres around that of a "transition" zone where it starts with a few smaller trees, then gets slowly thicker into larger trees, and eventually giving way to the forest. I'd also like a couple small 1 acre fields for wildlife, things like birds and deer.

    The only worry I have about knocking the trees down with stumps and all (which is probably how I would end up doing it) is erosion. I do like the idea of leaving the stumps with roots to hold the soil together while grass/brush starts to grow their roots to help hold the soil together.

    This is eventually going to be a small vacation home for my family.
    Kubota L4610 and John Deere 410 - WR Long 64" Grapple (best attachment ever!) QA front forks, rear forks, Brown 472 HD Rotary Mower, Land Pride RBT4096 hydro blade, Woods 7200 Power Rake, homemade 3 pt log splitter, Land Pride rake/blade combo, Land Pride HRL 3578 box blade (Hydro scarifiers), Shaver SC50 3 pt. Stumpgrinder, FitRiteHydraulics TnT, 6" Vermeer PTO Chipper (Hydro feed), Disc Plow, Ratchet Rake, LP HD25 Hydraulic PHD, Woodmizer LT15 portable sawmill
    Rear Remotes Install

  9. #29
    Platinum Member catdozer's Avatar
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    Bobcat CT235

    Default

    I have all all three and what it sounds like you just need a bigger tractor. Ive got bobcat CT235, T190, and 331 excavator. Also got larger excavators Cat 336, 320 etc. One thing about big machines are big maintenance. Say you have to do undercarriage + $15,000. Sounds like you just need a bigger tractor and have them come in and clear the ground.
    Bobcat CT235 with Deere Imatch, And a very bad addiction of attachments

  10. #30
    Elite Member Xfaxman's Avatar
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    Bobcat V417 Toolcat 5610 F TORO+Loader

    Default Re: Single Tractor vs Skidsteer AND mini EX combo discussion

    Quote Originally Posted by Piston View Post

    I looked up the prices on used Versahandlers. It looks like those are around $70k even for a used one
    Must be for the full size series, not a compact V518 or V417.

    Here is a copy of the quote from my dealer on a new V417 in 2010:



    Product Quotation
    Quotation Number: 4486E05124v1

    Date: 2010-07-01 11:22:15

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Description Part No Qty Price Ea. Total

    V417-Cab Versa-Handler 7138801 1 $63,139.00 $63,139.00

    Warranty: 12 Months, Unlimited Hours

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------



    I bought a 2009 demo with 44 hours for $52K, and it does everything that I need.

    Keep in mind as you are trying to decide a decision, there are backhoe attachments that will work on the Versahandler, and can be removed in less than a minute. Turn the pressure release lever, pull up two levers, disconnect the hoses, drive away.

    -mzvgnbntt1qqgnm_rahmjsq-large-jpg -ssh1001-co-3-large-jpg

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