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  1. #1
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    Default what do i need? excavator or dozer. JD, kamtsu cat 350-450, 21-37 d3? Help

    I have 30 acres I have a New holland tc29d that I use for everything. I get alot done with it but need something more.
    Im in the market for a mini excavator or dozzer. Will do mostly land clearing and road work. I have a swamp I would like to dig out as well. Tractor doesn't do well in mud. I Think a dozer will do me best for what I need. Eventually ill have a dozer and mini but i need to figure on witch one first. For a dozer im in the 10k range, mini 15k range.
    I have looked at JD 350 and 450D dozers. From what I here there the hardest to work on.

    Have herd alot of good about Komatsu d21-37. easy to work on?

    Maybe a d3 dozer? Id like something I could tow with my f250 6.3 diesel but i know there all pushing it. I'm selling my f450 7.3... I figure if i need to move it the person who needs it can pay for it.

    Or a mini excavator with a tumb.

    I need to build a switchback road, dig out swamp and clear land. My fear is ill get the dozer stuck in swamp, at leats a mini I could walk myself out.

    All thoughts are welcome.

  2. #2
    Gold Member
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    Jun 2003
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    Jacksonville, AL
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    Kubota, JD and a Grillo

    Default Re: what do i need? excavator or dozer. JD, kamtsu cat 350-450, 21-37 d3? Help

    Rent both and see what works.

    You could also look at a JD 455 loader with a back hoe attacked to the rear. Those are too heavy for a F-250 IMO, a mini-ex would be easy to haul around. Two very different classes of machine though. D3 or D4 are fine also, never worked on them so can't comment on that. I like the late model stuff and prefer to rent when needed.

    A mini-ex is mainly for digging, if I was spending my money I would choose a loader or dozer and add a back hoe attachment. I like a track loader so I can move dirt quicker and grab logs with a 4 in 1 bucket. The 80's vintage go for around $12K in good shape... If I was cutting in a road I would rent a D4 or bigger and get it done, then get something old and cheap like a track loader for clearing and digging.

    If you look around the equipment dealers, you'll find some willing to rent old stuff out so you can try it first. Its a bit cheaper than renting late model stuff and the dealers with the more vintage equipment will sell it if you like it. I would try renting first, make sure you get what you actually can get the most use out of.

  3. #3
    Veteran Member scoutcub's Avatar
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    Yanmar LX4900//Cub 7532//Cub Yanmar SC2400//Komatsu D38//Cub Volunteer//Cub SZ60/CAT 289C/CAT 308

    Default Re: what do i need? excavator or dozer. JD, kamtsu cat 350-450, 21-37 d3? Help

    For what you're doing, I would recommend a dozer. I have a Komatsu D38 and love it. Use it for the same, road/trail building, site clearing, brush clearing, etc. Several of the smaller Komatsu's have swamp tracks which might be good for your app. The Komatsu's are fairly straightforward to work on.

  4. #4
    Member firstfruitsfarm's Avatar
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    May 2008
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    Travelers Rest, SC
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    Farmtrac 555, Ford 3500 TLB, Ford 9N

    Default Re: what do i need? excavator or dozer. JD, kamtsu cat 350-450, 21-37 d3? Help

    For efficient, heavy duty clearing, you need a dozer. If boggy, you need a track excavator first to clear enough to provide enough drainage that dozer will not get stuck doing the rest of the clearing. Track excavator with thumb and manage swamp mats to get you through bad bogs without getting stuck. Maybe combination of specialized rented machines for difficult work and then purchased multi-purpose machine (TLB) to get you the rest of the way is the way to go. I have ditching and clearing needs; purchased an older TLB to accomplish both. Less overall cost, much more time required.

  5. #5
    Super Star Member LD1's Avatar
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    Kubota MX5100

    Default Re: what do i need? excavator or dozer. JD, kamtsu cat 350-450, 21-37 d3? Help

    For what you want, I'd start with a mini with a blade.
    Not a super small one either. Get one with a 15' or so hoe, and in the 10k-15k weight range. Not one that is about the size of a wheelbarrow.

    Mucking out a swamp with a dozer is a recipe for disaster. And typically an ex of equal weight as a dozer will have the ability to get out larger trees than the dozer. You can dig a little if needed, and push fro, higher up the tree. And the blade would "get by" doing your road work, but in that department, a dozer would be better.

    So it all depends on what is most important. If road work is 90 % of the work you will be doing, (or at least at first) you could get the dozer first. But if the other two tasks are more important at the moment, get the ex.
    ".........there is only one way to find out."
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  6. #6
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    Default Re: what do i need? excavator or dozer. JD, kamtsu cat 350-450, 21-37 d3? Help

    Thanks for the input, guess I have some thinking to do. Also with the swamp, its filled by the river so every year I get 2 weeks that it dries out pretty well depending on rain. Last year with a 30hp tractor I dug out a 1/4 of it. But some spots get a little to wet for the tires. I figure with a dozer I could clean it up really good as long as I don't get stuck. I'm thinking more towards komatsu and cat d3 or d21. Just from what I here about deere and working on them.

  7. #7
    Veteran Member
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    Oct 2011
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    Olalla WA, Kitsap Peninsula, West of Seattle
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    Kubota BX25

    Default Re: what do i need? excavator or dozer. JD, kamtsu cat 350-450, 21-37 d3? Help

    Any type crawler is heavier than a tractor and they have little under clearance. Get one sitting with the bottom on the mud and the tracks churning you have one interesting towing problem. Stay out of deep gooey mud with anything. Wait till it dries up or use a dragline or clam on a crane if it has to be done. Dozer is definitely the way to go building roads. Be sure to get the 6 way blade for versatility in casting to the side.

    Ron

  8. #8
    Veteran Member scoutcub's Avatar
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    Default Re: what do i need? excavator or dozer. JD, kamtsu cat 350-450, 21-37 d3? Help

    seabee makes a good point; 6 way blade is nearly a must. And if you can get a newer machine, they have joystick controls, which are SO much easier to operate. I believe they started somewhere in 98-99. Mine is a 2000 and has them, very easy to master.
    I have a simlar project, digging a pond which is now a swamp, which a stream runs thru....but it does dry up in the summer. Wait for the dryest week, and proceed with caution, always checking the ground underneath for soft spots/springs, etc.
    But I'm cheating....I also have an excavator to assist....

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