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  1. #1

    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Posts
    5

    Default Tractor w/ backhoe attachment vs loader/backhoe

    We have some undeveloped acreage that we would like to start preparing for an eventual house build. This acreage is adjacent to my father/mother in-laws acreage, my bil and sil's acreage. All these folks currently live on their acreage and are established in the area. My wife and I are absentee owners of our parcel (about a 3 hr drive from our primary residence). All of the in-laws parcels are connected by a private road that they built when bil and sil built their respective places. This road has the opportunity to be extended to our place as well. In addition we have access of the main road to our parcel is needed as well.

    My fil and bil have some equipment we can use in our endeavor - bulldozer, old dump truck, an old MF tractor and an old Jim Brown tractor I think it is. The tractors have various attachments for brush hogging, haying etc. The Jim Brown tractor has a front end loader bucket of decent size. I will be providing some maintenance/repair, paying for fuel, parts and such in exchange for using the equipment.

    Our first project will be to put in a boundary fence along the 1200 foot east boundary between our place and the new neighbors (also absentee owners). This will require putting a culvert in a drainage ditch between our place and fil's place, such that we could drive equipment over to our place without having to go out on the highway every time. This will require a bit of backhoe work.

    Furthermore, as I think through the rest of the work on the property it occurs to me that there will be a lot of digging/trenching type work to do. We want to reroute some drainage ditches (significant reroute), do some of the digging for the power and septic projects, driveway etc.

    That's the background, here is the question. I assume they make backhoe attachments for tractors? I seem to recall that my fil borrowed one when doing some digging years ago with one of his tractors. I also seem to recall the thing was very persnickety in operation and reliability.

    I realize it may be cheaper to rent a backhoe but I struggle with this approach given that we are absentee owners and our available time to work on the place comes in spurts. These projects will be drawn out over time as we have time to work on them. We may have time one Saturday to go down for the day, or we may string four days off during the week to go down and work on the place. It seems like renting a backhoe for this sporadic work may not be the way to go.

    So... I'm wondering if I should look into buying a used loader/backhoe instead, or if I should look at purchasing a backhoe attachment for one of fil's tractors?

    I would of course keep this backhoe down there and all the relatives could use it when needed, just as they are letting me use their stuff. Although, as a practical matter most of my inlaws development work is already done, so I don't think they would have much use for a loader/backhoe. One drawback to this approach is it the loader part of the loader/backhoe would be a duplication of equipment (w/ the jim brown) on the farm overall.

    Yet a possible third approach would be for my wife and I to buy our own tractor w/ loader bucket, post hole digger, and backhoe attachment. The advantage to this would be that we would not have to borrow fil's stuff and would be able to use it as we see fit. But again, outside of the backhoe attachment, this would be a duplication of equipment on the farm overall. Plus, when I say we will be piece mealing the development of this property I'm talking over 5 or so years time... In addition, I think fil might be put out by not using some of his equipment. Borrowing stuff has never been a problem.

    As far as budget goes, I have no idea what these things cost. While I am handy with tools, welders etc, and my bil is a diesel mechanic by trade, and I don't mind doing some fix-up and repair work. I don't want to get in a situation where the piece of equipment needs so much fixing that I spend more time fixing than actually doing productive work. So.... I guess I have a number between say 6K and 14K in mind, less is of course much better, but I just don't know what any of these options cost.

    Sorry for the long post but I thought some background on the situation may be helpful.

    So... Backhoe attachment for the old MF or JB tractors (if there is even one available) vs used loader/backhoe vs another tractor/loader/backhoe vs trying to coordinate the rental of said backhoe with our schedules?????

    Thanks
    Wayne


  2. #2
    Veteran Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Posts
    1,659
    Location
    Northeast MA
    Tractor
    Kubota B3200 with BH77 backhoe, Kubota B50 SSQA w/ 54" & 60" buckets, LandPride FDR1660

    Default Re: Tractor w/ backhoe attachment vs loader/backhoe

    Sounds like the only piece of equipment you are missing in this mix is a decent backhoe. Since you already have tractor(s) and at least one of them has a FEL that are all available to you why not look into getting a used trackhoe. Ask Bob Skurka his opinion of tractor mounted backhoes and he will tell you that a small trackhoe will outperform a tractor mounted backhoe by a decent margin. With a separate hoe and tractor you could have two people working - one on the hoe and one on the tractor and be able to accomplish more work. Even if it is just one person using both pieces of equipment at the same time you will be able to work faster if you don't have to switch between loader work and hoe work on the same piece of equipment. I have seen kubota and Yanmar trackhoes on Ebay for as little as $8000. Plus this would give you the opportunity to contribute to the family fleet of vehicles and look like a good guy. If the family is decent people and you buy the equipment - leave it up there and tell them they can use it any time they want in all likelihood they will take care of the thing for you.

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Posts
    5

    Default Re: Tractor w/ backhoe attachment vs loader/backhoe

    That's a good point Jim. Might be a better option. I think some of those small track-hoes have the blade in front as well? Wonder if they make attachments for those track-hoes like maybe post-hole diggers etc.

    BTW, I think the name of the one tractor is a david brown, not jim brown... must have been thinking of jim beam whiskey... [img]/forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif[/img]

    Wayne

  4. #4
    jpm
    jpm is offline
    Gold Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Posts
    478
    Location
    jamaica, southern vt
    Tractor
    4110 mahindra

    Default Re: Tractor w/ backhoe attachment vs loader/backhoe

    wanye i fully agree a trackhoe is the best piece for what you want to do .i have a tractor mounted bh that works for my use very well
    but only 180 degree swing max.A track hoe has 360 swing and a longer reach plus a higher gph that equals more digging power and faster repostioning and a small dozer blade

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    Posts
    735
    Location
    Southern Maryland
    Tractor
    Ford 1220, John Deere 770, Case 580E and Allmand TLB-35

    Default Re: Tractor w/ backhoe attachment vs loader/backhoe

    MIni excavator would be an option. Option three might be to add a backhoe to the dozer.

  6. #6
    Veteran Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Posts
    1,659
    Location
    Northeast MA
    Tractor
    Kubota B3200 with BH77 backhoe, Kubota B50 SSQA w/ 54" & 60" buckets, LandPride FDR1660

    Default Re: Tractor w/ backhoe attachment vs loader/backhoe

    I am not expert on the mini trackhoes but every one of them that I have seen has a small dozer blade on the front. I think if you go up to any of the larger mini's there are all sorts of attachments available to go on the end of the hoe. Problem with the attachments is that they are pretty expensive from what I have seen. I think the dozer blades on the front of these are mostly intended for use in filling back in the ditches that you just dug with the hoe and for stabilizing the machine when digging.

    If you are interested in getting an idea of what is out there on the used market for these I would suggest searching thru Ebay - I know if you do a simple search for kubota you will turn up a number of them, and also checking some of the other online machinery sites like MachineryTrader and IronPlanet.

  7. #7
    New Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Posts
    8

    Default Re: Tractor w/ backhoe attachment vs loader/backhoe

    In order to figure for a backhoe you might need to look at 3 pt hitch models of frame mounted for compact tractors. You also need to consider dig depth. You would want to get a bucket about 15 inches wide or more. If you get too small, it can be hard to drop loaded soil or step in the trench with the irrigation pipe between your feet. If you get too large a bucket, it is extra work to backfill. Three point only models can be purchased new at dealers or on eBay and they can be moved from tractor to tractor. This makes them resale easily. I believe it is easier to keep the backhoe on the tractor for longer periods of time. If you own it, then you have some equipment to offer to barter with the relatives. Good luck.

  8. #8

    Join Date
    May 2005
    Posts
    31

    Default Re: Tractor w/ backhoe attachment vs loader/backhoe

    Howdy! In regards to neads, I too would suggest a track hoe as option #1. A sub-frame or frame mounted bh attachment is decent as well, however not as "productive"... but will still get the job done nicely. for option #2 From what I have researched, the 3 pt hitch mounted bh attachments can be much weaker in some designs, and have balance issues as some stick out far behind the parent tractor. I see alot of track hoe use on jobsites (I'm an electrician) and I must say, for being so tiny, tey're awesome. They have specific uses though. They are not nearly as adaptable as a standard utility tractors, in my opinion. Something else to consider, is about 200$ for new pivot pins and such on ANY of these machines if purchased used. These are supposedly easily replaced items. I see alot of machines on jobsites that are neglected on the grease ports, and massive amounts of wear at pivots. Something to keep in mind [img]/forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img] Take care and Best wishes!! Brian ... Sparkeee24

  9. #9
    New Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Posts
    18
    Location
    Mendocino County, CA

    Default Re: Tractor w/ backhoe attachment vs loader/backhoe

    Don't dismiss the rental option either. Drop in on your local rental place and see what the charges are and what kind of equipment they have. Their hours may be more reasonable than you expect, and I've often gotten extra free days by renting over a holiday. You may occasionally pay for a day that you don't use it, but on the other hand, the rental equipment will also work when you turn the key or you won't have to pay for it. Having older used equipment that is used occasionally can mean spending time jumping dead batteries and troubleshooting, especially if the equipment doesn't have a nice shed to stay in. $8K will buy a lot of rental days in my neck of the woods.

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