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  1. #1
    Super Member California's Avatar
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    Sonoma County
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    Yanmar YM240, YM186D, and another YM186D

    Default Harbor Freight's little Towable Backhoe

    Does anyone have experience with these?

    HF's Towable Trencher

    Is there a simpler alternative?

    I need to replace buried water and electric lines all over this place which will require some careful digging in tight spots. And I am always planting new trees or removing stumps in the orchard. Plus I may eventually extend water lines hundreds of ft down into the orchard. I figure one of these would cost about what I would pay to rent a trencher and this would still have resale value.

    It's small, but I'm not digging a basement, just replacing underground utilities etc where a 9 inch bucket would be about right. I think a boom-type machine is more versatile than a chain-type trencher which I would never have another use for.

    I would like to hear comments from anyone who has actually bought one of these or a similar machine. What are the less expensive alternatives?

  2. #2
    Super Member
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    Feb 2006
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    6,138
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    East PA or 750 mi. east of a short man named Dar___
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    Kubota, AGCO, New Holland LB

    Default Re: Harbor Freight's little Towable Backhoe

    Quote Originally Posted by California
    Does anyone have experience with these?

    HF's Towable Trencher

    Is there a simpler alternative?
    I would like to hear comments from anyone who has actually bought one of these or a similar machine. What are the less expensive alternatives?
    A shovel......

    Not trying to be a wise guy, but I can't imagine being able to do much of anything with that because it's so light, it will just jerk & pull all over the place when you hit rock.

    Rent yourself a nice TLB and let the rental place deal with the hassles of ownership. Plus you'll dig 3x faster with a B-21 or L-35, etc than that thing.

  3. #3
    Super Member California's Avatar
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    Yanmar YM240, YM186D, and another YM186D

    Default Re: Harbor Freight's little Towable Backhoe

    Quote Originally Posted by Builder
    A shovel......

    Not trying to be a wise guy, but I can't imagine being able to do much of anything with that because it's so light, it will just jerk & pull all over the place when you hit rock.
    Luckily I don't have rocks and the soil digs easily. I probably should have mentioned that.

    As for the shovel - Been There Done That. I dug some of these water lines for Dad nearly 50 years ago. At least I got paid for it that time. Now I'm ready to use a machine to replace those lines!

    Here are a couple of pictures I've posted in the past showing digging with the loader bucket, to show how soft this ground is. The first photo is bone dry ground and was loosened with the box blade. The second dig was done entirely with the 5 ft toothless loader bucket when there was still some slight moisture in the soil.

    - But I think you are telling me what I already suspected.

    Has anyone had a good experience with these little HF toys?



    http://www.tractorbynet.com/forums/a...-dscn5063r.jpg

    http://www.tractorbynet.com/forums/a...4408r640-2.jpg

  4. #4
    Super Star Member EddieWalker's Avatar
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    Tyler, Texas
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    Several, all used and abused.

    Default Re: Harbor Freight's little Towable Backhoe

    I find it very hard to believe you'll be happy with it, or that you'll be able dig very well with it. I also don't think you'll get a grand for it if you tried to sell it when you realize it's not what you were hoping for.

    Just about every backhoe needs allot of weight to hold it in place when digging. It must have that weight in order to use the force of the hydralics to dig. If you're just digging in loose sand, then it might work fine, but if your digging undesterbed soil, it wont work.

    For the $3,000 plus that it will cost you to buy it, I'd seriously consider renting the right tool for the job you need done and buying a good post hole digger.

    Eddie

  5. #5
    Super Member
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    East PA or 750 mi. east of a short man named Dar___
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    Kubota, AGCO, New Holland LB

    Default Re: Harbor Freight's little Towable Backhoe

    Quote Originally Posted by California
    Luckily I don't have rocks and the soil digs easily. I probably should have mentioned that.

    As for the shovel - Been There Done That. I dug some of these water lines for Dad nearly 50 years ago. At least I got paid for it that time. Now I'm ready to use a machine to replace those lines!

    Here are a couple of pictures I've posted in the past showing digging with the loader bucket, to show how soft this ground is. The first photo is bone dry ground and was loosened with the box blade. The second dig was done entirely with the 5 ft toothless loader bucket when there was still some slight moisture in the soil.

    - But I think you are telling me what I already suspected.

    Has anyone had a good experience with these little HF toys?



    http://www.tractorbynet.com/forums/a...-dscn5063r.jpg

    http://www.tractorbynet.com/forums/a...4408r640-2.jpg

    Wait a minute....I have an idea, why don't you just buy a small add-on backhoe for your Yanmar? Might be able to get something used for a decent price.

  6. #6
    Elite Member
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    Bedford, VA
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    John Deere 2320

    Default Re: Harbor Freight's little Towable Backhoe

    That trencher is just "heavenly"... Did you see how in the top picture it appears to just floating there in mid air?

    Brian
    Bedford, VA
    2320 w/ 62D MMM, 200CX FEL, Pats EZ Change, LX4 Cutter
    Co-owner (with my father) of John Deere 790, 30 HP, 4x4, 513 cutter, 70 FEL
    2012 Nissan Xterra Pro-4x

  7. #7
    Member
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    Jan 2007
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    49
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    Aguanga, CA
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    New Holland TC40DA, Kubota K008-3 excavator

    Default Re: Harbor Freight's little Towable Backhoe

    I don't think you will be able to get much done with it. I have the smallest of kubota excavators, the K008-3. I have dug about 950 feet of trenches with it and it does a great job. It is also great for digging holes for planting trees. It is a bit more expensive than the harbor frieght hoe but well worth it. Here are a few picture of trenches I have dug with it.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    New Holland TC40DA, box scraper, Kubota k008-3 excavator

  8. #8
    Super Member California's Avatar
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    Yanmar YM240, YM186D, and another YM186D

    Default Re: Harbor Freight's little Towable Backhoe

    Quote Originally Posted by HighLoader
    I have the smallest of kubota excavators, the K008-3. [and some great photos.]
    I WANT ONE!!! If I could justify the cost, that or the next larger one would be perfect for my application.

    You guys are convincing me to think of a 3-point backhoe. I spent the evening looking on craigslist and Ebay. I didn't see a used backhoe attachment.

    A few hours north of me Dave's Tractors (a well respected TBN poster) has a Kubota U10 baby excavator in nice shape (Link - ebay listing) but he wants $8,500 for it. I would buy it in a minute if I needed it to earn my living but my application, realistically, is more retired-hobby.

    The lightest Koyker backhoe is about $4,500 to $5,000 and I think that one can hang from the 3-point arms without a subframe - with corresponding minimal performance. Their more serious one might cost $7,000 plus all the hassle of building a subframe and driving a pump. Jinma's backhoes look too heavy and I've read they need some tinkering to keep them running - plus that subframe and pump again.

    Revising my question a little: Does anyone have experience with Koyker's KB60 or a similar under-$5,000 backhoe attachment?

  9. #9
    Banned shvl73's Avatar
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    NH
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    Mahindra 2810HST

    Default Re: Harbor Freight's little Towable Backhoe

    Tommy at Affordable has a backhoe that could probably be delivered for around that much $.
    See AFFORDABLE TRACTORS

    I've got the larger of the two and it is excellent.

  10. #10
    Banned shvl73's Avatar
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    Mahindra 2810HST

    Default Re: Harbor Freight's little Towable Backhoe

    I'll attach a picture.
    Attached Images Attached Images

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