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  1. #1
    Silver Member
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    Oct 2008
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    132
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    Florida
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    4120

    Default Thinking of Buying Mini Excavator--Need Help

    I have just found a great deal 17,000 on a 2008 used mini excavator John Deere 17ZTS with a 12" bucket and 85 hours on it, which is simular to the 17D, except it has an Isuzu engine instead of the Yanmar.

    I was thinking of purchasing to do some improvements to some vacant land I purchased.

    Digging out the existing small pond a little (I have an existing 4x4 tractor with front end loader to move dirt)

    Digging drainage ditches

    Putting in utilities

    Planting large trees

    Two questions,
    1) Are their any design problems with this machine
    2) Is it large enough to do anything?

  2. #2
    Gold Member coopers's Avatar
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    Nov 2002
    Posts
    384
    Location
    Wasington

    Default Re: Thinking of Buying Mini Excavator--Need Help

    No major design problems, Deere makes a good product. However, a 17C ZTS is quite small. Have you seen the machine yet? I posted an image to show you the size. Why is it going for $17K? That's very cheap for only 85 hours on an '08 model. $28K is more like it I believe. If you want a machine for property use, I'd get a 35D / 50D size machine. A 9,500-12,000lbs machine will be perfect for that. These little 4-6,000lbs machines are not meant for major work...just little trenching projects or something.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails -17zts-jpg  
    BSI Excavation, LLC

  3. #3
    Silver Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
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    132
    Location
    Florida
    Tractor
    4120

    Default Re: Thinking of Buying Mini Excavator--Need Help

    Thank you for the help... I know little about excavators.

    No I have not seen it yet, it is at anouther location. They are bringing it here in a day or so.

    Dealer has it, they put it in their rental fleet, but with the economy being slow they are making deals on everything....

    It seemed like a great deal to me, I know it is small, but it is a lot better than a shovel..... I just wanted to make sure it wasnt useless, or defect ridden.

    Thank you

  4. #4
    Advertiser kennyd's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
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    11,826
    Location
    Westminster, MD
    Tractor
    John Deere 4110, 455

    Default Re: Thinking of Buying Mini Excavator--Need Help

    I have about 30 hours in a 17ZTS that my wife's cousin owns...It is a small machine for sure-but very capable for it's size. He has had zero problem that weren't his or and employees fault in over 500 hrs.

    I have dug several medium sized stumps, repaired a neighbors septic system, and dug ditches for drains...Plus some other small projects.
    KennyD
    www.boltonhooks.com



    Bolt On Grab Hooks, Weld On Grab Hooks, Specialty Chain Accessories, Specialty Hydraulic Components.

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  5. #5
    Veteran Member kthompson's Avatar
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    Sep 2008
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    1,057
    Location
    South Carolina
    Tractor
    Kubota M 6800; Kubota B 2710; Gator; Bushhog ZTR; Volvo Mini Excavator EC45

    Default Re: Thinking of Buying Mini Excavator--Need Help

    Just over a year ago purchased a small Volvo which weighs right at 10,000 pounds. Began looking at a machine that weighed about 6 or 7,000 pounds. A good friend who owned and ran heavy equipment was my pro. He tested the first machine and said, yep you can dig what you want with it but it will NOT load the stumps if you wish to haul them. What, can dig but not lift? Yep. I can did a much heavier stump than I can lift. Have dug stumps of up to about 2 feet in diameter but if wanted to load in a dump truck it better be a low one.

    Would think you can find the specs on JD site. The two I would suggest you look at very carefully is the lift capacity and the radius. If you plan to do any loading also look at the dump highs and capacity there. I doubt it would work to really load any kind of truck or large trailer. Your task and mine are about the same. I really think you would be better off with a larger machine as has been suggested. It is used rental unit so they should be willing to at least rent it to you. Then at the price it is, you may wish to accept the size limit and allow more time. But, if you must stay in this price range, look a little older machine.

    I will tell you a small excavator sure beats a backhoe for ease of use.

  6. #6
    Silver Member
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    Oct 2008
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    Location
    Florida
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    4120

    Default Re: Thinking of Buying Mini Excavator--Need Help

    Thanks for the suggestions.... Still thinking!

  7. #7
    Elite Member Dmace's Avatar
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    Oct 2005
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    3,838
    Location
    Wakefield, NH
    Tractor
    Kioti CK20 HST

    Default Re: Thinking of Buying Mini Excavator--Need Help

    Whenever I have a project too big for my little tractor/backhoe, I rent a Yanmar Vio27 from my local Taylor rental. It is a great machine that weighs just 6500lbs or so, has a quick switch for CAT/DEERE controls, hydraulic quick attach bucket, thumb, rubber tracks and front blade. The controls are easy to use and it digs very well with the 16" bucket. Much faster than my CUT and quieter too! I can easily haul it with my 1/2ton truck and after a full day (9hrs +/-) I only used 6 gallons of diesel and it's very useful for it's size, plenty for a typical homeowner I think.


    Click thumbnails for larger images
    Derek
    Kioti CK20HST
    KL120 FEL // KB2365 BH // 60" JRW 3ph snowblower // 48" HD Boxblade
    Sims-Cab Depot heated cab
    Quote Originally Posted by DiamondPilot
    Now it's time for Ford and GM to step up

  8. #8
    Silver Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
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    Location
    Florida
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    4120

    Default Re: Thinking of Buying Mini Excavator--Need Help

    Thanks for all of the information, advice and suggestions.

    Right now I am leaning toward purchasing it... I figure it will do about 80-90% of what I need done. I would like a larger model, but want a new/almost new one so I dont have to worry about repairs, and cant afford anouther $12K+ for the larger model.

    I was going to purchase a 448 backhoe, but they are close to $10K, so for $7K more I can get this excavator, and can always sell it in a couple of years.

    I dont have any rocks to deal with, only a couple of stumps, and will be digging in sand, with a light sandy redish clay (I think) down a couple of feet, but it may be all sand.

    It comes with a 12" bucket... Is this a good size? It can take from 9-18"

  9. #9
    Advertiser kennyd's Avatar
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    Jul 2003
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    Westminster, MD
    Tractor
    John Deere 4110, 455

    Default Re: Thinking of Buying Mini Excavator--Need Help

    It comes with a 12" bucket... Is this a good size? It can take from 9-18"
    That is what the one I have used has, it seems well matched to the machine.
    KennyD
    www.boltonhooks.com



    Bolt On Grab Hooks, Weld On Grab Hooks, Specialty Chain Accessories, Specialty Hydraulic Components.

    Simple JDParts Tutorial HERE

    Visit our YouTube Channel

  10. #10
    Silver Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
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    Location
    Florida
    Tractor
    4120

    Default Re: Thinking of Buying Mini Excavator--Need Help

    Well I just picked it up... I went down to the bobcat dealer first to look at what they had.... I wasnt impressed. Their 323?? I think was the closest model they had to it, and looked like a toy...

    I have been digging it the back yard, so far it is working very well.

    It has aux hydraulics for a thumb.... How usefull are they, and what can they be used for beside stumps and rocks?? Anything??

    Thanks for all of the help!!

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