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  1. #1
    Veteran Member
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    S. W. Virginia
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    Kubota B3200, Ford NAA, IH 454D, Case 1845C

    Default My farm construction business is growing, recommendations on equipment?

    I've been running my small farm construction business for the past couple years with my B3200 kubota and a variety of borrowed/rented equipment. This year my business is really starting to grow and I'm doing bigger projects than before. I build barns, sheds, all types of agricultural fencing, and some small specialty grading projects (mostly water/run-off control related stuff, some horse arenas, etc)

    I'm looking for a machine to buy for the business to really help with the heavier tasks that my B3200 isn't meant for. I need something that will be good at site prep/dirt work, building related tasks, and fencing related tasks. I've thought about various sized skid steer loaders, full-size or compact TLBs, rough terrain fork lifts, larger 4wd Ag or industrial tractor, etc. Maybe one machine won't be suitable and I'd be better off with two different machines. Anyways, I come seeking advice with from those with experience in the construction, fencing and grading businesses on what type of machine to look for.

    With that said here are the main tasks I'll be looking for a machine to complete:

    Barns, Sheds, other construction:

    Need something for doing site prep work, most often cut and fill work to make a level pad for a building. The barns and sheds I build range from small 10x20' run-in horse sheds up to large machine sheds. Also need something capable of running an auger for setting the poles for the buildings. Next main task will be setting trusses (up to 50 footers). I like to use a jib crane mounted on a loader for this task. Lastly would be general moving of supplies around the site, lifting roofing and materials up to the roof, etc.

    Fencing:

    I'd like to run a large hydraulic post driver on the machine. The one I currently use needs at least 10gpm and is almost 10' tall and weighs about 1200lbs. It is 3pt hitch mount but can easily be converted to skid steer mount. I work over all sorts of terrain everything from steep hills to swampy areas. Also need a machine capable of doing light clearing for fence lines, tearing out and cleaning up old fencing, moving bundles of posts around the site, etc.

    Grading

    Most of the grading/dirt work I do is related to the barns and fencing, but also do some other specialty work. Building round pens and horse riding arenas, putting in grass waterways, rebuilding old farm roads, putting in culverts, and other misc grading tasks are the bulk of my dirt work.


    I'll also add that I will hopefully be paying cash for the next purchase, so would like to keep it around $20-25K if possible. With that said I do like to buy new when possible, and reliability and low maintenance costs are key. I know there isn't much new in that price range, but low hour top quality used is an option, as is buying new and paying the bulk in cash and financing a small portion of the rest. Being able to easily haul the equipment is also important. Partly why I'm trying to decide what the next equipment will be is to determine what kind of trailer I'll need (going to be buying that in the next couple weeks).

    Any input on equipment choices would be great. There are a lot of different ways to go about this and it makes my head spin trying to come up with the best.
    Kubota B3200
    Ford NAA Jubilee
    International 454D
    Case 1845C skid steer
    JD 265

  2. #2
    Gold Member
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    Dec 2003
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    363
    Location
    OH
    Tractor
    Ford 851/ JD 770 MFWD

    Default Re: My farm construction business is growing, recommendations on equipment?

    I doubt you can find one in that price range, but I think that one of the compact telehandlers that have ground engaging capabilities would a really good match. For example, a JCB 515-40 or 520-40 with the skid steer coupler to maximize your attachment options. Then when you need one, rent a TLB.

    Otherwise, I'd find a nice used CTL and suppliment with rentals. A friend has a Tak CTL that he uses all the time on his farm and says it beats the other brands he's had hands down.

  3. #3
    Elite Member foreman Etexas's Avatar
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    Jul 2011
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    2,577
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    texas
    Tractor
    kubota M7040 &m7040

    Default Re: My farm construction business is growing, recommendations on equipment?

    [ATTACH]My farm construction business is growing, recommendations on equipment?-dumptrailer.jpg[/ATTACH] All Attachments - Bobcat Company
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails My farm construction business is growing, recommendations on equipment?-bobcat.jpg  

  4. #4
    Epic Contributor jinman's Avatar
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    Feb 2001
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    20,948
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    Texas - Wise County - Sunset
    Tractor
    NHTC45D, NH LB75B, Ford Jubilee

    Default Re: My farm construction business is growing, recommendations on equipment?

    A skidsteer is the "Swiss Army Knife" of equipment. The quick attach on the loader makes swapping out attachments a breeze. Also, many rental yards will rent equipment for skid steers so you don't have to buy them and then have them sit unused when you don't need them. I also think you can rent manlifts and telescoping forklifts when needed to do erecting chores. If I was in your business and could only have one piece of equipment, it would be a skidsteer. After the skidsteer, I'd go for a mini-excavator. Keep your tractor for the light jobs and cleanup.

    As a small contractor that hauls equipment to every job, I'd stay away from the big construction equipment. When you get into that kind of equipment, you have to buy a big truck and trailer and in effect also become a trucking company. Not fun! Most of those jobs can be done by having a rental delivery and pickup and let the rental guys worry about the hauling. You'll pay more, but you can pass that cost onto your customer and won't cost as much in the long run anyhow.
    Jim


  5. #5
    Veteran Member
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    Jul 2005
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    lower part of Md.
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    JD310, ASV RC-100

    Default Re: My farm construction business is growing, recommendations on equipment?

    Almost everything you've described in your business plan can be done with a skidsteer. A gin pole and 6 way blade plus your auger and you should be set. As said earlier, renting can always make good business sense. A decent free magazine you could consider
    Compact Equipment Online - Features

  6. #6
    Veteran Member
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    Kubota B3200, Ford NAA, IH 454D, Case 1845C

    Default Re: My farm construction business is growing, recommendations on equipment?

    A skid steer is kind of along the lines I've been thinking. I'd like a wheeled machine if it'd work for my fencing business also, from what I read the upkeep on the CTLs is pretty high. Like I said before the ground I work on (fencing) is fairly steep sometimes, other times low and swampy areas. Would a wheeled skid steer, one of the long wheel base models, with over the tire track be suitable for that kind of work?

    Also, while I know they have plenty of lift capacity, would they be stable enough to set all but the largest trusses with a jib crane attachment? I've been borrowing our 5045e 4wd JD tractor and using a jib crane on it. With the crane it lifts up to 20' high and seems to have plenty of weight/stability to safely handle average 40' trusses. Would that kind of work be too risky with a skid steer?
    Kubota B3200
    Ford NAA Jubilee
    International 454D
    Case 1845C skid steer
    JD 265

  7. #7
    Elite Member Duffster's Avatar
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    Wisconsin

    Default Re: My farm construction business is growing, recommendations on equipment?

    Quote Originally Posted by Verticaltrx View Post
    A skid steer is kind of along the lines I've been thinking. I'd like a wheeled machine if it'd work for my fencing business also, from what I read the upkeep on the CTLs is pretty high. Like I said before the ground I work on (fencing) is fairly steep sometimes, other times low and swampy areas. Would a wheeled skid steer, one of the long wheel base models, with over the tire track be suitable for that kind of work?

    Also, while I know they have plenty of lift capacity, would they be stable enough to set all but the largest trusses with a jib crane attachment? I've been borrowing our 5045e 4wd JD tractor and using a jib crane on it. With the crane it lifts up to 20' high and seems to have plenty of weight/stability to safely handle average 40' trusses. Would that kind of work be too risky with a skid steer?
    I would recommend a skidsteer with over the tire steel tracks. Steel tracks with rubber pads or over the tire rubber tracks would works as well.

    A skidsteer with OTTs will go anywhere in any condition and push anything and the steel track makes an almost ideal counterweight/ballast.

    I have set 40' ag trusses that are set on 8' center many many times without issue. I have a JD 250.
    "If everyone is thinking alike, someone isn't thinking." George Patton

  8. #8
    Platinum Member
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    Jul 2011
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    Mahindra 4510

    Default Re: My farm construction business is growing, recommendations on equipment?

    For large scale pipe/utility work, a dedicated trencher cannot be beat. I have a Vermeer 4150 that is fully weighted and sometimes doubles as a dozer in a pinch.

  9. #9
    Veteran Member
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    Kubota B3200, Ford NAA, IH 454D, Case 1845C

    Default Re: My farm construction business is growing, recommendations on equipment?

    So it sounds like a skid steer would be an ideal machine. Just need to decide on the type and size. I've spent many hours running 753 and 763 bobcats and they seem to be pretty capable as far as the dirt work goes. What I'm not sure of is if that size machine would be good for handling my post driver (1100lb), and setting trusses?

    I can get a new S150 (comparable to old 763) for under $25K. I don't know a whole lot about other brands of skid steers, but I'm open to suggestions.
    Kubota B3200
    Ford NAA Jubilee
    International 454D
    Case 1845C skid steer
    JD 265

  10. #10
    Elite Member Duffster's Avatar
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    Default Re: My farm construction business is growing, recommendations on equipment?

    Quote Originally Posted by Verticaltrx View Post
    So it sounds like a skid steer would be an ideal machine. Just need to decide on the type and size. I've spent many hours running 753 and 763 bobcats and they seem to be pretty capable as far as the dirt work goes. What I'm not sure of is if that size machine would be good for handling my post driver (1100lb), and setting trusses?

    I can get a new S150 (comparable to old 763) for under $25K. I don't know a whole lot about other brands of skid steers, but I'm open to suggestions.
    I would a little bigger. Like the 175 or 185 size.
    "If everyone is thinking alike, someone isn't thinking." George Patton

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