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  1. #1
    New Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
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    9
    Location
    Finger Lakes Region, NY
    Tractor
    Kubota L2650, Ford NAA, AC 5040, Case 310G

    Default Mini Excavator Buying Advice

    I know this question gets asked a lot, but here goes. I am looking to buy a mini excavator and have narrowed down my options. I would like to keep the machine close to or under 6,000 lbs so that I can transport it between properties on a 8,000 lb equipment trailer with my 4WD F150. It will be used mostly for ditch, road and stream maintenance, some shallow foundation and drainage work. Dealer support and parts availablity are high on my list and limit my options. Based upon the above criteria I am considering the following machines: Gehl 223, kubota KX41, Bobcat 323 and Case CX17B or their used equivalents. Would appreciate recommendations and advice on what to watch for in the used market.
    Thanks, Ed

  2. #2
    Elite Member Bob Rooks's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
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    2,568
    Location
    Bothell & Silverdale, WA
    Tractor
    Yuchai Bulldozer

    Default Re: Mini Excavator Buying Advice

    IMHO, a 8,000 lb. GVW trailer is too light, should be 10,000 GVW minimum. What is the GCW rating of your F-150 (1/2 ton) pickup? I think that's too light also, 4x4 or not. Should be 3/4 ton minimum.
    Last edited by Bob Rooks; 11-04-2011 at 09:54 PM.
    Yuchai 306R dozer, Mustang 2040 skid steer, Mitsubishi MS035 Mini-Ex with four buckets and a rake, 7' Dual Dozer with dual Trimble machine control GCR-2SM laser receivers.

  3. #3
    Elite Member Ken45101's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Posts
    3,391
    Location
    southern Ohio
    Tractor
    Kubota M5040, M9540, B21 TLB, B2710, RTV900, JD 325 Skid steer, KX-121-3 mini excavator

    Default Re: Mini Excavator Buying Advice

    I agree, you are pushing the limits with those numbers. I am assuming you are talking a bumper hitch trailer? If so, you should have a weight distributing hitch and, of course, a brake controller. If you are talking about a gooseneck trailer, they weigh more and your truck is way overloaded.

    As for parts availability, if you know what you are doing, you can just have the parts shipped to you, that's cheaper than running 50 miles. Also, most dealers provide field support. Yes, it is not cheap, but it's cheaper than buying a trailer or new truck. If you are buying new, you hopefully won't need much maintenance. Maybe not for used either, it depends, of course...

    Ken

  4. #4
    Platinum Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Posts
    594
    Tractor
    Mahindra 4510

    Default Re: Mini Excavator Buying Advice

    The used market is full of stuff guys bought during the housing boom and never had a clue as to how to operate/service a mini ex. From trashed rollers, sloppy drives... to ripped tracks that are filled with caulking and spray painted, I have looked at some real shameful machines. I have been on the lookout for a nice one for about six months and have come up empty here.

  5. #5
    New Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Posts
    9
    Location
    Finger Lakes Region, NY
    Tractor
    Kubota L2650, Ford NAA, AC 5040, Case 310G

    Default Re: Mini Excavator Buying Advice

    Guys, Thanks for advice, my F150, 5.4L, 4x4 Super Cab with tow package is rated for towing 8000 lbs loaded trailer weight. The equipment trailer weighs just a tad under 2,000 w/ elec brakes and all the machines I listed weigh between 3,636 and 4,447 adding a little for tie downs and fuel, etc. I think I can stay under 6,500 lb a loaded trailer weight range that I am comforable with.

    I do all of my own maintenance and am comfortable with doing repair work - proximity to dealers is only related to parts availablity and friendly advice.

  6. #6
    Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    30
    Location
    West Virginia
    Tractor
    1976 Economy Power King 1614

    Default Re: Mini Excavator Buying Advice

    I think the Japanese make most of the name brand mini excavators anyway, so pick a brand that has the nearest parts and service.
    I got myself stuck with a Takeuchi TB016. I have already had to repair the ends of the hoses to the drive motors. The fittings rusted away.
    I am not looking forward to disassembling the thing just to get to the swivel joint when I finally have to replace the hoses.
    It only weighs 3500 pounds and I can tow it with a V8 Dodge Dakota without using my equalizer bars on a trailer that weighs about 2000 pounds.

  7. #7
    Bronze Member yoder's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    77
    Location
    SE NC
    Tractor
    NH TC 30

    Default Re: Mini Excavator Buying Advice

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken45101 View Post
    I agree, you are pushing the limits with those numbers. I am assuming you are talking a bumper hitch trailer? If so, you should have a weight distributing hitch and, of course, a brake controller. If you are talking about a gooseneck trailer, they weigh more and your truck is way overloaded.

    As for parts availability, if you know what you are doing, you can just have the parts shipped to you, that's cheaper than running 50 miles. Also, most dealers provide field support. Yes, it is not cheap, but it's cheaper than buying a trailer or new truck. If you are buying new, you hopefully won't need much maintenance. Maybe not for used either, it depends, of course...

    Ken
    you should have a weight distributing hitch and, of course,

    I can see why you need a weight Distributing with a camper or any trailer you cannot adjust your load forward or reward. But why would you need one if you could just move your hoe or tractor for proper balance and tounge weight.
    Yoder
    NH TC30

    DeltaHook Rapid Hitch www.deltahook.com
    Woods Brush Bull 5'
    King Kutter Roto Tiller 4'
    Bush Hog Road Blade 50-06
    King Kutter Rake 7'
    16 Blade Disc.
    Carry All for water Tank.

  8. #8
    Super Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
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    6,138
    Location
    East PA or 750 mi. east of a short man named Dar___
    Tractor
    Kubota, AGCO, New Holland LB

    Default Re: Mini Excavator Buying Advice

    Quote Originally Posted by EdupstateNY View Post
    Guys, Thanks for advice, my F150, 5.4L, 4x4 Super Cab with tow package is rated for towing 8000 lbs loaded trailer weight. The equipment trailer weighs just a tad under 2,000 w/ elec brakes and all the machines I listed weigh between 3,636 and 4,447 adding a little for tie downs and fuel, etc. I think I can stay under 6,500 lb a loaded trailer weight range that I am comforable with.

    I do all of my own maintenance and am comfortable with doing repair work - proximity to dealers is only related to parts availablity and friendly advice.
    An F-150 is fine for that size machine.
    I like kubota the most out of the names you listed.
    Truthfully, there aren't many "bad" mini excavators out there based on brand. A well maintained lesser known machine will be better than an abused well known brand. I would go with the one that you get the best deal on that meets your needs. That way you can save money for your first repair...I mean upgrade.

  9. #9
    Elite Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
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    2,687
    Location
    Earth
    Tractor
    Deere

    Default

    What's your budget and we can really go to work. A nice mini ex that has not been beaten (as most people use them for breaker work and such) is really rare. You can find them you just have to look. Do you want a cab? All things to consider.

  10. #10
    Gold Member robs660's Avatar
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    Mar 2010
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    269
    Location
    Washington NJ
    Tractor
    Kubota B20

    Default

    I have rented the Komatsu many times and love the machines. Strong quiet and they run all day on a cup of fuel. Not too expensive either

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