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  1. #1
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    Default truckhoe towable backhoe

    When I bought my tractor, I passed on an opportunity to get a backhoe for it because I felt that for my use, an independent excavator would be more flexible and useful; also easier to sell if I don't need it anymore.

    I've been looking at min-excavators but they sure do hold their value! This is good if I ever decided to sell one, but bad when purchasing...

    I came across a truckhoe towable backhoe ( Towable Truckhoe ) at a used equipment dealer less than 3 miles from my property. It's self-contained, using a 22 HP gas Kohler engine to run the hydraulics, has a 17' reach, can be towed behind most pickups (tow weight about 4700#), and will dig to about 11'. The one I found is advertised as "lightly used" and has an asking price of $5,000.

    This is considerably less than most good mini-excavators ($8,500 to $12,500 for the most part) with the advantage of no freight to get it. It's also less than a new backhoe for a tractor an on a par or just a little more than many used tractor backhoes.

    It isn't self-propelled, but it can "walk" by pushing or pulling with the bucket, which is good enough to move it along a job.

    My immediate use will be trenching for utilities on my property -- water lines, underground electric, gas, septic, etc. Call me crazy, but my initial estimate is about 2000' feet of trenching, to about 24" or so deep, if I keep the gas and water in one trench and the electric in another.

    I'll also use it for digging holes to plant trees, digging out stumps, constructing the stem walls for my house and more.

    Does anyone have knowledge or experience with the truckhoe? Will this be a good machine for my uses? Do they hold up pretty good? Are there any disadvantages? My alternative to purchase of this or a rubber-track mini-excavator would be rental, which is less convenient and there is no possibility of recovery of the expenditure.

  2. #2
    Super Member JerryG's Avatar
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    Default Re: truckhoe towable backhoe

    Don,
    It might do fairly well on you property in your type of soil. It wouldn't in mine. I think that a truckhoe would have the same disadvantages as a CadPlan hoe. I don't see how you could use all of the power without a mounted unit through the entire movement of the machine. When you use a hoe on a tractor even with the tractor and loader to anchor it, it will be moved around some. I wouldn't be happy with the mobility of it either. Not only would it be difficult to maneuver on site, but you couldn't cross ditches if you need to. I have had two different hoes on two different tractors and I wouldn't trade them for a truckhoe. But like I said it might work OK at your place.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: truckhoe towable backhoe

    Good points. Let me think out loud. In my case, I'm not concerned about the stability compared to a unit mounted on my tractor, because at 4700#, the truckhoe is twice as heavy as my tractor would be even with a backhoe mounted. Attached is a picture of the actual unit that is for sale - as you can see, it's probably even bigger than my tractor.

    As you mentioned, I'm concerned with the mobility, too. However, I could keep it hooked up to the tractor and move it that way when I need to, as a trailer. It's no less convenient than jumping off a backhoe seat and onto a tractor seat on a "regular" tractor-mounted backhoe. The good part is that I can unhook and leave the backhoe in place if I need the tractor for something else.

    Crossing a ditch is something I hadn't thought of. Maybe a good set of heavy planks can do the job.

    Thanks - you've given me some food for thought.
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  4. #4
    Veteran Member Dozernut's Avatar
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    South Eastern Illinois
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    Default Re: truckhoe towable backhoe

    You might check into renting a trencher for your water and electric lines. If your soil is not too sandy and won't cave in, this would be a lot faster and less invasive. Plus you could still get a hoe for your other projects. As for the truckhoe, it would work, but I think you would be happier with the mini trackhoe or a hoe for your tractor (get a subframe to ease installation and removal). But a truckhoe sure beats a shovel!

  5. #5
    Elite Member
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    Iuka Mississippi USA
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    3550 Fard Backhoe and a 1948 Farmall Cub,

    Default Re: truckhoe towable backhoe

    Don I nthe equipment trader today there was a Menzi Muckall excavator for 1500. I cant tell what was wrong with it. Id buy it but Im gonna put that money into my backhoe rebuild next week. Its 360 degrees continuos rotation, extenda hoe self propelled, diesel, and has 4 hydraulic legs that can raise it 6feet for canal work.
    I think some Truckhoes are self propelled Im not sure but a few grave diggers had them In Florence AL till the mini excavators came out cheap.

  6. #6

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    Default Re: truckhoe towable backhoe

    Don,
    I have a kubota backhoe attachment on my B7500, and the most frustrating thing about using it is the motion of the tractor, which prevents taking advantage of the full capabilities of the BH. This is especially true when removing stumps. Looking at the Kubota excavator specs, it looks like the machine weights are about twice the breakout force ratings of the backhoe booms. My BH combo, and your Truckhoe, have machine weights about equal to the breakout force, which seems too light. However, one sure way to find out is to try removing a stump with it and see for yourself. If it works well, $5K seems like a good value compared to my little $6K BH attachment.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: truckhoe towable backhoe

    Taylor, I didn't look it up, but from the description, it sounds like it's not a compact machine. My wife is already questioning me as to where all my "stuff" is going to be parked...the crazy thing is, I've found full size excavators in working condition for peanuts, while finding a mini-excavator in good working condition for less than $8500 is next to imposible. I've found one or two, but so far away that the freight would eat up all the savings.

    The truckhoe is less than 3 miles down the road. About 1 mile down the road are two full size excavators in "personal use" condition, used by a rich rancher to do the same thing I'm doing, but on about 2,000 acres rather than 5. I haven't even called for prices because they're such overkill for my application, but I'd be willing to bet I could sweet talk myself into one of them for $1500 plus about $200 to move it the one mile (the owner has a reputation for being a soft touch for a sob story, and my budget qualifies).

    I'm beginning to think that the biggest problem with the truckhoe is that it might be really difficult to sell it quickly if I need to recoup the investment. As long as it remains in good condition, it looks like a mini-excavator essentially will not lose any value at the used level. Initial purchasers of new ones seem to take a pretty big hit, but the used market is really consistent. I've been checking EBay, equipment traders, etc.

    It might be worth checking into financing, leveraging a small cash investment and considering the interest to be a small "rental" fee.

  8. #8

    Join Date
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    Southern Maryland
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    Ford 1220, John Deere 770, Case 580E and Allmand TLB-35

    Default Re: truckhoe towable backhoe

    Some of the utility companies in this area are using the towable backhoes. dig-it One of my buddies acquired one, which I have used for digging and trenching and it works well in our red clay. Have not tried it on any tree or stump jobs. Yes, you can cross trenches with them. All of the movement is in the hoe circuits so it does take some getting used to. Working along a trench is ok. Moving from point a to b can take time because you are crawling the machine, but in MO it is not any more time than some of the mini-excavators because they crawl slow also. We rented a Kobelco mini for a job and ground speed was not it's thing. See if the guy will loan or rent you the towable unit for a weekend and try it out. Like everything else, resale is???

  9. #9
    Platinum Member
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    Aug 2001
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    Winchester, New Hampshire
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    Kubota L3000

    Default Re: truckhoe towable backhoe

    About 20 years a go my brother-in-law built a house on the side of a hill here in New Hampshire. As with many hills here there was a lot of water that flowed out of the hill right down his land. The house was built in the fall, a dry fall followed by a wet spring.

    The water from the hillside filled his basement. With the trees around house there was no room to get a full size backhoe in there to dig some drainage ditches. He rented one of those towable backhoes.

    I operated it for several hours one afternoon digging down 6 feet or so at times. Once you got the hang of moving it, crawling along it was easy to use and did all he wanted it to do. I believe this one had a small Honda engine powering it.

    I have only seen one or two of these units since then. I think the local rental place had one for a while. If you don't have any big rocks to remove I think it would do a fine job.

    Randy

  10. #10
    Elite Member
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    Iuka Mississippi USA
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    3550 Fard Backhoe and a 1948 Farmall Cub,

    Default Re: truckhoe towable backhoe

    Heres a pic of a Menzi and theres another company called Kaiser that makes another version.
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