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  1. #11
    Gold Member rmk700's Avatar
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    Mar 2011
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    430
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    Utah
    Tractor
    Kubota L35

    Default Re: Can I get by with a 2wd backhoe

    You can get by without it but the benefit of a 4X4 is well worth the cost. Especially for wet muddy conditions.

    My father uses an old 2 wheel drive to load big bales on feed truck in the winter, with lots of weight in front even with backhoe it really increases rear tire spin.

  2. #12
    Super Star Member EddieWalker's Avatar
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    May 2003
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    14,935
    Location
    Tyler, Texas
    Tractor
    Several, all used and abused.

    Default Re: Can I get by with a 2wd backhoe

    I've had my 2wd 555E for ten years now and if I had it to do all over again, I would get 4wd. My land is fairly flat, red clay. During late spring into late fall, when the temps are warm, I can use it a day or two after it rains. I can't run it at all in the winter, the weight of it is too much for the ground and you either slide around, spin the rear tires or get stuck. Stuck means tearing up the ground and sometimes you lose a few trees pulling yourself out with the hoe stick. Then you have to wait well into summer for the ground to be dry enough to go back and fix it because all those ruts hold water long after everything else dries out. It also lacks traction for loading with the bucket. I've found it's faster to break up the ground with the hoe, then load it. I made the front bucket into a quick attach so it can use skid steer attachments and that's proven to be a great thing. The backhoe is big enough to take out any size tree. The loader can lift two tons, and with the grapple, that's most of what comes out. There is enough traction to drag the larger trees to the burn pile, but some of the bigger ones still have to have the root ball cut off and the dozer is used to push those to the burn pile. There isn't much that it wont do. My neighbor has 4wd on his backhoe. Same terrain, same soil, and he is out there all winter long. The difference is night and day in both traction and loading dirt.

    Parts are getting harder to get. New Holland has them, but they want to sell you kits and parts to replace perfectly fine parts so the new repair parts will work. I've found that for cylinder repairs, it's better to go to a specialty shop that has all the gaskets and seals in stock and will sell them to me individually. It's anywhere from $20 to $60 for just the parts I need, or $200 to $400 for what New Holland has. I've also found that going to other specialty stores can save a lot of money and you end up with better parts. The starter is from somewhere in Eastern Europe and not very good. The replacement from New Holland is the same thing and will only last a few years. But I found a Bosch from a starter/alternator repair shop that was just a little more money that has lasted 6 or 7 years and is still going great.

    Go with a brand that you have a dealer close by. They are all pretty similar in quality for the same years and hours. An 85 Case is just as good as a Deere, Cat, NH of the same year. All will have issues and all will require wrenching on them. Hoses will go the most often, so be sure to have a large selection of big wrenches. Mine go up to 2 inches, but that handles my dozer too.

    Eddie

  3. #13
    Super Member Gary Fowler's Avatar
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    Jun 2008
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    7,410
    Location
    Bismarck Arkansas
    Tractor
    2009 Kubota RTV 900, 2009 Kubota B26 TLB & 2010 model LS P7010

    Default Re: Can I get by with a 2wd backhoe

    If that is your only piece of equipment to use as a loader then I would agree with EddieWalker, get a 4 wd unit, but if you are using it for a backhoe only, a 2 wd will do about anything you want to do. I couldn't see spending $5000 more to get 4 wd on a $10K piece of used equipment. That is a substantial price increase. Your post says that you have a tractor with FEL so if you are in mud, use that. Use the 2 wd backhoe for backhoe work when it is dry. You really don't want to be digging holes in the mud anyway as they will never compact when backfilling.
    2010 LS P-7010C 20F/20R gear tractor & FEL, 2009 Kubota B 26 TLB, RTV 900 Kubota,17 foot Lund boat with 70HP motor, 2012-20 ft 12k GVW trailer, 2011- 52" Craftsman ZTR mower, 2013 Ferris Zero Turn, 3 weed whackers, pressure washer, leaf blowers, 7 foot bush hog, 8 foot landscape rake , 8 foot 3 PH disc, 2 row cultivator, 350 amp Miller AC/DC welding machine and all the tools needed to keep them all repaired and running.

  4. #14
    Elite Member TomSeller's Avatar
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    Jan 2013
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    timbuktu
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    Many

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Gary Fowler View Post
    If that is your only piece of equipment to use as a loader then I would agree with EddieWalker, get a 4 wd unit, but if you are using it for a backhoe only, a 2 wd will do about anything you want to do. I couldn't see spending $5000 more to get 4 wd on a $10K piece of used equipment. That is a substantial price increase. Your post says that you have a tractor with FEL so if you are in mud, use that. Use the 2 wd backhoe for backhoe work when it is dry. You really don't want to be digging holes in the mud anyway as they will never compact when backfilling.
    Well said

  5. #15
    Elite Member CurlyDave's Avatar
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    Dec 2005
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    4,098
    Location
    Grants Pass, OR
    Tractor
    JD TLB 110

    Default Re: Can I get by with a 2wd backhoe

    Quote Originally Posted by Will_C View Post
    My father was a self employed excavator-he supported our family and built a business using nothing but Case 2wd backhoes from 1964-1982. He did buy a 4wd in '82, and my brother has had them ever since he took the business over-but there are probably 1,000 septic systems, a 100 basements, and 100 miles of tile ditches in the area he dug with a 2wd hoe.

    Will
    Will:

    I know what you are saying, but what I am hearing is that your dad did a lot of work with 2wd back when that was the only thing available. In 1982 he switched to 4wd and since then neither he nor your brother bought a 2wd machine. That says a lot about the advantage of 4wd.

    Plus I bet he was very, very skilled with the 2wd machines and far less likely to get stuck than someone who only uses one once in a while.
    40 Acres on a hill - fantastic view. JD 110 TLB, 4-n-1, 12" bucket, 18" bucket, Addington thumb, rock bucket (doubles as root grapple)

    Not only do we not understand the universe, if someone explained it to us, we would not know what he was talking about.

    Isaac Asimov

  6. #16
    Super Star Member EddieWalker's Avatar
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    May 2003
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    Tyler, Texas
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    Several, all used and abused.

    Default Re: Can I get by with a 2wd backhoe

    Something else to consider. All used machinery are priced for as much as the owner can get for them. If they are selling it cheap, then there is a reason for that. Ten to twelve grand for a full sized backhoe is pretty cheap, which means it has a lot of hours on it or the owner knows of something wrong with it and doesn't want to or know how to fix it. With all machinery, the goal is to buy it and be able to sell it for what you paid for it, but over time it loses it value and when it's time to sell, you get what you can for it. I would be very nervous about anything that's been around awhile unless I enjoyed wrenching and had the time to spend fixing it up.

    Eddie

  7. #17
    Bronze Member
    Join Date
    May 2008
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    86
    Location
    upstate NY
    Tractor
    Kubota M6800,Ford 801,MF 65, Kubota L305

    Default Re: Can I get by with a 2wd backhoe

    Quote Originally Posted by Gary Fowler View Post
    If that is your only piece of equipment to use as a loader then I would agree with EddieWalker, get a 4 wd unit, but if you are using it for a backhoe only, a 2 wd will do about anything you want to do. I couldn't see spending $5000 more to get 4 wd on a $10K piece of used equipment. That is a substantial price increase. Your post says that you have a tractor with FEL so if you are in mud, use that. Use the 2 wd backhoe for backhoe work when it is dry. You really don't want to be digging holes in the mud anyway as they will never compact when backfilling.
    Well I kinda like this reply.I see some decent older 2wd machines out there and hopefully they are priced decent because they are not moving because of non 4wd.I know one of my neighbors may be getting rid of his 655 Ford in the very near future and hope to pick it up.It had the engine rebuilt last year for a broken ring.I can see some slight slop in the pivot point between the 2 arms.Is that an easy repair ? I know I could get it for around $8k if he sells it so if it needed anything hopefully it would still be a reasonable buy.Selling it possibly due to estate issues with a death in the family.

  8. #18
    Bronze Member
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    May 2008
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    86
    Location
    upstate NY
    Tractor
    Kubota M6800,Ford 801,MF 65, Kubota L305

    Default Re: Can I get by with a 2wd backhoe

    How good are older 555's 2wd parts wise ? Anything to stay away from ? What about repinning and bushing a hoe ? Is that a one man job that can be done at home ?

  9. #19
    Super Star Member EddieWalker's Avatar
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    Tyler, Texas
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    Several, all used and abused.

    Default Re: Can I get by with a 2wd backhoe

    Case/New Holland have all the parts for the 555, but you have to buy the kit or an entire unit. So a $50 repair can easily cost several hundred if you go through the dealer. Fortunately for me, the parts guys and the mechanics in the service department have been great at telling me where they go for parts. There are specialty shops in the tow I live in that you can buy just what you want and not have to replace parts that are good just to fix the broken part.

    I've only bought new bushings and bearings. I changed them easy enough, so for now, it's a simple do it yourself project.

    Guess it would depend on the amount of wear and what you have to work with?

    Eddie

  10. #20
    Bronze Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
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    55
    Location
    PA
    Tractor
    Kubota BX25D

    Default Re: Can I get by with a 2wd backhoe

    If your land doesn't get muddy you'll be fine with 2wd. It can get frustrating pulling yourself to where you want to go and pulling yourself back out. You run the loader completely different than you would a 4wd also. Back in the day that was all we had so you dealt with but having run 4wd hoes most of my life I get annoyed when I have to run a 2wd.

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