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  1. #1
    Platinum Member
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    Mar 2005
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    575
    Location
    Ontario

    Default Need help buying a mini excavator

    I am looking for a mini excavator. For the little I plan to do with it I'm not sure I can justify buying new so I've been looking for a used one. My main purpose is to dig out stumps of buckthorn that may have three or four stems in them up to 3 inch in diameter each. There may be a few elm stumps and they can be up to twelve inches across. I will also be using it to trench through heavy clay with lots of rocks down to 5 feet It isn't going to be used commercially just periodically in a rather leisurly fashion around my farm. I will probably get a kubota because I have a Kubota tractor and a dealer in my area. My questions are: 1/ At what point on the hour meter do you feel a machine has really passed it's trouble free operating age. I've seen machines advertised that the seller said was low hours only to discover he thought 3000 hours was low. I'm not sure that is what most people would consider low. 2/ Which mdel of Kubota would you recommend? and 3/ What other makes should I consider or avoid? Thanks!

  2. #2
    Advertiser
    Platinum Member

    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Posts
    1,323
    Location
    Texas

    Default Re: Need help buying a mini excavator

    I own several Bobcat 325 Mini excavators, they are good machines with kubota engines in them,depending on what size you are looking for the 325 would have a hard time digging 5'-deep in hard clay it's just too small for that.I can tell you that a new 325 machine will cost around $ 34,000 new I just bought one and a used one will sell for about half of that with 3000 hours on it.You can get parts for the Bobcat from Kubota as far as engine parts all the other parts would have to come from Bobcat, but the have good parts support.I hope this information helps you.

    Tommy

  3. #3
    Gold Member nobull1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Posts
    431
    Location
    Halifax, Nova Scotia
    Tractor
    '02 Kubota L4300/'04 Kubota KX91-3 '54 International Cub

    Default Re: Need help buying a mini excavator

    I purchased my kubota excavator for the same reasons you are looking at Kubota 1) have a Kubota tractor 2) dealer support. If you said the same about Bobcat I would also agree with you. The sizes that would work for you are a couple but I would have to go with what I have a KX91-3. You might find it is a little overkill or too small. What I would do is go out and try a few different sizes first so you know what to look for. Once you know the size that will work for you then you can really start looking. Nothing worse than to buy the wrong machine for the job [img]/forums/images/graemlins/frown.gif[/img] . The amount of hours really means little unless it is truly excessive. Some machines with no maintenance are worn out at 1000 hours and some with 3000 are good for many more. Myself if I was going to buy used I would like to be under 2000( if hours were my main concern) so it will still have good value when I am done with it. The price is still the main thing in the decision to purchase though. Remember the hour meter could be turned back if someone really wanted to. The big problem is the cost of repairs to these machines, tracks are $2300 cdn each from Kubota( have two new never used I will sell reasonable [img]/forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img]),drive motors will set you back $5000 each, replacement cylinders can be $2500 each, anyhow you get the idea. The best thing to do is to take a person who knows these machines to go with you. If that is not possible take lots of pics and post them here for members opinions. The things to look at for example are tracks, sprockets, rollers, guides,coolant color-condition,looseness of arm- bucket to figure pin bushing wear, hydraulic leaks where and how many, overall condition of hoses lines etc and the bucket for wear and to help make a assessment of use ~ hours used. If you buy from a dealer try and get at least 30 days warranty. As far as other makes go I would only buy what you can easily get parts for. I owned a Daewoo and parts were not hard to get just time consuming and more expensive then common makes. With the high cost of repairing these machines a couple dollars saved can be spent real quick with just one repair. Any other questions just ask, my opinions are priced at what they are worth "nothing" [img]/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img] and I hand them out to whoever wants them.

  4. #4
    Platinum Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Posts
    575
    Location
    Ontario

    Default Re: Need help buying a mini excavator

    Thanks for the comments guys. There was a KX91-3 for sale in Ontario not far from where I live this week. It had about 50 hours on it. It looked almost new. It sold real quick for $33,000. That was one heck of a buy for someone. I couldn't justify that much money though for what I had planned. How about digging out 12 inch stumps? Or 5 feet ditches (going slow) in heaavy somewhat rocky clay. Would a smaller kubota do that. I think there is a KX 41 or 61?

  5. #5
    LarryRB
    Guest

    Default Re: Need help buying a mini excavator

    I have a kubota L 48 and have spent the last five weeks removing tons of stumps between 8 and 25 inches on our 26 acres. I have the mechanical quick attach hoe system and use a 12" bucket for stump removal. When removed and piled, the front end loader makes quick work pushing them to the burn pile... I have three hundred feet of trench to finish digging for my sister in laws underground elec/cable/phone. We have rocks, boulders, ledge, and a million more rocks and the 48 does fine.. New England area which is very similar to your geologic area..

  6. #6
    Platinum Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Posts
    575
    Location
    Ontario

    Default Re: Need help buying a mini excavator

    How long do you think it would take your L48 to dig a 350 foot trench 5 feet deep LarryRB.

  7. #7
    LarryRB
    Guest

    Default Re: Need help buying a mini excavator

    depends waht you run into, a good day would do it unless there is a boulder the size of a house or somethng like that

  8. #8

    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Posts
    885
    Location
    S Illinois
    Tractor
    Iseki TA 207

    Default Re: Need help buying a mini excavator

    I have been using grey Market machines for several years. I have had very good luck so far. I use them for installing plumbing in clay soil. I have had Yanmar and Kobelco machines. I used the Yanmar for 3 years. I was able to bill out enough to pay for it and then I sold it for what I had paid for it originally. $10,000. It was smaller than the kubota they are talking about but it would dig about 7" deep. There are several grey dealers in Cnanda. If you do your research you can get a grey that has a match up with a domestic model making parts easy. Kubota also has several grey/domestic models. Hours wise, 1 to 2000 hours on a grey is not too hard to find. My Kobelco had 1100 when I got it. I will attach a picture of the PC 40 Komatsu my son is working. It is a grey with 1500 hrs when we got it.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  9. #9
    Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Posts
    46
    Location
    Belmont Co. Ohio
    Tractor
    ford 8n, allice d17,farmall h

    Default Re: Need help buying a mini excavator

    this might be a dumb question. i thought grey machines were not native to the usa? don't they sell kobelco in the us.?I see alot of them.. just wondering.


    circleT [img]/forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img]

  10. #10

    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Posts
    885
    Location
    S Illinois
    Tractor
    Iseki TA 207

    Default Re: Need help buying a mini excavator

    There are models with standards for specific countrys. A US Kobelco isn't grey. A model made to Japanese standards and sold first in Japan is. Some brands are painted differently also. Even Cat has Japanese models that are considered grey here.

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