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  1. #1
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    Default Purchasing Advice for JD Backhoe

    I have recently purchased 40 acres of mountainous, forested land in Northern California. I intend to build my future home there, including a barn, flats for animals (cows, horses, etc.), ponds, and build roads as needed.

    I know from the advice of relatives in the "business" that excavators do a much better job than backhoes, especially when lots of dirt needs to moved -- I will certainly have to move lots of it.

    However, the rental cost for excavators tend to be significantly more expensive, especially given the fact the I would have to do the work across several periods -- the excavator is expensive to get on-site and off-site.

    Therefore, I intend to buy a backhoe -- it's financially more attractive because it allows me to own it and do the work as I can. Also, the loader bucket makes it more practical for rough grading, cutting, and smoothing.

    My recent experience with backhoes included the rental of a John deere 310E. A relative ran it to put in a road to my property -- I ran it to make a barn site flat, push down large trees and otherwise, move dirt. I was very impressed with it -- including the naturalness to the boom bucket controls -- very easy to learn.

    However, I am no expert and was hoping that others who have had experience with buying and using backhoes could help me. I would be very appreciative.

    Specifically, my questions are:

    1) Is my conclusion about purchasing a backhoe versus renting them as needed, or even renting excavators seem correct?
    2) If buying a backhoe seems like a good idea, should I even consider buying it new from John Deere?
    3) What should I focus on if buying a backhoe used? It seems like tires, pads and engine hours are important characteristics.
    4) Is it reasonable for me to think that I can teach myself to maintain the backhoe, or should I factor in some significant maintenance / repair cost to have others do it for me? I am not used to maintaining vehicles, especially large vehicles, but am willing to learn.
    5) Is the 310 a good series to buy for my needs -- the 410/710 seem too large, potentially too expensive, to consider buying.
    6) What should I expect to have, assuming a 310 series, for $20K, $40K, $60K ?

    Thank you very much for any advice on any of the questions above.

    John

  2. #2
    Platinum Member
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    Apr 2000
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    566
    Location
    West Valley, New York
    Tractor
    2004 JD 4310 300CX 72MM, dozers, excavtors, bachoes, loader, tractors.

    Default Re: Purchasing Advice for JD Backhoe

    **Check the attachment

    Specifically, my questions are:

    1) Is my conclusion about purchasing a backhoe versus renting them as needed, or even renting excavators seem correct?

    That is my thoughts because after you are done you can sell them for basically what you have in them. Now sure sometimes you do have unexpected cost due to break downs but then again advertise the new parts and that's a better selling point when you are done. [img]/w3tcompact/icons/wink.gif[/img]

    2) If buying a backhoe seems like a good idea, should I even consider buying it new from John deere?

    Sure if that's what you like. Or you can buy my backhoe listed in the classifieds here.... I have an excavator for sale too so just buy both. [img]/w3tcompact/icons/smile.gif[/img]

    3) What should I focus on if buying a backhoe used? It seems like tires, pads and engine hours are important characteristics.

    Those are things to look for and also tightness of pivot areas, hyd power checks- able to perform like they should. If you aren't sure you always can have someone inspect them for you like local dealers in the area you are thinking about buying your equipment.

    4) Is it reasonable for me to think that I can teach myself to maintain the backhoe, or should I factor in some significant maintenance / repair cost to have others do it for me? I am not used to maintaining vehicles, especially large vehicles, but am willing to learn.

    You may not be able to teach yourself but if you buy the right manual from the equipment manufacturer then they break things down (some) for the average tool twister to complete. Yeah if you have a dealer or heavy equipment tech work on your stuff you are going to spend alot of money but sometimes is necessary.

    5) Is the 310 a good series to buy for my needs -- the 410/710 seem too large, potentially too expensive, to consider buying.

    There are a couple people here that I've read have the 710 and I can't believe how big they are. They were saying the reach is like 28'. I haven't seen one in person for I have Cat's.

    6) What should I expect to have, assuming a 310 series, for $20K, $40K, $60K ?

    I'm not sure on the 310's but you can by all means find a real nice unit in the 20's unless you are looking for only a couple hundred hours and a couple years old is all. Do searches on www.equipmenttraderonline.com for whatever you are looking for. This will give you an idea at least.

    Hope this kinda helps and I can't stress this more. BUY my backhoe. [img]/w3tcompact/icons/laugh.gif[/img] Goodluck

    Darin
    Attached Images Attached Images

  3. #3
    Platinum Member
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    Apr 2000
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    566
    Location
    West Valley, New York
    Tractor
    2004 JD 4310 300CX 72MM, dozers, excavtors, bachoes, loader, tractors.

    Default Re: Purchasing Advice for JD Backhoe

    Here's my backhoe pic
    Attached Images Attached Images

  4. #4
    Veteran Member
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    Jul 2002
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    1,598
    Location
    Greene Co, Arkansas
    Tractor
    JD 1050 2wd, Case 580D 2wd

    Default Re: Purchasing Advice for JD Backhoe

    Oh boy a fun question!! I've been in love with backhoes for as long as I can remember. Dad had one till I was 5 and I've been trying to get another ever since. Anyway.

    1) Since you have many projects, spaced over a realitively long period (in comparison to renting at least) I'd go with Buy. I'm hopelessly biased [img]/w3tcompact/icons/grin.gif[/img]

    2) New is nice, but a substantial investment. I'd shop used, as the values level out after the new wears off. One can find a 1-2 year old machine for a lot less money than new.

    3) Things to look at:

    **Engine;
    Check for oil leaks, abnormal noises, new painted areas or parts, and smoke in the exhaust. White smoke is oil, black smoke is too much fuel. Turbo Diesels may have a slight puff of black until the turbo catches up.

    **Check the fluids.
    If they are milky, the machine has done a lot of sitting. If there's coolant in the oil or oil in the coolant, it has major engine problems. Smell them, if the oils are burnt, the machine has been abused and/or not maintained.

    **Hydraulics
    *Pump:
    look for oil leaks, run the machine and see if the power level seems good. Machine should be able to lift itself off the ground and have reasonablely quick response to controls.
    *Hoses:
    Look for chaffed or cracked hoses. Look for broken/leaking fittings.
    *Rams:
    Look at the pistons for scratches and nicks. These cause premature seal failure.

    **Structure:
    Look for signs of welding patches on the frame, FEL, and backhoe. This means the metal cracked or broke.
    Inspect the Pins and bushings. This will show up as excessive movement when responding to the controls.

    **Tires:
    Look at the tread depth. If they're bald, it's gonna need new tires.
    Look for cuts along the tread. This indicates tire spin of a crappy operator. Inspect the rims for dents along the rim edges. This may affect how well the tires stay mounted.

    **Body:
    Look for damage to the hood, cab and steps. Steps always seem to be damaged, but grills and hood can indicate a rough enivornment or a reckless operator.

    4) Maintence is fairly basic, It will be outlined in the owner's guide. If you can maintain a car/truck, this shouldn't be a big jump. Tractor maintence is different from auto maintence in that it's fun. I think so anyway.

    5) The 310 is a good size, 70ish hp if I remember. It should be able to do everything you've mentioned.

    6) Price varies quite a bit by region and condition. You are in good shape right now, as the machine market is a little depressed.

    For $20k, it will have quite a bit of use, depending on who owned it, it could have a lot of life still in it. Expect around 3000hrs, give or take 500hrs.

    For $40k, it will be 1-2 years old with around 1000hrs give or take 250hrs. It can be in very good shape. Many dealer rentals will fit this description. They cycle them out for new ones every couple of years.

    $60k can get you a new one or nearly new with some options.

    As you can see, pricing is not an exact science. Major options seem to cost about $5k each. I'm speaking about Cab, 4wd, extendahoe, etc... I dunno why exactly, but that seems to be the norm. Check out
    Ironplanet for ideas as well. Their inspection reports give an idea of things to look for. <A target="_blank" HREF=http://usediron.point2.com/Xhtml/Index.html>Usediron</A> also offers some ideas on pricing and conditon.

    Don't get caught up in shiny paint and low hours. A bad operator can destroy a machine quickly. A good operator will have a fine machine for a long time. Unless the machine is new, new paint can hide problems. However, many good used machines are out there and can be had for decent prices.

    Whew, I'm done babbling now.
    Hope this helps...


  5. #5
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    Default Re: Purchasing Advice for JD Backhoe

    I run a 710 almost daily. Big, big machine. The rest of the fleet consists of 310's/410's, 110's/230 excavators. Running our town highway dep't several years back, I tried 5 different machines. Of course it's all in what you like, mechanically, not necessarily cosmetic. Anyway, all that I tried had extenda hoe's and a powertilt bucket, turbo, mechanical 4 X4, full enclosed ROPS cab and the other standard extra's. I tried for a week each, one Cat 426, JCB 217, Case 590, JD 410E, and a Fermec 860. Of all of them, the Fermec ran circles around the rest. I base this on hydraulic power and standard maintenance requirements. If you wish, back channel me, and I will explain my views on each and why I came to that decision. Don't care to take anymore space here.

  6. #6
    Gold Member
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    Sep 2002
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    Ft. Worth, Tx
    Tractor
    access to our whole Kubota fleet

    Default Re: Purchasing Advice for JD Backhoe

    Darin
    That excavator you have for sale sure doesn't look like the kubota KX91-2 that you bought from me. You know, Kubota now has cab KX161-3 model excavator coming out. Good talking to you.
    Lewis

  7. #7
    Gold Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
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    432
    Location
    Lampasas, Texas
    Tractor
    JD 4700

    Default Re: Purchasing Advice for JD Backhoe

    You should look at the new 110 from JD. You can get one for around $35K. The BH is easily removed and you have a good CUT with FEL that you can use for lots of other things. You could get a larger used BH for the same money but you would not have the access to a 3PH then. Maintenance is not a big deal for this size unit and you can do it yourself or take it to a dealer.

  8. #8
    Veteran Member
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    Jul 2002
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    1,598
    Location
    Greene Co, Arkansas
    Tractor
    JD 1050 2wd, Case 580D 2wd

    Default Re: Purchasing Advice for JD Backhoe

    I'm gonna put my flame suit on now. [img]/w3tcompact/icons/grin.gif[/img]
    I really don't get the warm fuzzies about the 110. I'm sure its a fine machine as JD has good products, but I think it has it's drawbacks. For $35k, one could buy a backhoe and another tractor and have the benefits of both. Let's take Darin's machine for example. (I would if I could Darin[img]/w3tcompact/icons/smile.gif[/img]) If I remember, it's priced at $22k or thereabouts. Now, That leaves $13k of the $35K the 110 costs to buy a 35-50hp tractor that possibly has an FEL also. Granted, neither of these machines is new, but many good used machines fit the price window above. There would be more expenses of fuel and maintence, but more work would be accomplished in the same time period with the more efficent machines. Just my $1.50...

  9. #9
    Platinum Member
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    Apr 2000
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    Location
    West Valley, New York
    Tractor
    2004 JD 4310 300CX 72MM, dozers, excavtors, bachoes, loader, tractors.

    Default Re: Purchasing Advice for JD Backhoe

    Hey Lewis,

    I tell you what you had me baffled there for a second. I was thinking man I thought I updated my bio and removed the kubota excavator. Then I was then really thinking.....man I did...how does this person know me. LOL

    Yeah I actually sold that Kubota KX91-2 to my brother in law a while ago and then had to do a major upgrade to do some bigger tasks that I had and now it's all done for my place and unless we move to another property all the equipment has to go or I may be forced to go. LOL

    Glad your around and hope all is well.

    Darin

  10. #10
    Platinum Member
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    West Valley, New York
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    2004 JD 4310 300CX 72MM, dozers, excavtors, bachoes, loader, tractors.

    Default Re: Purchasing Advice for JD Backhoe

    Man I couldn't have said that better myself ScottAR. [img]/w3tcompact/icons/smile.gif[/img] You know the part about buying my machine or machines...[img]/w3tcompact/icons/wink.gif[/img]. But seriously though that is exactly how I feel about buying used versus new. Although if I planned on keeping it for a long time and or I did have the money and could afford it I would go for new in a second. Yes everything depreciates but used aren't as bad. Yes everything does but a good used piece may be at it's low point unless really in bad shape. I mean honestly how many mid 90's units like mine do you see for mid to upper teens? Do a search and post the results because if you find some in good condition I may just have to buy them too. ha,ha. My point is not many unless someone is in a bind or the condition of the unit is poor. Now go buy a new 110 at 30's put hours on it and see what people are going to give you for it when the price of a new one isn't too far away. But to each his or her own. Just my pea brain's .02

    Darin

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