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  1. #1
    Elite Member Gary_in_Indiana's Avatar
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    John Deere 4200 MFWD HST w/ JD 420 FEL w/ 61" loader bucket & toothbar & JD 37 BH w/ 12" bucket

    Default What excavator do I need?

    The subject line is a bit misleading. What I'm wondering is if there's a possibility I could buy a decent used excavator for $10,000-$12,000 that I could use to take down a couple of old outbuildings, take out an existing stone basement and dig a 10" deep daylight or walk-out basement for a new home.

    If that's not enough to ask, I also have some mature trees I need to take out as the roots are at/near where I'd want the basement. I'd like something that would like to be able to do that as well if that's possible. The only other piece of construction type equipment I own is an old International TD9B bulldozer with a 10' blade. Is what I'm looking to do something I ought to be able to accomplish with that and an old excavator or should I be looking for something else (or should I just wave the white flag and hire this done)?

    Is it even possible to find an excavator that'll be capable of doing that kind of work in the price range I'm hoping? If all other things were equal, I'd prefer a piece of Cat equipment only because I have a friend who is a Cat field mechanic but I'm sure open to any and all suggestions, input and ideas. Thanks!
    John Deere 4200 HST w/ FEL & BH
    International TD9B bulldozer

  2. #2
    Veteran Member
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    michigan thumb
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    jd 970, JD GT235

    Default Re: What excavator do I need?

    I have a friend in the steel sea wall business, He picked up a great condition grey market komatsu pc120 for 17k this would do what you need easily, demolition could be aided by adding a thumb. just gotta keep an eye out.

  3. #3
    Gold Member
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    Kubota L48 Kobelco sk100 Kobelco sko35 case 450 Mack R600

    Default Re: What excavator do I need?

    grey market machines are fine just try and by one that is the same model as a us machine or parts can be a problem we sell Kobelco and they will not even help us if we call with a sn for a gray market machine. Other than that fo for it you should look for a machine that weighs at least 17,000# any thing less and you will have a problem diging 10ft deep not saying it can't be done just it if hard will be very slow going also for remove buildings I like something I can get a little father away from my work.

  4. #4
    Super Star Member EddieWalker's Avatar
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    Several, all used and abused.

    Default Re: What excavator do I need?

    No, you won't be able to buy a decent machine big enough to be useful for that amount of money. You might find a project machine, but even then, you could spend twice that amount fixing it up.

    Cat is the most expensive of all equipment. Compare similar machines to different brands, and it's always the most money. This is good when you sell it, but bad when buying.

    For just a few jobs that you need it for, it doesn't make sense to buy anyway. The only time buying is a good idea is when you have a long term, ongoing need for it. With a few specific jobs, you'd be money ahead to rent one or hire it out. Fore a third of what you plan to spend, you can have it all done with a machine that is big enough to do it properly and not break down on you.

    Good luck,
    Eddie

  5. #5
    Elite Member Gary_in_Indiana's Avatar
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    John Deere 4200 MFWD HST w/ JD 420 FEL w/ 61" loader bucket & toothbar & JD 37 BH w/ 12" bucket

    Default Re: What excavator do I need?

    For whatever reason, buying something 'gray market' makes me a little nervous. The parts availability issue could be a big one. The Cat pricing situation doesn't really surprise me as their semi truck engines have the same effect on the value of used semi tractors (something more up my alley). In that market, they're usually more money to repair/rebuild when the time comes, too. I don't know if that's the case with their construction equipment or not.

    Eddie, I really doubt I could get all of this work done for $4,000 or even $5,000 here, though I will check on it. Besides, I kind of like the idea of having my very own excavator for whatever reason (so my dozer won't get lonely?). I guess part of it is that I'm at a point in my life where I'm not quite as concerned with the best, most logical, well reasoned decision (which, I'll freely admit, yours probably is) so much as having a neat toy of my very own to use not only for these specific needs but to use for some other work kind of "at my leisure," if you will.

    If I spend $15,000 on equipment and another grand on fuel and miscellaneous to get this, say, $6,000 job done, I'm going to guess I'd still have something worth at least $10,000 when I'm done. Of course, that means I did the work for free, but that's OK with me. I look at it as a more than fair trade for having it for all the other stuff I'd like to do later. Does any of this make any sense?
    John Deere 4200 HST w/ FEL & BH
    International TD9B bulldozer

  6. #6
    Gold Member
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    Kubota L48 Kobelco sk100 Kobelco sko35 case 450 Mack R600

    Default Re: What excavator do I need?

    You should be able to find a excavator for around $15,000 I just sold one of mine a 903II Kobelco for about that just didn't use it that much after I bought a SK100 tracks were getting wore a little but It was not a dozer where you would be running around with it they are made to sit and dig so there was lots of life left

  7. #7
    Super Star Member EddieWalker's Avatar
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    Several, all used and abused.

    Default Re: What excavator do I need?

    Here are a few websites that will give you an idea of prices. You can always go smaller to save money, it just takes allot longer to finish.

    My concern is from my experience in buying used equipment. It breaks down. It's never maintained and you will have no idea of what's wrong with it. The seller won't tell you and pretend not to know.

    Having a big toy is worth an awful lot that money just can't buy.

    If you can do your own repairs, and seeing that you own a dozer, you know about how things break all the time on tracked machines.

    Equipment Trader Online.com-Search Over 35,000 Listings to Buy or Sell New and Used Equipment

    Construction Equipment at Machinery Trader: Caterpillar, Komatsu, Case, John Deere, Volvo

    Don't just look at the listings, but check out the websites of the dealers in your area. Most of the time they just list there top dollar machines and you will only find out what they have by going to there website.

    Good luck,
    Eddie

  8. #8
    Silver Member
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    Sep 2005
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    Default Re: What excavator do I need?

    Heavy equeptment auctions worked for me,Gary!

    I'm fortunate to live near one of Nationwide's auction lots. this one is in Benecia ca. I picked up a 1990 M.F. f.e.l.b.hoe with extendahoe.
    Great condition with 1700 hrs. enclosed cab,heater ect. ex city machine.
    Last fri passed on a 22ft.zeeman tag trailer air brakes. like new went $4200
    nice lincoln 400 amp diesal welder $2500 check nationwide auctions on
    the web! will get my trailer on a rainey winter auction this winter! less people show up in the rain good luck tool

  9. #9
    Elite Member AlanB's Avatar
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    Clarksville, TN, USA
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    NH 1925

    Default Re: What excavator do I need?

    I passed on a decent sized excavator for $12 or $13 a couple months ago, a buddy bought it, is cleaning it up, and offered to sell it too me for $25...... What a buddy

    I guess I want to say, if time is on your side, and you have the money and the mechanical experience, then it should certainly be feasible. There are guys out there today buying and selling and making a good living doing it.

    My buddy that bought that one, started his buisness when he needed some bulldozer work done,,,, so he bought one, then when he got done he sold it for more then twice what he paid.

    I of course do things the other way, I buy them at twice their value, work my butt off on it, get sick of it and sell at 1/2 the cost.....

    Good luck.

  10. #10
    Elite Member AlanB's Avatar
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    Default Re: What excavator do I need?

    I just got offered a John Deere 892 E LC (might be wrong, it was raining) for 14K. Repo deal. Would have looked a little longer and little harder but the CFO was standing beside me vetoing the decision before even walking out the door of the shop and seeing how big it was,,,,,

    Then I got the incredulous, you don't expect me to operate "THAT" do you?

    They are out there, and I agree, if approached from the right standpoint it can be cost effective and fun. And at least I stand a chance of holding my own financially. With renting, I may know what I am out, but it is definetely gone when the job is done.

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