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  1. #1
    Veteran Member bdog's Avatar
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    Mar 2004
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    1,769
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    Texas
    Tractor
    John Deere 4440

    Default mini / mid excavators

    Anyone own one?

    I currently have a full size backhoe but it is difficult to get into some of the places I want to work. I am picking up a Deere 60G Monday to try out and possibly trade the hoe on.

    HP and breakout force wise it is less than the backhoe but everything I read says they will work circles around a backhoe.

    A lot of the problem with a backhoe is positioning it to where you can dig where you need to and still be able to load the dump truck. With the excavator you can spin 360 and it seems so much more efficient.
    1980 John Deere 4440
    2016 John Deere 333E compact track loader
    2012 John Deere 310SJ backhoe

  2. #2
    Gold Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2016
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    422
    Location
    Oklahoma, North Central
    Tractor
    Kubota L3560

    Default Re: mini / mid excavators

    My understandings and limited experience would agree with you. Excavators have some hard to beat advantages

  3. #3
    Silver Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2016
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    186
    Location
    North Idaho
    Tractor
    Kubota L3901, MX5800, U55

    Default Re: mini / mid excavators

    I don't know how relevant or helpful this is but I had a BH77 backhoe on a L3901 compact tractor. I recently got a U55 mini ex and it's a lot easier to
    use since I don't have to deal with the stabilizers and can stay in the seat to reposition the machine. I use it mainly to dig up stumps and it works very well for that even though I'm still a novice operator. Also the blade makes it easy to fill the holes created by pulling the stumps.


    mini / mid excavators-img_4394-jpg

    mini / mid excavators-img_4432-jpg

    mini / mid excavators-img_4437-jpg

    mini / mid excavators-img_4439-jpg

  4. #4
    Veteran Member bdog's Avatar
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    Mar 2004
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    1,769
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    Texas
    Tractor
    John Deere 4440

    Default Re: mini / mid excavators

    Thanks. That U55 looks slick.

    I guess my hangup is when it comes to moving dirt HP and weight are your friends. The 60G is 53 HP and 13,547 lbs vs my 310SJ at 93 HP and 17,040 lbs. I guess what the ex lacks in HP and weight it makes up for in operational efficiency. The U55 is pretty close spec wise at 11,915 lb and 47.6 HP. Does it do all you want or are wishing at times it had more power?
    1980 John Deere 4440
    2016 John Deere 333E compact track loader
    2012 John Deere 310SJ backhoe

  5. #5
    Silver Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2016
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    186
    Location
    North Idaho
    Tractor
    Kubota L3901, MX5800, U55

    Default Re: mini / mid excavators

    It's just about perfect for my uses since it's just for personal use at home. The stumps I usually take out are 15" or less in diameter pines which this machine can get out pretty quickly. The double stump in the photos above is bigger than what I normally dig out and took me some time to get out though. So I guess in some cases it would be great to have a bigger machine but would be overkill for me most of the time. I think it just comes down to what would be best for the majority of jobs that the machine would be tasked with.

  6. #6
    Bronze Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2017
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    82
    Location
    Puget City, Washington
    Tractor
    Mahindra Max 26 XL, Yanmar O35 track excavator

    Default Re: mini / mid excavators

    I just bought a Yanmar vi O35 mini ex for my business. I'm a geologist and we dig soil pits to check the underlying geology for bearing capacity and other parameters. This little guy does everything we need. It has an 11 foot dig depth which is plenty and a two foot bucket, It's relatively light at 7600 pounds and can be transported with a 1-ton truck and trailer.

    I'll admit that it's stored at the house and I'm getting....uh, we'll call it 'practice"....operating it for various projects. It looks cute tucked inside my shop too.

  7. #7
    Veteran Member bdog's Avatar
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    Mar 2004
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    Texas
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    John Deere 4440

    Default Re: mini / mid excavators

    Well I picked it up this morning. Only messed with it about 30 minutes but it seems pretty impressive. I am used to backhoe style controls and I was like a blind operator until I figured out how to switch it. I don't have a ton of hours on the backhoe but it is crazy how ingrained the controls are in your mind I could not operate it at all with the excavator style controls.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails mini / mid excavators-img_9673-jpg  
    1980 John Deere 4440
    2016 John Deere 333E compact track loader
    2012 John Deere 310SJ backhoe

  8. #8
    Super Star Member EddieWalker's Avatar
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    May 2003
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    18,627
    Location
    Tyler, Texas
    Tractor
    Several, all used and abused.

    Default Re: mini / mid excavators

    That's a nice machine, but before I traded in my backhoe for an excavator, I would make sure that I had something else to move dirt from one place to another, or even to move the trees I dug out. I've found that digging is the easy thing, it's moving stuff over distance that eats up the time and causes most of my break downs.

  9. #9
    Elite Member Code54's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
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    2,959
    Location
    Putnam Co. West Virginia
    Tractor
    Kubota MX5100, Kubota BX25D, Kubota KX91-3, MULE FXT Pro

    Default Re: mini / mid excavators

    We have a kubota KX91-3 (7500lbs). Also a little BX25 with the little hoe and have had larger tractor backhoes. For digging the mini is 100x better. The 360, off setting the boom, tracks, all make it handy for digging trenches to holes to hillsides. BUT if you need to move the dirt over a distance, grade, etc the backhoe has an advantage. I normally use a 12K dump trailer behind my tractor to move the dirt I dig, and then spread it with the tractor. For digging stumps and stuff I love my mini!

  10. #10
    Silver Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2016
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    186
    Location
    North Idaho
    Tractor
    Kubota L3901, MX5800, U55

    Default Re: mini / mid excavators

    Yup, the mini ex is a bit slow so I use my tractor to move the stumps that are dug up.

    mini / mid excavators-img_4452-jpg

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