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  1. #1
    Bronze Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Posts
    91
    Location
    Exactly 5600' in Colorado foothills
    Tractor
    None yet ... targeting summer 2007.

    Default Is your backhoe worth it over the long-haul?

    I have 35+ acres of raw treeless land that I'm having a home built on. Roughly half is pasture and home-site. The remainder is unusable hill-side that is too steep and rocky to build on to develop. I intend to fence-in the pasture area (~12+ acres), put a barn on it, a few compost piles, plant some trees and a garden, and raise up to four horses. I can foresee the need for a backhoe for some time to do some various excavating, trenching, digging out rocks, and other work around the land, but now I'm wondering about it's long-term use for a small equestrian operation. I'm debating if I should flat-out buy a backhoe knowing that it'll get put to some use up-front and will tapper-off over time -OR- should I rent one when I need it knowing that I'll eventually pay so much for the rental that I could have bought a backhoe. I've been targeting the kubota L39 TLB with a powerful backhoe for the hard rocky ground.

    QUESTIONS (for non-commercial small equestrian operators and private land owners):
    - If you have a backhoe, do you have regular long-term use of it? If so, how do you use it?
    - If you do not have a backhoe, do you wish you had one? If so, how would you use it?
    WiTel
    Currently considering ...
    Kubota L39 TLB:
    TL1715 Front Rem-Hyd, BTB404 Rear Rem-Hyd, L9553 Rem-Valves, L9554 TNT, K7770 QA Coupler for BH Bucket, K7874 18" Trenching Bucket, L9475 Drawbar, L9476 Tool Box, L8044 Rear Work Lights, 70000-00297 Block-Heater, Wheel-Weights, No FEL Bucket
    And, implements: 4N1 FEL Bucket, U25 H-Thumb, H-PHD, Front Blade, Rear Blade, Flail Mower, Spreader, Hopper, Pallet Forks, Chain-Hooks

  2. #2
    Veteran Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    1,212

    Default Re: Is your backhoe worth it over the long-haul?

    I have a commercial operation and i've never found a need for one.
    You can rent a FULL SIZED backhoe for 200 to 400 a day
    That's a lot of uses for 7000 bucks in today's morning.
    I couldn't justify it. (and i can usually justify any toy. )

  3. #3
    Super Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2000
    Posts
    6,553

    Default Re: Is your backhoe worth it over the long-haul?

    Interesting question. First off, it sounds like you found yourself a dandy of a piece of property. Congrats!

    Are you planning on digging your foundation for the house, shop, barn etc? I wouldn't recommed that being your first chore with a hoe.

    As to long term uses, there are many. If you have a lot of rocks even a small hoe with a thumb will make that chore go by faster and easier. If you want to make a rock wall it can be very nice with that thumb too.

    The real question is are you planning on getting a tractor anyway? My assumption is that you are. Then the selection of which hoe / tractor to get comes in. The L39 is one heck of a nice machine, don't get me wrong. But it is an industrial unit and has some drawbacks for ag or private use. Mostly that the FEL is permanent. Can't come off. It is much stouter than the normal "L" series and if you want to buy a super stout reliable unit that is one.

    You may be better off getting something like the L3830 or L4630. Then get a hoe to match either from kubota, Woods or Bradco. Best of the bunch is probably Bradco. 485 would be a good one and the 3509 would be about the biggest for that range of tractor.
    Bradco

    jb

  4. #4
    Silver Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Posts
    113
    Location
    Chehalis, WA
    Tractor
    Kubota L3200HST

    Default Re: Is your backhoe worth it over the long-haul?

    While what Brian H says is true, it's still nice to be able to hop on my tractor anytime I want and go out to dig for an hour or so without knowing I have to my a** off for a whole day to get my money's worth.

  5. #5
    Veteran Member bandit67's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Posts
    1,544
    Location
    Foothills, Colorado
    Tractor
    B3000 HSDCC

    Default Re: Is your backhoe worth it over the long-haul?

    Not sure how much use you'd have for a backhoe in your situation, so I'll leave the suggestions to the folks with stables, etc.

    But I do know that it's closer to $400 per day with tax, damage waiver, etc. for a full size machine, so divided by $7000 (if that is the cost of the L39 backhoe), that comes to about 18 days worth of backhoe work. So let's say for the price of that backhoe, you get about 20 days of rental use. If you think you've got more than 20 days worth of use for a backhoe, then buying your own becomes a better deal.

    I didn't buy a BX23 because my neighbor had a BX22, and he told me I could use it whenever I needed a backhoe. I ended up using his machine a ton, and also rented a JD110 twice, and a smaller Allmond backhoe once - all of that in an 18 month period. In my case, I could have easily justified the cost of buying a backhoe.

    I will want to upgrade my subcompact a size or two if I find a larger property. If I do that, I know I will want (maybe not need) a backhoe because I know what type of projects I will have, and know how useful a backhoe will be for me. Some years down the road, I have the option to sell the backhoe if I ever run out of uses for it for probably close to half of what I originally paid for it, so that alone makes it a better deal than all the money that will go towards a rental.

    So it comes down to you putting together a list of backhoe projects and an estimate of time it'll take you to do them. Add some learning curve time the first couple of days of rental time to familiarize yourself with the backhoe (if you don't have much backhoe seat time under your belt) and then decide if you can justify buying it. I can tell you that if you have a backhoe at your disposal, you will find a lot of use for it that you may not even consider when making up your task list.

    And where you are building your house, you will have a lot of rock that you may want to dig up, move, restack, build retaining or landscape walls with, etc.
    2012 Kubota B3000, block heater, filled rears, rear wheel spacers, fender extensions, LA403 w/60" bucket, BH77 w/12" bucket & mechanical thumb, Kubota pin-type QA, Kubota forks, Caroni TM1600 flail, Buhler Allied YC6010 3pt blower, Meyer 72" FEL mounted plow, Midwest LR2072 rake



    Previous machines:

    2008 Kubota B3030 (Open Station), LA403, BH75, 4 - 55w halogen front & rear ROPS mounted worklights with L39 dash switches
    2004 Case NH DX24E Subcompact

    Kubotas from Barlow's

  6. #6
    Bronze Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Posts
    91
    Location
    Exactly 5600' in Colorado foothills
    Tractor
    None yet ... targeting summer 2007.

    Default Re: Is your backhoe worth it over the long-haul?

    Quote Originally Posted by LoneCowboy
    I have a commercial operation and i've never found a need for one.
    You can rent a FULL SIZED backhoe for 200 to 400 a day
    That's a lot of uses for 7000 bucks in today's morning.
    I couldn't justify it. (and i can usually justify any toy. )
    This is my quandry.


    Quote Originally Posted by john_bud
    Interesting question. First off, it sounds like you found yourself a dandy of a piece of property. Congrats!

    Are you planning on digging your foundation for the house, shop, barn etc? I wouldn't recommed that being your first chore with a hoe.

    As to long term uses, there are many. If you have a lot of rocks even a small hoe with a thumb will make that chore go by faster and easier. If you want to make a rock wall it can be very nice with that thumb too.

    The real question is are you planning on getting a tractor anyway? My assumption is that you are. Then the selection of which hoe / tractor to get comes in. The L39 is one heck of a nice machine, don't get me wrong. But it is an industrial unit and has some drawbacks for ag or private use. Mostly that the FEL is permanent. Can't come off. It is much stouter than the normal "L" series and if you want to buy a super stout reliable unit that is one.

    You may be better off getting something like the L3830 or L4630. Then get a hoe to match either from kubota, Woods or Bradco. Best of the bunch is probably Bradco. 485 would be a good one and the 3509 would be about the biggest for that range of tractor.
    Bradco

    jb
    Thank you. I am very pleased with my land purchase.

    Yes, I plan to get a tractor anyway for normal equestrian use. If I do decide on the BH, I will get the hyrdaulic thumb.

    I do not plan to dig any foundations ... and will leave that up to my builder. I do plan on the following:
    - Digging three compost-piles into the hill-side (dumping from the top-side and turning from the lower-side).
    - Trenching water and electric from my well and transformer to strategic locations the property.
    - Digging up rocks in the pasture area and along the hill-side.
    The following are real possibilities:
    - Building a rock-wall (using rocks from the hill) on the downhill-side of the house to extend out the yard for the kiddos.
    - Since I'll have a number of horses, it's sadly inevitable that I may have to bury one at some point.

    As I've stated in other posts, I've been looking at the L39 because it is relatively small, agile, stout (as you've stated), and powerful in all the right areas. The beefier hydraulics on the TLBs (over the L and grand-series) are attractive, and I'll most-likely use a BH-mounted hyraulic PHD for fence/tree installation/planting since the ground is hard and rocky. I'd mount it on the BH (instead of the FEL) for visibility and placement accuracy. That said, the L39 hood is sloped and it can always be mounted on the FEL, too ... assuming no BH. The only slight disadvantage that I've found about the L39 is that the FEL cannot be removed. Doing so would make mowing easier, but I may only mow two/three times a year. The L39's 30.5 HP PTO will be enough for a rotary/flail mower in the pasture area.


    Quote Originally Posted by petegoud
    While what Brian H says is true, it's still nice to be able to hop on my tractor anytime I want and go out to dig for an hour or so without knowing I have to my a** off for a whole day to get my money's worth.
    Yes, this flexibilty is nice ... but how often do you just hop on and go dig for an hour?


    Quote Originally Posted by bandit67
    But I do know that it's closer to $400 per day with tax, damage waiver, etc. for a full size machine, so divided by $7000 (if that is the cost of the L39 backhoe), that comes to about 18 days worth of backhoe work. So let's say for the price of that backhoe, you get about 20 days of rental use. If you think you've got more than 20 days worth of use for a backhoe, then buying your own becomes a better deal.

    So it comes down to you putting together a list of backhoe projects and an estimate of time it'll take you to do them. Add some learning curve time the first couple of days of rental time to familiarize yourself with the backhoe (if you don't have much backhoe seat time under your belt) and then decide if you can justify buying it. I can tell you that if you have a backhoe at your disposal, you will find a lot of use for it that you may not even consider when making up your task list.

    And where you are building your house, you will have a lot of rock that you may want to dig up, move, restack, build retaining or landscape walls with, etc.
    So, given my list above and the flexibility of hopping on and digging when I want, I may be justifying the purchase here.

    I sure love TBN and all you guys for your rich ensight. It sure eases my fears knowing that you're all out there.
    WiTel
    Currently considering ...
    Kubota L39 TLB:
    TL1715 Front Rem-Hyd, BTB404 Rear Rem-Hyd, L9553 Rem-Valves, L9554 TNT, K7770 QA Coupler for BH Bucket, K7874 18" Trenching Bucket, L9475 Drawbar, L9476 Tool Box, L8044 Rear Work Lights, 70000-00297 Block-Heater, Wheel-Weights, No FEL Bucket
    And, implements: 4N1 FEL Bucket, U25 H-Thumb, H-PHD, Front Blade, Rear Blade, Flail Mower, Spreader, Hopper, Pallet Forks, Chain-Hooks

  7. #7
    Super Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2000
    Posts
    6,553

    Default Re: Is your backhoe worth it over the long-haul?

    WiTel,

    It sounds like you have done your homework on which tractor you want and why. I too like the extra toughness of an industrial machine and if the extra $$ that it costs isn't a problem with the CFO -- why not get one?

    As to the hopping on for an hour or two. Happens all the time for me. I don't always have the time to dedicate a full day, so when a few hours are open ... Boom! one chore down. The amount of time you have available may or may not be a deciding factor. As one person said, when they rent a machine for a day, they dedicate a full day. If you own it, you can be more relaxed in operating it and do chores as they come up rather than chore stacking until you get the equipment rented and delivered.

    Oh one more point. I have had a kubota L3410 for 7 years and have never taken off the FEL. I don't finish mow and have found no reason to remove it. So the fact that the L39 CAN'T take it's FEL off may not be an issue at all.
    And don't worry, there are lots of us here to help you spend your money!

    jb

  8. #8
    Bronze Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Posts
    91
    Location
    Exactly 5600' in Colorado foothills
    Tractor
    None yet ... targeting summer 2007.

    Default Re: Is your backhoe worth it over the long-haul?

    Yes, that is one of my own pet-peeves. I analyze things so much that it takes me forever to finally make the decision to jump ... hence my posts here in TBN. But, when I do finally jump, I have no regrets because I know I've made the right decision. I'm narrowing it to the L39 and the 110 with the L39 leading. The CFO is making the L39 decision easier since (in general) it appears to be within budget. I spend most of my time convincing the CFO of renting vs. buying. I forsee the 4-n-1 FEL-bucket and concrete-mixer discussions coming up sometime in the near future.

    Regarding the FEL ... that's why I mentioned "slight". It's merely a speed-bump as I make my way to my decision.

    From reading other posts, I've noticed the trend to spend other people's money. Nice!
    WiTel
    Currently considering ...
    Kubota L39 TLB:
    TL1715 Front Rem-Hyd, BTB404 Rear Rem-Hyd, L9553 Rem-Valves, L9554 TNT, K7770 QA Coupler for BH Bucket, K7874 18" Trenching Bucket, L9475 Drawbar, L9476 Tool Box, L8044 Rear Work Lights, 70000-00297 Block-Heater, Wheel-Weights, No FEL Bucket
    And, implements: 4N1 FEL Bucket, U25 H-Thumb, H-PHD, Front Blade, Rear Blade, Flail Mower, Spreader, Hopper, Pallet Forks, Chain-Hooks

  9. #9
    Silver Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Posts
    172
    Tractor
    Kubota M5700, BX2350

    Default Re: Is your backhoe worth it over the long-haul?

    I have a small non-commercial equestrian facility and a backhoe, and here are the jobs I've done with it:
    • Dug about 2000' of drainage
    • Ran water and electric lines for our barn
    • Installed automatic waterers in all stalls (involves digging down about 7' below the waterer.)
    • Dug through our driveway when running CAT5 wiring to the barn. I rented a "slicer" type walk-behind device that puts the line about 1' deep. It worked great in grass, but it was stopped solid by the driveway.
    • Dug holes for planting large trees and shrubs
    • Didn't have it when I was clearing trees for the driveway, but I wish I did.


    The main issue I have with renting is that I often don't work all day or all weekend on one task. I have a full-time job, daily chores, and family responsibilities, so my larger projects tend to drag out for a while. I like being able to work for whatever time is available.

    So for me, the decision wasn't whether I rent or buy. The decision was whether I do the work myself or hire it out. It's probably a borderline call as to whether I make the correct financial decision, but I haven't been kicking myself for buying it.

    Oh, and it's really cool!

    Hope this helps.
    Rick

  10. #10
    Super Member 3RRL's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Posts
    6,812
    Location
    Foothills of the Giant Sequoia's, California
    Tractor
    55HP 4WD KAMA 554 and 4 x 4 Jinma 284

    Default Re: Is your backhoe worth it over the long-haul?

    Hi witel,
    I'm glad you have done your homework and the vision to foresee future projects on your property.
    Now, in your your first post you said this...
    -OR- should I rent one when I need it knowing that I'll eventually pay so much for the rental that I could have bought a backhoe.
    I just love this statement you made and it's so true...
    From reading other posts, I've noticed the trend to spend other people's money. Nice!
    However, in this case if you decide to buy a backhoe, you will be money ahead, that is, in owning another implement after all is said and done. Especially should you decide to sell it after you break even. I doubt that you will though, there are constant uses for the backhoe that you might not even have thought about yet. That one time you need it is worth it when it's sitting back there in your shed.
    Rob-
    ...The Older I get...the Better I Used to be...
    Member of the Month

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