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  1. #1
    Bronze Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Posts
    53
    Location
    Western Mass at 1500 feet elavation
    Tractor
    Century 3040

    Default Branson versus woods backhoe

    Hi Folks,
    I have owned a Century 3040 for three years and have loved it. Now I am going to invest in a backhoe for it and have been shopping around between what the local Branson dealer has to offer and also what another dealer who used to carry Century, but got shut out because someone else in his area already had Branson when the siftover came.
    It comes down to either a Branson 8620, 8'6" hoe or a Woods BH80-X 8' hoe with a thumb. The Branson is $6500 and the Woods is about another $500 both brand new.
    Questions are these: Is the Woods a better built attachment as the guy who is trying to sell it to me claims? Is the extra length on the Branson a big advantage? Or will I thanks myself a zillion time over for the thumb on the Woods and shug off the 6" depth and extra 8" reach plus a few extra pounds on the Branson. And what will really drive me nuts: The Woods is the wrong color!
    The other issue is that I know the Branson will install easily, but not sure about the Woods. Th e dealer said he has a Branson subframe left over and that it will mate with the Woods, but said he will charge me an extra $500 (plus tractor trucking) to do the conversion. I already have the rear remotes so the Branson is going to be an easy job. The guy with the Woods says it will be easy for me to do it myself too, but why does he want to charge $500 to do it?
    Ah shucks... Thanks folks.
    Century 3040, FEL, Forks, 6' snowblower, Front Blade. 200 Acres of woods with 3 acres of pasture (so far)

  2. #2
    Silver Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Posts
    195
    Location
    Conn

    Default Re: Branson versus woods backhoe

    I have the branson 8620 and have been happy. It is the same as a John Deer 48(I think, but someone can confirm, it might be the 49?). Woods makes good stuff, but so does http://www.amerequip.com/ the maker of the Branson/John Deer Hoe. I like the extra reach, you can never have enough, the thumb is good to have! I made my own for the Branson hoe, At his time they don't offer a thumb that I know of, the best of both worlds. Me, I would have to go with the frame mount Branson 8620. I too would like to hear the other side.

    Bob
    Branson 4720 TLB with Thumb/John Deer 310/Mcormick Deering W-4

  3. #3
    Bronze Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Posts
    53
    Location
    Western Mass at 1500 feet elavation
    Tractor
    Century 3040

    Default Re: Branson versus woods backhoe

    the thumb is good to have! I made my own for the Branson hoe,

    Hi Bob, I wondered about that, what did you use for the actual "digit" of the thumb? I know that Fork steel is special stuff, and bet the thumb would need to be pretty tough steel too. Mark
    Century 3040, FEL, Forks, 6' snowblower, Front Blade. 200 Acres of woods with 3 acres of pasture (so far)

  4. #4
    Silver Member snoboy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Posts
    132
    Location
    Washington
    Tractor
    04' Branson 4020

    Default Re: Branson versus woods backhoe

    I say get the Branson hoe and buy this thumb
    http://www.excavatorthumb.com/
    Its the thumb I bought and it's absolutely bulllit proof. I have the 824 because they didn't make the 618 at the time BUT I only have the 7620 backhoe. The 824 would be perfect for the 8620 hoe. I had my buddy weld it on for a 1/2 rack of beer. Easy directions and they ship it right to your door for the advertised price. Once you have a thumb you'll think that it should be standard equipment on a backhoe.
    I picked up a rock so big last weekend that when I lowered it to the ground and stopped short it lifted the front wheels about 6'' off the ground. The hoe your getting has even more power. Get the Branson and the aftermarket thumb, you'll never regret it. My 2 cents.
    To operate:
    Branson 4020 TLB w/thumb
    -Kodiak 72" HD box scraper
    -Lorenz 630 78" snow blower
    -Tytan 6" PTO chipper
    -Modern 60" rotary cutter
    -Rankin 2000 clamp-on forks

  5. #5
    Bronze Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Posts
    53
    Location
    Western Mass at 1500 feet elavation
    Tractor
    Century 3040

    Default Re: Branson versus woods backhoe

    thanks, snoboy! I am heading strongly in that direction. Can't wait!
    Mark
    Century 3040, FEL, Forks, 6' snowblower, Front Blade. 200 Acres of woods with 3 acres of pasture (so far)

  6. #6
    Silver Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Posts
    195
    Location
    Conn

    Default Re: Branson versus woods backhoe

    For the thumb I just used 1/2 mild steel and hard faced the working edges. It works great! I too have picked up huge rocks! It sure is handy! There is a thread in build it your self about a guy who made his own. It is a lot easier to buy one! One advantage to mine is it pins on the front, so I only had to weld on the top plate, much like a small excivator.

    Bob
    Branson 4720 TLB with Thumb/John Deer 310/Mcormick Deering W-4

  7. #7
    Veteran Member
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Posts
    1,229
    Location
    N. E. Florida

    Default Re: Branson versus woods backhoe

    I got a great deal on a Jinma Hoe and just recently modified it to fit my 3510 Branson. I looked at the Branson Hoe mounts to make my job easier and I looked at the Woods mount instructions for Branson. Woods has large rear frame brackets that bolt to the rear axle. They looked like overkill to me. Branson hoe has "C" brackets on the rear that slip onto the bolts from the bottom lift arms. So you just back up to the hoe, hook up hyd, and raise and move hoe/sub frame forward putting "C" brackets on bolts and then line up front pins and install.
    I think it would be a lot easier to go with the Branson Hoe.
    As for owning a Hoe, how much fun is this! I didn't really need one so I am digging holes out back and then refilling them! I did remove 6 small stumps, yanked them right out of the ground!

  8. #8
    Silver Member century3045's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Posts
    125
    Location
    Westminster, SC
    Tractor
    century/A/C 616

    Default Re: Branson versus woods backhoe

    One thing that Woods uses on their hoes that I realy like over some of the others is the Gannon Bucket. They are built a lot stronger than some of the others. The thumb would be a plus. Woods makes the backhoes about any color, I saw a red one mounted to a TYM. I have a yellow one mounted to my Century 3045 with Cub Cadet on it but I bought it used. The extra depth is always good, I'd check the specs. digging force mainly and compare peanuts to peanuts. Of course the price always plays a big part in it also. I'd say either one would be a good machine and I don't think you'll go wrong with either decision. Look at em both real good, be your own judge

  9. #9
    Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Posts
    43
    Location
    Central Texas
    Tractor
    Century C42L

    Default Re: Branson versus woods backhoe

    Farmyid,
    There was some discussion on the subject if the Branson or the Woods-Branson backhoe application would fit a Century with the C50-C50HL loader.
    I dont think that either BH will fit the Century as they have much heavier/different design rear rails than the Branson that would be in the way of mounting either BH. I dont remember the heading of the thread but search back maybe 4 or 5 pages and look for a thread titled Century C50-Woods backhoe or something similar to that, there was a lot of discussion on the subject and I dont think it was ever resolved if the hoes would fit or not. Your dealer that has the Branson subframe says it will mate to the Woods BH is great, but the assembley probably wont fit the Century without whacking something off as the C50 FEL mounting is a one piece welded assembly, bolted to the tractor,front to rear. Good luck. H.

  10. #10
    New Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Posts
    12

    Default Re: Branson versus woods backhoe

    The Branson 8620 hoe is a GOOD hoe. I strongly encourage you to work with the current Branson dealer servicing your area. I feel they will work with you to fit your needs, support you in your future needs and not have a cobbled up unit.
    Any thumb attachment is nice to have vs none. I would look for one that is pinned for removal should you not need it on all the time (not sure of your usage).Your dealer should be able to easily assist you in this.
    Good luck and happy diggin!

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