Buying Advice Bobcat w/ backhoe, 3PT backhoe or HF trencher

   #1  

mcentyre

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Sep 20, 2013
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Adairsville
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Long 2360, Mahindra
I’m in need of a backhoe around the farm. Something that will at least 7’-8’ deep. I don’t need a mini ex.

looking at different options. If I go with skid steer with a backhoe attachment, I need to keep it under $20k. I’m looking at older models but determining if used backhoes are compatible with used skid steers is tricky.
Also considering a tractor type, but would prefer a frame mount backhoe. Like a Kubota.
The bottom of the line option is the towable Harbor Freight trencher.
So for the skid steer/tractor option, what would you recommend that’s below $20k?
 
   #3  

jjeff

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Northern tool mini excavator 15k digs down 7' I have a great bend 651 3 point (now bushhog), digs 6.5' if northern had higher gpm on the aux hydros or if I just needed to dig holes and trenches I'd own one.
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   #4  

4570Man

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You think you don’t need a mini x but you do. Otherwise look at a full size construction backhoes. Anything less than those 2 options will be a disappointment.
 
  
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mcentyre

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Long 2360, Mahindra
Thanks for info. Still looking but your advice is helpful.
 
   #6  

finn1

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Upper Michigan, Marana Az.
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Kioti CK4010 hst, Cab, Deere 26G excavator, K1500 w/ Boss 7’6” plow, F450 dump W/ Boss 10’ straight blade Super Duty plow, F250 reg cab, F350 cc drw, Case TR310 CTL
Get the mini ex if you can possibly swing it. The other options you list are toys for a suburban homeowner, and not very useful for the tasks you described.

Mini excavators hold their value.
 
   #7  

m1garand762

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ohio
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If you are doing anything more than digging the occasional hole get a mini. My bh77 will dig almost 8 feet but the cycle time isn’t there. I regret not getting a used mini but that would be 1 more piece of equipment to maintain so I went fifth the tractor backhoe instead
 
   #8  

jjeff

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With my self contained US made 3pt backhoe I noticed the more you use it the hotter the fluid gets I've dug stumps out where the hydro fluid got so hot it was coming out the fill tube never any major problems with it though I also learned when trenching I was able to push the tractor along with the bh without changing seats. My Point is I'd be leary of a HF model knowing the stresses you can put on the hydros and frame, but I'd be comfortable with a rebranded modified nortrac mini excavator, for digging holes, some farm, and landscaping use anyway.
 
   #9  

finn1

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Kioti CK4010 hst, Cab, Deere 26G excavator, K1500 w/ Boss 7’6” plow, F450 dump W/ Boss 10’ straight blade Super Duty plow, F250 reg cab, F350 cc drw, Case TR310 CTL
With my self contained US made 3pt backhoe I noticed the more you use it the hotter the fluid gets I've dug stumps out where the hydro fluid got so hot it was coming out the fill tube never any major problems with it though I also learned when trenching I was able to push the tractor along with the bh without changing seats. My Point is I'd be leary of a HF model knowing the stresses you can put on the hydros and frame, but I'd be comfortable with a rebranded modified nortrac mini excavator, for digging holes, some farm, and landscaping use anyway.
Factory TBLs are engineered to handle the heat generated by the hydraulics, with extra coolers designed as part of the package.

Kioti for one, explicitly states, in their owners manual, to never mount a three point backhoe to the tractor. A belhousing for a CK series costs over $1000, labor additional, and there are plenty of pictures of broken tractors on the internet.

They do sell a backhoe attachment with a subframe, but I elected to go the mini ex route, a properly engineered package that outperforms a hang on backhoe attachment.
 
   #10  

Jchonline

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Eight foot depth severely restricts your low budget options. Mine will only do six feet.
Not only that, but 6 is your MAX depth meaning every inch in front of or behind that max depth wont be 6 ft deep. I would say your working depth is probably a foot or 2 shallower than that....meaning dig, move the machine 3 feet forward, dig.

If one needs to actually dig a trench with a grade/slope, this really matters.


@mcentyre I think you need more realistic expectations.....or go up on your budget.

I have a 14 ft backhoe, and getting a flat 8ft bottom trench or hole isnt that easy. Lots of movement if you are digging far. I would have to move every 4 feet or so of digging. Doable, but not efficient.

What are you digging?
 
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   #11  

Cataclysm

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ok
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You have some golden advice given here. I make a living digging with a backhoe and an excavator and these people are spot on.

If your digging is so infrequent to not warrant an excavator/backhoe then consider renting an excavator/backhoe when you need one.

For $20k id find the nicest backhoe that I could. More versatile than an excavator. An excavator will generally out dig the backhoe pound for pound but you can't haul/spoils any distance with the excavator like you can with a backhoe.
 
   #12  

ning

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How often do you need to dig 8' deep?

I'd think a requirement like that is so occasional that you'd be far better off renting the right tool for the job than paying for it and rarely using it (not saying you won't use a backhoe much - I bought one for my tractor because it gets enough use that I rationalize it just fine - but 8' deep? that's like ... a one-time-job per year or decade), or even just hire the deep job out.
 
   #13  
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Rolling hills north of historic Leesburg, VA
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Cataclysm gives you some good advise about spoils. I have a farm, a Kubota with sub-frame and a mini-ex. I use the Kub backhoe about every 3rd day. It is indispensable. That may tell you not to try HF trencher - it's too close to a toy. I use the back hoe all over the farm. I get there speedily with the tractor, and am able to distribute the spoils wherever with the front end loader. Again - a sub frame for which I am glad.
The mini takes forever to get where I want to go. So frequently, I leave it where I finished the job - to await wherever I'll need it next time. It takes too long to take back to the barn. While it came with a bucket, I use the mini with a forestry mulcher to clear fence lines, etc.
Check reviews for Northern Tool bull dozer. Why ? You want a back hoe. Because NT handled complaints so badly with their bull dozer, you don't even want to think about getting a back hoe, or any other large piece of equipment, from them.
Give long thought to the need of digging 7' - 8'. Mine digs 7'6" and I've never needed it. I like the long reach, but don't need the depth.
 
 
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