in the market for a mini or a backhoe

   / in the market for a mini or a backhoe #21  
Absolutely!!! In my opinion the biggest advantage of an Excavator is the ability to better handle the removed material. For sure best choice for the cleanout job.

Actually after re thinking that... a full size backhoe would work OK I guess just pull up along parallel to the ditch pull forward and put the hoe boom at a 90 and then work back a few feet less than the 90 degree and then rinse and repeat. with the ex I suppose a guy could get a virtually perfect contour of the ditch sides, so points there to a mini hoe.

Oh well- Not going to make good the enemy of the best:) Happy with a cheap big old backhoe myself.
 
   / in the market for a mini or a backhoe #22  
A 575 is a beast. Gonna have to spend a LOT of money to get an Excavator that can compete with it's capabilities.

I can’t beat the 575 in brute force with the smaller mini but I can get more work done with my KX-040 while burning less fuel. I had a 310 and a 410 Deere and I don’t miss them at all after getting a mini. My mini was kinda lacking in brute force which is why I bought this. But the mini still earns it’s keep with its much more practical size.
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   / in the market for a mini or a backhoe #23  
Actually after re thinking that... a full size backhoe would work OK I guess just pull up along parallel to the ditch pull forward and put the hoe boom at a 90 and then work back a few feet less than the 90 degree and then rinse and repeat. with the ex I suppose a guy could get a virtually perfect contour of the ditch sides, so points there to a mini hoe.

Oh well- Not going to make good the enemy of the best:) Happy with a cheap big old backhoe myself.
Me too. Emphasis on "cheap".

Each tool has it's place. If not, they wouldn't exist. :)
 
   / in the market for a mini or a backhoe #24  
I can’t beat the 575 in brute force with the smaller mini but I can get more work done with my KX-040 while burning less fuel. I had a 310 and a 410 Deere and I don’t miss them at all after getting a mini. My mini was kinda lacking in brute force which is why I bought this. But the mini still earns it’s keep with its much more practical size. View attachment 797438
Another example of every tool has it's place.
 
   / in the market for a mini or a backhoe #25  
I can’t beat the 575 in brute force with the smaller mini but I can get more work done with my KX-040 while burning less fuel. I had a 310 and a 410 Deere and I don’t miss them at all after getting a mini. My mini was kinda lacking in brute force which is why I bought this. But the mini still earns it’s keep with its much more practical size. View attachment 797438


Dang a 320... That ought to get- er done pushing over trees or removing most stumps in a single curl.
 
   / in the market for a mini or a backhoe #26  
Dang a 320... That ought to get- er done pushing over trees or removing most stumps in a single curl.

I kinda wish I had bought a 330 instead. If you’re going to send a detach lowboy you might as well make it count. I’m actually probably going to sell the 320 and buy a 312 or other 120 class that’s more suitable to haul behind dump trucks.
 
   / in the market for a mini or a backhoe #27  
looking to spend around 15k, will be splitting with a neighbor ( yes I know, Danger Will Robinson!) but I know he takes care of his equipment and so do I. any leads? anything to watch out for? I see a lot of case 580s, some 560s. smaller is good and a mini ex would be maybe more useful but price is a lot higher.

advice?

projects include a french drain along the back of my house, cleaning out my drainage/irrigation ditch about 2000 feet long, digging a 400 foot trench for a water line, future geothermal heat pump, planting trees etc.
I could go for a 3 point mount on my Branson 4720h but have heard a lot of horror stories about 3 point mount backhoes and I don't have aux hydraulics so I would be looking at around 7 for an attachment and a couple more for tractor upgrades for a machine that is a lot less capable. plus there is no dealer near me for parts and whatnot.

I did find a Cat 302.5 2001 with 2700 hrs for 20k. any opinions on this? most things in that price range are in much rougher shape that I have found.

After following the various posts for a few pages I went back to your original tasks and got to say that an older commercial backhoe would be my choice. I like Case 580, JD310, Cat 416, and Ford backhoe loaders in roughly that order for price and ability for a normal mechanic to do things to keep them up. All work about the same. Good used ones from utility companies and school districts come up all the time.

I'd look for about 1980 to 2005 to stay with pure and simple mechanicially injected diesels. Expect to do some maintenance, but also expect that you can get every penny back when you sell it. Lots of good older ones around. IMHO, you want a manual shift with shuttle and hopefully you will find one with many of the OEM options.

We have an older 310 JD backhoe/loader. We were actually looking for a 4wd Case 580 but the JD came along. It sits most of the year, starts immediately, runs fine, and has incredible strength, traction, and stability. If the one you find isn't 4wd, it will still work surprisingly well, although in any old one I recommend brand new rear tires. They are awesome. About once a year someone comes along and offers to buy it. It's nothing special ...just an old backhoe that works right. Sure is comfortable in that cab. I don't know if you get snow...but an old backhoe loader like ours will plow a LOT of snow easily, too.
rScotty
 
   / in the market for a mini or a backhoe #28  
All I can add is an excavator will always outperform a backhoe....until it comes time to move from site to site, or you need a loader also.

But a full size construction backhoe is far more productive and far less a pain in the butt to use than a backhoe on a compact tractor. More reach, more power and far easier to swivel the seat and reposition.

And as far as backhoes, I've ran Case, Cat, JCB and Deere my favorite is actually Case. I don't care for much of their other equipment, but they seem to do backhoes right. And you can usually find used ones at a good price point.
 
 
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