Making a towable backhoe truly towable.

   / Making a towable backhoe truly towable. #1  

MoArk Willy

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Lampe, Missouri
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Kubota B2320
I have been thinking about getting a Jansen towable backhoe.
I have little projects that I could think it could handle and I like having machinery to do some of the "heavy lifting".
I see that the "towable" aspect doesn't make it road worthy and that would be something I could see being a negative.
Rather than getting a trailer it could fit on I was looking at a different way to make it roadworthy.
If you look at the design of these machines you see that the wheels and stabilizers exchange places for towing / digging.
I seem to think that the only restriction on towing is the wheels and tires and the fact that it has no suspension.
But.....
I see that Northern Tool sells a torsion type axle that I believe could be used in place of the solid axles that come with the machine.
With the addition of hubs, you could mount regular trailer tires and wheels and the unit should be good to go.
With the addition of magnetic lights I think you could easily and legally tow it with no issue.
I would appreciate any thoughts or comments on this idea.
I have given it a lot of thought and I can't see a downside.
 
   / Making a towable backhoe truly towable. #2  

aczlan

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Most of them the only difference in a road legal one is high speed rated tires, wheel bearings and lights. They don't generally add any kind of suspension.

Aaron Z
 
   / Making a towable backhoe truly towable. #3  

4570Man

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Most wood splitters don’t have any suspension. They bounce around a lot but it’s alright for a infrequently towed item. I don’t imagine you’d be moving the towable backhoe very often or very far.
 
   / Making a towable backhoe truly towable. #4  

CADplans

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I have been thinking about getting a Jansen towable backhoe.

I have given it a lot of thought and I can't see a downside.

Think how high the center of gravity is on the backhoe,, compared to a loaded trailer,,
The torsion axles would want to turn the backhoe over in certain situations,, (hitting a bump in a curve,, etc,,,)

also, the tow axle doubles as the machine wheels/tires when digging,,
the torsion axle may not do that job correctly,,, and the torsion axles would surely be heavier,,,
 
   / Making a towable backhoe truly towable. #5  

Imold

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MF GC1705, Cub Cadet RZTL, Husqvarna Rider.
The tongue length makes a big difference in towing, making it a bit longer helps, short tongues are for towing around your property for the most part and a longer tongue will take the swaying out and then tires and spindle assembly is another way to correct towing, make sure there is no play in the bearing to spindle helps also, adding a washer or thicker washer between castle nut and bearing can usually help, these are just a couple little fixes for short trips, if you need to go on farther trips and run higher speeds then getting a better axle with toe in and better spindles and bearings is the best bet ( boat trailer axle ) or something like that with a longer tongue or put it on a trailer.
I am looking at buying a towable backhoe this winter( wife gave me the ok ) and I have been watching videos and seeing what others have done to theirs to correct the towing issues, seems to be the same, tongue and tire runout.
I will be towing mine about 11 miles each way being I don稚 want to leave it out at my property when I am not there.
 
   / Making a towable backhoe truly towable.
  • Thread Starter
#6  
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MoArk Willy

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Lampe, Missouri
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Kubota B2320
Well you have given me food for thought.
I know that the Harbor Freight "trencher" has larger, DOT tires and no suspension.
As far as distances...I see nothing farther than 12-15 miles one way. And I have seen the log splitters bouncing along the highway.
It's that bouncing that I hope to avoid and I though perhaps suspension would keep it from bouncing on the tires.
As it is the wheelbase is a little over 5' so I don't expect it to be tippy. Perhaps the torsion setup would do as CADplans said and make it more susceptible to turning over.
That I didn't consider.
As far as the torsion axles affecting the digging aspect....I do not believe that they would affect that negatively.
When digging, the outriggers are keeping the machine stable almost working as a lever. If anything the torsion spring arrangement with larger wheels and tires may be an effective counterweight.
I have considered buying a larger trailer. Now I use a small 4 X 6 for hauling tools and scaffolding from time to time. No real need for a larger trailer at this time.
But if I do buy one I am sure I will utilize it Just trying to avoid spending $1000 or so on yet another wheeled item that will sit more than it gets used.
But thanks again for all of your concerns and comments.
 
   / Making a towable backhoe truly towable. #7  

Imold

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I will be buying a HF Trencher (wife gave me the ok) but I think I will wait till spring due to warranty, was going to order mine this week but then I figured it is winter and I will not use it till spring and the warranty is from date of purchase so it does me no good to have it sitting in a garage not being used and loosing the warranty.

One thing that was done is to drill and put a pin in the seat pedestal so it will not spin going down the road rather then using a bungee cord, thru the months and last few years I have watched a lot of the HF Trencher videos to the point I need to find new ones hahaha they get old but when spending 3300.00 dollars including tax I want to make sure it will be a good investment and from what I have seen it would be a good deal if you have the use for one plus it has a lot of potential for doing add on’s.

One of the biggest mistakes made is using a cheap hydraulic fluid, from what I have seen cheap fluid can cause valve problems or most valve problems are due to cheap fluid, upgrading the hydraulic filter setup to a good 10 micron is also mentioned as a plus to avoid any possible issues and of course replacing the pins for wheels and struts is definitely on the list.

I will have a lot of the extras before I get the trencher so when it arrives I can do a lot of the changes right away.
 
   / Making a towable backhoe truly towable.
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MoArk Willy

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Lampe, Missouri
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Kubota B2320
I will be buying a HF Trencher (wife gave me the ok)

Can I ask what made you choose Harbor Freight?
That was my first choice because of price and familiarity with the company, but I have done a lot of research and I keep leaning towards the Jansen.
I have no first hand experience with either but the Jansen seems a bit more sturdy. I have seen a lot of video where people have upgraded the Harbor Freight for speed and comfort.
I think the Jansen already has a suspension seat and does move a bit faster. It also seems a bit more compact and that will suit me better.
 
   / Making a towable backhoe truly towable. #9  

Imold

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MF GC1705, Cub Cadet RZTL, Husqvarna Rider.
Jansen is nice from what I have seen and I like their controls and the overall appearance is nice but I feel that the HF would be easier to find parts for and fix for me especially living out in a rural part of the country plus it has a lot more feedback/reviews, price does come into the equation too being the trencher will be sitting 5 months out of the year due to winter and with the 1000.00 dollar total difference I can replace the seat, put a higher flow pump on to speed it up and a bigger motor and still be a head in total cost by a few hundred dollars.

I guess what it comes down to is personal preference between the two trenchers and maybe if I lived in Arizona or around there I might be more inclined to go with the Jansen being they say all parts are available I just like the HF better.
 
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   / Making a towable backhoe truly towable. #10  

Ken M

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Louisville,OH
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New Holland TC21
I bought my HF backhoe in May 2008. I was in the process of making my own but that project kept getting stalled. So after about 3 years I broke down and ordered the HF from the local store (no shipping cost). They said I could return it in 30 days if I wasn't happy. To my surprise it was probably better, heavier built than what I was building. I sold my "kit" of misc parts I had made.

You can search this forum for these units and get more comments. Some will dis-credit these units as not being a "real" machine but for small jobs that are too much to dig by hand or too small (or pricey) to hire out, mine has worked well. I have a very rural 2.5 acre yard. My HF trencher has done some serious work...although not as fast as a full backhoe. I've dug up and replaced a couple of drain pipes. Dug out old fence posts. Dug/pulled out numerous small trees. We have a small pond and I use it to remove the small willows and ditch lillies that invaded the banks. I recently dug a 25 foot x 18" deep trench for an electric conduit to the pole building that was all broken bricks and tile.

The HF looks to be a longer machine and maybe has a longer reach than the Jansen? I'm not familiar with that unit. With this type of machine you cannot lift a heavy load UP well unless you have the outriggers firmly planted and are pulling against them. For light digging I often leave the wheels on the front and have the hitch end attached to the tractor. This makes for easy and quicker manuvering. Moving with the outriggers is a slow "crab" like manuver. I usually add extra weight to the tractor hitch if using it that way because you WILL tend to lift the tractor if you try to lift too hard. I often use behind my 16 hp Cub Cadet but the New Holland TC-21 is a better (heavier) choice.

The only modification I have done is to extend the hitch out about 2 feet to allow easier manuvering when backing the unit around (less jack knifeing). I did add a small plastic bottle for a hydraulic tank overflow to catch an occasional squirk of oil out the vent hole. I have gotten pretty good with the single function controls so do not feel any need to alter.

If you intend to tow on the road you might want to take a hard look at the bearings, wheels, tires. The HF might not be rated for road speed. Also (depending on your state laws) in Ohio a single purpose trailer like a log splitter, cement mixer (or this bakchoe) does NOT need a licence OR lights. You might check into that.

KenM Louisville, Oh
Backhoe-1_1.JPGBackhoe-2_1.JPG
 
 
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