I'm sure I'm in a rare bunch considering this option, but at the moment I'm considering upgrading my 3039r cab to a 4044m open station. The reason being, I'm looking to add a backhoe, and I'm not sure I'm really using the 3039r cab effectively for what it is. I ran the numbers, and depending on what the dealer would give me on trade, it would cost me the same amount to buy a 375a backhoe for my 3039r as it would be to trade the 3039r in and upgrade to a 4044m with 400e loader and 485a backhoe brand new. About 11k either way doing the math. I only have 65 hours on the 3039r. While I thoroughly enjoy the 3039r, the cab unfortunately has not served the purpose of being able to cut grass without my allergies being effected. I've cut about 3 times with my 3039r, (about 5 acres each time,) and each time I've ended up with bad sinus infections, which to me is saying the cab isn't blocking the allergens as I felt it would. In the past when I would cut grass on an open station model I would just wear a respirator the whole time and everything was fine, I've done that for years. So right now the most I used the 3039r for is loader work, which really isn't a whole lot right now, or running the recycling/trash cans down the 1/4 mile driveway. A gross miss use of the machine, honestly. I bought the 72D auto connect deck to go with the 3039r, but sadly it's only seen 3 hours of use and has been tucked away on storage stands for the last year in my shop. I've used a RFM most of the time because I found the 72D just kicked up way to much thatch on the grille of the 3039r and I would have to constantly get out and clean it. So that has been a wasted purchased unfortunately.
Recently I've come across a lot of jobs where a backhoe would be very useful. If I buy a 375a for the 3039r then I would be looking at 11k out of pocket. I thought of selling the 72D to fund a portion of that, but I'm really not keen about dropping that much cash out of pocket for it. I'd much rather finance it if possible, but that's really not an option on attachments. If buying a 485a on a 4044m then I can financing it out and still keep the cash in my pocket. I realize the M is a no frills tractor with a non-removeable loader, (or at least not as easy to remove,) basic seat, and other things, but I'm not sure that really concerns me. The comfort of the cab is nice, but constantly getting in and out of the cab, the setup of the loader joystick, the fear of breaking the windshield when remounting the loader (holy crap that was scary the other day, and I had a 3320 in the past for 10 years so it's not an inexperience thing), and the general just not being able to use it for bush hogging or grass work has me thinking otherwise.
Thoughts? Of course renting an excavator is an option, however the ability to have a backhoe to use at your convenience is worth more to me than having to plan on only doing a set set of jobs for a week during a rental period. The 4044r is out of my price range unfortunately, and if I'm getting getting rid of the 3039r than it isn't worth it to me to just go to a 3039r OS model, I would want to go bigger, otherwise I'll just stick with the 3039r cab.