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Backhoe novice here......

I think I am getting ready to make the plunge and buy a 485A backhoe for my 4044R. There are many options for buckets for this backhoe: 9", 12" 16", Heavy Duty 18", 20" & 24" and am trying to decide on what bucket to buy.

The standard bucket for this backhoe is the 12". I am leaning towards the Heavy Duty 18" for no particular reason other than it is 'heavy duty' and it only about $200 more than the standard bucket. My dealer does not know what makes this bucket 'heavy duty' and the info from JD is minimal (of course).

I am going to use this backhoe at a new place we are building - trenching for irrigation water and electrical conduit to the backyard & garden, remove a few stumps, dig hole for trees, help to build a 250' long berm along 1 side of the property to screen it from the country road, place landscape boulders, etc. The biggest use will be to dig a small fish pond for the wife - maybe 50' or so in diameter and about 8' deep.

Any thoughts on buckets?

Since I want to place/move landscape boulders I am planning on buying a thumb, however JD only offers a mechanical not hydraulic thumb for this. Don't know if anyone makes a hydraulic thumb for the 485A like they do for the smaller units. I assume a hydraulic thumb is much preferred, but is a mechanical thumb worthwhile?

Thanks for you help!

-steve
 
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Backhoe novice here......

I think I am getting ready to make the plunge and buy a 485A backhoe for my 4044R. There are many options for buckets for this backhoe: 9", 12" 16", Heavy Duty 18", 20" & 24" and am trying to decide on what bucket to buy.

The standard bucket for this backhoe is the 12". I am leaning towards the Heavy Duty 18" for no particular reason other than it is 'heavy duty' and it only about $200 more than the standard bucket. My dealer does not know what makes this bucket 'heavy duty' and the info from JD is minimal (of course).

I am going to use this backhoe at a new place we are building - trenching for irrigation water and electrical conduit to the backyard & garden, remove a few stumps, dig hole for trees, help to build a 250' long berm along 1 side of the property to screen it from the country road, place landscape boulders, etc. The biggest use will be to dig a small fish pond for the wife - maybe 50' or so in diameter and about 8' deep.

Any thoughts on buckets?

Since I want to place/move landscape boulders I am planning on buying a thumb, however JD only offers a mechanical not hydraulic thumb for this. Don't know if anyone makes a hydraulic thumb for the 485A like they do for the smaller units. I assume a hydraulic thumb is much preferred, but is a mechanical thumb worthwhile?

Thanks for you help!

-steve
Usually standard buckets are for digging dirt,dirt with small rock.Heavy duty the bucket sides are thicker steel,able to dig harder soils with rock and have heavier teeth.Some also can have bucket wings put on.Then theirs rock or severe duty buckets that have reinforced plates welded across the bucket.
If you plan on using a thumb I would go with the heavy duty bucket.
 
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I would recommend the 9" bucket for trenching.
 
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