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4044R w/Cab Silverado 2500HD DuraMax LBZ crew cab, ‘20 MB - S class 580 and a 1971 Corvette 4 spd.
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
From looking today, leasing doesn’t make sense for cost Vs owning. I believe the spread between buying a new machine and selling a few years later is much less than leasing.
I just need a place to start knowledge wise.
I called one dealer and visited another, neither had a sales person that had excavator experience. I have a number of trenches for footings, retaining walls and a dry bed creek that looks awful. Im not sure the limitations, capabilities and operator space in a cab models and numbering models. My apologies if I’m not understood just yet, I just want to to know what I need for the jobs I need to do. Is a $75,000 budget enough and the resale market 3,4 or 5 years from now.
 

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Does it need to be new? For a comparison, my Dad purchased an used TB135 with about 2000 hours, a cab and 3 quick change buckets about 10-12 years ago for $20k in pretty decent shape. I could probably sell it today for close to $35k. It has 2700 hours on it and gets parked inside always. We have changed the fluids, filters and a couple of broken hoses and o-rings.

$75K is a lot, but I can also understand not wanting to risk any major repairs.

I would imagine that a 7-8000lb machine with 12” and 24” trenching and a 36” muck buckets would get you down the road pretty far. You may also want to size it by what you own to tow it with.
 

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Depends on a number of variables as in ground conditions to depth of excavations and volume of material to be moved. If your just looking for a new homestead type machine I’d suggest atleast an 8 ton machine. They don’t have front blades much bigger than that. As far as cab size goes it’s a little cramped but we have a 6’5” truck driver who fits in our 308 just fine. You want a front blade. I suggest looking up an NC Machinery or a heavy equipment dealer around you and talk to them. But you’ll be horribly informed that production is down n that sector too. We been on a list all year for 2 320’s all year. Look at used and let us know what you find. We can help weed out the lemons for ya
 

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4044R w/Cab Silverado 2500HD DuraMax LBZ crew cab, ‘20 MB - S class 580 and a 1971 Corvette 4 spd.
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774 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Does it need to be new? For a comparison, my Dad purchased an used TB135 with about 2000 hours, a cab and 3 quick change buckets about 10-12 years ago for $20k in pretty decent shape. I could probably sell it today for close to $35k. It has 2700 hours on it and gets parked inside always. We have changed the fluids, filters and a couple of broken hoses and o-rings.

$75K is a lot, but I can also understand not wanting to risk any major repairs.

I would imagine that a 7-8000lb machine with 12” and 24” trenching and a 36” muck buckets would get you down the road pretty far. You may also want to size it by what you own to tow it with.
Thanks for your reply. I’ll start with new Vs used. If this was about a car or a pickup truck I would be in my comfort zone, but I don’t have any secure feel for finding something trouble free lasting for a few years. That’s why my first choice is new, but not etched in stone.

I don’t have a trailer yet and my tow vehicle is a Silverado crew cab HD2500 4x4 Duramax

I‘m hoping they can come with a cab with AC/heat like my tractor. I saw a couple mini excavators - looking like a toy and I wasn’t comfortable sitting at the controls it was so cramped. I’m 6’4” 290.

I have no idea what to stay clear of Or how to measure capabilities. $75,000 would be my top allowance and I’m hoping it comes with it’s own trailer in that price.
 

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definitely size to your trailer capacity ....i also think a 3-5ton unit has a much larger resale market due to hauling

yes you can get cab heat air just like tractors

like any machine you want one you can most likely get parts or service for should you need it

i would only buy one myself if it had changeable controls as i am highly aclimated to "backhoe" style controls but many people like "excavator" control patterns

for estate use i would make sure it had a hydraulic thumb built in

they are the way to go for digging footings etc....i have no clue how they would perform in a creek bed with loose gravel as far as mobility...

a mini-ex will do much more than they look like for their size

understand a mini-ex travels slowly and will not carry much volume for material moving

just like a tractor some cabs are tight some have a lot of room even though they all look small from the road so you have to sit in each one to know if it fits you

in general i havent shopped for a excavator in a few years but they have always been pricey in the equipment world but they have great resale values if treated right and are a recognizeable brand
 

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4044R w/Cab Silverado 2500HD DuraMax LBZ crew cab, ‘20 MB - S class 580 and a 1971 Corvette 4 spd.
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Depends on a number of variables as in ground conditions to depth of excavations and volume of material to be moved. If your just looking for a new homestead type machine I’d suggest atleast an 8 ton machine. They don’t have front blades much bigger than that. As far as cab size goes it’s a little cramped but we have a 6’5” truck driver who fits in our 308 just fine. You want a front blade. I suggest looking up an NC Machinery or a heavy equipment dealer around you and talk to them. But you’ll be horribly informed that production is down n that sector too. We been on a list all year for 2 320’s all year. Look at used and let us know what you find. We can help weed out the lemons for ya
Yes, new has big implications, It must be ready to work and not need anything that is not instock.
The dry creek is 745 ft left to right in the center of my property. I don’t know how it came to be, I’ll leave it alone as I plan to construct a culvert to drive pickup and tractor over in the next year or 2. It’s rough and I want to shape it up and stone it - would imagine most work would be from at the bottom and easing the top edges along both sides.

We have a contractor coming in April to erect an old barn we bought and had cataloged, disassembled and re-designed for reconstruction. Half will be pole supported, the other half is monolithic on grade and footings w/block foundation. The contractor will not do it because of distance (From NY) and I can’t find anyone that’s not booked to next summer. There are a few guys that said they could make it possible but they have a reputation for long delays and price increases.

I have plans for several other things but nothing in all this work is deeper than 5 feet down from grade. Soil composition is 20% red clay dispersed in the soil (not as solid or veins). Some parts are heavy with soft broken red shale, but our test digs are good rich dirt where all our projects will be. Water table and aquifer is deep according to the hydrographic tests done.

This is all I can figure could be relevant to what I have to get out of digging. The blade, is that for grading as you move along?
There seems to be many for sale in this region and very prevalent at equipment auctions everywhere second only to Case 580C machines that are 20 plus years old.
 

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4044R w/Cab Silverado 2500HD DuraMax LBZ crew cab, ‘20 MB - S class 580 and a 1971 Corvette 4 spd.
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
The sizing makes sense to me.

I thought about asking for a mechanical thumb for the bucket.

I’m not accustomed to backhoe controls yet let alone excavator type so I can’t say it matters to me at this point.

The dry creek doesn’t have much stone. It mainly has scrub overgrowth in it these days. I could probably fill it in for the most part with just a shallow grade for the rare times water could collect from only one property a little higher than us to the right. It doesn’t show as it should on the official plot plans and I checked with my neighbors if they mind if I play with that creek a bit and bridge it, no problems there.
 

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4044R w/Cab Silverado 2500HD DuraMax LBZ crew cab, ‘20 MB - S class 580 and a 1971 Corvette 4 spd.
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Case and Kubota dealers are close by for service and parts, but it appears to me when it comes to commercial or heavy equipment, any big shop takes on any brand. I’m willing to go 16 hrs drive one way to get a good excavator, or if it’s not too crazy I will pay for shipping for the right machine.
I have an appointment with a Ingersol Rand dealer/contractor today at 3 and Thursday at 1 for a Volvo shop. Between those two places I should pick up some fundamental facts and figures.
 

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Case and Kubota dealers are close by for service and parts, but it appears to me when it comes to commercial or heavy equipment, any big shop takes on any brand. I’m willing to go 16 hrs drive one way to get a good excavator, or if it’s not too crazy I will pay for shipping for the right machine.
I have an appointment with a Ingersol Rand dealer/contractor today at 3 and Thursday at 1 for a Volvo shop. Between those two places I should pick up some fundamental facts and figures.
If stock is around I think your budget is close for a 3-4ton machine...will be intresting what is out there and values.....be sure and consider your mobility issues this time
 

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4044R w/Cab Silverado 2500HD DuraMax LBZ crew cab, ‘20 MB - S class 580 and a 1971 Corvette 4 spd.
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
If stock is around I think your budget is close for a 3-4ton machine...will be intresting what is out there and values.....be sure and consider your mobility issues this time
I have no idea what a 3 -4ton machine equates to in work, the capacity for digging power? I’m getting better as time goes by. I can operate my tractor with ease 80% of the time. I figure by December I’ll be nearly 100% because I’ll increase the frequency of tractor use as the weather cools.
 
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We went with a Kubota KX-040 with a cab, 4 way blade and hydraulic thumb, it weighs 9,900 LBS. It was new about a year ago and has 200 hrs on it already. It is quite handy, and will do a lot of work for the size of the machine, but its not a full size 60,000 LB excavator by any means.

We wanted something to pull stumps, make woods roads, build ditches, dig building footings, and help move logs in the wood yard. It does it all with ease and with a heated and AC cab its comfortable in all weather. It is also about all I want to tow with my Ram 6.7L 3500, without raising DOT eyebrows. It was delivered by the same Ram 3500 but with a hemi to keep the weight under DOT regs, the KX-057 would have been on a small semi.

I know they are asking around $70k for a new one right now same specs as the one we bought, I had talked to the dealer who knew I was thinking of getting the KX-057 since it was slightly larger at 13,000 LBS, and 57 hp, that machine is pushing $90k with the options.

There are a ton of helpful videos out there of people running them, and you can see what they are capable of, spend some time, and don't jump to buy one until you have sat in them all, done some research, and find the best fit for your needs.
 
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To add on to the advice of others, go ahead and get the hydraulic thumb and have 2 sets of accessory lines plumbed so that you can keep the thumb connected all the time and if you want to put a tilt bucket or a hammer on then you have another set to hook to without messing with the thumb. It is amazing what you can do with a cat 308 with a tilt bucket and a thumb. I agree that budget wise you are in a mini ex in the bobcat e30 range or similar. Without getting into the legalities of what you can haul which seems to have so many different opinions (just ask), you probably need to keep it in that mini ex range. Agree on resale being better on that size of a machine as well. We have an assortment at work but I can tell you that bobcat has the mini ex pretty well refined. Our utility contractors swear by the deere 30g.
 

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I am not an experienced mini ex operator, just rent one a week at a time to get a bit of targeted work done (I have a 35 series being delivered today by coincidence). I find them a bit tippy on slopes. But in the past I was an experienced dozer operator. Your creek bed sounds like an excellent 1 or 2 day project for a dozer and experienced operator — so hiring help for that might be the easiest and most cost-effective.

Others have posted this in the past, but I find renting equipment at times to be very cost-effective. Owning equipment comes with storage and maintenance needs & obligations. My wife gave me the ok to buy a mini ex a few years ago, but I decided renting would actually better fit our needs. That’s why I own a tractor, mower and utility vehicle, and supplement with rentals when my equipment isn’t quite enough for a project.
 
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On the high side I would agree with Cat 308 or Deere 75.
So many mini X out there it’s not even funny.
I would stick with a brand you get parts and support from if needed.
 
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I don’t have a ton of experience with an excavator but, I do know that you can get a lot of work done is a short amount of time. I am one that would buy something vs rent but, with heavy equipment that’s not used everyday a rental makes sense. I have rental a Doosan 140 and Bobcat E35 this year for my house build. Had the Doosan for a month and the Bobcat I picked up last evening and have it for a week. 1200-3500 per week depending on size of machine is actually a really good deal. And they do all of the maintenance! Win Win.
Just my 2 cents
 

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my 2 cents
remember, you can likely rent any of these for a week / month
Product Motor vehicle Yellow Font Automotive wheel system
 

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I have owned a mini excavator for about ten years now. It’s sometimes handier than my tractors. It’s a 01 Kubota kx121-3 open cab with hydraulic thumb. Today most come with the thumb and also have pattern changers. It’s usually as simple as a flip of a switch.

I have buddies with Deeres, Komatsu or a Hyundai. All have a lever to suit your preferences. I personally use back hoe pattern and to be completely honest, if I had to use the excavator pattern I would kill someone while using it.

I bought mine for around $26k and it had 1200 hours. It got new teeth and tracks at 1000 hours. I have put 700 hours on it myself and can honestly say, I won’t be without one. If for some reason I find myself not using it as frequently then it will probably be time to sell it( get all my money back) and just rent one when needed.

It’s very handy with its 2’ digging bucket, 3’ smooth edge grading bucket and I also have a stumper/ root rake. The last item works great for piling brush or picking up rocks.

Aside of general maintenance, a few broke hoses, this machine has been fantastic. I’m also told that that series has more digging and lifting power than other machines it’s size. I believe it’s about 9500# but it operates like a bigger machine.

I hope this helps? Being a John Deere guy, I’ve often thought to trade but honestly it’s to good of a machine to consider it. With the prices that they are, I will just keep it and did I mentioned it’s paid for! Win/win
 

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4044R w/Cab Silverado 2500HD DuraMax LBZ crew cab, ‘20 MB - S class 580 and a 1971 Corvette 4 spd.
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Discussion Starter · #19 · (Edited)
my 2 cents
remember, you can likely rent any of these for a week / month
View attachment 862566
There would be no hesitation to rent a track hoe (excavator) if the purpose was for business - listing this expense as a write-off.

After extensive research I have found an average 15 to 20% difference between net cost new Vs net sold as used 1 to 3 years old. When certain models and certain accessories are thought as delayed or backordered, the gap between used and new is lessened.

Lets say for example I found and purchased a fitting machine for $75,000. Used it over the next 3 years and kept up regular maintenance during this time.
I sell it for $60,000 ($75,000 minus 20% = $15,000)

Rental rates average $450/day which includes taxes and damage waiver Or $1,500/week tax and damage waiver included. Delivery, safety harness use and trailer if needed is extra.

There’s no practical way I could narrow down any exact need in terms of time and days it would take for some of the planned projects, so I must go by a guesstimate.
I would need one week used as a block of time on one large project or consolidate and plan out multiple smaller tasks that could take up a week.
Plus, I can see spot needs at least 12 days per year $450 X 12 = $5,400 for 3 years. For a total of $21,600.

Mind the fact that when you rent - maximizing efficient use is usually a goal and when you own your own machine you typically use it causally, perhaps even manifest more work simply because you have it. (My opinion)

So even if my rental time guesstimate is too high (I do have a load of desired projects in mind), I believe in my case having the available funds - buying becomes more to my advantage.
 
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Once you have one, you will likely never get rid of it and you will wonder how you got anything done without it. Finding an used, less expensive model makes this easier. Handier than a pocket on a shirt. A hydraulic thumb and blade are must haves. I don’t have AC, but it wouldn’t be that great because I am in and out so much. The heat is pretty nice in the winter though. Just having the cab is nice vs an open canopy style.
 
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