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Discussion Starter #1
I carved this off my Time to go truck shopping thread since I mentioned using the new truck money to possibly buy a mini ex so this might be an interesting thread for some.

John:

You did the right thing as the salesman and sales manager are dicks for blowing a $60k sale over a $100 item.

I've rented four mini-ex's, and my best to worst ratings are:

Caterpillar cab. Was fairly new and in good condition.. The controls were smooth and traveling the machine wasn't too bad. If it had AC it would have been just right.

Bobcat open station. Considering the number of hours on it, it worked quite well until a hose blew. United Rental had a hydraulics repair company onsite and I was back online in a couple of hours. I think they gave me an extra half day rental for the inconvenience. Not as refined as the Cat; but still a good machine over all.

Yanmar open station. It worked A-OK, and my only gripe was the operator's station was cramped compared to the Cat and Bobcat.

Terex open station. I rented this less than 50-hours on the clock brand new turd from Home Depot. Traveling the machine was like riding a bucking bronco, which was bad as I was working right next to the house. Fortunately I didn't do any damage to the house with that thing. One of the engine covers popped open as I was taking it back the 5-miles to HD.

Please post the mini-ex thread link in this thread so we can easily find it.
Wow, thanks for the comments based on seat time in the various models. A major hurdle for me is I haven't operated an excavator before so playing with one for a few minutes wouldn't mean much. However that's never stopped me from buying equipment based on research and reports like yours :good2: .

I briefly talked to she who must be obeyed about a hoe and she wants me to rent but that's going to be a hassle. I would want to rent by the week and probably would take me 10 or 20 hours of seat time to get sort of productive. Our weather changes a lot, especially now for the next three months so I would have to rent in concert with the weather forecast. And at my age I don't want to put in long days running equipment. Of course the advantage of renting is no responsibility for maintenance.

The mini ex's are very popular so if I buy at the right price there would be no problem using it for a few months and then selling like I did for my Komatsu D39P-1 dozer. Bought it on an IronPlanet auction and sold it to my brother-in-law to use on his ranch. Made about $3k on that deal (it was a good deal for both of us - it's a good dozer at a fair price for him.)

I would love to have a cab (my cab 4720 has thoroughly spoiled me) but those seem to command about a $10k premium. This is the E42 Bobcat I'm looking at, also in the hunt is the Deere 35D and a Cat 305. Buying a Deere or Bobcat is an advantage since we have local dealers. I was thinking about Kubota but apparently their implement attachment is unique to Kubota so you have to buy Kubota buckets, etc. We do have a local Kubota dealer so I really should look at them.
 

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If you have that kind of cash to something illiquid, and, by all means go for it.

Just keep in the back of your mind that if the market tanks like it did in '08, these mini-ex's basically became worthless overnight, and people could buy "real" ones for about the same amount of cash at auction IE the price spread between a mini, mid, and full-size were negligible.
 

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I know that the deere mini ex's have a pattern selector so you can switch the control scheme to match that of a regular backhoe. So if you've operated a backhoe, it will be an easy upgrade for you.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
If you have that kind of cash to something illiquid, and, by all means go for it.

Just keep in the back of your mind that if the market tanks like it did in '08, these mini-ex's basically became worthless overnight, and people could buy "real" ones for about the same amount of cash at auction IE the price spread between a mini, mid, and full-size were negligible.
If I wanted to sell and couldn't it really wouldn't matter that much. The =<10,000 pound hoes are very popular with plumbers, electricians, landscapers, etc. in this area since you can trailer them with a 3/4 or one ton truck and they can fit in tight areas. You are right about the price spread between the minis-midis-biggies, I could buy a 20,000 pound used hoe for the same money as a mini. It would be a ton of fun running a 20k pound hoe but it's just too large for my use.
 

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If I wanted to sell and couldn't it really wouldn't matter that much. The =<10,000 pound hoes are very popular with plumbers, electricians, landscapers, etc. in this area since you can trailer them with a 3/4 or one ton truck and they can fit in tight areas. You are right about the price spread between the minis-midis-biggies, I could buy a 20,000 pound used hoe for the same money as a mini. It would be a ton of fun running a 20k pound hoe but it's just too large for my use.
I've had the Case CX17C and now the Case CX37C. Haven't used the 37 as much, but my first impression is that the extra weight has its downsides too. It is a lot to load/haul on our trailer.

I was very surprised at what I could do with the 17. I would say the 17 is similar to a 375 backhoe (3R) based on the digging specs. However, MUCH more functional since you can swing 360 degrees.

I guess I'm suggesting that you consider a smaller machine. Like everything else, bigger isn't always better.

Oh, and the Case CX80C (~20k pound) machine we borrowed just feels too big for most 'in the yard' projects.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
There's an almost brand new 2018 Case CX33C (10 hours) for sale about 100 miles away but there are no Case dealers closer than 100 miles away unfortunately. Our local dealers are Kubota, Deere and Bobcat. There's a Komatsu and Cat dealer about 85 miles away in San Antonio.
 

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There's an almost brand new 2018 Case CX33C (10 hours) for sale about 100 miles away but there are no Case dealers closer than 100 miles away unfortunately. Our local dealers are Kubota, Deere and Bobcat. There's a Komatsu and Cat dealer about 85 miles away in San Antonio.
I think the 26 or 33 would be a good size. I dunno about the dealer distance. I have never needed the dealer. I would say that construction dealers are not like Ag dealerships. They don't seem to be expecting to work with 'the little guy' like you or me. So, I'm not sure you feel the same warmth as you might feel in an Ag tractor dealership.
Does that make sense?


Tim
 

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Interested novice

Thanks for opening this thread. I've only run any excavator just enough to figure out I want to do it more. I put about 6 hours on a large JD after the owner asked me if I wanted to run it restacking stumps that had gotten piled with too much dirt to burn. After I got used to where the boom needed to be for the fixed thumb to grab properly it was a lot of fun. After a bit of practice I found that I could toss the stumps onto the new pile. A loader operator was steadily bringing more stumps so there was lots of back and forth practice. When the dirt pile got too big, we would move in a circle around the new pile and leave the old dirt behind.

I tried a couple of mini Cats with mulching heads. Very nice machines but the mulching heads were pretty limited compared to a skid steer mulcher. They were nice for overhead trimming but a much bigger machine would have been better as to get the vertical reach meant I had to be too close to the debris coming down. I'd like to try a mini ex digging. I found operating pretty easy to pick up but I have a feeling that digging a flat bottom trench is probably a lot harder.

Treefarmer
 

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I have run almost all the brands and I prefer the smaller bobcats with a hydraulic thumb over all of them. They also have the selector switch to change the boom cycles. I prefer the john deere style. Bucket and thumb and dipper on the right joystick, and the swing and boom on the left.

After the bobcat I like the cat, john deere or Hitachi, doesn't much matter which. I was last on a 450 Hitachi with a 4ft bucket and a cracker with cutters. I could cut through a 1ft steel beam. I was demoing a old sugar mill factory.

Now the biggest Ex I have run is a 320 cat here on my property and a couple of the big bobcats minis. One was brand new. They have come a long way since 2008...

Whatever you decide try to make sure it has a thumb. You will never regret it! :good2:

Good luck!
WB
 

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Discussion Starter #10
A hydraulic thumb is a must have! There’s a very low hour 2015 Kubota KX-40 with a cab about 55 miles away, I had a Kubota tractor (30 hp) that I bought new in 1998 and sold a year ago - very reliable. I initially wasn’t interested in a Kubota track hoe but it wouldn’t hurt to look.

Thanks for the comments about the Bobcat.
 

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The Bobcat in the ad you posted is essentially half the cost of the truck you were looking to buy.

I don't recall the Bobcat model I rented; but I had it for a week. It took me about a day to get decent with it and I could dig a straight trench; but getting the trench depth consistent was a real challenge that I didn't master.

The Cat, Yanmar and Terex were all rented just for the day.

Here is the Cat 303 I rented. I don't have pictures of the other three.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
That Cat 303 is one I was very interested in as well. We're heading out in a few minutes to our local Bobcat dealer to talk hoes. I called the guy about the Kubota KX-40-4 a while ago and it's off rental (which I knew) and asked why the low hours. Most of the off-rental equipment I see for sale has 1700-2500 hours on the clock

He said there's a Kubota rental fleet plan or something like that and they only rent low hour machines. Not sure I buy into that - the guy is a salesman.
 

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Done and done

That was easy. :good2:

Visited our local Bobcat dealer and played on an E32 for a few minutes and did a walk-around looking for service points like dipstick, oil and fuel filters, etc. To my surprise I was able to somewhat coordinate stick-boom-bucket movement. Unfortunately they didn't have an E42 or an E45 but jumped up a couple of sizes from there. And the smaller machines were open station so I couldn't check out the cab - no biggie though.

Made the deal after I saw the bottom line price with all of the discounts thrown in, I'm basically spending $5k to $10k more money for a brand new zero hour machine with a two year or 2,000 hour warranty compared to a comparable used cab model.

So here's what I ordered (factory is in North Dakota - build date of Feb 18) with before and after discount price:

E42 - $54,731
A20 option (cab with AC & heat) - $6,985
Hydraulic "clamp" or thumb, Class 4 - $2,648
12" bucket with teeth - $985
24" bucket, smooth - $1,283

Total list price - $66,605
Dealer PDI - $200
Freight - $1,164

Discounts:
Cash price rebate - ($2.300)
Built Tough Rebate - ($5,000)
Dealer discount - ($5,661)

Out the door price: $55,008 - no Texas sales tax because we are ag exempt.:gizmo:

The dealer will deliver (of course) and any warranty repairs will be performed on-site. I would have to take it in for routine maintenance or pay a hauling fee based on mileage.
 

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You need to send a link to this thread to that ya-hoo sales guy at the Ford dealership!!

Or better yet, drive the new Mini-Ex into their showroom. :laugh:


Congrats - that is going to be one cool machine to operate!


EDIT - found this video Watch It Work: Bobcat E42 Compact Excavator - YouTube
 

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Congratulations

That was easy. :good2:

Visited our local Bobcat dealer and played on an E32 for a few minutes and did a walk-around looking for service points like dipstick, oil and fuel filters, etc. To my surprise I was able to somewhat coordinate stick-boom-bucket movement. Unfortunately they didn't have an E42 or an E45 but jumped up a couple of sizes from there. And the smaller machines were open station so I couldn't check out the cab - no biggie though.

Made the deal after I saw the bottom line price with all of the discounts thrown in, I'm basically spending $5k to $10k more money for a brand new zero hour machine with a two year or 2,000 hour warranty compared to a comparable used cab model.

So here's what I ordered (factory is in North Dakota - build date of Feb 18) with before and after discount price:

E42 - $54,731
A20 option (cab with AC & heat) - $6,985
Hydraulic "clamp" or thumb, Class 4 - $2,648
12" bucket with teeth - $985
24" bucket, smooth - $1,283

Total list price - $66,605
Dealer PDI - $200
Freight - $1,164

Discounts:
Cash price rebate - ($2.300)
Built Tough Rebate - ($5,000)
Dealer discount - ($5,661)

Out the door price: $55,008 - no Texas sales tax because we are ag exempt.:gizmo:

The dealer will deliver (of course) and any warranty repairs will be performed on-site. I would have to take it in for routine maintenance or pay a hauling fee based on mileage.
Congratulations on the new acquisition. That looks like a very sweet machine and I'm sure you will have a lot of fun and get a lot done with it. I'll be looking forward to seeing pictures and posts around the end of February.

Treefarmer
 

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Discussion Starter #16
^^ roger that ^^

I’ll have to watch that video, I’ve seen a few of the E42 in action and one how-to run video, I’m already picking out jobs for it. I was going to rent a stump grinder for five or six stumps but I’ll just dig them up. I was going to hire a guy to make a 165’ long trench (with a rock saw) but I’m pretty sure I can dig it with the hoe. Rock saw rental is $500 a day and I would have to pay him probably a hundred bucks to run the saw.

Then I need to dig a 150’ trench for a french drain by the shop, etc. Learning to run it will be a ton of fun.
 

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I've had the Case CX17C and now the Case CX37C. Haven't used the 37 as much, but my first impression is that the extra weight has its downsides too. It is a lot to load/haul on our trailer.

I was very surprised at what I could do with the 17. I would say the 17 is similar to a 375 backhoe (3R) based on the digging specs. However, MUCH more functional since you can swing 360 degrees.

I guess I'm suggesting that you consider a smaller machine. Like everything else, bigger isn't always better.

Oh, and the Case CX80C (~20k pound) machine we borrowed just feels too big for most 'in the yard' projects.


IMO the 7-8K machines are about the sweet spot for most homeowners.
 

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^^ roger that ^^

I’ll have to watch that video, I’ve seen a few of the E42 in action and one how-to run video, I’m already picking out jobs for it. I was going to rent a stump grinder for five or six stumps but I’ll just dig them up. I was going to hire a guy to make a 165’ long trench (with a rock saw) but I’m pretty sure I can dig it with the hoe. Rock saw rental is $500 a day and I would have to pay him probably a hundred bucks to run the saw.

Then I need to dig a 150’ trench for a french drain by the shop, etc. Learning to run it will be a ton of fun.
I just watched the E42 video and that is a far more refined machine than the Bobcat I rented 15+ years ago. :good2:

Did you travel the machine with the blade behind you? That will be a fun getting used to moment for you when forward is backward and vice-versa. It's also fun when the operator's station is 90-degrees from the normal direction of travel.

Those trenches will be nothing for that Bobcat and you can knock them out in a day or two depending on how quickly you get used to the controls. Digging out the stumps sounds like fun too.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
This E42 is a "4.5t" class track hoe and the specs have it a 9,246 pounds but I don't know if that is the cab or open station variant. The E32 I briefly played with is 7,340 pounds, I only ran it back and forth a little, there wasn't a bunch of room where they had all of the equipment lined up. I was more interested in how smooth the controls were for the boom-stick-bucket (very nice in my opinion.)

I recently bought a JLG 450A Series II articulated boom lift at auction and you can swing the boom (along with the engine house of course) almost 360* and travel with the boom sideways, pointed forward, backwards, etc. I was maneuvering it into a tight spot and was able to move the boom out of the way while the chassis moved in another direction - that was very cool. (I used it to rescue one of our barn cats early one morning a couple of weeks ago that climbed about 15 feet up an oak tree behind the house and couldn't get down. I was able tweak and maneuver the boom in the grove of trees to reach the cat. Bad cat :nunu:.)

For those interested there's a guy on YouTube (Kapper Outdoors) that rented an E35 and then bought a new cab E42 with a long stick. He's got a bunch of videos running the hoe digging, trenching, grading, hauling trees, etc. He's got a 50 something inch grading bucket but he's dealing with clay and loam soil and not the rocky stuff we have but I think I need to revise my order.

I'm going to call my salesman and have him change the 24" smooth bucket to a tooth bucket, add a 48" smooth bucket, a ripper and spend the bucks for the hydraulic "X-Change", I think this option is about $2600. Instead of pulling a pin (probably beating on the end of the pin) all you do is push a button in the cab to drop the bucket or whatever, position the end of the stick to the new bucket and push a button to engage. Initially I thought I would only be switching between two buckets and doing it manually would be fine but watching the Kapper guy change implements so easily convinced me to add this option.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Called the salesman soon after my last post and he had already put the order in with Bobcat and they had put it in the production schedule; he called Bobcat right away and he was able to add the hydraulic X-Change option while keeping the same production date. He called me back and we chatted about changing/adding to the implement order.

The 24" tooth bucket was the same price as the smooth grading bucket (the grading bucket has a hardened edge) so he changed that. I added a 48" grading bucket and the ripper which brought the new total to $59,220 (the new truck would have been about $62K with tax) so we're still in the ballpark.

The single ripper will be good for tearing roots and to trench for low voltage wire and antenna coax (and rip through rocks.)

Now I have to wait for four or five weeks :gaah:
 
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