using a backhoe

Old 05-05-03, 12:01 PM
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using a backhoe

I am preparing to build a garage, and am having trouble finding an excavator interested in such a small job.

I am considering renting a Terramite loader/backhoe. The rental store says 30 minutes of practice should be sufficient to learn to dig footers.

Has anyone ever tried this? How difficult was it to learn? Should I keep looking for an excavator?
Old 05-05-03, 12:21 PM
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Is this one ot the skid steer machines like a bobcat? If so, everything I hear goes with what you were told. They are simple to use and to learn. Although practice makes better. Like anything new, it can be dangerous. Put up the children and animals.

Let us know how it goes.
Old 05-05-03, 03:39 PM
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I've done several projects that were suited to renting what you are considering. In one case, I found a guy that specialized in skid steer and mini-excavator jobs and was very reasonable. The extra I paid him to operate made up for time spent learning how to operate myself. However, when I've rented, it was well worth it. I also try to plan other tasks while I have the equipment.

As for learning the controls, 30 minutes should be all it takes to get proficient. Compared to shovel and wheel barrow....

Good luck
Old 05-05-03, 05:07 PM
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Yes, I have rented one of those Terremite machines on 2 occasions and found them relatively easy to learn. IN fact it turned out to be kinda fun really, to be contractor for a day, so to speak. Only thing I found was that they are limited to the amount of power that they can deliver. As compared to a full- sized machine that is. IN other word if you encounter a bunch of big rocks, it will be tough to move them in a timely manner. Let us know what you decide either way.
Old 05-11-03, 07:09 AM
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For smooth operation of a backhoe, try to use two controls at the same time. For example, when you are bringing the bucket toward you, slowly curl the bucket at the same time.
The operation on two levers keeps the hydraulics flowing smoother. The movements won't be so abrupt or jerky.
Old 05-14-03, 03:30 PM
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No one has said it yet so I will:

Old 05-14-03, 03:43 PM
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Good point about the power lines!

Gas lines, also.

I have a friend who found his power line (the costly way) to be only 4" below grade for about 4' out from the house and then went down to where it was with-in code. One touch with a backhoe tooth and...oh, he's fine but it cost him a new service install and home electronics repairs.

Never assume!


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