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Is there any sense in homeowner buying excavating equipment?

Is there any sense in homeowner buying excavating equipment?

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  #1  
Old 05-14-18, 06:58 PM
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Is there any sense in homeowner buying excavating equipment?

I have a retaining wall project that I'm planning on doing myself. I've already done one a few years back. This time, it's longer and taller, plus requires some excavation. I had been thinking about renting a bobcat or some type of excavator for a week and trying to get it all done in that amount of time. With a day job and family, plus the experience of the previous wall, I'm afraid a week won't be enough to get it all finished. Sure, you can do the excavation in a day, but it's nice for backfill and any other work after the foundation is done. I don't have any guarantee of any help either.

So, I've been wondering if it would make any sense for a homeowner like myself to buy a used backhoe or some bobcat-like machine, get all my projects done (patio etc.), and then sell it? It looks like most "cheap" stuff is at least 5k, probably closer to 10k. While it's a big chunk of money, I'm always looking for ways to save in the long run. I already have a plate compactor that I bought with the same philosophy for the first wall. Even if I could break even on the machine, that'd be just fine. I'm a farm boy so I'm good with tractors and stuff like that, but have never used a digger of any kind. Can also fix some things but don't have a full shop with all the tools. Does this make any sense? Am I overlooking something? If it makes sense, any advice for a newbie wanting to buy this type of stuff? What to look out for, etc. I don't want to buy something that I need to fix right away so I'm willing to pay for a machine that is in good shape. Doesn't matter if it's old, I grew up driving tractors from the 1960's.

Looks like this type of equipment goes for around $800/week at most rental places in my area. Having a contractor do this would be in the $10k neighborhood. Doing it myself, I'm hoping to be under $3k, plus the excavator, of course. Not sure if this is the right forum but thought I'd ask. Appreciate any constructive feedback

Here's a few types of equipment that I found. These links will of course be obsolete in a few weeks, sorry future readers:
https://rmn.craigslist.org/hvo/d/cas...576978271.html
https://rmn.craigslist.org/hvo/d/201...580963893.html
 
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  #2  
Old 05-14-18, 10:38 PM
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I bought a used Kubota BX-24 a while back (8 years) for a little more than what you've been looking at. I've used it extensively for my rather small chunk of land in a more suburbia than rural area. It has the back hoe attachment with a narrow bucket. I've used the machine extensively from every project you could think of to some that were out of the box. Moving dirt, digging trenches for electrical, water lines. Moving and spreading 20 yards of mulch other year in a day (sometimes the wife helps out). Digging out trees (no stump grinding hassles)! And yes, I also used it to put in 2 significant retaining walls. Lent it to neighbors and in exchange have been able to rely on them when I need something.

I've looked occasionally and if I were to sell it now I'd probably "lose" less than $3K on it. It's been one of the best tools I've ever bought. My back has been saved, I've done projects when I want and the speed I want. No hassle of renting, transporting, etc. Maintenance has been pretty much zilch in cost as it has seemed indestructible.

Lastly, they're fun!
 
  #3  
Old 05-14-18, 11:36 PM
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Several homes ago I needed to build a series of bolder walls in my "canyon" back yard and received quotes up to $80K to build them.

One contractor told me "well it's not like it's a homeowner project" which I promptly told him where to shove is estimate.

I ended up buyng a small compact diesel tractor with bucket and 120 tons of boulders and over the coarse of the summer installed all those walls.

After selling the tractor a couple years later I had around $15K invested in that project between material and small loss on the tractor.

So yes it can make perfect sense to buy tools to accomplish big projects as long as the savings are significant,

In my current house I bought a similar tractor to do all the landscape projects which were not as extensive but love the tractor so much I have not parted.

Comes in handy when we get those 15 yards of wood chips delivered every couple of years.
 
  #4  
Old 05-15-18, 05:27 AM
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You are asking the wrong person if you should buy a piece of equipment... I will tell you to get one of everything. Especially an excavator (track hoe).

You are pretty close to the mark about buying versus renting the machine. Getting something well used it's value isn't going to change much with 20 or 100 hours use. So, you could likely do your project and sell it for about what you paid. The big risk is a breakdown. With a rental you have a known cost for your machinery. If you buy something used and you break a track or something else it can throw your cost analysis out the window.

Whether or not those pieces of equipment are right for you depends on your project. I find a excavator amazingly useful and don't know how I ever got by without one so of the two things you listed I would lean towards the backhoe since it gives you both tools. Unfortunately backhoes are BIG and have high ground pressure so you need to have the room for it to work and tolerate what it does to the lawn.

The tracked skid steer will have lighter ground pressure but nothing with tracks can turn without tearing up the ground so again. It's not friendly on the lawn.

One thing to consider is how quick and easy it is to get on and off the machine especially if working by yourself. Sometimes something smaller that you can hop on and off of can be quicker than a monster with a door and ladder.
 
  #5  
Old 05-15-18, 06:30 AM
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I'm in snow country so have lots of use for my tractor. Had 2 big projects so bought a new Kubota B7500 with a woods 7500 backhoe and of course the loader. I'm now 70 and having this machine just keeps me going where serious lifting or digging would have stopped me cold.

If you have the property and projects to justify owning one, buy a good one. If this is a one time use, rent or borrow.

Bud
 
  #6  
Old 05-15-18, 06:29 PM
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Thanks for the encouraging feedback! I was expecting the opposite. Now, I'll just need to start looking for a machine that'll work for me. Those compact tractors with a backhoe seem surprisingly capable.
 
  #7  
Old 05-15-18, 06:47 PM
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My neighbor bought a Kubota. It looks very much like the BX24.
He also bought a trailer that it can go on. A very impressive pair.

You just need the place to store it.
 
  #8  
Old 05-16-18, 04:48 AM
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Be sure to check the depth capability of any backhoe you look at. If they say 5' that is only at the very bottom of the swing.

Bud
 
  #9  
Old 05-16-18, 05:02 AM
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Oddly larger equipment seems to get as low in price as compact. I think demand is so hot for compact tractors that they bring a premium price pound for pound versus larger machines. There is a reason though. They are extremely handy. I've had a couple Deere and Kubota compacts in the 22-25 hp range and it's a great size. The machine is small enough to work on city size lots but still powerful enough to do serious work. The biggest drawbacks are reach and capacity. Buckets don't dig as deep or reach as high and the smaller buckets mean more trips but it's hard to complain much when your sitting on the machine letting the diesel do the hard lifting for you.
 
  #10  
Old 05-16-18, 09:08 AM
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I love my Deere, 23hp!

I had a backhoe I picked up at an auction for $1000 but had an offer to sell for $2800 so I reluctantly let it go.

If it had been at the beginning of the yard projects I probably would have kept but hasn't really been a need since!


https://www.doityourself.com/forum/a...1&d=1526486867
 
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  #11  
Old 05-16-18, 06:14 PM
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I have a cub cadet 7305 which has a 30 HP diesel motor on it. The FEL has a quick attach that is the same as bobcat skid loaders so I can use many other attachments on it. I also added front hydraulics to I could run a fork grapple on it. I did a very large boulder retaining wall project that I am very proud of.

I also agree that buying the equipment to do a project makes sense. On top of the money aspect you will not be pressured to get the project done a fast as possible. Likely you can turn around as sell the equipment for close to what you bought it for if it doesn't get beat up by sun, rain, or work.

For what it is worth, that New Holland skid steer appears to be a fairly decent deal.
 
  #12  
Old 06-04-18, 08:01 PM
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Thanks guys for the feedback. It's all very reassuring. Now, I just need a little help in determining the right tool for the job. As stated in my first post, I'm doing a retaining wall and have the area pre-excavated to some degree. I just need to dig another few feet into the hill, see picture. Given that equipment pricing goes roughly in this order: tractor-front-loader, skid steer, backhoe, I'd like to go for the least expensive equipment. Of course, a backhoe can do stuff that the a front loader can't, etc. But given the work area, I'm mostly wondering if the tractor-loader combo is out of question, or if all three would work? That hill is pretty sandy so I'm thinking all three are going to be fine. And I also don't have the acreage to warrant keeping some bigger piece of equipment long-term. Lastly, it would be ideal if it fit in my tuck-under garage, max 79" high. Appreciate all the advice.

If the tractor-loader combo would work, what size would be the minimum?

Same for skid steers that I know the least about. There seem to be a lot of them, some quite small.

Time is not a huge concern even if a smaller machine can take smaller loads etc. It's mostly, can it do the job without overloading the machine, or it's structural integrity.
 
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Old 06-05-18, 01:20 AM
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The compact diesel that I had below is same as I currently own, 23hp with 1/4 yard bucket.

It did all the lifting to install a series of bolder walls which used 180 tons of rocks. It's not construction grade but at least when it's done I could use to cut grass and move the yards of wood chips we seem to buy every other year.

My current tractor I picked up fully loaded, tractor, loader, finish mower and snow plow, for around $10K and only had 200 hours.

Skid steer would probably be next step up, much higher capacity but again it;s construction grade and wont be pulling a mower.

Backhoe is pretty specialized piece of equipment, great for digging those footings but somewhat limited for overall use!

Cruse through your local Craig's list, that is where I bought and sold my equipment, the right one is out there!
 
  #14  
Old 06-05-18, 04:58 AM
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I would look for a used Kubota BX. They are pretty commonly available with a loader and are reasonably priced. They do have a backhoe for it but it's pretty small and limited in it's reach and range of motion so I wouldn't pay too much more for one with a backhoe. But a backhoe never hurts. I think they also have a fold down ROPS so it can fit into any garage. Just remember to fold down the bar before driving in.

Low hours are great but don't be too afraid of something with time as parts are readily available for Kubotas. Just make sure that the hydrostatic transmission is in good working order. That's one part of the machine you don't want to have to fix.

Since many BX are bought mostly by homeowners they don't often see hard commercial use so they tend to be in good shape. They might look rough if stored outside but they usually have low hours.
 
  #15  
Old 06-05-18, 06:33 PM
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The Kubota BX seems to be a bit out of my price range (5k-8k). However, there are several Kubota L2xx series tractors with loaders on Craigslist. Also Allis Chalmers 5xxx series. The size seems pretty optimal, too. Any opinion on those older compact tractors? Here's a few examples I found within a reasonable range. Appreciate any advice, also on pricing.

https://minneapolis.craigslist.org/w...606482069.html
https://eauclaire.craigslist.org/grd...602096866.html
https://stcloud.craigslist.org/grd/d...608076327.html
https://marshall.craigslist.org/grd/...588626217.html
https://stcloud.craigslist.org/grd/d...568189935.html

Cheers!
 
  #16  
Old 06-05-18, 06:52 PM
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You must live close to me (relatively speaking) because all of those are in/near MN

My choice with all of those would be the Yanmar/Cub Cadet just because of ease of use. That one is 4x4, hydro drive and steering. Only note I would make is it might be only a Cat 0 3 point hitch, not a Cat 1. Not sure of that matters.

https://eauclaire.craigslist.org/grd...602096866.html

Nothing down on older tractors, but they don't have the ease of usability like the newer hydro drive tractors do.

Here are another option:
https://minneapolis.craigslist.org/a...600217196.html
 

Last edited by Tolyn Ironhand; 06-05-18 at 07:09 PM.
  #17  
Old 06-05-18, 07:46 PM
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I see the convenience of the hydrostatic transmission for sure. At the same time my farm upbringing instinct tells me that those Cub Cadets are just a tad flimsy for the job. I grew up with 60+ HP tractors and have never used these compacts. But as everyone in this thread seems to be saying, those compacts are pretty versatile and strong. I can see how the constant back-and-forth gets tiring with the clutch and manual transmission of an older tractor, and good work ergonomics certainly pay off. But there's just something more reassuring of a bigger machine

I was wondering mostly if there were some red flags to beware of with the older ones I linked to? Of course, there are no guarantees and even a superficially good-looking machine can break. But maybe some have a better reputation than others.

I'm in the south metro.
 
  #18  
Old 06-06-18, 02:41 AM
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would probably look for a backhoe or a small tractor with loader and backhoe attachment, just really dont see just a tractor and loader being very capable of digging anything.
 
  #19  
Old 06-06-18, 05:12 AM
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Part of the problem is small and compact tractors don't have fast shifting transmissions like shuttle shift. In compact tractors you've got hydrostatic on almost everything made in the past 20 years. When you get older than that or look a size larger they have manual transmissions but very few that can quickly shift between forward and reverse as is needed for loader work.

You can get by with a manual but it is much slower than a hydro. Being able to keep one hand on the hydo lever and one on the steering wheel and control the forward and reverse with your foot really speeds things up.

I would also consider the hydraulics. Really cheap tractors and some old ones have a separate lever for each loader function which is slow to operate. A step up is a simple single lever system. Both motions are controlled on one lever but they still use single acting valves so mostly only thing can move at a time. You get a real jump in productivity when you control the bucket with one lever and can blend the controls and move both hydros at the same time and to varying degrees. This makes smooth smooth scoop, lift and dump motions possible. Without it you curl as one motion, stop, then lift as a second motion.
 

Last edited by Pilot Dane; 06-06-18 at 07:45 AM.
  #20  
Old 06-06-18, 05:26 AM
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You can get by with a manual but it is much slower than a hydro

Thats a great point, big tractors used on a farm go in long straight lines with few turns etc.

For home use your moving, turning, backing up, lifting, a lot more movement.

Mine is Hydro and you dont even think about it and can keep concentration on everything else going on.

When your moving bolder and trees, it's nice to not have to deal with clutches and gears!
 
  #21  
Old 06-06-18, 08:45 AM
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Thanks again for good pointers. I haven't used a loader before so the back and forth part was an oversight. I have used a forklift so I should've made the connection.

However, before getting into the bells and whistles of the machine, I'd like to understand what caliber of equipment is needed? In the picture I posted a few posts ago, there's this hill that I need to widen. Not go further down, just remove more material down to current grade. Alan's comment suggest that a tractor-loader might not be the strong enough, and if anything, a backhoe should be used. The hill is quite sandy, and I would say easy on equipment, especially after the little vegetation layer gets removed.

I guess my question boils down to: what is the minimum piece of equipment that can do the job? Speed and convenience are great, and I'm all for that, but first and foremost I need something strong enough. Given my additional space constraints of fitting it into a garage (max 79" high), I had been debating between tractor-loader and skid steer. Appreciate all the help from this forum!
 
  #22  
Old 06-06-18, 09:26 AM
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what is the minimum piece of equipment that can do the job?
It's possible a tractor with a scraper blade would do the job ..... unless you run into something more than dirt. I have an old ford jubilee with a manure bucket and scraper blade - I'm sure I do more with it than Ford ever dreamed of that tractor doing. I'd love to own a backhoe, especially every time I have to dig out my drain tiles but the few times I've looked they were all priced higher than I can justify spending.
 
  #23  
Old 06-06-18, 10:37 AM
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I have both tractors with loaders and a track hoe (excavator). They are very different machines and each has it's strong and weak points.

A tractor with a loader is very good for digging into a hill like yours especially if you can come at the hill from the low side. It has a much larger bucket than a backhoe and is able to travel so you can move the dirt somewhere. The bucket is also good when it comes time to move tons of material back into place and smooth it out. With some practice you can work the bucket almost like a box blade for finish grading (a float position in bucket hydraulics is very helpful). It's also good for bringing in the drainage stone for retaining walls as it can drive to the stone pile to get the stone then dump it in a thin strip behind the wall.

A backhoe is good for digging a pit or trench. One of the biggest drawbacks are the small bucket size so digging is much slower. Another is that they really don't move. Once you are in position with the stabilizer legs down you're not going anywhere. When you take a scoop of dirt you need to dump it within arms reach. The same works in reverse. It's painfully slow to try and drive over to a rock pile to pick up a small bucket of stone then drive over to the retaining wall and dump it behind.
 
  #24  
Old 06-06-18, 06:31 PM
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I had a much longer reply but I lost it. Let's just say my 30HP Cub Cadet 7305 has always done what I needed it to do. I think something similar will be very good for your project.
 
  #25  
Old 06-06-18, 08:45 PM
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Awesome information! Given my set of circumstances, I have narrowed down the choices to a tractor-loader or skid steer. Either way, it looks like I'll be spending closer to my max budget to get something that is pretty decent. I understand that a skid steer doesn't have all the versatility of a tractor, and is probably a lot rougher on the lawn. But the premise of my post was to sell the equipment after I'm done. We'll see if that happens

Looking at the latest local CL postings, here are the contestants:
https://minneapolis.craigslist.org/d...604537776.html
https://minneapolis.craigslist.org/a...600217196.html
https://eauclaire.craigslist.org/grd...602096866.html
https://minneapolis.craigslist.org/d...589085362.html
https://minneapolis.craigslist.org/c...609966502.html

That last one is probably the biggest (and most expensive) one.

In the skid steer department, some machines are a little less expensive:
https://minneapolis.craigslist.org/h...585504789.html
https://minneapolis.craigslist.org/h...580930860.html
https://minneapolis.craigslist.org/r...599626109.html
https://marshall.craigslist.org/grd/...596761169.html

Also found a backhoe that's too big for my garage, but close to my heart due to driving Ford 5000 all my life
https://stcloud.craigslist.org/grd/6609898327.html

Again, appreciate any advice both on equipment capability and pricing. I think we're getting there.
 
  #26  
Old 06-07-18, 05:32 AM
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Don't sell a skid steer short. They are very powerful in a small package. A tractor with a loader is very long so the turning radius is a bit large and you need more space to work. A skid steer can turn on a dime and because of it's short length it can work in spaces a tractor might not fit. That said a skid steer is less stable and very easy to roll over forward or backwards but it usually doesn't hurt the machine and you're OK if wearing the seat belt. Also note that skid steers buckets are very close to the machine. That means if you drive up to your retaining wall to dump stone on the back side the bucket won't reach out as far as a tractor loader.

I would take the Deere 455 off the list. It's a great commercial lawn mower but only so-so if you're buying it for loader work.

Cub Cadet 7195 would also be off my list even more so than the Deere. It doesn't have good tires for loader work and no ballast.

The Cub Cadet SC2400 might be an option. It looks like it has R4 or ag tires. It will need ballast on back but you can buy or make something to go on the 3pt hitch.

The Deere 420 is gas powered and a much lighter weight machine. The loader is probably good for snow and mulch but I don't think the machine is heavy enough for earth moving. Plus it has turf tires and is only 2wd.

The Deere 2210 is probably the closest to being best. It's got medium hours but looks to be taken care of. The bucket still has most of it's paint so it's not had much use. It's a larger frame size than the others you listed which are mostly lawn tractors. The biggest drawback are the turf tires. Turf tires are OK on hard ground but wont have the grip of R4's or ag tires in soft ground.

Bobcat Farmboy 440B. It's gas powered and light weight so possibly not in the same class with the other skid steers. Since it's been re-engined you'll want to look it over very well. It's pretty old and about the smallest skid steer you'll find that you climb inside.

Bobcat 443. That looks to be a good machine especially with the two sets of tires. And, if the owner got a extra set of rims & tires, did LED lights and installed a backup camera it's probably someone who cares about the machine.

New Holland L445. I would cross that off the list. It's quite old and the bucket is too big if earth moving is your only reason for buying the machine. It might be a good one though if wanted to keep it and use it for snow removal but it looks like the tires don't have much tread left on them.

Bobcat 440B. It looks rough and 1977 hours is getting up there for a gas engine. And, the guy didn't even bother to wash it off before taking the pictures.

Ford 4500. This is a monster compared to everything else. Be very careful sideways on hills. With the backhoe and no ROPS (roll bar) it will be easier to roll and deadly if you do. But, it is the biggest machine so it will move the most dirt with each scoop and the backhoe might come in handy or it will just get in the way if all your doing is loader work.

In the end keep in mind why the skid steers are so cheap and compact tractors with loaders are so expensive. That will give you an idea of their resale-ability. Also keep in mind that after having and using the machine you might not get rid of it. Which machine would be most use to you in the future long term?
 
  #27  
Old 06-07-18, 08:51 AM
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Pilot Dane, thank you very much for the thorough walkthrough. Very logical elimination of what might work and what won't. It's the experienced eye that catches all the details that a newbie won't necessarily spot or think about. Regarding the "cheap" skid steers, are you saying that there's an excess of skid steers on the market and it'll be hard to get rid of them? Or is it the lack of usability?

The backhoe could indeed be handy but I think I'll have to skip the Ford 4500 and focus on the ones that fit in my garage, especially if I end up keeping the machine. Also good point on sideways rollover potential. Regarding future needs, I doubt there will be much need after the bigger projects of hauling material in this house. However, if moving to another one with more space, I could see keeping it, and a tractor is probably the more useful one. I will say though, that a lot of the Craigslist ads claim to have bought a skid steer and are now getting rid of the tractor-loaders. So I guess it all depends on one's needs and a skid steer might be more useful for some. I certainly have not eliminated a skid steer, but will take into consideration the roll-over potential.

I haven't seen any Bobcat tractors in my searches, but one came up today, any opinions?
https://minneapolis.craigslist.org/c...610197568.html

I'll try to find some time this week to perhaps go take a look at one or two of these.
 
  #28  
Old 06-07-18, 10:33 AM
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Compact tractors are so useful they get a premium price. And relative to their size they are expensive to buy new. Contractors generally go bigger since you get a lot more machine for not much more money. That leaves homeowners and some landscapers as the only ones buying compact tractors so the supply is limited.

Skid steers have always mostly been a commercial machine so landscapers and contractors buy tons of them. So, there is a plentiful supply of used machines which pushes the price down. And, since almost all are used commercially they get used harder and have more hours pushing the price down even further.

Bobcat did not make their tractors. I think they are rebranded or contract manufactured by Daedong. It's a quality machine that happened to be made by a Korean company under contract for Bobcat. They never sold too many so there probably are not a lot of 3rd party parts sources so you might be limited to getting parts from a Bobcat dealer.

That said the Bobcat tractor looks very good and 900 hours is not even mid life for it. It should have many, many years of good life left in it. The tires look to be in better condition than any of the others you've linked and they are R4's which is perfect for what you want to do.

One "issue" with it is that the ROPS (roll bar) is missing. It doesn't affect how the machine operates but it will affect trading it in at a dealer. No brand name dealer and many companies will take it in on trade or buy it used without a ROPS. It's a major piece of safety equipment on the machine so name brand dealers won't touch it for liability reasons. Or, if they do take it on trade they will deduct the cost of buying a new ROPS for it. Most individuals and contractors won't care less about it though. For personal use the ROPS is a great place to mount a sun shade or work lights. I would ask if they had the ROPS and if not I would push for a lower price because of it missing when negotiating.

Chloride filling the tires is a double edged sword. It's filling the tires with calcium chloride and water for ballast. It's a cheap way of ballasting. Unfortunately calcium chloride is a salt which corrodes the wheels/rims from the inside. In one of the photos it looks like you can see the rust stains on the tire which means it's probably already leaking. Hopefully not a big deal if you plan to sell the machine when this job is done. If you intend to keep the machine long term you may need to buy new rims. I would certainly push the leaking tires and rust when negotiating price.

EDIT: I forgot to mention that usually only the rear tires are filled. So, if you do need to replace the rims you'd probably only need the rear ones.
 
  #29  
Old 06-07-18, 10:34 AM
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I vote for the 2210 but I have one so am biased.

That said a skid steer is less stable

I don't agree with that statement, I dont have a lot of skid steer hours but MANY 2210 & 4410 hours and they can be extremely tipsy with heavy loads and lets not even begin to include hills.

They are a homeowner piece of equipment, you dont see small loaders used by construction and landscape companies.
 
  #30  
Old 06-07-18, 10:44 AM
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Just drive a skid steer with the bucket full and the bucket in the air. If you stop too quickly almost all will tip forward. Lift the load high and go backwards and stop too quickly and it will flip over backwards. A tractor is nearly impossible to tip over backwards under any condition and it's darn hard to tip it forward and if it's properly ballasted it's almost impossible.

All machines with a loader are equally suseptible to tipping over sideways on a hill. Skid steers and tractors alike you must be very careful when sideways on a hill. When sideways on a hill always have your hand on the loader control lever. Even when empty the bucket is a lot of weight. If you feel the machine start to tip shove that lever all the way forward and lower the bucket as fast as it will go. If you're quick the bucket will "thunk" to the ground and the machine will come back on it's four wheels and you get nothing more than some excitement. If you're too slow and it rolls over you'd better have a ROPS and are wearing your seat belt.
 
  #31  
Old 06-07-18, 11:36 AM
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When sideways on a hill always have your hand on the loader control lever. Even when empty the bucket is a lot of weight. If you feel the machine start to tip shove that lever all the way forward and lower the bucket as fast as it will go. If you're quick the bucket will "thunk" to the ground and the machine will come back on it's four wheels and you get nothing more than some excitement.
Been there done that ...... and didn't enjoy it!
I got my tractor up on one rear tire once on the side of a hill, not something I'd want to experience again. I suspect had I not been quick to lower the bucket the tractor would have continued on over
 
  #32  
Old 06-07-18, 05:05 PM
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Cub Cadet 7195 would also be off my list even more so than the Deere. It doesn't have good tires for loader work and no ballast
I am likely partial to the Cub because I have one and think it is a very good machine and should be higher on the list. I agree the 7195 would be better with R4 tires. You can easily add ballast on the 3 point, which I had done many times with a weight box I have. Pictures still shows snow so maybe you could get it for a better price then shown.

I would agree with the rest of the info in Pilot Dane's post.

BTW do you have a way to transport the machine to your home? That might also be a consideration of the size of machine you get.
 

Last edited by Tolyn Ironhand; 06-07-18 at 06:36 PM.
  #33  
Old 06-07-18, 08:57 PM
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BTW do you have a way to transport the machine to your home? That might also be a consideration of the size of machine you get.
No, I don't have any transport. I'd have to make a deal with the seller, if they do, or figure out a way to rent a pickup and trailer to haul it over to my place. If I find a machine I like, I think the transport would be another few hundred bucks at most, a price I'm willing to pay in exchange for not having to own those two things. So, there's some additional hurdles.

Thanks again to everyone's hugely helpful comments. The farmboy self gravitates to a heavier-duty machine, but I am warming up to the compact tractors, like the Deere 2210 and the Bobcat CT120. The hydro transmission and single-lever loader control sure look nice, but I won't totally eliminate an older machine with the more cumbersome clutch and gears. After all, it's a single project and I have the time. A skid steer, like the 443, also look like a good alternative, aside from the shorter reach. It's a tough choice, trying to balance between cost and capability.
 
  #34  
Old 06-08-18, 03:26 AM
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One item that was not mentioned, what are you going to do with it after the project.

The compacts are really just big mowers that have the capacity to accept different attachments so like mine, it now cuts grass 99% of the time with an occasional use of the loader.

If it's just a one and done project then Id probably go with the skid. The compact will do the work but it is not a dedicated construction tool.
 
  #35  
Old 06-08-18, 03:54 AM
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Marq1 he is planning to sell it when he is done. However, as many of you may know, after it is found how handy it is, it might stick around longer then expected.
 
  #36  
Old 06-09-18, 05:55 AM
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Thumbs up In and out

A lot of times it does not , don't be like some of these Cats around here , who are willing to spend 30 K in a Kubota or Deere setup just to get out of paying a professional 6 thousand dollars , who is fast and does great work( and is responsible for the maintenance on their own equipment) I have seen too many pieces of equipment become yard ornaments. Especially if you are strapped for time( you would be surprised what some of these small contractors will work and even some of the bigger Guys) I have seen more than once a reputable contractor get laughed at for a competent, in and out quote and losing the work to cronies or family and going way over budget and having inferior work completion.
If you can stand my reply I will elucidate more . Strapped for time right now .
 

Last edited by kmccune; 06-09-18 at 05:57 AM. Reason: Lack of time
  #37  
Old 06-10-18, 02:36 PM
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Went to take a look at the Bobcat CT120 yesterday. Seemed like a pretty decent machine, although I'm still not convinced it'll be able to do something heavy like digging into my hill. I think a machine like that would be great for almost every other type of chore.

There was one oil leak that I couldn't trace. It didn't seem to be hydraulic but it wasn't easy to see where it's coming from. It was on the right side visible underneath, roughly in the middle of the tractor. Not sure how much it leaks but that got me a little concerned. Seems like the seller wasn't willing to go down in price either. Also, I realized that I have never done an inspection on a tractor-loader so I wasn't sure what all to test. If you guys have any good videos to link to, or a checklist of some kind, I'd appreciate it.

Found a skid steer today in the area:
https://rmn.craigslist.org/grd/d/ski...613198219.html

It seems like a decent looking machine and the price is a lot closer to what I'd like to pay. But the lower price seems to always come with some issues…
 
  #38  
Old 06-10-18, 03:34 PM
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Too bad you didn't mention you are going to look at the Bobcat tractor. I only live about 10 mins from Clearwater. You could have taken my tractor for a test drive and see what it can do.

Note: Ad has been deleted by the author. Must have sold.
 
  #39  
Old 06-12-18, 03:36 AM
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Bang for the Buck

I would advise you to rent a skid steer, then you will have a baseline.I have seen a Guy spend a considerable amount of money on a Bobcat skid steer and a bunch of attachments when He would have been better served with a compact 4wd tractor( with a front end loader) The average person does not realize how much damage to the ground a skid steer will produce and its easy to push a rock through a tire or break the bead loose on a tire, then you are stalled very frustrating.Old equipment equals old hydraulic lines , cylinder packing , gallons of hydraulic oil, very annoying.
One thing you can do if you get a skid steer in good condition,is acquire the metal track option which will make these things a whole lot better in the muck, sometimes you can get a rubber track conversion on sale for a huge discount and that really makes these things a lot better.
Just a word of advice ,i have seen a lot of people buy things and then get stuck with barn ornaments( nothing better than a skid steer to clean out a dairy barn or poultry house) the average person is much better served with something like a New Holland or Kubota. etc.Compact 4WD tractor( you pick your color-most are pretty good)
( Money is usually in short supply ,don't buy someone elses headache )
 
  #40  
Old 06-12-18, 08:14 AM
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Good points on money being in short demand. I think I may lean towards renting a skid steer for a day to get the bulk of widening the driveway done. Then, I could use a tractor-loader to do the rest of it at my own pace, including backfill and other less lawn-damaging chores. Not that the lawn damage is a real concern until I'm done.

That said, I was thinking of going to take a look at that Gehl 3410 (https://rmn.craigslist.org/grd/d/ski...613198219.html) with an astonishing 3500h hours on it. Is there any circumstance where buying it would make sense? The guy's had it for almost two decades and seemed like he's taken care of it since he got it with 3000h on it. Given the small diesel engine, 3500 hours seems very high. I'm thinking the engine must have been replaced or overhauled at one point. Any telltale signs to look out for?

Here's another older Bobcat, with far fewer hours: https://lacrosse.craigslist.org/for/...592042229.html

This Kubota seems to be pretty nice too, but I can't fit it in my garage with the ROPS; not sure if those hours are a bit high too: https://lacrosse.craigslist.org/grd/...613498418.html
 
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