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vntgrcr
10-17-2005, 08:24 PM
The local Mustang dealer caught wind of my being in the market for a 12K lb excavator to replace my 331 Bobcat. He dropped off a 5003 11K lb machine. It was bigger than the 331, but I didn't expect much from it. I put it to work for about 1 hr and was very impressed. Now I have never used a brand new machine before, and have used CAT 312, 315's, but for it's size this machine was very nice. Great visibility, pretty good power. Will be demo'ing a CAT 305 this week so it will be an interesting comparison. The Kubota rep won't even bring one out, too bad, I have heard good things about those. What have you guys heard of the Mustang? A little concerned about parts and service. Plus, $55K is a little steep, especially going into winter. Will report back. Thanks for listening to me.
David

Tigerotor77W
10-17-2005, 08:49 PM
I think you should try out the 305CR from Cat and the 337 from Bobcat, is what I think. :D

In all honesty, I'm not sure about Mustang excavators. I believe they're made by a European company (as are Gehl mini ex's), but I'm not sure entirely on the truthfulness of that. However, the Mustang dealer will probably provide great support and will be looking to get you into the seat of a Mustang SSL in the future if you sign on as a Mustang mini-ex guy.

2004F550
10-17-2005, 10:57 PM
Look at the Bobcat 435....we tried the 305 too...we got the Bobcat 435, and we own mostly Cat equipment. Price was great and we got good deal on attachments....def. look at Bobcat..had much more bucket break out too, like the 305 was missing something?....

Squizzy246B
10-18-2005, 09:28 AM
Mustang SSL are dominant in the market down here but we don't see the mini-x's.

I am very much a "if it aint a CAT its a dog" person but this machine has changed my mind in terms of build quality and reliability. The travel pedals suck though. Its worth a look and the mustang has the same engine.

Gravel Rat
10-19-2005, 01:39 AM
I like Kubota too the foot pedals are a little annoying the 161 is a good sized machine. As for Cat I really not so sure on if I was buying a Wheel Loader or a Bulldozer no doubt Cat all the way for a excavator it would be a Deere or Hitachi mini and fullsize for a mini Kubota.

Their excavators used to be used alot here now it seems Cat is pretty much fallen out of the market prolly 15-20 years ago when Hitachi moved in and pretty much took over the excavator market. John Deere was in the mix and now that they are teamed with Hitachi the sales have increased.

The new contender trying to steal the spot light is Komatsu offering good deals but I really don't think they have the quality.

vntgrcr
10-27-2005, 10:01 PM
Finally the heavens stopped pouring for a few days and I had a chance to use the CAT 305 today on a job. First off I had my mind made up I didn't want to like this machine, but after 4-5 hours on it, I was pretty impressed. But as fate would have it, the BOBCAT dealer called me during lunch and asked if I had made up my mind on a machine yet. I said no and he wanted to show me his numbers again.Funny thing, he lowered his price on the 337 by $2400 from 2 wks ago. He is pushing a 435ZTS he has on the lot, a very nice machine. But I need something that will go down deep, and that machine goes to only 11' 2". The CAT 11'7". I also met with the Kubota rep today(Bobcat sales literature in hand, had his attention then) and he dazzled me with specs/ $ onthe 161. Goes down to 12'7", heaviest of the bunch at 12,600lbs, and some nice features, and best of all I think the best price for what it is. I am going to grind on the guy to get the price from his original $55,500, with taxes, down to $53,500. The bonus is I have my 331 sold for $500 less than I paid for it in Feb. of this year! Let me know what you guys think.

ksss
10-27-2005, 10:35 PM
Try a Takeuchi TB53. It is an awesome excavator. It weighhs 12K and some change. It will amaze you at what it can do.

Gravel Rat
10-27-2005, 10:56 PM
If you can get the 161 Kubota for a good price go for it I don't think you could go wrong with the Kubota. I would order the machine with steel tracks then the machine will go anywhere and trust me I have seen a 161 in some tough places.

You want the machine piped for a hydraulic thumb and you want the auxilary piping for a compactor or a rock breaker. You do want a hydraulic thumb espcially on a excavator like the 161 that can pick up a decent sized log or rock.

Scag48
10-28-2005, 03:20 AM
Don't think you'll have any problems with Kubota, we didn't go that route mainly for dealer support, our local Kubota dealer sucks. Same reason we didn't look at Bobcat or Deere, dealer support is very important. So it sounds like you have decent support, demo the machine and see what happens. I'll second the hydraulic thumb, don't buy a mini without one. And see if you can get the thumb control relocated from the floor up to the right joystick (where it should be!), it makes a huge difference in how fast you can run the machine while placing rock, loading debris, etc. You'd be surprised how much a floor operated thumb hinders speed and agility, it's ridiculous. It cost us $2K to have ours on the joystick, obscenely overpriced but worth every penny IMO.

Tigerotor77W
10-28-2005, 07:27 AM
vntgrcr, :D glad to know you commanded the attention of Kubota. Way to go.

Mowingman
10-28-2005, 07:52 AM
I believe that Mustang is owned by Gehl.

Tigerotor77W
10-28-2005, 09:57 PM
It is indeed.:cool:

vntgrcr
11-01-2005, 04:52 PM
Hey Guys, just curious how others would handle this situation. I Demo'd the Kubota 161, great machine, dealer wants $55,500. I said I would take it but my budget allows for $53,500. He says take it or leave the first number, not in so many words, but he is not budging from his list price. Seems a little odd to me, and I will be calling other dealers tomorrow. It would be nice to just finalize the deal, he has the machine the way I want it, and it is ready to go. I just can't see paying retail. Let me know what you think. THanks
David

DUSTYCEDAR
11-01-2005, 05:02 PM
kick him in the nuts and see what he says then lol

ma5tr
11-01-2005, 06:10 PM
Hey Guys, just curious how others would handle this situation. I Demo'd the Kubota 161, great machine, dealer wants $55,500. I said I would take it but my budget allows for $53,500. He says take it or leave the first number, not in so many words, but he is not budging from his list price. Seems a little odd to me, and I will be calling other dealers tomorrow. It would be nice to just finalize the deal, he has the machine the way I want it, and it is ready to go. I just can't see paying retail. Let me know what you think. THanks
David


hey!
classic salesman talk. if you still have the demo at your site, just tell him that 53 500 is the max you are willing to spend and if he can't do it, tell him you are sorry and tell him to pick up the macjine.....i guaruntee that he will give you the machine for that price!!...but make sure he is convinced that he has to pick up the machine..and even if he leaves and says he will pick it up, he will call you the next day and make up a story about how his manager is not happy about it but he is willing to let it go for 53 500, he WILL give it to you for the price you want!!

vntgrcr
11-01-2005, 06:42 PM
They didn't even have a machine for me to demo. I had to go to a site to a customer he just sold one to and they were gracious enough to let me run it around their farm and dig a little bit. I thought that was a little unprofessional.So I can't play the "come and get it" ploy. lI am going to play his little B.S. game but still call a couple of other dealers tomorrow and see if they want to deal and not play games. I really despise the negotiation runaround that you have to do. A necessary evil I guess.

Tigerotor77W
11-01-2005, 07:56 PM
It sounds to me like he thinks his machine is the best... "either you pay up or forget it" sort of deal. If that's the salesman I going to get, first I'd double-check with the customer who let you borrow the machine and see whether he's that way to everyone (or just shoppers), and if he is, drop the idea of Kubota. I want my dealer on my side, not fighting him to get the best price.

ma5tr
11-01-2005, 08:44 PM
wow, that really sucks, make sure you get a demo before you make a move. We just bought a cat 302.5c. It was not the best machine in its class and not the cheapest but cat certainly has treated us right in the past with issues that we had with our 232b so we stayed loyal.

I'll tell you that we tested almost every brand of excavator that you can name and my favorite by FAR was the Volvo. We did not by a 12k machine like you, but here in toronto our cat salesman told us that cats biggest fear in 5-10years will be volvo. before you make a choice do me a favor and try one....i'll bet my life you will be impressed.
compact excavators and i think you will be looking at a
check it out
http://www.volvoce.com

click on compact excavators and i think you will be looking at a ec55 or ec59(zts). you can find a dealer online too.

Scag48
11-02-2005, 01:46 AM
I'd walk in and tell him to get his facts straight, that is the biggest BS I've ever heard. Can't demo the machine and he won't negotiate price? I'd call a regional sales representative and talk with them and skip the small talk. I got the same response from the Deere dealer when shopping for a machine. I basically told him that his piss poor sales ethic caused me to go back to where I know I get good service and that's from Cat, where they treat me like an actual customer. The phone call was very brief and he started to backpedal on some of his statements, but I already knew that I didn't want to deal with that kind of service later down the road. Right now it seems even if the price was negotiable it might be someone that you don't want to deal with, I'd look elsewhere personally.

ksss
11-02-2005, 05:27 PM
When your buying a piece of equipment it is almost like getting married. Only more significant. Your marrying yourself to the dealer and visa versa. The relationship will get stronger or it will die depending on how the dealer and you conduct yourselves. I have a great relationship with the dealerships I buy from. If you are dealing with someone that you can't get along with and this phase of the "relationship" it will only get worse and probably much worse. Kubota isn't the strongest mini excavator on the market. I would look around. Just remember that if buy a Kubota from outside your guys territory he will remember that when it needs warranty work or service.

vntgrcr
11-02-2005, 05:45 PM
When your buying a piece of equipment it is almost like getting married. Only more significant. Your marrying yourself to the dealer and visa versa. The relationship will get stronger or it will die depending on how the dealer and you conduct yourselves. I have a great relationship with the dealerships I buy from. If you are dealing with someone that you can't get along with and this phase of the "relationship" it will only get worse and probably much worse. Kubota isn't the strongest mini excavator on the market. I would look around. Just remember that if buy a Kubota from outside your guys territory he will remember that when it needs warranty work or service.
ksss, what would you buy if you were in the market? I feel like I have checked on every machine that is available locally(Mustang, Bobcat, CAT, Kubota), parts, service, costs, and the Kubota keeps rising to the top for the $$. THe Bobcat rep is really hitting me hard, but the comparable machine to them is almost $7K more. Just wondering what you thought.
Thanks

ksss
11-02-2005, 07:03 PM
I currently have a Takeuchi which I have been very happy with. Prior to that I had an IHI which was an excellent excavator. I put 2K hours on that machine and it served me very well. The guys at Compact Excavator Sales in E-town, Ky which market the IHI excavator in the States are top notch. I also recently rented a CASE CX36B. Very nice machine much improved over the first series. This machine had excellent feel and digging ability. The push button activation for the swing boom took some getting used to. The Kobelco and New Holland machines are identical to the Case mini excavator so I am sure they would be the same machine depending on which dealer you wanted to work with. Also the Hitachi/Deere machines are good although I think a little light but they are very nice to run. Depending on your relationship and proximity to the above dealers I would see what they would do for you. One thing on dealer support. IHI took very good care of me. They supported me from Ky which is half way across the country. I was never more than a day out on any parts I needed which wasn't much. They have a better dealer base in your area than they do out west. When my Takeuchi is ready to be traded I will consider going back to IHI. Their control system is second to none in my opinion. The Takeuchi TB53 with the STS boom is its greatest feature and may be too hard to part with. We'll see what is available when I am ready to trade. Good luck

Dirty Water
11-02-2005, 09:10 PM
I also recently rented a CASE CX36B. Very nice machine much improved over the first series. This machine had excellent feel and digging ability. The push button activation for the swing boom took some getting used to.

And you all thought I was crazy when I recommened this one earlier...Its a great mini. Smaller than what he's looking for though.

Gravel Rat
11-02-2005, 10:15 PM
I don't think you could go wrong with Kubota from what I seen a 161 can do and how much abuse one can take I wouldn't be scared to buy one.

The one contractor I worked for has a 161 the machine somedays runs 10-11 hours a day 6 days a week digging trenches doing small clearing jobs and working on adverse terrian with some slopes up to 30-40%.

He has never had any problems with the machine it makes good money its his second Kubota. Getting parts for the Kubota is overnight service if you need it the next day the shipping is what takes the longest.

I think Cat's biggest competitor is Komatsu here in B.C. Caterpillar is pretty much only intrested in gravel mine equipment like 980,988 and 992 wheeloaders,D8 D9 Bulldozers and Articulated rock trucks.

The reason why I put my faith in Hitachi excavators is they are used in construction and forestry in the toughest digging conditions possible. When your digging blasted rock its very hard on machines you can wear out a digging bucket in a couple months. The booms get cracks and the pins wear out even greasing the machine every day sometimes twice a day.



Any excavator in the 5000 hour range is in need of a rebuild a machine above 10,000 hours is thrashed.

ksss
11-03-2005, 12:38 AM
You know Jon I actually thought of your comments while I was running that machine. I ran one of the first series and I was not impressed but this B series is very nice. It had a cab with AC it was about 30 degrees outside so the heat was on but visibility was good. I would not be afraid to buy the CX50 which is the next size up (10K machine). I hauled the machine around for two days and every where I went someone would tell me what a "cute" machine that was on the back.

Scag48
11-03-2005, 01:52 AM
Hey Kaiser, have you ever tried any of Komatsu's minis? I would have loved to demo one before we bought our Cat but yet again, Komatsu dealer support sucks out here.

Gravel Rat
11-03-2005, 01:29 PM
Stay away from Komatsu I know a few people with them they are not really a well built machine. The cheap purchase price may look enticing but you are buying a cheap machine.

I have ran 158 Komatsu wasn't impressed I have another contractor friend with a PC-75 he got rid of it. Another local guy has a PC-40 its not that great.

Terratech here in B.C. is the largest Komatsu dealer for the Western Canada market.

Squizzy246B
11-03-2005, 05:05 PM
Stay away from Komatsu I know a few people with them they are not really a well built machine. The cheap purchase price may look enticing but you are buying a cheap machine.

I have ran 158 Komatsu wasn't impressed I have another contractor friend with a PC-75 he got rid of it. Another local guy has a PC-40 its not that great.

Terratech here in B.C. is the largest Komatsu dealer for the Western Canada market.

Down here we call them Komatapillars, for the ability to copy most things Cat, just lesser build quality. Seem OK just not a longer term proposition for an owner operator.

Gravel Rat
11-03-2005, 07:16 PM
Komatsu is really Cats only major competitor in the gravel mining equipment both companies manufacturer large production wheel loaders,bulldozers etc.

Cat does make the best Wheel Loader and Bulldozer on the market one of the local gravel mines tried Komatsu the Loaders and Dozers just didn't last compared to 980 988 Loaders and D8 D9 Dozers.

After working with Komatsu excavators I know I wouldn't buy one the quality really isn't there.

ksss
11-03-2005, 07:46 PM
A landscape friend of mine has had a PC35 on rent all summer. He demoed a Bobcat and hated it but seems to like the Komatsu. I ran it for about a half an hour one day just to check it out. The short time I was on the machine it seemed OK it has a long stick on it. The controls were more jerky than what I would have thought. On the Komatsu bashing. My neighbor bought two PC 225's this year. He really likes the cabs. The controls are more jerky (seems to be a pattern) than his 04 CASE 225 and it is not nearly as stable as the CASE. What sold him over the CASE machines was the cab comfort and the 5000 hour warranty. We don't see a lot of Komatsu equipment around here but until recently we didn't have a dealer that worked our area either. I guess I havn't seen been around enough of them to have much of an opinion. Except to say (as I have before) if Komatsu was as bad as they are made out to be on this forum I don't see how they could be as big as they are (number two world wide I believe). Reference the mining industry comment, Hitachi is very much a player in that market. Hitachi in their pact with Deere has kept the mining segment of their company.

ksss
11-03-2005, 08:08 PM
One other point I wanted to make. I am not saying that Kubota isn't a decent excavator. What I saying is that I wouldn't get "bent over" trying to buy one which is what is happening in this thread. There are some great mini excavators available today. I wouldn't pay full retail for the "opportunity" to own a Kubota. Come to think of it when it comes iron I wouldn't pay full retail for anything. There is no reason to. Now the new Diesel Jetta my wife wants is going for full retail but I still working on that one.

Gravel Rat
11-03-2005, 08:50 PM
Your not the only one that noticed the controls on Komastu excavators are a little clunky. When I was running the 158 I had to concentrate a little more to be smooth. I mostly ran a EX 150 Hitachi it has tons of hours on it the machine was a smoother.

Dirty Water
11-03-2005, 10:52 PM
I operated a Skat Trak mini today (really mini, 8" bucket, probably 1.5-2k gvw).

I think Kubota makes these for Skat Track? It had aweful control. One of the joystick boots was torn and peering inside I discovered that it had 4 switches and as you rocked the stick around it would push them down...Not my idea of precision.

I will say that it had 2200 hrs on it, so it might have had decent control when it was new :)

vntgrcr
11-04-2005, 04:47 PM
I bit the bullet today and ordered the Kubota 161. The Bobcat salesman was in to the last minute, met with him this morning and he actually came down on the price of a 341 to $54,500 before sales tax. But I twisted the # around, Bobcat at 5.9%, Kubota @ 4.9%, the sales tax issue and the payment was a difference of $90/ month. The Bobcat guy really wanted the "market share" with his machine, hence coming down so far. He was a little disappointed, but I had to look at my bottom line. I hope the kubota is as reliable as you guys have said. THis is a huge leap for me to buy a brand new machine, but as they say in the movies, "if you buy(build) it , they will come"! Thanks for everyone's advice and encouragement.
David

Gravel Rat
11-04-2005, 04:56 PM
Thats good to hear I think you will be happy with the Kubota make sure the machine has the hydraulics for a thumb and other attachements like a small breaker and a compactor. You do need the thumb thou its a must for building rock walls or picking stuff up.

Atleast with a new machine you know what you got it will last you quite a few years and if your really the only operator on it the machine won't be abused.

Did you order the machine with a full cab as you can work all year round if you did. Here in rain country where it rains 99.9% of the winter keeping dry is a must.

When you get the machine keep us informed on how you like it :cool:

vntgrcr
11-04-2005, 05:02 PM
[QUOTE=Gravel Rat]Thats good to hear I think you will be happy with the Kubota make sure the machine has the hydraulics for a thumb and other attachements like a small breaker and a compactor. You do need the thumb thou its a must for building rock walls or picking stuff up.

Atleast with a new machine you know what you got it will last you quite a few years and if your really the only operator on it the machine won't be abused.

Did you order the machine with a full cab as you can work all year round if you did. Here in rain country where it rains 99.9% of the winter keeping dry is a must.

When you get the machine keep us informed on how you like it :cool:[/
Gravel Rat, I did get the thumb, angle blade, cab with heat/AC, radio. It will be here Monday around noon. I will take pictures and post them.QUOTE]

Scag48
11-04-2005, 05:35 PM
Congrats on your purchase! Sometimes going new is the best logical route to take, used machines just scare me sometimes. I still think you could have knocked at least another $1K off the final price, he should be able to deal a little better than that, but when it comes around for service he'll remember that you didn't haggle him too much on price.

Squizzy246B
11-04-2005, 05:52 PM
Congratulations on your purchase. Just remember...you where warned about the travel pedals:D Well done, I checked our 161 a few days ago and its got 2800 hrs on it and we have replaced one alternator belt since new. I think we will get another 1500 to 2000 out of the rubber tracks, more if we hadn't let a D**khead drive it on a demo site once:angry: .

Oh I love a new machine:) Don't forget the pattern changer lever:blush:

Gravel Rat
11-04-2005, 06:17 PM
Wow I didn't realize the Kubota's come with a angle blade the 161 I ran had a regular blade. Its nice to have the blade to level the machine it also works as a brake to hold you on the hill.

Like I meantioned many times I'am really not a fan of rubber tracks if I was ordering a 161 it would be running steel tracks as they have more traction and spread the weight of the machine better.

Oh you may want to have a aluminum tool box made something you can put 2-3 lb hammer a decent sized cresent wrench a grease gun a big flat blade screw driver and a 3/8s chain with a grab hook and a slip hook into.

The Kubota lacks a tool box and there isn't enough room in the cab for that stuff.

Tigerotor77W
11-04-2005, 08:06 PM
Hey hey! Congratulations!

nac
11-08-2005, 08:07 PM
I am not crazy about Komatsu either but I have a PC-45 it was the best money ever spent I have 24" bucket 18" bucket had a thumb but tore it off twice just got a Labounty graaple for it and have a 900 Hammer. This machine has not seen an easy life works every day either diging or doing demo. I would not get rid of it for the world

Scag48
11-08-2005, 09:22 PM
had a thumb but tore it off twice May I ask how in god's name you did that?!

Gravel Rat
11-08-2005, 11:10 PM
I heard of people breaking the boom off their excavator never heard of someone breaking the thumb off.

vntgrcr
11-09-2005, 04:30 AM
Well the Kubota showed up and I will be using it all day today. Of course the day it showed up the project manager came out to take a look, asked about why I went with it, he knew it was brand new. Then we went into a meeting about a lot of work he wants done and I gave them a proposal for about $24K and they were a little taken back by the price. So now I am paranoid that they see a brand new machine, a percieved high price and start to assume. Oh well, it is what it is. I am attaching a couple of pictures.

Scag48
11-09-2005, 02:28 PM
Is that the standard stick on that excavator?

nac
11-09-2005, 05:18 PM
I broke the thumb off pulling and loading rock after i split it and hammered it. The second time doing interior demo I have a job i have been on about 4 weeks now tareing down block walls baler unit with a mess of steel

vntgrcr
11-09-2005, 06:53 PM
Is that the standard stick on that excavator?Scag, It is supposed to be the long arm. Doesn't seem as long as the 305 though. The 305 is still on the site so I may try it next to the 161. I was on the new machine for 7hrs today and it is nice, although a little bouncy. I think that is the down side of a long stick on a midsize machine. Long stick but no ass behind it to stop the bouncing. But I do like( I better, because it's to late now!).

Scag48
11-10-2005, 12:01 AM
The reach is nice, we thought about going with a long stick but our dealer talked us out of it. They said that they actually researched it for their rental fleet and found that a standard stick was more versatile, despite the shorter reach.

Gravel Rat
11-10-2005, 08:29 PM
The long stick on the Kubota 161 I worked with was good for digging holes for septic tanks and digging power pole holes. I think you will find the longer reach nicer to have especially placing rocks or if you are working on a steep slope and you can reach up and pull your self back up.

How do you think of the travel pedals ?

Do you find the travel a little touchy ?

I'am used to bigger excavators they crawl allot slower the machine I was on most had bummed track drives so it didn't crawl that easy.

I don't think you will have any problems with the 161 I think it will surprise you what it can do :cool2:

Squizzy246B
11-11-2005, 08:12 AM
I just got out of the 161 cab after 10 hours busting rocks (boondies as we call them) and I can still walk...just. The contractor and I both discussed how the job really required a machine of 3 times the weight..none where available and the 161 will finish the job in about 4 or 5 hours more than a 20 tonne machine....like was said..its amazing what these asian built compact machines will do.

Gravel Rat
11-11-2005, 01:14 PM
What impressed me about Kubota is when I seen a 161 almost upright a tandem axle flatdeck with a very heavy hiab on it the machine just didn't have enough weight. Its the other jobs I seen the 161 do has impressed me.

vntgrcr
11-11-2005, 04:40 PM
I just got out of the 161 cab after 10 hours busting rocks (boondies as we call them) and I can still walk...just. The contractor and I both discussed how the job really required a machine of 3 times the weight..none where available and the 161 will finish the job in about 4 or 5 hours more than a 20 tonne machine....like was said..its amazing what these asian built compact machines will do.
Squizzy,
What size hammer do you use? How are the pins/ joints holding up to all of that pounding? I have always heard that if you had rocks to break, rent a machine. Just curious.
David

Squizzy246B
11-11-2005, 06:30 PM
David, we have a K35 series which is now superseded but you can see the specs on the K30MkII here:

http://www.dmbreaker.com/equipment-rock-breaker.asp

Click on specs, the 35 is just a bit more than the 30.

David, we spend a lot of time looking after our machine. I have seen lots of Takeuchi's that the pins are totally flogged after 12 months on the breaker. The Kubota has logged nearly 600 hours with the breaker and everthing is tight. Either we look after it well or the build quality is good.

Gravel Rat
11-11-2005, 10:09 PM
Grease and more grease will help the pins from being rattled out. If your doing lots of breaking you should grease every 4 hours or so the grease acts like a cushion for the pins.

Squizzy246B
11-12-2005, 01:02 AM
Grease and more grease will help the pins from being rattled out. If your doing lots of breaking you should grease every 4 hours or so the grease acts like a cushion for the pins.

I don't know about 4 hours..we grease on the hour every hour..without fail

A little often is better than lots at longer intervals.

Gravel Rat
11-12-2005, 02:02 AM
Wow thats allot of greasing the excavator boom but grease is cheap compared to re pinning and bushing the boom. A hammer is hard on a machine but its needed if your digging trenches and your encountering big rocks that will take too much digging.