View Full Version : Problems with DitchWitch XT850

O'Dell Equipment Rental
04-05-2006, 02:55 PM
First off, I have enjoyed reading post here for the last 4mths or so. Lot's of good information.

I bought a brand new Ditch Witch XT850 a mth and a 1/2 ago. It has blown 4 hoses ( inside machine between skid plates, not snagged outside) , broken the hyd. pump belt, and today has something wrong in the pump it's self.

The Ditch Witch Dealer has been running the road picking the machine up to fix it. When the machine runs it is an awesome little machine. I would like to know if any of you own one and have had similiar problems. The machine currently has 70 hrs had 2 when it was delivered. Did I just get a lemon.
All other Ditch Witch equipment I have had is great.

Dirty Water
04-05-2006, 09:08 PM
Welcome to the site.

I think your the first person here who has bought a XT850, though there has been some discussion of them.

As with all first year equipment, there can be some quirks, but your problems seem like it was built on a monday.

DW takes pretty good care of its customers (We have a handfull of trenchers and plows by them). I'd see if you can get a replacement machine.

O'Dell Equipment Rental
04-06-2006, 02:47 PM
Actually, it was done on a Friday. They did a "retrofit" on the hyd's before they delivered it to me. The salesman and the service dept. have always been great to work with, but I am seriously looking at asking for a new machine. Once the bugs get worked out of it, I will really recommend it. Everyone that has rented it from me loved it, till it broke. The 4 times I rented it and it didn't break the people had no complaints.

Since I am a rental store, I would appreciate any feedback, you guys can give me on dealing with Rental Stores and how they exsperience could be made better.

04-06-2006, 09:00 PM
i have no experience with this machine. but blowing 4 new hoses and breaking a belt, i'd look at hydraulic pressure. something must be set too high, or causing it to spike. ditch witch values their customers, im sure they'll take care of you.

Dirty Water
04-06-2006, 09:54 PM
Since I am a rental store, I would appreciate any feedback, you guys can give me on dealing with Rental Stores and how they exsperience could be made better.

Here is a beef I have with a local rental company. I've rented a Case CX31 excavator a handfull of times, and each time only paid $160 a day.

Last time I rented it I got a bill for $220. They raised the price to $200 a day and charged me for a tank of diesal.

I don't mind paying more, but always inform your customers of price changes...its a little frusterating when you see the bill.

08-11-2008, 11:12 AM
I bought a XT-850 from the dealer in June of 2006. They had been using it as a demo, and had about 500 hours on it. It didn't take long before it began blowing hydraulic hoses. Most of 2007 it was used around here for running a wood splitter and some small bubbler jobs. We had to change the front idler roller on both tracks. We had a lot of jobs lined up for it in 2008 though. In Jan. of 2008, it developed an oil leak I could not find. The Ditch Witch mechanic came out and diagnosed it as one of the lines that goes through the machine, so took it to repair it. After I got it back, it worked fine until it warmed up, then it would barely turn left. Back to the shop, where it took months to diagnose it as a faulty hydraulic pump. $6,842.00 to repair. 540 hours on the machine. First job after it came back it blew another hose. At 581 hours, the left track drive motor sheared the key and the drive motor and sprocket had to be replaced. $3,767.00. Less than 1 hour of use after being returned, it broke a track in half. We replaced them both. $3,800 (including $1,200 in shipping). And now, 23 hours of use later (25 days) it has again sheared the left drive motor/sprocket key and destroyed both.I have also had to rebuild the front bucket quick attachment plate because the welds were cracking and the half rings that act as stops for the bucket were cracked almost completely off. WHEN it runs, it works great, but the down time and repair cost are horrendous. I would have been far better off to buy a used mini-hoe and skid steer. In fact, I sold a skid steer to buy this machine, and that is exactly what the contractor I sold it to did, and he has had no down time. I have been in contact with the salesman, and written a letter to Ditch Witch requesting they buy back this machine. Sadly, their quality, or design, or both leaves MUCH to be desired.

08-11-2008, 02:32 PM
I bought a SK650 a few months ago. I think it is a really great little machine. I only have 120 hours on it, but no problems so far. I do hear about fragile mini skid undercarriges, so I tend to turn carefully. I think the 850 is a modified 650. I also looked at buying one, and I still might buy the big brother, the XT1600. They seem to be a really good idea. But I talked to several owners while I was doing my research, and 2 of them told me that Ditch Witch replaced all the hydraulic lines with 5000psi hose after they had trouble with blowing hoses. They must really run high pressure. I hope mine is trouble free, because its getting lots of hours on it, and now replaces my rubber tire hoe for a lot of work. I can go to a job with my pickup and little trailer and burn 35 dollars in fuel instead of going with the big Louisville and lowbed and burning 150 in fuel. Of course I charge the samepayup

09-04-2008, 07:30 PM
The saga continues: The factory did replace the drive motor and the sprocket at their cost, The mechanic showed up the first time with just the new motor, and was going to use the old sprocket ( now let me see-the key shears off, the motor spins the broken key inside the sprocket, but we are going to use the old sprocket???). The dealer then hand delivered a sprocket.
Over 2 weeks down time. 12 hours of use later, the drain plug pops out of the fuel tank and stripes the threads on the tank in the process. They fixed that. 21 hours after that, the tank is again leaking, this time from the fittings that connect the fuel lines by the top of the tank.
The company's response to my request for doing something to get me into a new machine (I did not expect an even trade): they will take it back, give it a through visual inspection, and extend the warranty for a year. Not even close as far as I'm concerned. I am trading it in to Bobcat for a new 425ZTS excavator and a used MT50 walk behind track loader. I'm taking a heck of a loss, but I'll have confidence that I can actually get a job done without a breakdown. Ditch Witch- NEVER again!

09-04-2008, 08:06 PM
and hear i want to buy a xt850 hmmmmmmmm

09-04-2008, 10:11 PM
Tried for weeks to get a demo on an XT1600-their response? Sorry we do not rent those and have none to demo. My response-Hmmm, so how am I to decide if I like one? Them-Well we offer a longterm demo policy. Me-how long? Them-4 months minimum.

The 4 months minimum was going to be, get this-$13,000 for the rental and not all of that would apply as a downpayment. Uhhhh, no thanks.

Several months passed, I needed a rental on a vibratory plow to finish a job, (42,000 feet of drip tube) since my plow attachment was being delivered late.
They rent me an ancient 3700 that blew the hydraulic pump at pickup-they needed two more days to fix it. The tires were flat too at first pickup.

Pick up machine and tow to jobsite-60 miles one way. Start machine up, back it down ramps and it dies. They did not fill it up with diesel, it was nearly empty. I've never off-loaded a rental with an empty tank until this one. Fill with diesel. Start plowing, get about 800' in and the machine is literally vibrating itself to pieces. The ported head off the engine for hydraulic flow suddenly has a serious drip-almost like a bad faucet. ITs vibrating soo bad that you nearly cannot ride it. Mercifully the machine gets mired in a swampy pit. Get truck, pull it out, day is over.

Next day, it will not start w/o a jump. Plow about 1000' and its dead. Managed to get it back to life and on trailer. Tow it back to Ditch Witch. Relay story of past 1.5 day.

Ditch Witch charge for a total of 3 hours metered use and all the hassle and aggravation of them renting me an 6 year old POS? $987.00 plus tax. It came to over $1100 including our diesel fuel for 3 hours run time. Thats over $333.00 an hour operating cost.:dizzy:

Ditch Witch? Never, Never, Never, Ever again. People I know and trust tell me that DW parts cost more, machines cost more, the attitude is worst, and the machines are less reliable than others.

I'm really quite glad they could not find a way to demo me a 1600.

09-05-2008, 12:58 AM
Maybe give the Vermeer dealer a call- ask for a LM 25 if your drops are not greater than 18"- this is a bullet proof machine, kudos to Vermeer! If you are going greater than 18" (and I doubt you are with drip), ask for a LM 42. Vermeer has it all over DW. Good luck

09-05-2008, 06:09 AM
We've used the Vermeer machine, Case and the successor Astec machine before. I now have a vibe plow attachment for my skid steer. We plow a lot of drip tube and it gets tiring (and slow) to walk along with something like an LM42.

09-06-2008, 02:36 PM
we split a demo with the sk500 with the local rental company.

They have had a lot of trouble with theirs...

we have many more hours on our dingo ( they were bought at the same time) and have had much less problems

smart water
09-09-2008, 12:51 PM
My XT850 has almost 1000hrs on it and has never been back to the dealer, other than for the 500hrs service. I love the thing and two other guys have got them because seeing mine work. I'm looking at getting a SK350 very soon for the small jobs.

arbor pro
10-03-2011, 11:05 AM
I have a 2008 sk650 with 400 hrs on the meter and no problems. been a great machine so far and way more power than any other mini skid out there from what I've discerned. Been thinking about getting an 850 just to try it out but now I'm nervous. If it's built like the 650, I wouldn't worry so much but it sounds like the 850 has more issues.

10-03-2011, 08:35 PM
This thread is like 3 years old they likely have the kinks worked out by now.

10-03-2011, 10:13 PM
My SK 650 just rolled over 1200. Second set of tracks, about 4 sets of front idler bearings (the only weakness) rebearinged all the rollers last winter and replaced the drive gears. Thats all the wear items. The only repairs have been two ignition switches (the rain and mud kills them) one blown hose (pulled an auxilary quick coupler off without shutting off the flow and it didn't bypass quick enough) One hose wore through from rubbing and the fuel filter bracket cracked. I moved it anyway to where we could reach it.

Still the best equipment investment I have ever made except perhaps for my Hino box van that I traded for some computer CAD work and is even more reliable.

11-30-2011, 11:18 AM
i have sk650 that throws tracks like crazy. The tension is correct 9 5/8" I have replaced 3 tracks already. They crack and the fibers brake under the rubber. I have like 200 hrs on machine cant figure it out. Usually working on soil. Any thoughts anyone? Is a great machine with alot of balls

Turkstra Electric
03-25-2014, 02:18 PM
Have you had any problems with the xt850? I am going to purchase one with 700hrs on it and very curious what you think of yours. These machines are very hard to find.

04-03-2014, 06:43 AM
I had a 2008 XT850 (two actually). I would definitely not recommend buying one. DW was excellent in their customer service (factory level), but the local dealer rep left a lot to be desired. The service department was great. The first 12 months, the unit was in the shop for all but 3-6 weeks. I lucked out and got a survey from someone at the factory and after about 2 months of communicating with him, he made arrangements to get me a new unit. The 2nd one only had minor issues and we sold it in 2010.

04-04-2014, 08:11 AM
Im a rental company out of NJ, i have had nothing but problems with the ditch witch walk behinds. They are junk and require significant maintenance all the time. I don't like ditch witch's service department and how they act like they are doing you favor by helping you out. Their parts are insanely expensive. The price of these walk behinds are insane you can buy a brand new skid steer for how much these things cost. Just my two cents, also if any of you have questions about any compact equipment you can pm and ill be happy to give you any info.

08-10-2015, 10:16 AM
Bringing this post back from the dead. Just purchased a 2006 XT850 with 1000 hours on it. Cannot find any other support or user forums on the net. I've got some questions on it's performance and wanted to get some advice before taking it to the dealer.
Tested the machine on flat ground and everything seemed fine. Got the machine delivered to my house in Virginia. First time taking it up a hill, it bogs down to a crawl and engine rpm drops to where I think it's about to choke out. I could walk faster up the hill, backwards. Is this normal?

When going up a slight incline, one of the tracks starting spinning on a root and some mud. The other track did nothing. So I'm stuck on a hill with one track spinning in mud, the other track on solid ground not moving. I this normal for a tracked vehicle?

While using the back-hoe, when I push the stick forward to move the dipper out, it will sometimes start to push out, then judder, and move back, then out again, then back. All while I am pushing forward. Seems like a valve issue or a controller issue. Everything else responds correctly, so I hope it's not a pump issue.

08-19-2015, 05:17 AM
try a filter their are two pumps one for drive one for hoe /loader