View Full Version : backhoe???

05-07-2006, 08:16 PM
what do u guys think about the NorthStar Trencherman Backhoe??


4500 seems like a lot and seems like i can pick up something used and a little bit built better??and opions...for small patios and walls it will be used for

05-07-2006, 08:57 PM
Well better than digging by hand probably. I would rather have a skid steer attachment back hoe than that and thats saying something. If you don't have a skid steer I would just rent a mini ex. when you needed to dig out patios or footings. 4400 dollars would buy a lot of rental time and you can rent exactly what you need. Granted you would not own anything for your rental expense but I don't think that is worth owning IMHO.

Gravel Rat
05-08-2006, 12:23 AM
That thing is more of a joke than anything else. I agree with Ksss your better off renting a mini or spending the money on buying a decent used mini.

05-08-2006, 03:04 AM
I'd stick with renting. Save yourself the $4500 and just bill your rentals to your customer. Until you have at least $15K to spend on a used piece, I'd stick with renting.

05-08-2006, 09:22 AM
i agree with the others. it says it has 4400 lbs. of digging force, but a machine that light i would think would get drug all over theplace while digging. also it seems ot be backwards. the tow bar seems like it would get in the of working.
good luck

05-09-2006, 03:59 AM
I wouldnt use that for anything more than a kids toy.

05-12-2006, 01:51 AM
im guessing its a different brand, but the gas company in chicago has lots of machines like this. they use the snot out of them.

03-28-2007, 08:53 AM
Buying 6.5 acreas horse pasture/woodlot and 1.5 acres of a 10 acrea lake.
The lake is about 40 years old and has filled in a lot.
Just wondering if the little back hoe would be worth investing in for general maintaince and projects.....thinking along the lines of building a small pontoon to set the back hoe on for digging out some of the lake.
I have a 28 hp kubota that I could put a hoe on, but thought the trenchman would be more versitile, and easier to float.
Has anyone got any suggestions.

03-28-2007, 09:56 AM
That Trencherman might work O.K. for small things, like digging a sump line, but I would put the cost of it towards something else. I assume that the pull bar detaches? Otherwise, tnmtm is right, I think it would be in your way.

I would either add the backhoe attachment to your Kubota, or try to find a good deal on a used mini-X, that you could sell after you were finished with it, for close to what you paid for it. If you have a wooded lot, you'll run into a lot of roots that you'll need a machine with a little bit of a$$ on it. I think that Trencherman would bounce around and not be able to pull nearly as good. If you're really serious about the Trencherman, check out some rental yards in your area to see if anyone carries anything similar. If you find one, rent it for a day and see how it does.

03-28-2007, 10:10 AM
Thanks for the reply dozerman21
It looks like the stab. does slide back into the frame, which would allow for a smaller pontoon possibly.
I'm looking up phone numbers now to see if I can rent.
Will let you know If I get to try it out.

03-28-2007, 10:37 AM
I guess it is your tractor,but building a pontoon and floating out into the pond is not a good idea.Plus how you going to anchor the pontoon when your digging and keeping it from tipping.

Where are you going to put the silt? in the pontoon with you?????? Sounds real interesting to me.I'm sure the rental company will like copsized pontoon and backhoe under water.Forget the pontoon idea.

If you want to clean your pond use the backhoe to cut a hole in the dam and drain it, let it dry and then try to clean it.Your talking major project here.

Just in case you do try this? PLease do send pictures!!!!!!!!!:drinkup: Good luck.

08-18-2014, 01:24 PM
The Northstar Trencherman by Northern Tool is a GREAT asset to me. It is lightweight and easily towable, very manueverable, and really does have the digging force they claim. Often I will tow it where I need it and just use in place still hotched to the truck, but even though it is small, unhitched it still has tremendous digging force because it has two front legs that are as strong as the earth you are digging. I have dug through compacted NJ clay soil, even with tree roots and rocks, (small ones) and have yet to find earth this thing won't rip into. I can lay footings and pour foundations with trenches dug with this, and even removed a couple of medium tree roots with the force of this tool.


I checked out a couple other brands of similar design and they can not mach the strength and durability of this Northern Tool brand backhoe. You'll get a couple of decades of work out of this machine. Not like that cheap foreign crap.

For leveling ground yeah the bucket is too small, you need an excavator, but for digging trenches, foundation work, footings, the trencherman saves me a lot of time and money because it won't disturb the ground the way bigger machines do, (customers like that) and I can squeeze it into places no full-sized machine can go, so I don't have to do it by hand.

Maybe if you are out in the country this is not a problem, but working on tight urban and suburban lots, the fact that it is so narrow and doesn't rip up peoples landscaping except where I intend to, makes the Northstar Trencherman one of my most-used tools for digging anything other than a full basement.

NOW, that being said...it is a crazy idea to try to dig earth from below the water from a small pontoon floating above it. You will have no counterforce other than the surface of the water. Sounds "fishy" to me, and NO MACHINE deserves to die a watery death like that!

I want to see the video of any attempt if you do try it.

But for regular digging, this tool is one pf the best investments I ever made. It is a B%+€h to assemble, but that is because all the parts are so heavy-duty. you only have to do it once, thank goodness!

Oh, and don't forget to put in the stabilizing pin when you tow it, and to take it out before you use it. My solid steel pin got some serious bent in it when I forgot to take it out one time. How's that for digging strength?