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bobw
04-26-2007, 05:10 PM
I'm trying to decide on a new machine for plowing with. I have a 100sx which I will keep for small yards and tight areas.

In looking over my booked jobs for the year, it looks like 80% of the installation revenue comes from spaces large enough to use a larger machine in. Most of that work is from a couple of very large sites where the 100sx just isn't going to be able to handle. The pulls get too long, the ground too rough, etc.

So... anyone tried both approaches? I'm looking at either a 255sx or a SK350 mini skid as potential machines. I haven't gotten pricing yet on the sk350 (or more importantly..the plow attachment) Looking at the brochures, the mini skid is small enough that it should be able to fit in my existing trailer (8 x 16 enclosed) without causing me too much stress. I don't think I can get the 255sx on the trailer in a position to keep the weight over the wheels without doing some major rework of the build out or buying a flat deck to pull it on.

Both machines weigh about the same. I like the thought that the skid could be a multi-purpose tool, although I have no plans at present that would require it. I suspect that the 255 might plow better just because it is a dedicated plow.

Thoughts?

Mike Leary
04-26-2007, 05:49 PM
Since the forum (especially dirtwater) is considering changing the Lawn
Genie beer name to Buckner beer...that means brass kegs..buy the heavier
trailer to tow the kegs.

bobw
04-26-2007, 07:20 PM
just got a call back from my local Ditch Witch dude... The miniskid setup would be almost 10% LESS money than the 255. The whole shaker assembly and blade are identical.

Dirty Water
04-26-2007, 07:56 PM
Get it, you can get a trench cover up and trencher for it as well, plus a general purpose bucket.

bicmudpuppy
04-26-2007, 08:50 PM
Isn't the 350 the smaller platform from DW? I got a brochure the other day with the 650 on it. I would consider the heavier platform. The biggest limitation of any plow is traction/weight. The plow for the mini-skid on the (I think I got the number right here) 75x mini-excavator platform will out pull the 410, but it won't make the same turns etc.

bobw
04-26-2007, 08:59 PM
The 350 is a very small machine. It's weight is almost identical to a 255sx. I don't want to get too large a machine (i.e. 410 class) due to space constraints in getting around to sites as well as maneuverability on job sites.

A 650 is almost 2 feet longer and 1000 lbs heavier than a 350. 350 has 20hp Kohler gas engine, 650 = 31.5 hp Kubota diesel.

The soil conditions up here are such that if you try to pull much more than 1" pipe, you are better off to use a mini hoe to trench and drop PVC instead. Trenchers of any reasonable size are pretty ineffective in the rock and clay mix we have.

bicmudpuppy
04-26-2007, 09:18 PM
anything a mini-excavtor can dig, the 650 with the hoe attachment can probably dig as well. I have seen the 500sx demo'd with many of its attachments, and rented the 500 with plow for several jobs in the past. I was told at the time that the skids DW had smaller than the 500 were somewhat undersized for the plow.

bicmudpuppy
04-26-2007, 09:26 PM
Ok, 350 is the new and improved model that is much bigger than the 300. The 300, I was told, would not run the plow. The specs on the 350 look good with the little knowledge I have. I would imagine that the diesel would be a drawback up in the great white north as well.

Down here, diesel means off road fuel and major savings. Off road diesel chops about 40 cents a gallon off the price :) The govt. doesn't need that tax money anyway

bobw
04-26-2007, 09:33 PM
Ok, 350 is the new and improved model that is much bigger than the 300. The 300, I was told, would not run the plow. The specs on the 350 look good with the little knowledge I have. I would imagine that the diesel would be a drawback up in the great white north as well.

Down here, diesel means off road fuel and major savings. Off road diesel chops about 40 cents a gallon off the price :) The govt. doesn't need that tax money anyway

LOL.. yep the 350 has twice the hydraulic capacity of the 300, is the same size and has 20 hp instead of 13. I believe that they are phasing the 300 out.

Diesel here is pretty common for a lot of things... just have to have glow plugs installed for cold weather starting. Of course... if its that cold, I'm not irrigating anyway. We don't get any deals on fuel taxes for diesel... we pay way too much for all fuels... reg. unleaded is about $3.60 US/US gal right now....

bicmudpuppy
04-27-2007, 09:27 PM
LOL.. yep the 350 has twice the hydraulic capacity of the 300, is the same size and has 20 hp instead of 13. I believe that they are phasing the 300 out.

Diesel here is pretty common for a lot of things... just have to have glow plugs installed for cold weather starting. Of course... if its that cold, I'm not irrigating anyway. We don't get any deals on fuel taxes for diesel... we pay way too much for all fuels... reg. unleaded is about $3.60 US/US gal right now....

I signed for $2.88/gal unleaded the other day (150 gal). Off-road diesel was $2.48 (topped off a 250 gallon tank, only about 70gal). Both of these are up about 20 cents from 3 weeks ago.

brianmoore2005
04-29-2007, 02:50 PM
I have a SK350 and it runs my Toro plow with no problems.

bobw
04-29-2007, 03:57 PM
brian - how is the sk350 on slopes? Do you do them going uphill or downhill while pulling? I've haven't figured out what the heavy end of this setup would be....

Lawnworks
04-29-2007, 05:27 PM
I really think I would want more hp. I would get the 650... I have a dingo 425 and sometimes wish I had more power when trenching. I have a plow for mine... but I haven't even touched it this year. I need to learn how to use the thing!

LCPullman
04-29-2007, 08:07 PM
I've used the Toro TX425 with the plow attachment and I now run a Case Maxi-Sneaker.

Based on my experience with the two I would say that the dedicated wheel units will work better in certain circumstances. I always had alot of trouble making any serious kind of turn (while plowing) with the Toro. The tread on the outer side would always want to spin and I just couldn't make much of a turn while plowing. The Case however takes the turns almost as if I was still going straight. You can turn it as sharp as it will go with no traction issues.
That may just be me and the area I'm in, but that is what I ran into. The Case seems alot easier to use, with much less traction issues.
Also, I can plow up some pretty serious hills with the Case if its not wet. The Toro had traction trouble plowing up relatively minor inclines.
The Toro worked super if you avoided plowing much uphill and avoided making much of a turn. The Case just works alot better. BTW I work in clay soil, which is pretty hard at times.

Lawnworks
04-29-2007, 09:20 PM
Having not used my plow, how hard is it to pull a pipe then put a elbow in and plow another line off the elbow?

Back on subject, I think the real advantage to a mini skid is for us landscapers. It is my do it all machine. If I was doing strictly irrigation, I would probably want a faster machine. To me it seems like a bigger dedicated machine would cut the trenching time down by 50%.

Also on the cover-ups... how do they work on existing grass? I have rented one when we did an acre lot... and it saved some serious time... but it was not on existing grass... and the part that was sodded it scraped the grass a bit... maybe we didn't have enough experience w/ it though.

bicmudpuppy
04-29-2007, 09:53 PM
brian - how is the sk350 on slopes? Do you do them going uphill or downhill while pulling? I've haven't figured out what the heavy end of this setup would be....

Haven't seen a 350, plowed with a sk500 and loved it. I have also used the DW plow on a dingo platform. The DW plow ran circles around the toro attachment. I am on the other side of the tracks argument. I liked the tracks. I like the 650 vs the 500 from a spec standpoint because its heavier. The limiting factor for a mini w/ plow or even a 255 is traction. Even when using a large machine like a 410 or maxi, that sudden set of ruts you get when you hit something hard and everything comes to a stop? With tracks, you skin some grass, but it comes back. You don't dig a hole and kill the turf. A 410 still is a much better machine, but it has a price tag and size to go with it.

LCPullman
04-29-2007, 11:05 PM
Having not used my plow, how hard is it to pull a pipe then put a elbow in and plow another line off the elbow?

If you are putting an elbow in you just bring up the ends of the pipe with the plow where you want to put the elbow, then dig a hole by hand, put the pipe together and bury it. Poly is a little easier than PVC, but an elbow is easy either way. A tee is a little harder, especially with PVC, but its really no problem.

Toro Dingo
05-02-2007, 03:38 PM
FYI...

Toro's trench filler has large adjustable skids to skim across the grass. Also the skids are adjustable to allow fluffing of turf while filling trench.


Here is the link:http://www.toro.com/professional/sws/loaderattach/trencher/22472.html

Regarding a compact utility loader/mini skid versus dedicated vibe plow. If all you are going to do is pull pipe the dedicated plow will do it better is some circumstances. However if you plan on doing anything else like moving material, trenching, back filling, using the auger for valve box installs, the compact loader is a better option...

bobw
05-08-2007, 12:51 AM
I finally managed to get the time and weather to demo the SK350 and plow attachment.

First of all, this thing can plow. Fast, not too bad at bucking, fast and did, I mention, fast! Based on how much pipe I pulled with it, I'm figuring that this is 8-10 times faster with 1" pipe than pulling with a 100sx.

The downsides to this is that there is definitely an art in getting the blade depth and angle just right and keeping it that way. Over rough surfaces (where we demo'd was far rougher than the average yard), you have to keep adjusting the depth and angle. Also, just finding the depth that you want is tough because you can't really see the blade from the operators position.

There are, for me, some tricks to learn in just keeping this thing moving smoothly, I find I overcompensate on all the actions.

I'm not thrilled at the price tag on this thing, but it is still a bit cheaper than a 255sx, and offers a lot more potential functionality than a dedicated plow. I'm trying to imagine myself in a situation where I'm going to be standing on the mini-skid wishing I had a dedicated plow... I just can't picture that happening.

So, I told my Ditch Witch rep to write it up and I'll drop by next week when I have some time to do the paperwork...

LCPullman
05-08-2007, 12:59 AM
Sounds great. Good luck with your new machine. And enjoy it.

PurpHaze
05-08-2007, 07:38 AM
You did the right thing by taking a demo cruise. What's good for one is not necessarily good for another. You get practical insight into an expensive piece of equipment before actually committing yourself to it and having to live with the costs.

Pro-Scapes
05-08-2007, 09:38 AM
we just used a 350 on a job with a irrigation contractor. He got the bore attachment and the trencher and bucket for about 20k I think he said. Awsome machine Seemed quick and even with a damp lawn from the rain the tear up was minimal with the tracks.

Can slip right thru alot of gates as well. I couldnt imagine doing irrigation with out one. Seemed smaller than a dingo and about 6k less if im not mistaken.