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View Full Version : which is the best mini excavator?


kreft
11-16-2007, 10:36 PM
In the future I plan on getting out of landscaping and go into site work full time. I was wondering which is the best excavator is. The size would be around a JD 50D, a Cat 305, or any other machine in that weight class. I plan on using it for puting in pipes and drains, demoing, slopes and whatever else comes in my path.

So my question is which machine has the best bang for its buck.


All input is welcome, and I always enjoy looking at pictures too.

Thanks in advance

JB1
11-16-2007, 10:40 PM
there is no such thing as the best, buy one then that one will be your best.

bobcat_ron
11-16-2007, 10:48 PM
Deere has a very small length cab, I know this as a fact as my Dad owns a Hitachi 27 and I hate that cab, good width, but no leg room, CAT and Komatsu have LOTS AND LOTS more room, and their seats are seroiusly butt worthy.
Bobcat is good too, but cheap quality.

Fordsuvparts
11-16-2007, 10:56 PM
Do Not buy a Bobcat Mini Ex!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! There are valving problems that will screw you 7 days after the warranty is up. They are weak compared to just about everything else out there.

Scag48
11-16-2007, 11:44 PM
These threads are worthless. Sorry, but this has been hashed out over 100 times and if you buy a machine just because some else says it's the best, you might as well give up in the business before you get started.

coopers
11-17-2007, 01:23 AM
Scag is right, do a search on this topic and look it up. Our answers are always the same.

Blake
WA

qps
11-17-2007, 07:52 AM
These threads are worthless. Sorry, but this has been hashed out over 100 times and if you buy a machine just because some else says it's the best, you might as well give up in the business before you get started.


Thank you for saying it......:)

Digdeep
11-17-2007, 12:00 PM
I would just demo the models and brands that meet the requirements for the types of jobs you plan to do with the machine, weights, digging depths, crowd forces, tail swing, etc. Make sure to have the demos from local dealers that have a reputation for good product support (look around at their shop, ask about what kind of parts inventory they carry, do they have many of the models that you plan on trying in inventory), and see if you can get some customer references. Good luck.

AWJ Services
11-17-2007, 01:04 PM
There is a ton of information on these excavators for sure.
Takeuchi,Kubota,Komatsu,JD,Cat,Volvo,Gehl all seem too be well liked.

The TB145 at 10k pounds is the strongest machine at 10K pounds.
Most machines that are in it's class are around 12k pounds.

I have demoed a bunch in this class.

They all have there positives and negatives.
All the Utility companies here use Kubota,Takeuchi,Cat in that order popularity.

All the 5/6 ton machines will set you back 50k to 75k new depending on options.

The 3.5/4 ton class is way cheaper and depending on soil conditions may be a better choice.

I rent a Komatsu PC35 with the extended boom and it works well here in all but the dryest(Hard clay) conditions.

Dirty Water
11-17-2007, 03:07 PM
Whatever you do, remember that there is no work in BC, Canada, and houses are expensive...


Wait....Gravel Rat hasn't posted in this thread yet? Consider this preemptive.

RockSet N' Grade
11-17-2007, 03:27 PM
I was kinda waiting on GR.......yet, since DirtyWater took the leap.......here's a bit of advise that is worth exactly what you are paying for it......Scag hit the nail on the head and this thread will probably be short lived. The best excavator is the one that is paid for , is in good condition, is out in the field working, and gets good service. There is no end-all-cure-all.......

bobcat_ron
11-17-2007, 03:28 PM
Trust me there is work here in BC, what other influences are there contributing to the rise of the Canadian Dollar compared to the US Peso?

Business is booming here.

Digdeep
11-17-2007, 06:11 PM
Trust me there is work here in BC, what other influences are there contributing to the rise of the Canadian Dollar compared to the US Peso? Business is booming here.

I remember traveling to Canada while I was in college because it was inexpensive and the beer was good. Canadian beer is still good, but it is no longer inexpensive to travel up there. I'm glad that the Looney is strong because it helps U.S. Exports and equipment becomes cheaper. I used to get calls from candians asking for machine quotes and now it may be the opposite if the dollar keeps dropping.

bobcat_ron
11-17-2007, 06:25 PM
Yup, and it's completely the opposite here now. But American beer tastes like pee.

turfquip
11-17-2007, 07:02 PM
But American beer tastes like pee.

yeah now here's where I have to object. If we are talking about the best known American beers then yes, I agree. But there are tons of microbrew possibilities throughout the states as I'm sure there are there. How about Sam Adams? Harpoon, etc., etc....

RipT
11-17-2007, 07:08 PM
Unfortunately, lots (make that most) prices in Canada are as if the Loonie was still around $.78 to the US dollar! !

Canadians can now take their Loonies south of the border and get some great deals, but seldom get that break buying "local". Many car/truck/equipment dealers (actually mostly the manufactures) along the border states are putting the kibosh on that to "protect" their Canadian distributors/dealers. Mostly applies to new things that have to be "registered or licensed", so still good deals on used or parts.

Scag48
11-17-2007, 07:42 PM
When we were selling our 312, we had 2 guys from BC call. One guy wanted us to rent it to him for an extended period of time. Uh yeah, no. But the other guy was legit, we just eneded up selling it before he could make it down to the states to look at it.

ksss
11-17-2007, 08:27 PM
The TK excavator is a nice running excavator. Pound for pound it is hard to beat them. The Side to Side boom is so dam cool I don't think I can buy anything else. I would certainly look at one.

IHI which is not as well known as the others makes a great excavator. The support from Compact Excavator Sales in Ky is top notch.

CASE/Kobelco/NH these are made by Kobelco are nice running machines, very comfortable and the control system is very smooth. They don't spec. like a TK or IHI but depending on what your doing they are powerful enough for most tasks.

DEERE/Hitachi they spec. much like the Kobelco machine, good aux. flow, and its a Hitachi, good stuff.

Bobcat I would pass, they have nice cabs, lots of eye candy, but I think their hyd. systems are weak, very little oil in reserve, plastic tanks don't dissipate heat well.

CAT they tend to spec. well, newer machines are more comfortable than the older ones, house swing is weak I think, if you shop you can get a deal on rental return machines.

These are some of the machines that I have experienced. Good luck

bobcat_ron
11-17-2007, 08:41 PM
My top pick would be Takeuchi followed by CAT, Deere would be over the Bobcat.

Gravel Rat
11-18-2007, 03:02 AM
The economy is booming in Vancouver/Lowermainland and a few parts of the Okanagan but otherwise the economy is loosing steam. Lots of places on Vancouver Island is slow and parts of the coast where I'am is slow. Realestate market has dropped out not many people can afford 1 million dollar houses. Once the Forestry towns start really hurting you watch the B.C. economy fall fast. Forestry still supplies B.C. with 60% of its revenue from logging and mills.

Back to the question Komatsu really seems to be taking over the excavator market. Every where you turn there is a brandnew Komatsu excavator. The PC-78 seems to be a popular choice for the guy in the mini excavator business. Its big enough to do the larger job and small enough to get into places a 16-20 ton can't.

I'am not a big fan of Komatsu but right now its seems like Conneco (Terratech) in B.C. is offering better service and selling machines at a better price.

I think if you really want to get into the excavation business your going to need two machines. A 18,000lb machine would do all the utility work, driveway installations, landclearing and demolition. A 12,000lb machine can do the utility work doing any kind of landclearing would take too long. I wouldn't even try doing demo work with a 12,000lb machine. Doing site prep with a 12,000lb machine would take too long.

My first choice for a 12,000lb machine would be Kubota the 161 is a decent machine. Second would be Komatsu the dealer support is good and the prices are decent. A PC58MR is a 11,000lb machine.

kreft
11-18-2007, 06:34 PM
Alright now were talkin, so how about kubota excavators?

bobcat_ron
11-18-2007, 06:35 PM
Junk, too light and thin looking to me.

kreft
11-18-2007, 07:30 PM
alright, so how about New Holland excavators?

ksss
11-18-2007, 07:38 PM
As mentioned they are made by Kobelco (assuming you are refering to a newer model). Very solid excavators.

AWJ Services
11-18-2007, 09:30 PM
Kubota and Takeuchi have the best specs on the market and are competivley priced.
The new Cats look good on paper and you have the name behind you.

All the rest are good machines but lack the power of these three on paper.

I have demoed the Takeuchi TB145 and there is no comparisson between it and any other machine in its class other than the TB153.
It is a beast.
It will compete with many older 7 to 9 ton machines power wise.

AWJ Services
11-18-2007, 09:49 PM
Double post

Canon Landscaping
11-18-2007, 09:58 PM
I have been shopping for an excavator 10-12000lb class for about a year and I have rented them all for weeks. I like Volvo and Takeuchi the best the rest seem to perform about the same but the Volvo and Takeuchi take it to the next level.

kreft
11-19-2007, 12:01 PM
Alright, I think i'll go and rent a volvo, New Holland, and Cat, in the next few months.

Thanks for the help.

coopers
11-20-2007, 11:49 PM
Junk, too light and thin looking to me.

Not so much....powerful machine and never break down. Run them often.

Blake
WA

coopers
11-20-2007, 11:50 PM
alright, so how about New Holland excavators?

Like someone else said, you can't base your decisions off of the forum. Take the opinions with you and try ALL machines, not just one or two because someone says something about them. Yes I always vote for Kubota, but it may not be for you so go try one, you might like it or you might not. But don't just write off a machine because one person says so. Cat sucks btw.

Blake
WA

bobcat_ron
11-21-2007, 10:29 AM
Not so much....powerful machine and never break down. Run them often.

Blake
WA


Yup, run them often..........right into the ground, they don't hold up here so well in the world of "nuts behind the butts".

coopers
11-21-2007, 09:53 PM
Yup, run them often..........right into the ground, they don't hold up here so well in the world of "nuts behind the butts".

Bobcat, sorry, I meant I run them often sorry. I am surprised though that you have such problems with kubotas. I have had no problems with them. Oh well. :)

Blake
WA

Fieldman12
11-21-2007, 10:09 PM
If i had money to burn Duramax !! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F2n4cb1Di0I

dozerman21
11-22-2007, 08:20 AM
If i had money to burn Duramax !! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F2n4cb1Di0I

??? There you go, drinkin' and typin' again!:laugh: Happy Turkey Day!

Fieldman12
11-22-2007, 10:57 AM
I get carried away sometimes. :)