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View Full Version : Woo Hoo-Decision Making Time!


jefftb
07-16-2008, 09:26 PM
Trying to decide between a Kubota KX121-3 with Angle Blade and Steel Track, Thumb, Mechanical Coupler, Cab & Air and Takeuchi TB138FR as above minus angle blade.

Tak dealer says he's pretty sure they can exchange rubber track for steel on the 138. Waiting on response.

Both are near same machine with slight tradeoffs between each. Komatsu had been in the race but lags both of the above in several areas-its also 10% cheaper though.

Kubota needs more HP and weight to beat the Tak as well. I think the Kubota will drink more fuel but the Tak will use less and provide 98% performance level of the Kubota. Tak dealer says he firmly believes his machine will be more durable over the longterm and that his side shift boom is better than the Kubota standard setup. Tak also weighs less.

I like both machines (my guys do too) and cannot determine if the slight increased performance metrics of the Kubota outweigh its higher capital cost and expected higher fuel driven operating cost. Angle blade with float is quite nice BTW.

(Yeah we demoed/priced several machines, from CAT to JCB to Gehl along with the others)

ksss
07-16-2008, 09:45 PM
Trying to decide between a Kubota KX121-3 with Angle Blade and Steel Track, Thumb, Mechanical Coupler, Cab & Air and Takeuchi TB138FR as above minus angle blade.

Tak dealer says he's pretty sure they can exchange rubber track for steel on the 138. Waiting on response.

Both are near same machine with slight tradeoffs between each. Komatsu had been in the race but lags both of the above in several areas-its also 10% cheaper though.

Kubota needs more HP and weight to beat the Tak as well. I think the Kubota will drink more fuel but the Tak will use less and provide 98% performance level of the Kubota. Tak dealer says he firmly believes his machine will be more durable over the longterm and that his side shift boom is better than the Kubota standard setup. Tak also weighs less.

I like both machines (my guys do too) and cannot determine if the slight increased performance metrics of the Kubota outweigh its higher capital cost and expected higher fuel driven operating cost. Angle blade with float is quite nice BTW.

(Yeah we demoed/priced several machines, from CAT to JCB to Gehl along with the others)


Once you run the side to side boom for a while you will throw rocks at the swing boom configuration. I thought it was neat when I demoed the TB53FR but after a couple months you could not give me a swing boom for half the money. That alone is worth the TK purchase to me. I have never run a Kubota so I don't personally know how they run, you don't hear much negative press about them if that is worth anything.

RockSet N' Grade
07-16-2008, 10:33 PM
What is the service like for each of those brands?

Scag48
07-16-2008, 11:46 PM
You can't really go wrong with either machine. At this point, dealer support, specific machine features, and price should be considered, in that order IMO.

SiteSolutions
07-16-2008, 11:56 PM
In my limited experience, the Kubota is more finesse, the Tak seems to have a little more grunt. I just rented a 121-3 with Angle blade today, and it is pretty handy. Used the bucket to cut a ditch, and then I bladed it off and it was nice to be able to roll the spoils to one side as I was blading.

I haven't tried a 138; I enjoyed running the TB135 on several occasions.

AWJ Services
07-17-2008, 12:33 AM
If you are doing alot of trenching the angle blade is irreplaceable.
I find my self saying this too often.LOL

jefftb
07-17-2008, 08:51 AM
Kubota service seems to be fair while I would say the Tak service would be better. Kubota seems to either miss the service aspect with their dealers or their machines do not need it-but we all know everything needs service sooner or later.

Kubota CE dealers are generally just the AG dealers that decided to take on the CE side, as such they seem to mis-understand that service is important. Their facilities just do not seem to be oriented to that.

The Tak dealer is also a Kobelco Dealer, New Holland CE/AG Dealer, and other AG product lines. He's also been the most persistent.

Gravel Rat
07-17-2008, 01:54 PM
Go with the Takeuchi I have ran Kubota 161 for one of the contractors I worked for. After seeing a Takeuchi dig I was suprised how well it did.

Dealer attitude is a big thing, if the Kubota dealer is only a farm tractor dealer what do they know about excavators ?

Do they have a service man trained with excavators ?

RockSet N' Grade
07-17-2008, 08:19 PM
OK Jeff........that is the same situation here. Questions that I would ask are this: If my machine breaks down will you give me a rental until it is fixed? If my machine breaks down on the job do you have a mobil mechanic to come fix it or can you come haul it off same day to repair? The answer to those should be thrown into the salad......If your area is anything like ours, I already know the answer and that would sway my vote on machines.....

jefftb
07-19-2008, 12:20 AM
Had my mind set on the Takeuchi TB138FR as long as steel tracks could be put on it. Kubota was next and then the Komatsu on the performance metrics.

Dealer says no go on steel track for Tak unit. This makes me pause as I was looking at the Komatsu rental we've had (going on four friggin mos. non stop!) anyway, the Komatsu has roadliners which are repairable individual pads. We work in rough track conditions (wooded areas with stumps and lots of rock areas during our work) that would really wear down rubber track or cut it. Roadliners or steel track would greatly reduce the operating cost of the machine over rubber track.

The Komatsu machine is a good machine but falls short on bucket force and tractive force, it is in the ballpark on reach, depth(s) and is higher for lifting capability and aux flow. Furthermore, the Komatsu machines are backed by hands down the better dealer of the three. I can get machines from large to small in excavators, wheel loaders, dozers, etc. from them and they have several full service truck setups with no less than four locations in my state. Very responsive at any time.

At the end of the thought process I cannot pull the trigger on the Kubota. It took four calls to three different dealers to finally find one that could even quote me on the excavators even with two of the four claiming to be "excavator" dealers. The one that would/could quote me (knows his machines and the competition, is also a Gehl dealer) is 1.45 hrs away from me.
I just do not feel good about their capability to assist me should I need it. Needless to say the Kubota experience has been less than positive.

minimax
07-19-2008, 01:43 AM
I would not buy roadliners,the pads cost about 85 dollars each.I bought my 35 deere with steel tracks and bought rubber pads for mclaren the pads were 14 dollars each just some thing to look at.


minimax

Gravel Rat
07-19-2008, 02:27 AM
Nothing wrong with Komatsu they are just a little cheaply constructed but otherwise they are okay. If you are working in rougher conditions then you need steel tracks.

ksss
07-19-2008, 02:43 PM
Why are you sweating the rubber tracks? If you have seen my picks it would be hard to find a more difficult environment for tracks than here. We also use our mini ex for a lot of concrete tear out (2 large school dist. and numerous contractors) and I don't have an issue. The ability to travel over all types of ground conditions more than makes up for the earlier replacement costs. ,My last TB53 had 1500 hours on it and the tracks likely would have made it to 2K but even if they were replaced at 1500, they are not that expensive, I bought a set for another contractor on the net and they were 1300 each with delivery. Not a big deal. Unless your in an environment so not friendly to rubber that steel is the only option, I would not be overly worried about wear. I don't find it a problem.

jefftb
07-27-2008, 09:34 PM
The votes are in on the demos. We're sticking with the Komatsu and the PC35 MR. The Takeuchi was stronger on bucket digging but weaker on bringing the bucket back.

The Komatsu (with roadliners) felt more stable on slopes than the Tak. We did not demo a Kubota (dealer service/support weakness) nor the Cat (significantly more money than anything else!) Deere dealer never called me back and the Case was a decent machine but was not superior in any area.

The Komatsu had more reach, more aux flow, more lifting capability, and the best of all the demos in the area of dealer support. The Tak really lacked in the dealer support area. My dealer would have been 30 miles south of my office which would have put it 100 miles from most of my work.

Now to try and get financing-once that's done its on to trying to find a CTL. I really like the Tak but that dealer support.... The first machine in the CTL I like is the Case (I do not like Komatsu's offerings in this machine category) then the Deere. Cat/ASV is not in the running. That leaves but few others.

I'm pretty sure what KSSS will say:rolleyes::laugh:

bobcat_ron
07-27-2008, 10:06 PM
Komatsu likes to put long sticks on their mini's, they always have 6" or more reach in some comparisions I've done.

AWJ Services
07-27-2008, 10:28 PM
The Komatsu PC-35 is a good machine.
I spent several thousand dollars in rental on one over the past 2 years.
It is a good machine with awesome controls.

The more I run my Kubota the more I like it.
It is very tippy but the cycle times are so much faster than any other machine I have ever run that I have come too accept that as a minor inconvenience.I think The Kubota would have been comparable too the Komatsu.

Good luck and lets see some picks.

jefftb
08-08-2008, 10:10 PM
Well, things have been seriously busy the past 1.5 weeks. (Side note,Sorry Gravel Rat, yep still busy with more work than we can complete through the end of the year. But then it might be better or worse next year):rolleyes:

Signed the papers on the Komatsu PC35MR-3 with cab/air, hydraulic thumb, mechanical coupler, and roadliners.

It should be delivered mid next week. Now to just make that decision on the track loader versus skid steer with track over wheel option......:confused:

On a serious sidenote, I'm working on a design build sewer infrastructure project. We have to install about 400 feet of 2" PVC at 48" depth on a section of force main. Of this 400' about 1/3 of it is in a steep grade. I'm talking 2:1 slope here:dizzy:. We can use the typical digger/hold setup with an excavator being held back/in place by a dozer on stable slope via a really large wire cable but I was wondering about any other concepts some of you here have run.

bobcat_ron
08-08-2008, 11:35 PM
On a serious sidenote, I'm working on a design build sewer infrastructure project. We have to install about 400 feet of 2" PVC at 48" depth on a section of force main. Of this 400' about 1/3 of it is in a steep grade. I'm talking 2:1 slope here:dizzy:. We can use the typical digger/hold setup with an excavator being held back/in place by a dozer on stable slope via a really large wire cable but I was wondering about any other concepts some of you here have run.

Spyder Hoe!!!

Junior M
08-08-2008, 11:44 PM
put your blade down hill and put the blade down until you level out and then when you dig as much as you can from where you are setting twist around and take you pass to make a level area for the uphill track to set on. does that make sense?

bobcat_ron
08-08-2008, 11:47 PM
put your blade down hill and put the blade down until you level out and then when you dig as much as you can from where you are setting twist around and take you pass to make a level area for the uphill track to set on. does that make sense?

That works only on grades less than 3:1, doing that on a 2:1 is risky and stupid, you will never sit level enough even with the blade holding you up, and you will lose valuable reach. Look at my video of the 303.5 coming out of the hole, that's a 2:1+ slope!

Junior M
08-09-2008, 12:20 AM
That works only on grades less than 3:1, doing that on a 2:1 is risky and stupid, you will never sit level enough even with the blade holding you up, and you will lose valuable reach. Look at my video of the 303.5 coming out of the hole, that's a 2:1+ slope!
oooooo i have a hard time picturing them with out drawing them out on a piece of paper. ok well how do you recommend doing it then? and how do you lose reach?

bobcat_ron
08-09-2008, 10:28 AM
and how do you lose reach?

The deeper you dig, the less reach you have, so the higher you sit (going up a slope and using the blade to level your machine off for example) the less reach you have.

Junior M
08-09-2008, 11:02 AM
The deeper you dig, the less reach you have, so the higher you sit (going up a slope and using the blade to level your machine off for example) the less reach you have.
oh yeah. never thought of that. but he is only goin two foot deep so if he was on a hill suitable to do it with the blade it could be done. but what other way is there? and like you said the hill is to steep to do it the way i suggested.

jefftb
08-09-2008, 11:28 AM
oh yeah. never thought of that. but he is only goin two foot deep so if he was on a hill suitable to do it with the blade it could be done. but what other way is there? and like you said the hill is to steep to do it the way i suggested.

Not exactly, I actually typed 48" depth. This section has to be deeper than 24" in accordance with the power company requirements for being in/along their easement for high towers.

bobcat_ron
08-09-2008, 12:04 PM
I'm surprised Brian Hay hasn't chimed in here yet, I know his machine would be perfect for 2:1 slopes and still have plenty of reach.

Junior M
08-09-2008, 05:17 PM
Not exactly, I actually typed 48" depth. This section has to be deeper than 24" in accordance with the power company requirements for being in/along their easement for high towers.
sorry i was thinking 48 inches and typing two feet......

jefftb
08-28-2008, 10:24 PM
The pieces/parts have finally been assembled and the PC35MR-3 has been delivered yesterday and added to the fleet. It took sometime for Werk Brau to deliver the mechanical coupler.

Machine was delivered with Komatsu Komtrax Satellite Monitoring System, Cab/AC/Heat, Roadliners, Hydraulic Thumb, and Mechanical Coupler.

Crap, I have not even seen the thing yet-I've taken the time in the last few rain filled days to finish up estimates and contract modifications for customers. Lots of things to do between now and December 20th.

I probably won't see it until mid next week.

I'll try and get some pictures of new machine p*rn for you equipment junkies next week when they go over Komtrax with me. I really hope it will be a good security tool for that machine.

Junior M
08-28-2008, 10:32 PM
sounds great cant wait to see some pics!!

you might have said it earlier in this post but what exactly do you do? and how does the zero tail swing feel? is it real lite on the a$$ end?

Scag48
08-28-2008, 10:38 PM
You guys complaining about ZTS machines being light in the ass are hilarious. They machines are so small it makes almost no difference when it comes to the bouncing effect.

I'd like to know how that little PC35 performs. I've seen more and more Komatsu minis around here these days, typically I see a lot of Kubota and Deere, few Cats, but Komatsu seems to be stepping things up.

Junior M
08-28-2008, 10:42 PM
I was just wondering!! I have never ran one, my dad has one at work he runs and he says it is light but i would like some more opinions!!

bobcat_ron
08-28-2008, 10:42 PM
Don't ask me why, but Komatsu has longer sticks on their mini's, they are always 6-8" longer.

jefftb
08-28-2008, 10:43 PM
sounds great cant wait to see some pics!!

you might have said it earlier in this post but what exactly do you do? and how does the zero tail swing feel? is it real lite on the a$$ end?

Long answer for you....Probably some of what your Dad used to do. We're heavy in decentralized sewer projects with lots of subsurface wastewater irrigation tube behind it. We also install a lot of your conventional underground utility items, i.e. water pipe, wastewater (pressure or gravity) and underground electrical.

We also provide design-build services on utility infrastructure. Have soil scientists and engineers under contract to deliver these services.

At the end of the day anything underground utility that goes in and a very strong share of the decentralized sewer business-we can do it, permit it, and build it. We are not an excavating company at the end of day. No offense to those that are-there is a real need for that service level and it can really make money to the ones that are efficient.

jefftb
08-28-2008, 10:46 PM
Sorry to those CAT owners but the lightest machine we ran in the A$$ end was for this category was a CAT machine.

The CAT machine had better breakout force on paper when compared to everything else but kept lifting the rear of the machine when getting into it.

Junior M
08-28-2008, 10:48 PM
Long answer for you....Probably some of what your Dad used to do. We're heavy in decentralized sewer projects with lots of subsurface wastewater irrigation tube behind it. We also install a lot of your conventional underground utility items, i.e. water pipe, wastewater (pressure or gravity) and underground electrical.

We also provide design-build services on utility infrastructure. Have soil scientists and engineers under contract to deliver these services.

At the end of the day anything underground utility that goes in and a very strong share of the decentralized sewer business-we can do it, permit it, and build it. We are not an excavating company at the end of day. No offense to those that are-there is a real need for that service level and it can really make money to the ones that are efficient.
yeah thats just about exactly what he did. it seems you do alot of ditch digging so why did you need the roadliners?


seriously about the cat on the light on the a$$ end part? you must not have ran boobcrap zts!! it sucks something horrible!! you know its bad when a loyal bobcat fan is dissing his own brand...

jefftb
08-28-2008, 10:53 PM
You guys complaining about ZTS machines being light in the ass are hilarious. They machines are so small it makes almost no difference when it comes to the bouncing effect.

I'd like to know how that little PC35 performs. I've seen more and more Komatsu minis around here these days, typically I see a lot of Kubota and Deere, few Cats, but Komatsu seems to be stepping things up.

Scag,

We have long term experience with the PC35-we had one on rental for 7 months out of the last 18 months. We've had that much need for a smaller machine lately. The PC35 is a well balanced machine.

jefftb
08-28-2008, 10:57 PM
yeah thats just about exactly what he did. it seems you do alot of ditch digging so why did you need the roadliners?

We spend quite a bit of time in the woods where rubber track would tear. Experience shows it happening on other rental machines.

Roadliners also provide a lower overall cost of ownership-replace the pads that are damaged and nothing more on a roadliner pad. They are also quite durable. The PC78 has them and they have worn really well.

Junior M
08-28-2008, 10:59 PM
oh, that makes sense.. especially when one rips or cuts like you said...

minimax
08-28-2008, 11:48 PM
Here are some pics of a deere ZTS 35d with heavy things on the end of the machine.The mower is 950 lbs.The concrete blocks are 2000 lbs.
This mini is very stable.No bucking like the bobcats in general tail or ZHS.
I'm sitting on top of a 8 foot wall and picking the blocks from the bottom of the 8 foot wall,do that with a bobcat you will be at the bottom of the 8 foot wall:laugh::laugh:.
118451

118452
minimax

Junior M
08-29-2008, 08:03 AM
I am not sure where everyone gets that conventional swing bobcats are tippy.. I have never had one tip on me. well i take that back i did with that three foot bucket and full bucket of sand but that was only for a second..

bobcat_ron
08-29-2008, 10:38 AM
Your 35D is the same platform as my 27D, just more counter weight, wider stance, longer tracks and bigger boom with matching hydraulic pumps.

Junior M
08-29-2008, 06:29 PM
is that the smallest mini deere makes? they are starting to become really common along with tak in my area...

bobcat_ron
08-29-2008, 06:58 PM
The 17ZTS is the smallest that Hitachi makes.

ksss
08-29-2008, 08:58 PM
I have been renting a CASE 17B from a homeowner building a multi million dollar home down the road from the one I am working on. I like that little machine. It even has a thumb on it. After the home homeowner gets done with it I am going to try and buy it. Sure would work great for digging plumbing inside new buildings. Good power and balance, just needs a bigger bucket. Never saw the need for one but after running one I can see it now. Homeowner also bought a 440CT all this to do his own landscaping. I am sure he will keep that to push snow but who knows.

stuvecorp
08-29-2008, 10:20 PM
I have been renting a CASE 17B from a homeowner building a multi million dollar home down the road from the one I am working on. I like that little machine. It even has a thumb on it. After the home homeowner gets done with it I am going to try and buy it. Sure would work great for digging plumbing inside new buildings. Good power and balance, just needs a bigger bucket. Never saw the need for one but after running one I can see it now. Homeowner also bought a 440CT all this to do his own landscaping. I am sure he will keep that to push snow but who knows.

Is that machine the same as a Gatekeeper Kobelco? We dug in some window wells and loved that like thing, it really could dig.

ksss
08-30-2008, 01:09 AM
Is that machine the same as a Gatekeeper Kobelco? We dug in some window wells and loved that like thing, it really could dig.Yea


Yea its the same machine. You can expand the tracks. I was really impressed with its digging power. It handled digging in rock hard material very well. Like I said It just needs a bigger bucket. It certainly could handle it. The guy will have no use for it after he is done puttering around his over the top yard. I am hope that he would kick out cheap.

Junior M
08-30-2008, 01:13 AM
can we see some pics? jeez you know if you mention a piece of iron you got rented or you like you got to post some pics!! haha