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View Full Version : Driveway Excavation/excavator purchase help.


deerewashed
05-23-2011, 08:46 PM
hey guys my family's landscape design/install business in booming right now and well every now and then we think of buying a mini excavator or backhoe as renting is a b*tch and we think we can money off the machine itself.

Today my dad called for a few estimates from a few different companies to redo our own asphalt driveway. It is a more than 1/4 miles long but now more than 1/2. Well my mom wants to level out the dowhill parking area and make a cortyard level to the driveway by putting a wall in and filling it on with dirt to make it level.

well anyway to do everything my mom wants it will require to rip up the driveway, take out 1 36" tree stump, and 2 18-24" tree stumps, dig a trench for base of cortyard wall, and dig new driveway portion as well as fill in old portion.

Also we need to dig up 1 36" old stump and 1 48" old stump, as well as 6 14" stumps to transplant 4 trees with one of those huge transplant trucks.

right now the price to dig up all this is steep considering we would have a tree guy and a driveway guy remove the stumps and driveway.

I am thinking for this price we can buya nice used 3 to 5 ton mini, do it ourselves and we can use the mini later for our biss so we dont have to rent anymore.

my question is can a 3 ton mini do all this?
can a 5 ton do all this?
would a tlb be better for this?
would a skid be best?

I think a 5 ton is perfect consider thats what we use most but.....?????

sorry for ranting but i couldnt really sum it up!!!

deerewashed
05-23-2011, 08:48 PM
also i just learned it would be for a 15x40 barn tear down and base rip up as well as leveling off.

ksss
05-23-2011, 09:16 PM
I like the 6 ton models the best. I owned a 3.5T prior and the bigger machine more makes up the price difference with its increased capability. It actually isn't even close. You can take on larger jobs, dig deeper, load trucks easier, dig through frost easier etc. They are a little harder to move around. You need larger trucks and trailers to move them around legally. My 3.5t was 5' wide conventional swing my 6t machine is zero swing/zero tail (well nearly) and it takes up 6.6 ft of width. I have owned these machines since 03 and twice I have had to rent a small mini ex. One of those times the 3.5t would not have worked either. They cost about 15k more it seems new.

deerewashed
05-23-2011, 09:33 PM
I know it is the bigger the better but i need something that can do this job but doesnt break the bank if you know what i mean, i am gonna buy used no doubt and want to know if a 3.5 ton can break an asphalt driveway.

I really just need a nice machine no less than 3 ton for under 20,000. is it possible?
Is 3000 hours a lot?

tuney443
05-24-2011, 12:16 AM
Deerewashed--I'm an excavator in biz for 37 years now.Small mini's have their place but for your stated job description I wouldn't even bother having one on site.You need 2 rigs here--the first is a decent sized excavator something in the 9-12 ton class with nothing smaller than a 3' wide bucket--ideally a 4' bucket with a hydraulic thumb would be best.Have a narrower 2' bucket for those huge stumps that need pulling.Ripping up asphalt can be a PITA if you don't have the right tools to be productive.You have some serious yardage there so you would want at least 2 decent sized dump trucks for hauling.If there's no or limited room to access from either side of the driveway,the job will take much longer.Coordination is key either way.The second rig is a dozer,nothing smaller than a 550-650 Deere for cleaning up residual asphalt[if any],pushing off base,grading sub base,putting back base or adding to it.It's definitely NOT a job for a novice,especially with your size job so only you can judge if you're up to it.It will take some SERIOUS time to do this right,that is a given.

deerewashed
05-24-2011, 07:45 AM
Oh wow. Didnt think it would need to be that large. We were just going to try and save a couple grand on the actual asphalt rip up part of the job, didnt think it would require such large tools. Thank You!

cat320
05-24-2011, 08:33 AM
I just took out a 36 " stump with my 580L and it just barly did it . bobcat's E35 is a nice size machine that can to alot of the smaller stuff but when it comes to pulling big stumps and barn ripdowns you would want / need a bigger machine i guess in this case a one size fit's all will not work but you could get the smaller machine to do the driveway rip up and do the smaller stuff and just rent the bigger for the day or 2 that you need to pull stumps and the bran tear down.

ksss
05-24-2011, 09:37 AM
There are many ways to skin this project. If your asphalt is a couple inches thick a 3t machine will work. If its a roadway with 80 years worth of overlay then no it wont. I have pulled stumps as large as 13' across with my TK and my 465 (using both to load the stump on to a 24K trailer. Yes my 160 would have been better but there was no access so you use what you got. I have tore 2 story buildings down with a my TK as well. I see nothing in what you wrote that could not be done with either a 3t or a 6t machine. Granted it wont be fast and depending on the type of barn, as mentioned may not be the project for a rookie but it can done. Your trying to maximize your ROI I do the same thing. When your working on your own project productivity is not the driver. Granted when working for someone else it certainly is. I suggested a 6t because it offers the most versatility from smaller jobs to bigger jobs. Used they will cost a little more but you can do more with them and projects like this will be handled a lot easier with the bigger machine.

Its like the guy from the UK who posts on here says. "Whats big can do a little and a lot but whats a small can only do a little" or something like that.

deerewashed
05-24-2011, 04:01 PM
Yea it is 2 inches or less of 15 to 17 year old asphalt, i think it will all just crumble with just the first large crack. I am really interested in th bobcat e50 and the john deere 50d. but they both cost in the upwards of 40k lol. barn is one story and i can put a hole through the wall with a light tap of a hammer to show how weak it is.

ksss
05-24-2011, 04:43 PM
If your looking used avoid the bobcat mini ex. I think the E series might be better but they will come at new price. Other than that no one really makes a bad machine. Find one that is in good shape at a good price and thats the one to buy. Build your market with that machine and when you have a solid niche built and you can afford it then trade that off for a new machine or a newer used machine that you really want. By then you will know what features you want and need. Easier to make an educated decision that way.

deerewashed
05-24-2011, 07:31 PM
So is it possible to find a nice used machine for under 20,000? Is there above a certain number of hours i should avoid?

tmf lawn care
05-24-2011, 08:10 PM
good luck with that deerewashin ones i have see. are in the mid 30k that on the low ends for a 6 ton class ex.

deerewashed
05-24-2011, 08:36 PM
i am going 3 to 5 ton
much easier to find a 5 ton imo
just is it not smart to go above 3000 hours

stuvecorp
05-24-2011, 08:42 PM
I would say a 5-6 ton machine, the less hours the better. Check MachineryTrader or Craigslist.

I do a lot of things with a skid and mini the 'regular' excavators do with bigger stuff. I'd tackle your project with a skid(Case 440S3-very excellent) and a TK 153(also super awesome).

deerewashed
05-24-2011, 08:54 PM
i am really just after trying to break even or close to even with what i have at my house so i can start making money with it asap.

ksss
05-24-2011, 09:13 PM
I would agree that over 3k is a lot on a mini ex, However I have seen some beat to hell at 800 hours so condition trumps hours everytime. To get one cheap you will want to watch Iron Planet and RB sales as well as Craigs list and the usually places. You can find a 5-6 tonner for low to mid twenties. Likely wont have a cab but you never know. Just have to be in the right spot at the right time with cash in hand ready to buy.

deerewashed
05-24-2011, 09:17 PM
Dont want/need a cab, i like the outdoors along with the fact i get the best visibility possible!!!!!

talus
05-24-2011, 09:50 PM
Petrowsy is having an auction in Frankin,Ct at the end of June. Once you norrow down your search to a few models try doing an auction for them. They have a big auction in Feb down in Orlando,Fl. Maybe the same time as Feb vacation for you? I think you could find a nice machine for under the $20k.

deerewashed
05-24-2011, 09:55 PM
Thanks talus! So what are the best used machine brands? Bobcats are the easiest to find but what whould you guys say are the best?

talus
05-24-2011, 10:06 PM
Kubota,Takeuchi,Deere and IHI seem to have good reputations. Never owned an excavator but it's on my list :laugh:

deerewashed
05-24-2011, 10:09 PM
well the two deer 50c's from petrowsky have caught my eye, the 2010 cat 305 will cost a ton most likely!

talus
05-24-2011, 10:18 PM
Try Alex Lyon + son auctioneers. Albany,NY in two weeks. Didn't see any mini though.

tuney443
05-24-2011, 10:26 PM
Yea it is 2 inches or less of 15 to 17 year old asphalt, i think it will all just crumble with just the first large crack. I am really interested in th bobcat e50 and the john deere 50d. but they both cost in the upwards of 40k lol. barn is one story and i can put a hole through the wall with a light tap of a hammer to show how weak it is.

On a small road like yours,it's most likely 2'' of binder and at least 1'' of top and it being only 15-17 years old,it will not crumble like you think.It will take a little effort to break it up into manageable sized pieces.Excavating 101,rule one---handle material only once whenever possible--meaning,like I said before--get a decent sized excavator,break up the asphalt and then load over the tailgates of your dump trucks.Keep working backwards till done.All this talk of these minis doing this is like sweeping that road of yours with a toothbrush,yeah it might get done,but how much time can you afford to spend on this when you can't get to your money making jobs??????

93turbo
05-24-2011, 10:27 PM
I picked up my my bobcat 334 02 with 1100 hours cab for 15k

deerewashed
05-24-2011, 10:30 PM
WHERE!!!!^^^^^^^

Also the driveway is allready warped crumbled badly in spots and my john deere gator take large chucks out while plowing. it is not strong, i measured it, 2 inches.

deerewashed
05-24-2011, 10:31 PM
i have been looking at 334's 2000 hours no cab 19k

tuney443
05-24-2011, 10:32 PM
Yea it is 2 inches or less of 15 to 17 year old asphalt, i think it will all just crumble with just the first large crack. I am really interested in th bobcat e50 and the john deere 50d. but they both cost in the upwards of 40k lol. barn is one story and i can put a hole through the wall with a light tap of a hammer to show how weak it is.

On a small road like yours,it's most likely 2'' of binder and at least 1'' of top and it being only 15-17 years old,it will not crumble like you think.It will take a little effort to break it up into manageable sized pieces.Excavating 101,rule one---handle material only once whenever possible--meaning,like I said before--get a decent sized excavator,break up the asphalt and then load over the tailgates of your dump trucks.Keep working backwards till done.All this talk of these minis doing this is like sweeping that road of yours with a toothbrush,yeah it might get done,but how much time can you afford to spend on this when you can't get to your money making jobs??????

deerewashed
05-24-2011, 10:39 PM
i understand
but if i buy it after june i have a month of maybe 1 or 2 installs, so i do have time. i can make the time it wont take more than my family's average install which is 5 days or so.

tuney443
05-24-2011, 10:57 PM
Accidentally ran the post again--sorry. Good luck.

deerewashed
05-24-2011, 11:03 PM
Thank you, i am really hopeful it will all work out, an excavator will save us time and money, as well as make us some!

TomG
05-24-2011, 11:14 PM
Go for a 5T machine. A 3.5T will have trouble with those stumps. I own a Bobcat E50 and I love it. I also do landscape/construction so it would be a good size for your work after you complete this project. It will rip up asphalt no problem and you can even load it in a tri-axle with this machine. Here is a video of me ripping out a driveway.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lr-uhv7cBrc Also I have taken out a 32" stump with the machine no problem so you shouldn't have any trouble with ones a little larger. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MjOUietdYHg

Is a 5 T the bast machine for this particular project? No, but you need to think about how you will use the machine after this project. if you can't buy new I understand, but I would still look for a 5T machine.

deerewashed
05-25-2011, 06:57 AM
Thanks tomg Yea i am really trying to find a 5 ton machine as it is the perfect size for my jobs after. Thanks for the imput ands your videos are great!!!

cat320
05-25-2011, 08:03 AM
Just woundering do you have the equipment to pull a 5t machine ? with bigger machines comes more problems you will probably be at your limit on a 550 dump or require you to have a cdl to tow it? that E50 is nice .

cat320
05-25-2011, 08:24 AM
Here is a stump i just pulled a couple weeks ago i haven't messured it but it had to be all of 36" plus my 580 barly got it out of the ground.

blowerman
05-25-2011, 11:25 AM
While you might have all the time in the world to play around and tear out your own driveway, the wear on a small machine isn't worth it... Even if you want to work for free, the machine isn't!
The urge to use my equipment for fun on a weekend is rare, I know what it costs to run my Cat D5g and practice is not a reason for wasting hours on it!

deerewashed
05-25-2011, 01:16 PM
We are in the midst of purchasing a dump that requires a cdl, so that is fine/taken care of.

Now i just have to wait and find the right 5 ton machine.......for the right price.

ksss
05-25-2011, 04:42 PM
Dont want/need a cab, i like the outdoors along with the fact i get the best visibility possible!!!!!


The good new is as you get older you likely will get smarter. Bad news is ..........there will be a few hard lessons along the way. This is one of them.

cat320
05-25-2011, 04:55 PM
I think now if i had to be in the machine all day it would have heat a/c and a radio.

deerewashed
05-25-2011, 05:13 PM
ill have the heat option this summer, the a/c option in fall winter, and my radio is the hum of the engine!

YellowDogSVC
05-25-2011, 05:38 PM
ill have the heat option this summer, the a/c option in fall winter, and my radio is the hum of the engine!

I remember them good ole' days.. then I got caught in some cold rains, found trees full of bees, a skunk under a brush pile.. mornings where the temp was below freezing at 11 am, ants, spiders that bite, did I mention bees? And the black stuff I coughed up on the dirty jobs.. that sold me on enclosed cab machines in 2000 and I haven't gone back.. Everything I have but the chipper is cab and air and I don't regret it even if I sometimes feel like I work in a cubicle.

ksss
05-25-2011, 06:16 PM
I remember them good ole' days.. then I got caught in some cold rains, found trees full of bees, a skunk under a brush pile.. mornings where the temp was below freezing at 11 am, ants, spiders that bite, did I mention bees? And the black stuff I coughed up on the dirty jobs.. that sold me on enclosed cab machines in 2000 and I haven't gone back.. Everything I have but the chipper is cab and air and I don't regret it even if I sometimes feel like I work in a cubicle.

I had numerous "it must be done now regardless of the weather" so it was miserable but you get it done. However the "come to Jesus" moment was working on a ski hill in minus 43 degrees. That was it. I traded it as soon as I got off the hill (with frost bite).

Junior M
05-25-2011, 10:08 PM
I had numerous "it must be done now regardless of the weather" so it was miserable but you get it done. However the "come to Jesus" moment was working on a ski hill in minus 43 degrees. That was it. I traded it as soon as I got off the hill (with frost bite).
I'd stay home if it ever got below zero, just sayin... :cry:

YellowDogSVC
05-26-2011, 03:09 PM
I had to do a demolition in teen weather with 40 mph winds and ice everywhere. Thank God I had the enclosed cab on mini ex or I would have not been able to work. That cab, though I was still cold, kept me working for almost a week when the temps didn't get above freezing. That's cold for S. TX!

deerewashed
05-26-2011, 04:46 PM
anyone know what the price for a base e50 is?

Is there anything cheaper than an e50?

deerewashed
05-26-2011, 05:24 PM
i like this.......
http://www.machinerytrader.com/listingsdetail/detail.aspx?OHID=7621043&

Like this a lot....i really like the bobcat brand equipment, the 334/5 and the 337 are what i am trying to find a good one of....
http://www.machinerytrader.com/listingsdetail/detail.aspx?OHID=7691395&

Why does this seem good to be true?

http://www.machinerytrader.com/listingsdetail/detail.aspx?OHID=7803943&

Another good machine.....small and the cabs are tight but not bad....
http://www.machinerytrader.com/listingsdetail/detail.aspx?OHID=7656671&

deerewashed
05-26-2011, 05:25 PM
wait.....now this is perfect!!!!
http://www.machinerytrader.com/listingsdetail/detail.aspx?OHID=7656671&

deerewashed
05-26-2011, 05:26 PM
finding all these great 3 ton/3.5 ton machines!!!!! wish they would work!!!!
http://www.machinerytrader.com/listingsdetail/detail.aspx?OHID=7231451&

deerewashed
05-26-2011, 05:34 PM
ihi deff. has the best prices!!! anyone on here use them?

deerewashed
05-26-2011, 05:38 PM
the second u35 is a double post....this is what i wanted to post!!!!
http://www.machinerytrader.com/listingsdetail/detail.aspx?OHID=7774779&

deerewashed
05-27-2011, 09:05 PM
what doe you guys think, bobcat 337 vs kubota kx161

ksss
05-27-2011, 09:27 PM
ihi deff. has the best prices!!! anyone on here use them?

I had an IHI. Its a good excavator

deerewashed
05-31-2011, 05:57 PM
hey guys what do you think of the 334? seems like an unreal price for 1800 hours.


http://cgi.ebay.com/2004-Bobcat-334G-Mini-Excavator-/150609772571?pt=Skid_Steel_Loaders&hash=item23110ac01b#ht_500wt_951

Bleed Green
05-31-2011, 06:30 PM
hey guys what do you think of the 334? seems like an unreal price for 1800 hours.


http://cgi.ebay.com/2004-Bobcat-334G-Mini-Excavator-/150609772571?pt=Skid_Steel_Loaders&hash=item23110ac01b#ht_500wt_951

Looks like its been a rental unit, I would wanna make sure that its not all beat to he!!.

deerewashed
05-31-2011, 08:19 PM
Thanks, i was thinking the same thing, the price is right though......

4 seasons lawn&land
05-31-2011, 09:23 PM
ya, anything under 20,000 is good on paper. I would deffinatly look before bid though.

deerewashed
05-31-2011, 11:31 PM
yea its hard to find something local that isnt really nice at a really high price....or beat to hell!

icex
06-01-2011, 12:05 AM
yea its hard to find something local that isnt really nice at a really high price....or beat to hell!

1800 hours on a mini is alot of hours to be on a mini, especialy when your buying used, plus its a sunbelt, which means you dont know whos had it and what kind of abuse its been through. id skip that.


speaking of which, i see good deals on used cat 305's, cab, ac, heat, thumb, ect 1000 hours for low $30ks.. id do more looking.

machinefinder.com
catused.com