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View Full Version : What machine do I need for some concrete flatwork?


fool32696
11-16-2012, 04:57 PM
My company specializes in decorative concrete and we do a lot of jobs in the 300-800 sq ft range. I own a John Deere 270 skid loader that I mainly use to maintain some land of mine. I've used it for clearing, grading, and mowing. For most of my jobs it's not worth hooking up my 25' gooseneck, hauling an 8xxx lb machine, tearing up/rutting lawn, and cutting a 6' swath for a 3-4' sidewalk. In addition, a lot of the jobs that I encounter have gates.

Yesterday I was setting the grade on a 500 sf patio and realized that we'd be moving 15+ yds of soil by hand as opposed to the 7 or 8 that I had guestimated during the proposal. Had a good workout yesterday to say the least. It did get me thinking that a small skid may be the way to go. A 1999 Bobcat 453 with 1600 hrs popped up on CL near me for under 5k that got me thinking it would be the way to go. I already have a heavy built 12' trailer that I could upgrade to a 5000lb axle and pull it with either my 3500 box truck or Econoline van. That way I wouldn't have to have my F350 making an unnecessary trip to a small job.

I'm against an RC30 just based on what I've read about purchasing cost, undercarriage costs and reliability. I'm open to a stand on mini but am opposed to a walk behind just due to speed, productivity, and safety. I like to pay for things in cash and am much more comfortable not owning brand new equipment. I know there is the "perfect machine" for the job that costs $25k, but I'd like to have the machine pay for itself in a few jobs and not over the course of 10yrs. What do you guys think?

ksss
11-16-2012, 08:34 PM
My company specializes in decorative concrete and we do a lot of jobs in the 300-800 sq ft range. I own a John Deere 270 skid loader that I mainly use to maintain some land of mine. I've used it for clearing, grading, and mowing. For most of my jobs it's not worth hooking up my 25' gooseneck, hauling an 8xxx lb machine, tearing up/rutting lawn, and cutting a 6' swath for a 3-4' sidewalk. In addition, a lot of the jobs that I encounter have gates.

Yesterday I was setting the grade on a 500 sf patio and realized that we'd be moving 15+ yds of soil by hand as opposed to the 7 or 8 that I had guestimated during the proposal. Had a good workout yesterday to say the least. It did get me thinking that a small skid may be the way to go. A 1999 Bobcat 453 with 1600 hrs popped up on CL near me for under 5k that got me thinking it would be the way to go. I already have a heavy built 12' trailer that I could upgrade to a 5000lb axle and pull it with either my 3500 box truck or Econoline van. That way I wouldn't have to have my F350 making an unnecessary trip to a small job.

I'm against an RC30 just based on what I've read about purchasing cost, undercarriage costs and reliability. I'm open to a stand on mini but am opposed to a walk behind just due to speed, productivity, and safety. I like to pay for things in cash and am much more comfortable not owning brand new equipment. I know there is the "perfect machine" for the job that costs $25k, but I'd like to have the machine pay for itself in a few jobs and not over the course of 10yrs. What do you guys think?

I would consider a mini excavator. It makes tear outs much easier, you can ex out side walk much easier and your not tearing the hell out of the subgrade.. You already have a skid steer (such as it is) might as well purchase some capacity you dont have.

alldayrj
11-16-2012, 09:37 PM
My next machine is a mini ex, I also do concrete and find myself in the same situations. I see it going down like this:
Mini ex tiptoes into the yard, loads wheelbarrels (2 guys rotating 3 or 4 barrels), they dump in the street into the skid bucket which loads the truck. dug in 2-3 hours as opposed to a full long day. on the hunt for a gatekeeper!

swanny
11-16-2012, 09:52 PM
the mini-ex wouldn't be a good motorized wheelbarrow, but would be handy otherwise.

I had a Mustang 2032 skid last year...was one of the handiest machines I've owned being that it was so small. My wife was using it quite a few times too. Had a yanmar engine in the mid thirties hp. 4400#'s. Fuel consumption was wonderful, lift capacity was good. Made work really enjoyable for some reason. Was hard to let it go.

Currently have a Nh Ls160 with counter weights and it's impressive. 44 hp. no turbo, so it gets does great on fuel consumption. 5500#'s. Picks up more than my Takeuchi TL120 and is much more stable too... it's an all around impressive little machine. I regularly pick up a 275 gallon tote full of water with it (holds 286 gallons full....about 2400 pounds gross weight) and move it around. That's a lot of weight out on the end of the forks.

SVA_Concrete
11-16-2012, 09:53 PM
Hands down mini excavator, 3 foot grade bucket with a long stick, when you can afford it put a power tilt on it.

We have both a CTL (deere ct322) and a Mini Excavator (deere 50D) and the excavator gets FAR more hours than the skid.

my only regret on the 50, is that it is a short stick, so grading is a bit more of a chore, on the other hand she has tons of lift and breakout because of the short stick.

fool32696
11-18-2012, 11:54 AM
I really had never considered a mini ex with a grading bucket. Watching some you tube videos has me thinking this will be the way to go. I think I'd like it to fit through a 4ft gate and be easily towable with an E250 van. What do you guys think about a 1.5-2 ton machine? Which makes should I look at in this range?

ksss
11-18-2012, 01:07 PM
I really had never considered a mini ex with a grading bucket. Watching some you tube videos has me thinking this will be the way to go. I think I'd like it to fit through a 4ft gate and be easily towable with an E250 van. What do you guys think about a 1.5-2 ton machine? Which makes should I look at in this range?

I have rented the CASE CX17. Really nice, this unit had a thumb on it, I almost bought it. Most of these machines have the expandable undercarriage.

I would get one with zero tail. I rented a BC 322 I think it was, having to watch your tail sucks. The Deere 17D is also a nice machine.

AEL
11-18-2012, 01:26 PM
I bought a new kubota u17 this year and am very pleased with it. I believe it expands from 36-46 inches. Very quick, great break out force .
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fool32696
11-18-2012, 01:26 PM
http://tampa.craigslist.org/pnl/grd/3389404306.html
How does price look for year and hrs? I do think I'd prefer zts with the tight quarters we're usually in.

AEL
11-18-2012, 01:34 PM
Better to spend some money and get a zero tail, then buy a standard tail machine and have to rent a zero tail to do a job.
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Danny Boy
11-18-2012, 03:02 PM
I have a u15, 2 1/2 years old now, zero tail is a MUST as is a thumb, I wouldn't want it without either of these features..
I did rent a bobcat like on the link a few times before buying and didn't like it at all because it had no thumb and had the big tail swing:dizzy:

I pull allot of sidewalks and concrete in general with it and its amazing how much it can handle plus loading out wheelbarrows when in tight side yards ect

I have a 39" cleanup bucket for it too that holds 1 1/2 wheelbarrows with of material and it handles it really well

AEL
11-18-2012, 04:09 PM
Same with my u17 . I have a atlas copco 102 hammer for it even at full reach with out the blade down it is stable.
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jbrockmann
11-20-2012, 09:03 AM
I'll second or third the kubota u15. Had ours for about a year now and love it. Light enough to haul behind a half ton and on a heavy single axle trailer. Yet very powerful and nimble. Handles a 24" tooth bucket no problem.

I think you're being to hard on the rc30. Love mine. Still ends up surprising me what I can get done with it.

fool32696
11-20-2012, 06:15 PM
Did you guys buy the u15's new or used and how much will I expect to spend?

AEL
11-20-2012, 11:16 PM
Bought my u17 brand new , wedge style coupler 2 buckets, and an atlas copco 102 Hyd hammer for 34 with taxes
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jbrockmann
11-21-2012, 07:46 AM
Machinery trader will give you an accurate idea of pricing.
Ours is an '05, bought with 400 hours, two buckets and quick coupler for right around $15k.

I would love a thumb for ours, but I haven't found a good solution yet. There's no holes for mounting so a thumb must be welded on. A hammer would be nice too, but ouch! My wallet hurts to think about that.

hvy 1ton
11-21-2012, 04:56 PM
Do not get a weld-on thumb, you will be disappointed. Spend the extra cash on a good pin-on one.

Danny Boy
11-22-2012, 12:11 AM
I bought mine new, traded in a cat 302.5 for it, cat cost me 16K and I spent another 8K to get the u15 with thumb, three buckets and a gently used hammer included.
Business was slow at the time and the salesman bent over backwards to make the sale. Plus the u17 version just came out and mine was the last 15 on the lot
The thumb is an amulet version and is very good quality but one gripe is it doesn't mesh properly with all the buckets, not a deal breaker though

Plus they had to add the quick coupler system for hooking up the hammer...
I then made 6K on the first 20 hours of use with it on a job where a bigger machine wouldn't fit:)