Bobcat 418 compared to the kubota machine of the same size the bobcat is much better. As for getting more guys with shovels instead of a machine , just remember rarely does a machine call in sick, complain, take smoke breaks every 20 minutes, show up drunk or stoned, show up late, leave early etc
I strongly recomend going up one machine size and getting a u17. Bought a brand new one last year and put just under 100 hours on it because I rarely need a machine that small . Machine is very very strong for its size, I have a large bucket on it and it handles it no problem. Also have a hammer I bought for it and it handles that thing great.