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  #11  
Old 02-20-2006, 10:20 PM
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cgland cgland is offline
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Location: Reading, PA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Drafto
For our applications I think using an EX to excavate a patio, or walkway is better than a skidsteer for a few reason (please disagree b/c I respect many people on this board and value each opinion I get on here):

1. if I can put my dump trailer within reach is does much less turf damage than a SS in and out
2. hands down with my limited experience on any equipment i found the EX to be entirely more accurate and efficient than the SS
3. even spreading and staging materials, I have unloaded the dump trailer with the EX to drop materials right where I needed them.
4. the rutting from a wheeled SS in the types of soils we have around here create quite a mess!

All right, all of the above means nothing when you consider my experience level compared to some on this board. Do I know how to run a SS? I have no idea! I have some hours in them but I need to see one used properly for an excavation before my opinion means anything!

Dan

P.S. We rent a New Holland wheeled SS (don't remember the model), but today when I was trying the 257B, what a Cadillac! I also think I really liked the hand controls compared to the feet in the NH. What other manufacturers use hand controls?
Dan - I do all of my running around within my excavation area. No need to drive into the lawn (Only for bringing the SS in and out, which if you are careful leaves No damage) We bring the Dump right up to the edge of the excavated area and dump right into it. I think that the finished product of a SS excavated area is way more conducive(sp) to even compaction due to lack of highs and lows. I guess it's all operator dependant, but I will take on anyone in a patio excavation. Plus, I can get rid of a yard of material at once. It will take you 4-5 loads to get that plus you have to do alot of hand work at the end.

Chris
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  #12  
Old 02-20-2006, 11:40 PM
bigviclbi bigviclbi is offline
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As a newbie I'll chime in too. First bought a compactor, cut off saw and dump trailer. Last year I bought a table saw and a one ton stake body dump. I rent a john deere skid steer for about 275 a day delivered. My next purchase will be either a skid steer or mini x. I rented a mini for $100 a day and it was AWESOME, it was a ramrod and I could get into the backyard no problem(the yards are tight here). I think with a mini I could load soil and mulch into a wheelbarrow, we do lots of gravel spreading around here and it would help with that too. I also want a good sized dump (4-5 tons). Compounding the problem is the fact that I'm getting married in December and am going to be purchasing a house around August. And i'm in a cutthroat market for pavers. I'm really trying to hold off on these purchases, but think a mini might take precedent as it could replace one man a day on alot of jobs. I saw a boxer at MAHTS for around $16,000. I can't explain how much I appreciate all the info. you guys throw out here for free, even things I don't understand I eventually run into and then I can act from your guys experience.
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  #13  
Old 02-20-2006, 11:52 PM
Drafto Drafto is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigviclbi
As a newbie I'll chime in too. First bought a compactor, cut off saw and dump trailer. Last year I bought a table saw and a one ton stake body dump. I rent a john deere skid steer for about 275 a day delivered. My next purchase will be either a skid steer or mini x. I rented a mini for $100 a day and it was AWESOME, it was a ramrod and I could get into the backyard no problem(the yards are tight here). I think with a mini I could load soil and mulch into a wheelbarrow, we do lots of gravel spreading around here and it would help with that too. I also want a good sized dump (4-5 tons). Compounding the problem is the fact that I'm getting married in December and am going to be purchasing a house around August. And i'm in a cutthroat market for pavers. I'm really trying to hold off on these purchases, but think a mini might take precedent as it could replace one man a day on alot of jobs. I saw a boxer at MAHTS for around $16,000. I can't explain how much I appreciate all the info. you guys throw out here for free, even things I don't understand I eventually run into and then I can act from your guys experience.
Ahhh, finally something I have experience in! Here is my advice, buy the mini and the dump truck of your choice and drive it all in the opposite direction of the church on your wedding day ! I am just joking, congrats on the up and coming marriage. I love my dump trailer, I think it was really the only great purchase I made last year.

I have the same thoughts as you on the mini. I am envisioning something similar to what Bill Schwabb does, purchasing a concrete buggy to load with the EX, then drive up into the dump trailer to dump it. Keep everything a 2 man operation, excavation, base prep, screed and lay pavers all with 2 men, and except for laying pavers, no fatigue.

It sounds great on paper, we'll see what happens in the spring when I start renting these things and see how smooth it goes. I really believe my love of the EX might be b/c of my lack of experience in a SS.

As far as free advice, don't tell Bill, Chris, or Mike, but I am planning on opening up satellite offices in each of their back yards !
Dan
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  #14  
Old 02-20-2006, 11:56 PM
UNISCAPER UNISCAPER is offline
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Chris:

It took me a few years to think like this, but consider wages, in ANY state.

Any device that saves labor in reasonable amounts of time is well worth the price. Start adding over dug spots, extra gravel to fill, and not to mention the time and extra spoils we haul out. The lazer/computer assist is well spent money.
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  #15  
Old 02-21-2006, 01:17 AM
orionkf orionkf is offline
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Location: Belleville, IL
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigviclbi
I rented a mini for $100 a day and it was AWESOME, it was a ramrod and I could get into the backyard no problem(the yards are tight here). I think with a mini I could load soil and mulch into a wheelbarrow, we do lots of gravel spreading around here and it would help with that too. I also want a good sized dump (4-5 tons). Compounding the problem is the fact that I'm getting married in December and am going to be purchasing a house around August. And i'm in a cutthroat market for pavers. I'm really trying to hold off on these purchases, but think a mini might take precedent as it could replace one man a day on alot of jobs. I saw a boxer at MAHTS for around $16,000.

I just rented a tx420 dingo a few days ago, and I'm thinking that a mini loader might be my first major purchase, not including trucks/trailers. Great for residentials with small gate and/or tight access. Load wheelbarrows for places where the machine couldn't go. Auger would be awesome for digging post holes, rent a trencher if needed. Load to and from a trailer. I see lots of uses on just about every job we have. I realize they have limitations, but other equipment can be rented if needed. Bottom line is...savings on time, $, energy, frustration of employees, etc.
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  #16  
Old 02-21-2006, 07:22 AM
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YardPro YardPro is offline
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we use our tx425 dingo on all our paver jobs...
it is the cat's meow for digging and spreading the base, etc..
we use it to run pavers also... it can lift 1/3 of a pallet. and leaves NO dammage...

i see uses for both the skid and the mini X, buy i wold have to say that i would buy a skid before the mini ex...
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  #17  
Old 02-21-2006, 07:35 AM
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GreenMonster GreenMonster is offline
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Dan, I couldn't decide between a skid and a mini-x, so I bought them both

Seriously, have you thought about used? At the time, I bought a used bobcat 753 and a used 331 minix. I've since moved up on the 753, but it did the job for a while. Knock on wood, the 331 is a great size machine, and still running well. I got into both for 30K.

I guess one of those 7k compactors is prolly next for me too.
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  #18  
Old 02-21-2006, 07:45 AM
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Squizzy246B Squizzy246B is offline
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My advice is to leave the compactor to last. They are a machine that is designed to break by way of vibrating itself to death...rent one and let someone else have the maintenance hassle...a petrol powered kangaroo is OK though (Jumpin Jack)..they don't screw up as much. Bomag is the best of the plate compactors.

AS far as real iron goes, we couldn't work out which so we got an Ex first for our blockwork and a skid..shortly after, both are inseparable now on our bigger sites.

If you are not working with a laser you are wasting your time.
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  #19  
Old 02-21-2006, 08:22 AM
Drafto Drafto is offline
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Location: Wilmington, DE
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GreenMonster
Dan, I couldn't decide between a skid and a mini-x, so I bought them both

Seriously, have you thought about used? At the time, I bought a used bobcat 753 and a used 331 minix. I've since moved up on the 753, but it did the job for a while. Knock on wood, the 331 is a great size machine, and still running well. I got into both for 30K.

I guess one of those 7k compactors is prolly next for me too.
When it comes to equipment I really don't see the advantage to purchasing new. The warranty's are short and the stuff depreciates like a muther as soon as you drive it off the lot. BUT, financing NEW equipment is very inviting especially with the special terms they offer. I am going to see how this season goes, if I can book a few months out I will seriously consider purchasing. But I will have to play a lot with renting before I make a decision. Like I stated above, I would like to run 2 man crews and eliminate as much human error as possible.

Dan
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  #20  
Old 02-21-2006, 08:32 AM
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Henry Henry is offline
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I started with a skid steer and a 5-ton dump to pull it and haul material. A year and a half later I picked up a used mini-x and haven't used the skid for excavating since. Last year I picked up a used reversible plate on ebay and saved thousands.

Squizzy, I can't agree with your thought on the compactor. Until I bought my first one (4600lb bomag) I used one that was at least 10 years old and it was in great shape. A friend in the asphalt business has one that is so old he's had the plate replaced twice and it still holds up fine.
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