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Old 04-19-2015, 07:18 PM
GallucciLandscaping GallucciLandscaping is offline
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Mini Excavator Help

Hi guys, thanks in advance for your help. I am in the market for a mini excavator in the 7k-8k pound range. I have previously had a bobcat 331. Great machine, did everything and more than we needed. I am looking at both new and slightly used machines. I have found a 2013 CAT 303.5 CR E the price is in my range and it comes with multiple buckets, hydraulic thumb and cab.... My only concern is that I have heard on a few occasions that people have thought the CAT mini excavators were under powered compared to other machines in equaling sizes.

What are your experiences and what was the deciding factor in purchasing your mini excavator?
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Old 04-19-2015, 11:19 PM
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Scag48 Scag48 is offline
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Dealer support should be #1. If you have the best machine on the planet but can't get parts/service, how good is it?

The rest of the list varies, some guys care more for production than creature comforts, etc..
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Old 04-20-2015, 05:48 AM
GallucciLandscaping GallucciLandscaping is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scag48 View Post
Dealer support should be #1. If you have the best machine on the planet but can't get parts/service, how good is it?

The rest of the list varies, some guys care more for production than creature comforts, etc..
Yes dealer support is an obvious choice. Both CAT and Bobcat are in the same industrial park which is close to us. There is also kubota which is in close proximity too.

Our primary uses are excavation for retaining walls and patios. Nothing really earth shattering, placing boulders or planting trees too. Are there machines that you'd steer clear of for one reason or another? Any confirmation on the CAT minis being under powered?
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Old 04-20-2015, 09:11 AM
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Junior M Junior M is offline
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I personally was never impressed with the power of the 303.5 cr e. I put 45 hours on a brand new I rented for a week. I liked the speed and everything else about the machine but it just didn't have the ass to really get through hard ground.
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Old 04-20-2015, 07:16 PM
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AEL AEL is offline
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I put a few hundred hours on a 303.5 ccr about 7 years ago and it was a nice machine besides the the typical cat shutter .

Now we have a few Kubota mini exs and I have nothing but good things to say about them . Very well built , long lasting machines
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Old 04-21-2015, 02:08 PM
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I just demoed a new 303.5e2 and I second the comment about not enough ass to really use the power the machine has. Other than that I was impressed as well. I had a kx121 and currently have a bobcat 335 and both of those have been good machines. Right now I'm waiting for the dealer to bring me a 304e2 to demo I hope the added weight and larger engine really help keep the thing on the ground.
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Old 04-21-2015, 03:36 PM
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I had a bobcat 335 mini for 2 years and absolutely loved it
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Old 04-21-2015, 05:04 PM
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YellowDogSVC YellowDogSVC is online now
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I have a bobcat 335 and it does things it shouldn't be doing for its size. It's strong and his a fairly good dig depth for it's class and has 40.something hp and 19 gpm auxiliary. I have mind with a thumb, cab, and angle blade and it is comfortable. I had a small problem with it being jerky but it resolved and hasn't come back. Maybe I was having a bad day. I'm not an expert operator on an excavator.

My 335 is still like new and it's a 2009. Just waxed it a few weeks ago before all the pollen attached to it. I feel like I've owned enough equipment to say it is built well. I feel like you can't beat that Kubota motor..

I've only had minor annoyances and it's used in some rough terrain and for loading very large logs and digging boulders out of the ground for the most part. I also use it for digging out stumps and it does well even on the big ones.

Since mine is so old and only a G series, I imagine the M series Bobcat excavators are really nice. I've only sat in one at the yard and listened to it purr.
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Old 04-21-2015, 07:13 PM
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I'd love to have a 335. It was a great machine overall. Used to rent one all the time. Couldn't find one once I was in the market to purchase.
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Old 04-21-2015, 08:25 PM
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YellowDogSVC YellowDogSVC is online now
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If I could get a new or different machine, I'd get turbo, slew brake, minimal tail, rotating grapple and/or thumb, and a wider stance and slightly longer track. Machines like a 9,000-10000 lb 335 in good condition are listed from the mid 20's to mid 30'. Size-wise it will dig with a bigger machine but is compact and light enough to move easily but in my opinion, it isn't that much of a jump from a 331 size machine. What machine replaced the 331 in the Bobcat line up? E32?
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