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Anyone have experience with the Geil 373 Mini excavator?

Discussion in 'Heavy Equipment & Pavement' started by thepawnshop, May 23, 2005.

  1. thepawnshop

    thepawnshop LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 387

    I am curious if any of you all out there have experience with the Geil 373 Mini? I have all but bought the JD35D, but fortunately I decided on renting it for 1 month to be sure it is what I want (plus I bought my partner out of one of my other businesses so I want to make sure my money is right). My plan was/is to rent a machine for a few months, with hopes of that money going towards the principal if I purchase it, then buy it as long as my finances stay on the right path (I own two pawnshops and a construction biz...money can get tight on occasion).

    After all but deciding on the JD, I just happened to stop by the Geil dealer...he has a 373 demo machine with 33 hours on it and he is willing to rent the machine to me for 6 months with ALL of the rental proceeds going towards the downpayment. JD is only willing to let me rent the machine for 1 month with 100% of the proceeds going towards the purchase price. The the Geil dealer will finance for 60 months @ 3.5% whereas my JD dealer is only willing to go 60 months @ 4.9%. The only real advantage the 35D has is that it is "zero tail swing"...the Geil exceeds everwhere else PLUS the Geil's can can tilt 15 degrees which helps on sloping hills. I LOVE the 35D, but I really want the finance options that Geil is offering, but the local Deere dealer can't match it. I know some of you are not fans of the mini, but please let me hear from those of you that are...particularly if you have Geil experience.

    Here are the asking prices: JD35D with 24 & 12" buckets: $35,500+tax
    Geil 373 with 24 & 12" buckets: $39,500+tax

    Basically, it's 4k more for the "tilt cab"...is that feature worth 4k?

    Scag, don't beat me up...I know I said I had "pulled the trigger" on the 35D but I had to hedge my bets and renting the machine was/is a must as I don't close on my last house until June 30th so I am putting off obligating myself until I have cash in hand. If I don't take the JD, I'm out $1,500 for a one month rental...I can live with that.

    Gehl users, give me your thoughts!
  2. Gravel Rat

    Gravel Rat LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 9,544

    Okay I decided to compare the two the Gehl has slight advantages one the Gehl is 358lbs heavier can be a bonus or can be a drawback. The Gehl has slightly more digging force but not enough to make a big change. The ability to tilt the house on the Gehl no advantage its a waste of money you use dirt to level the machine plus the blade.

    I never had any experience with Gehl equipment I don't think they are a common brand out there.

    The only real machines that can match the Deere is the Komatsu PC-35 Hitachi Zaxis 35 (my first choice).

    To sum up the rambling I would have to say stick with the Deere or go with its brother a Hitachi the Gehl isn't much of a deal in my mind for what you get.
  3. Scag48

    Scag48 LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,067

    Hey man, it's all good. Just focus on your options, nothing wrong with changing your mind. We were close to buying a Cat 304.5 or a 304CR, very close to both, then we demo'd the 303CR for about 3 weeks and just loved the machine. We were charged for a weeks rental on the 304.5, about $900, but that rental period showed us that we didn't need a machine that big and the "on paper" specs were too much for our needs. Buying based on what you read and what you "think" you'll need a machine for is kind of risky. So we had to pay $900, so what, big deal, turns out we bought a better machine for our needs and we haven't looked back. We were also very leary of dropping $40,000 for a piece, especially since my dad just made a huge purchase of a local motel (over a $1 million investment) and borrowing power was getting to be stretched thin after that loan, even though his credit has been perfect.

    Now, equipment prices here in the west are higher than those of the east, that's plain and simple facts. Our 303CR came with the following

    -Hydraulic Thumb -At least $2k, didn't even spec an exact price, we knew we wanted one, no sense crunching numbers over an option like a thumb
    -Mech. Q/C - I think this was about $700
    -24" bucket-standard, 12" bucket-$700, 40" cleanup $1100
    -Right hand joystick w/aux hyd. control $2k

    We have at least $5K into upgrades/accesories in this machine and it was only $36,800. Total price was right around $40,000 with WA state sales tax at 8%. Maybe you could look into Cat? I know you demo'd a 304CR, not sure if you got a quote or not, but maybe call your Cat dealer and toss some numbers around for a 303CR. With the 400 pound additional counterweight, the 303CR is right around 8,000 pounds, pretty close to the 35D. Just a thought. Don't stress about your options, just take it day by day. I think you should give the Gehl a look, although I don't think it's worth $4k for a levelling cab, I'd rather go with Deere and do without the level option but that's just me, I'm a name brand shopper. Anyway, good luck!
  4. Gravel Rat

    Gravel Rat LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 9,544

    I'am the same I shop the name brands too I really don't trust the new kids on the block. You look at John Deere,Hitachi,Cat,Komatsu,Kobelco,Case etc they all build big machines they have experience and knowlege on building excavators.

    The only time I see cab leveling a benifit is if you are working on steep terrian which would exceed the limits of a mini anyhow. The cab leveling would be extra parts and hydraulics to wear out. Like I said you always use dirt or the front blade to level the machine when working on off camber situations.
  5. thepawnshop

    thepawnshop LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 387

    Gravel, the Deere IS a Hitachi Zaxis 35...your first choice

    I know you are no fan of true "mini" excavators from the tone of your past posts regarding them but I do value your experience on the bigger machines. Do you see any advantage/disadvantage to a smaller unit NOT being a "zero tail swing" machine?
  6. Scag48

    Scag48 LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,067

    Pawnshop, about zero swing, it's more of a big deal than you think. When dad and I were seriously looking into the 304.5, we passed it off as a minor disadvantage. I was in a position a few days ago loading our dump trailer with spoil that I would have hit the house I was sitting next to if it hadn't have been for that zero tail swing.
  7. Gravel Rat

    Gravel Rat LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 9,544

    I forgot about that its something you just get used to I really think zero tail swing is a must on a mini excavator. Mini excavators are designed for doing the tight small jobs that replaces the use of the goon spoon back busting work digging by hand.

    I would say if your happy with the Deere stick with it :D
  8. ksss

    ksss LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 7,129

    I wouldn't dismiss the tilt feature all that quickly. Yes you can level yourself out but that takes time and sometimes its not practical. I think it would be a convienent feature that , depending on the type of work you do, may more than pay for itself over the course of ownership.

    I wouldn't go back to conventional tail mini ex again. The zero tail is critical. Having zero swing is icing on the cake. Gehl does offer zero tail machines now. If I had to chose between zero tail and self leveling it would be the zero tail. However you may be able to get both in the new Gehl machines.

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