Back hoe vs Mini

Discussion in 'Heavy Equipment & Pavement' started by 4 seasons lawn&land, Jun 15, 2011.

  1. 4 seasons lawn&land

    4 seasons lawn&land LawnSite Gold Member
    from NY
    Posts: 3,587

    Just thinkin, obviously a mini works better/faster but with cleanup/fix-up would landscaping jobs go quicker w/ a back hoe than a mini when lawns are involved?

    Planted some spruce trees today and it got me thinkin'

    actually a smaller backhoe would never move these trees but Im still curious.

    trees2 001.jpg

    trees2 002.jpg

    trees 008.jpg
     
  2. bearmtnmartin

    bearmtnmartin LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 342

    actually a smaller backhoe would never move these trees but Im still curious.

    It wouldn't? I beg to differ.
     
  3. ksss

    ksss LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 7,126

    I don't think a compact backhoe would have issue with those trees at least the size of the Deere or JCB mini BH a Terramite would be another story.

    It seems there are times that both would be nice. As it is I mob a skid steer and mini ex to a job where a BH would be more convienient. However the mini ex is a master of digging holes as that is all it does. Sometimes the extra reach of an extendahoe would be nice but overall the mini (at least a 50 sized) works better for me than would a BH. If money were no object a used compact BH in addition to the mini ex would be nice for those jobs where bringing a mini and skid is not a good option.
     
  4. bobcat_ron

    bobcat_ron LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 10,082

    Mini excavators are on tracks, backhoes are on wheels, one will have a lower ground pressure rating, that's the one for me.
    Posted via Mobile Device
     
  5. SiteSolutions

    SiteSolutions LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,114

    I've never seen any cleanup or fix up done by a backhoe that couldn't be done better with a CTL. If you can only have one machine, the backhoe is nice in that it has a hoe on one end and a loader on the other, but it's kinda like a swiss army knife: Handy in a pinch or if you can only bring one tool with you, but not my first choice when I need a screwdriver, bottle opener, or even a knife.

    If you are considering adding a machine, a small CTL or even SSL paired with your mini-ex can do a lot more work, do less damage, get in smaller spaces and work more efficiently than a one-size-fits-all, jack-of-all-trades backhoe ("TLB") - especially if you're doing landscaping that involves more than just planting trees. A backhoe is useless for grading when compared to a machine designed to be a loader and not an all-in-one machine. I would run a mini-sized loader like a Dingo with a mini ex before I would trade a mini-ex in on a backhoe. You can rent loaders in 20 different sizes until you find one that fits what you do. Some are small enough / light enough to ride in the bed of a truck, all the way up to one big enough that you'll have to buy a bigger truck and trailer or make two trips.
     
  6. curtisfarmer

    curtisfarmer LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 511

    My Kubota L48s would do that with ease. In fact that is what I use, forks to handle, backhoe to dig and set root balls.:weightlifter:
     
  7. 4 seasons lawn&land

    4 seasons lawn&land LawnSite Gold Member
    from NY
    Posts: 3,587

    The mini X was a rental. Thats a 5 ton 40 horse Yanmar. I thought it was obnoxiously large and heavy when it got anywhere near a lawn but at the same time it "bobed" carrying those trees. Maybe the pics dont do them justice. They were heavy. Which tells me a smaller mini wouldnt have worked. That made me think of a back hoe because I cant see it being as damaging to the lawn.
     
  8. SiteSolutions

    SiteSolutions LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,114

    Once you get used to running a tracked machine, it tends to do less damage to turf. Less ground pressure as Ron pointed out means less compaction or rutting of the soil, although sharp turns will shred the grass.
     
  9. MOREDIRT

    MOREDIRT LawnSite Member
    Posts: 119


    You are crazy those are little trees I don't see how you made any money renting a mini x to plant 3 trees. And those evergreens are known for breaking roots when handled like that. I could plant those in about an hour with my ctl and pallet forks. Using a backhoe for landscaping is like using a push mower to commercial mow.
    Posted via Mobile Device
     
  10. curtisfarmer

    curtisfarmer LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 511

    Moredirt, I disagree with your mower-backhoe comment. Not trying to open a CTL vs TLB arguement, but a TLB in this situation is perfect and TLBs are very versatile for many landscaping requirements. Unless you live in an area comprised of no rocky terrain, planting big root balls with a CTL and forks doesn't seem as effective as having an arm via miniX or backhoe to dig the holes. Also, my experince has been you can really use an arm to man handle the rot balls when in the ground to position them. My 2 cents:)
     

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