Brand me...........skids and excavators

Discussion in 'Heavy Equipment & Pavement' started by tthomass, Jun 16, 2007.

  1. tthomass

    tthomass LawnSite Gold Member
    from N. VA
    Posts: 3,497

    I'm looking into purchasing both a excavator and a track machine. Uses are becoming more common and do not wish to waste money on rentals.....though renting does have its benefits.

    Track machines I have run:

    T190.....good machine, compact lacks balls
    T300.....good machine has balls
    TL130....good machine, compact lacks balls
    TL150....good machine, big balls
    Mustang something....T190 brother I'd say


    Takeuchi 10k lb
    Komatsu 6-7k lb
    .....and some others

    I'm looking to buy used for both financial reasons and these machines aren't being used heavily day in and day out.

    Track machine: I have connections for New Holland and ASV, both I've never used and know nothing about. I would say a 8-10k lb machine is what I'm looking for and mostly so that I have a machine with enough "balls" to move soil and lift........nothing like bogging down and ruining my day.

    Excavator: I don't do heavy excavation and when those times do cross my path I rent large equipment. I'd say I'm looking for a 7-10k lb machine. I need to lift boulders for building walls and for general landscaping....which I can also do with the track machine. Nice to have for digging holes for large trees but I'm thinking a 10k lb machine is a bit over the top for me.

    So brand me.........I don't know the ends and outs of these machines. Give me a few minutes, I'm used to it and your yard will be smooth as a golf course. I don't know why this brand over that or what problems certain brands have. The benefit of not going past a max of 9k lbs on either machine is that I can have it on the back of the truck and be at my GVW. Will it stop me from buying a 10k lb machine and being overloaded? No but legal is nice just to stay on the good side of the law. I figure I'll be buying a trailer anyway.

    So help me please. Perhaps there is more info you need to know from me but branding is branding and I know nothing to base one over another.

  2. cat2

    cat2 LawnSite Senior Member
    from Mi
    Posts: 891

    Well if you have the money I would go with a John Deere ctl. They have LOTS of power and will lift more than any other machine out there. (I think) Would a wheeled machine work for you? I would get a wheeled machine and put tracks on. You could save alot of payup. They did alot too the new john deere skid steers and are one of the best now.:confused: (Maybe) I have a new 300 seires john deere skid steer and love it.:cool2:
  3. ksss

    ksss LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 7,129

    TK makes a nice excavator. I am on my second TB53 series machine. These are 12.5K machines, and may be more than you want. Although I have never owned one the 135 and 145 are popular with those who own them.

    CASE/Kobelco machines are not industry leaders in breakout but are nice machines, very nice hyds, and comfortable.

    IHI makes a nice excavator, not a well known brand in the States, but most excellent machine. I owned a 35J and put 2K hours on it and had very few issues. It has an exceptionally nice hyd feel to it, very precise.

    Tracked machines,

    If you could find one used a 440 CT is a very strong machine. Demo one and you will see what I mean. They are selling one after the other here. This is not big tracked skid steer area here, but the power of these machines is selling them.
  4. RockSet N' Grade

    RockSet N' Grade LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,454

    On the bigger machines, everyone here is switching over to Volvo? Why you may ask? The simple answer from everyone I have talked to is that Volvo machines are burning $100 less fuel a day than the rest of the iron.......plain and simple. Small excavators are so competative you will get more opinions than Carter has pills.......What a major factor in your equation should be is service.......who is close geographically? who provides prompt and reliable in house and in the field service? What financing/rate/terms are available and what kind of warranty and extended warranty is available. What kind of iron are your competator's using? What are the perceptions of the happy-homeowners in your area? Alot of selling a job to happy-homeowners is "perceived value" ie having good looking clean equipment and a rig that they on some level can identify with so they think they are getting value.....I personally use Gehl equipment, take off the stickers and put my own stickers on with my phone number........its yellow iron in clean condition with my logo on it and I always get comments on my rigs plus it is advertising while sitting on a job site or rolling down the freeway. I just got a job diggin a cabin basement from a drive-by on the freeway because of my logo and phone number on the back of my track ho. So back to your question....which machine? Check the financing and service and put that into the equation and then weigh it out.
  5. tthomass

    tthomass LawnSite Gold Member
    from N. VA
    Posts: 3,497

    Most of what I see around is Bobcat and Deere. I have only begun seriously looking....there is a local CAT dealer also.

    What warranty is typical on a used machine from an establishment? I will guess that some is sold as is and some carry a 30 day or so amny hrs....

    The clean professional look is not a problem....see the 'International construction' post in the truck forum. I actually got a job because my customer loved blue....hence the abundance of blue inside their home haha.

    Aside from my usual 'landscape construction' jobs I would hope to be able to dab into more excavation work with various building contractors.

    What hour range should I be looking for? 500-1000hrs?
  6. SiteSolutions

    SiteSolutions LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,114

    I've rented a Takeuchi 135 a few times now and it is strong with a good reach. The hydraulics are a little slow maybe, but it's still a lot of machine for the money.

    I've run a few Bobcat skid steers and compact track loaders. I haven't got much time in the other brands. Everybody has their favorite and I think most of the arguments pro and con are just to give folks something to talk about... just the same old Ford vs. Chevy vs. Dodge argument applied to something else. Numbers are nice, but I would just shop around and find what you like; find a dealer or machine that you feel comfortable with.
  7. Gravel Rat

    Gravel Rat LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 9,544

    I don't know how much money you want to spend but a decent mini is going to cost 60 grand. I would go with the largest size your truck will carry because you want a machine that can do most jobs.

    As for brand my first choice would be Deere or Hitachi second would be Kubota and third would be Takeuchi. I would avoid Komatsu they are cheaply built.
  8. Scag48

    Scag48 LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,067

    I'll be renting a Takeuchi 135 in the next few weeks. My grandma has some blackberry bushes that are getting out of control that I need to remove and I can't get my old man to haul our mini 160 miles one way to do the job. I'll post my findings on the machine after I rent it. I've picked a yard that has all new 135's so the unit I'll be renting won't be older and beat up, it'll be fairly new so I can get a good idea of how these things should perform..
  9. tthomass

    tthomass LawnSite Gold Member
    from N. VA
    Posts: 3,497

    GRat....I'm buying used.

    It will be this fall that I will make a purchase upon what taxes tell me to buy.

    Just from the little bit of shopping I've done.....a mini is looking around $20k and the track machine around $30k for used equip. Not that I wouldn't spend more or even less depending what I find.
  10. tthomass

    tthomass LawnSite Gold Member
    from N. VA
    Posts: 3,497

    Another idea I toy with is the backhoe attachment vs an excavator. I've used one before but that was 3yrs ago and it was beat up so I don't really remember much about it. Also its what I learned on so I wasn't exactly a pro or have anything to compare to.

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