How well do mini skids dig?

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by LegienzaLandscaping, Jan 8, 2007.

  1. LegienzaLandscaping

    LegienzaLandscaping LawnSite Member
    from CT
    Posts: 21

    I like the idea of the mini skids and from what Ive read everyone seems to like them alot. How capable are these (tracked model, dingo 420/425 or DW 500) when it comes to digging and grading with a bucket with or without teeth. Would removing an asphalt driveway and digging 8" down be really overworking the machine. What about removing 5 yards of soil off a high spot in a yard without first cultivating. Although jobs like these might be better suited for a bigger machine can they be done without really overworking a mini and/or wasting too much time?
  2. MattsMowing3535

    MattsMowing3535 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 386

    Me and my dad rented one this summer. I didnt use it a whole lot but we were gradeing/digging out are pond in the back thta dried up and it seems to work preety well as long as you didnt drive it to hard it did take alot of time but it was are only option with soft ground.
  3. LB1234

    LB1234 LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,210

  4. LegienzaLandscaping

    LegienzaLandscaping LawnSite Member
    from CT
    Posts: 21

    Ive already read that entire thread, and theres lots of good information there. Specifically I want to know how the mini skids break into ground and dig, from people who have experience using them.
  5. LB1234

    LB1234 LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,210

    I have a Dingo TX425. I would say that it digs okay. I have both the standard bucket and light materials bucket. I want to purchase a set of teeth for the standard bucket but they wanted 350 for it which is 3/4 the cost of the bucket. So for now that is out of the question.

    I have rented a dingo tx420 with standard bucket w/teeth and it dug pretty well in rocky soil. However, you can't be on the stand with it cause you loose the limited downpressure that it can generate.

    As for moving 5 yards of soil I would say no, you wouln't be overworking the machine. It will take longer, but you won't overwork it. Of course if I needed to grade the backyard I would first see if it could be done with our cultivator in multiple passes or with or plow blade instead of the bucket.

    We use the bucket a lot to dig out for patios and walkways. It does just fine. Of course final depth adjustments we do by hand to fine tune what we need.

    We also use the pallet forks to break up existing concrete walkways and patios. We can rent the jackhammer attachment if its really thick and remove with a bucket OR we just get the forks underneath lift it up, drop it, and when a manageable size is obtained we drive it into the trailer to be hauled away. I'm assuming the same thing could be doen for asphalt...although I haven't done this so I'm not sure asphalt being more brittle would just break up into tiny pieces.
  6. JRSlawn

    JRSlawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 636

    Get a bobcat mt 50-55 and put a set of teeth on the bucket. I reanted one last year and I loved it. It is a hell of a machine you could probably move this dirt it would take a while. If you are buying one just buy and use the MT is you are renting rent a fulsized skid they are about the same price and you could cut your time in half.
  7. LB1234

    LB1234 LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,210

    Big issue with the MT55 is the weight. It might outperform the dingo (its argueable) but its weight and track design have it tear up turf really bad. So if you are working on existing landscapes a lot and do not want to do a lot of repair work the TX425 (wide track) will do a lot less damage to the turf.

    Again, much of this is discussed in the other post (see above)
  8. LegienzaLandscaping

    LegienzaLandscaping LawnSite Member
    from CT
    Posts: 21

    Thanks for the replys, it seems like these machines are pretty capable. There is an sk500 for sale on ebay that I went to look at today since it was only about 30 min from me. Id be pretty pissed if I was from out of state and bought this thing online. It was pretty beat up. Everything worked but the motor had a pretty hard time starting (ran fine afterwards) and there was about a 10" puddle of fresh hydraulic fluid underneath. It appears to have been stored outdoors (as it is now) most of its life. Things like broken knobs on the controls at a little under 800 hours and black oil means it probably had a tough life. The tracks were ok and the ditch witch dealer ran the serial # for me and it was originally purchased in TX ???. The machine seemed like it will do its fair share of turf damage, however I like that it lifted high enough to load a truck. I shouldnt need a whole lot of parts but the closest DW dealer is an hour and a half away. The guy was asking $8000, not a bad price if it was in good shape but I think ill pass.
  9. YardPro

    YardPro LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,563

    sounds like a headache waiting to happen.

    we have a tx425 and love it... I could not do what we do without it.. period.
    what you are asking will be no trouble at all....

    as for the sk500 you are looking at... here is some info....

    first.. ditch witch is switching motors. they are having TONS of problems with the honda. It overheats very badly, and with the all metal frame, and not enough dcooling vents, they are real problems...

    if you real the other thread, you will know i spent a lot of time demoing all the machines. The local rental company and i split a sk to demo.. They had it for several months and whenever we needed it we got to use it for free. I really liked the machine a lot. It was actually my favorite.....BUT...

    the dealer that i split the demo with is having LOTS of problems with the machine. The motor needs a rebuild ( the twin cylinder honda's are crap, not at all the reliable motors the single cylinders are). it will not start well, and will not idle. the drive sprokets have been replaced twice, and they are having lots of hydro leaks.
    All this within two years, and less than 500 hours....

    my dingo gets the crap used out of it, I very much overwork the machine, and have 500 hrs on mine with no problems. I thought a track was shot this past fall and ordered a new one, but it was the guy i had working for me. I have not actually put it on yet, after i fired him, the track quit coming off.

    it is worn out, but i am trying to get through march and i will replace both.

    i would not buy that ditch witch for that price...
    you can get a new one for $16K.....
  10. COBYgrad2006

    COBYgrad2006 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 6

    we use a tx425 almost everyday. The machine is great, but there is deffinately a time and place for it. We use it mostly for tree installs, and i couldn't imagine a better machine for that task. Ive done about everything with the dingo though, grading, excavating for patios, loading trucks, hauling material etc... we recently did a large patio at a hospital and we couldnt get a bigger machine into the area so we had to use the dingo. The soil was a heavy clay, and it was a pain to excavate, but it got the job done. It was probably twice as time consuming than if we used a skid, but we had no choice. The Tx425 is probably the most versatile machine ive ever operated, but there is certain things it does better than others... just my 2 cents

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