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Lets talk mini excavators from 2.7- 6 ton.

Discussion in 'Heavy Equipment & Pavement' started by ksss, Aug 29, 2013.

  1. NEUSWEDE

    NEUSWEDE LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Maine
    Posts: 1,147

    Shane,

    Just like you I had my eyes on the 153 as I had a u35 Kubota I sold and wanted a little more machine but the weight of the machine stopped me dead in my tracks. If I had my CDL with a trailer to tow it would had owned it in a heart beat but I decided on the 138FR which I am glad I did, bit smaller keeps me under weight, great reach and the best part, finally a mini that I can use the foot controls in. Prior I had a U35 kubota and 35D Deere both not enough room to comfortably run the for controls. Just seems like for a mini 3.5 is best of both worlds, is small enough to fit a lot of places but big enough to be fairly efficient at many tasks.
     
  2. ksss

    ksss LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 7,126

    I have not even seen the article yet.

    The sizes have changed quite a bit and I am not sure what to think about it. I have the CDL and the necessary trucks and trailers to pull up to a 160, but that doesn't mean I want to. I really liked having that 38Z around. It allowed me to do fewer mobs, and I would pull it with a 2500HD. I like the spread that IHI has on their mini ex line. I personally think it is very complete and I like the spread, but no one machine can cover it all.

    I am also on board with the belief that all excavators should be ZTS or near ZTS. I would not own a conventional mini ex. When I was looking for a replacement for my 9020B, I nearly bought a Kobelco SK140, just could not get the numbers where I wanted them. I would like to have a full size min. swing full size ex.

    These machines will learn to do more with less hp. There is not a lot of room to put all that EPA bs on a mini ex and still put out 50 hp like they used to.
     
  3. ksss

    ksss LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 7,126

    I am not wanting to turn this thread into a DOT thread, but I guess it kind of surprises me that a lot of guys buy according to the DOT laws. I know its a pain, but when you think about the productivity gains that the larger machines bring, the asstax involved with DOT is pretty insignificant (assuming you can utilize a bigger machine).

    I know that when I went from an IHI 35J (good machine) to the TB53 my business easily tripled. I could take on larger jobs, easily load trucks, set much larger rocks for much cooler looking retaining walls. etc. Everyone's operation of course is different, but I got set up with DOT and took the tests (got legal) and gradually replaced smaller trailers with larger ones and smaller prime movers with larger ones. It was a gateway really to a much more profitable operation. I am a little curious if others would not find a similar result.

    These newer machines are finally filling the gap between 5T and 9T. IHI came out with a 65 size, Hitachi a 60, TK 53, and so on. These machines are remarkable really in their capacity. I don't know the stats but I have to think the market must be moving toward these machine.
     
  4. AWJ Services

    AWJ Services LawnSite Platinum Member
    from Ga
    Posts: 4,276

    CDL aside I rarely find a 35 machine being an advantage size wise for me plus when I have a larger machine available and I am on a smaller machine the whole time I am thinking about how much faster the larger machine would make the job go. If your just billing hours then the size is irrelevant so I can see why some would not see things this way.
    It also makes perfect sense too buy an excavator that will fit on your existing trailer rather than purchase a new trailer and possibly a bigger truck. I will also add that there is a huge difference in ability between a 6 ton machine and a 3.5 ton machine which makes the 6 ton so attractive that it is worth the cost and coupled with the fact that most all CTL's are 10k in weight it is getting too the point where a CDL is getting harder and harder too stay away from. Really always boils down too what you do the majority of the time, size of your work area and lifting capacity. We all do different things so it is a good thing that they make many different size ex's.
     
  5. tnmtn

    tnmtn LawnSite Bronze Member
    from NE Tn.
    Posts: 1,017

    maybe some of the thought behind the over 50 sized machine is to better replace tlb's also. there is no arguement the 35 or 50 sized machines are more manueverable but they lack the power and dig depth of a 310 standard hoe tlb. getting closer on these issues may sway some that previously may have been shopping just a tlb's.
     
  6. AWJ Services

    AWJ Services LawnSite Platinum Member
    from Ga
    Posts: 4,276

    Will you notice little too no difference in digging power between a KX161 and a John deere 310. The 310 will have more digging depth. Thats the beauty of a 6 ton machine.
     
  7. whiffyspark

    whiffyspark LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,087

    I like 35 size. May have to get a 50 but that's a lot of machine to move.

    Ive always liked the next size up cat machines. They seem like they don't have much of a tall machine with the round looking cabs - I don't keep up with cat so I couldn't tell you the models lol

    I seen someone doing roadside mowing with a gradall this week. That looked like a disaster when he was finished I would like to get the contract and an 80 machine for it
     
  8. tnmtn

    tnmtn LawnSite Bronze Member
    from NE Tn.
    Posts: 1,017

    I guess I should have clarified. It seems the tlb's are more stable when craning with the backhoe. This is what i meant by power.
     
  9. AWJ Services

    AWJ Services LawnSite Platinum Member
    from Ga
    Posts: 4,276

    One of the biggest advancement in mini ex's in my opinion is dual aux lines with adjustable flow control in the cab. Is there a manufacturer who does not offer this?


    One question. Generally some mini ex's always have a large amount more bucket curl force than other brands and in the real world is an advantage?
     
  10. ksss

    ksss LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 7,126



    My TB153 has some of the highest bucket breakout forces of any machine in its class. I was on a job last week digging about 600 feet of water line the ground was not rocky but incredibly hard. With a 2' bucket the machine struggled with the material, I had never seen any nonrock material this hard. Utilizing the bucket curl almost exclusively was the only way possible to big (if I had frost teeth available that certainly would have helped). It was slow but effective. Between jobs like this and concrete removal, I think more is certainly better when it comes to bucket breakout.

    However the bucket that the OEM uses to achieve these specs is very important. The shorter the tip radius the high the number. If you add a pin grabber style coupler, you will reduce the breakout force (some types of couplers don't negatively impact breakout). I suspect that TK achieves some of these very high breakout by reducing the bucket rollout. It is one of my only complaints of the machine, not enough bucket articulation. By reducing the articulation you can increase the power through a shorter hyd. stroke. I would be curious if anyone else has noticed this.

    I cant adjust my hyd flow and my TK is a '12. The CAT E series I know does, maybe the newest Hitachi does, but the D series Deere I ran did not. I heard that TK is about to release this capability. I am not sure about others.
     

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