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mini - excavator

Discussion in 'Irrigation' started by drmiller100, Feb 20, 2006.

  1. drmiller100

    drmiller100 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 562


    would a mini -excavator complement a walk behind trencher?

    labor is EXPENSIVE up here. trying to figure out ways to save time.

    we do poly pipe.

  2. NC_Irrigator

    NC_Irrigator LawnSite Bronze Member
    from NC
    Posts: 1,415

    maybe for piping larger than 2.5" or drainage systems
  3. Dirty Water

    Dirty Water LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,799

    If you are doing poly, then you shouldn't be trenching period :)

    Look into a DitchWitch 410sx or a Vermeer LM-42 trencher/plow. You won't have to do much backfilling anymore, its a huge labor saver.

    A mini-EX is usefull for large mainlines (We usually backhoe or ex in our trenches with 3"-4" mains), as well as for doing drainwork.

    They are also handy in tight situations. A trencher or plow is about 6 feet long, and if you need to get pipe into a corner, it means lots of hand digging.

    We have always rented if we needed one, but lately we've been doing enough work to justify buying one (a used one). I'm still shopping.
  4. drmiller100

    drmiller100 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 562

    all great thoughts.

    i should have mentioned. i have a skid steer already.

    for the cost of a decent used pipe puller, i can almost buy an old mini ex.

    and the mini-ex is more versatile.

    just thinking.
  5. PurpHaze

    PurpHaze LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,496

    Uh, Jon... My trencher turns around and will trench backwards out of tight spots. And that's what 45s are for. :dancing:
  6. bicmudpuppy

    bicmudpuppy LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,781

    Have you tried a 4 N 1 Bucket for the skid steer? I don't think you would like an excavator, but if you think it would be a benefit, rent one for a week when your busy with the kind of work you would use one on. An excavator shouldn't run you more than 2 or 3 hundred for a week and that would be a lot cheaper than finding out you made a mistake. Also, the ditch witch mini excavator that has the mini-skid steer mount on the reverse end might be something to be shopping for since you already have a min steer. I think the model is a TX85. The 85 is right for sure, and I think that machine would out pull a 410. The foot print is just as wide, but tracked, and it out weighs the 410 by a bit. More traction with a good shaker box means better plowing.
    Either way, good luck. If you can fix your labor problem with better equipment, at least you know the equipment will be there in the morning, and it won't call you at 3am for bail.
  7. YardPro

    YardPro LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,563

    that is a good price...

    here they are $185.00/day $750/week

    i don't think that a mini ex would be a good choice for a primary machine for irrigation work... too much backfilling, and too slow digging long runs.
  8. Dirty Water

    Dirty Water LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,799

    What I'm talking about is if you have to plow a line from corner to corner in a small fenced yard.

    You end up either digging alot on one side, or doing two pulls and connecting in the middle.

    And, whenever you turn a trencher around (A real one, not that toy you have :dancing: ) you end up caving in part of the trench and you need to clean it out.

    Bryan, are you talking about the XT850?


    I like it, except that a articulating wheeled plow like the 410 leaves a lot less turf damage than a tracked rig, and it only has a backhoe style boom, which means you have limited reach. Personally, I like being able to swing 360 and dump the dirt anywhere.
  9. Dirty Water

    Dirty Water LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,799

    $160 a day here. Which means that it better outwork two laborers or its not going to pay for itself.
  10. bicmudpuppy

    bicmudpuppy LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,781

    That would be the critter. Pro's and Con's to anything. It is a smaller foot print than most mini excavators. As to turf damage, you burn the tops, but you don't dig in like your 410 will when it hits something Hard. Nothing makes me cuss louder than to have everything going smooth and then .......WHAM....your at a ground speed of zero, and you have wheel ruts 2" deep.

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