I bought a Takeuchi TB53 this spring and wanted to give those who may be looking for a mini excavator an idea of what kind of machine it has been for us. The TB53 is a 12K pound mini excavator. Mine is open ROPS. It has a Werk Brau thumb, QC, 12" and 24" and 50" clean out bucket. The boom shifts side to side (STS) instead of a conventional swing boom. The TB53 is a zero swing machine. I was a little concerned about the STS boom as I was used to the swing boom. After running it, STS really is a great idea. If you have ever had to dig with the swing boom all the way left or right you know that you can't lift as much and it has a tendency to pull the machine in hard digging conditions. This is nearly nonexistant with the STS boom. There is also very little reach lost as opposed to a conventional swing boom when craned all the way in one direction. With the QC I have nearly 14' of dig depth that is very nice, but I really appreciate the reach. The Werk Brau QC is very convienient to use and very fast. The machine has incredible lift capacity. I wish I had photos of the rocks we have lifted with it. I have had no malfuntions in the first 100 hours. Improvements I would like to see. I would like more track power and I wish it was faster on the bucket functions. They are going to turn up the pressure on the pump running the tracks so we'll see on that. Nothing can be done for the bucket speed. Factory says that they have class leading breakout but it comes at the expense of slower cycle times. I will take the break out if it is an either or. It is heavy to haul around. Makes more of an impact on lawns than my IHI did (7000 pound machine). It is a little hard on fuel (Yanmar diesel). Overall it is quite impressive. Very versatile and gives us much more options on the jobs we can take on. I would not hesitate to recommend them.