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School me on mini-mini excavators

Discussion in 'Heavy Equipment & Pavement' started by bobw, Dec 1, 2010.

  1. bobw

    bobw LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 807

    It looks as if my business has gotten to the point where I need to invest in a small mini-ex to do some of the harder digging/trenching type tasks. I know very little about them.

    As near as I can tell, I'm looking for the smallest or next to smallest units made by the manufacturers. I'd like to keep the machine weight down to under 4000 lbs.

    I won't be putting many hours/year on this machine; maybe 50 or so. I'm going to be looking for something well used (i.e. 1500+ hours). Renting a machine doesn't work for us as we can't regularly predict when ground conditions will make us want a machine. So, having a machine on site for use whenever we need it makes some sense.

    So... I'm looking for a well used machine for occasional use. I want to keep it relatively light ( < 2 tons).

    What should I be looking for? Any brands age better than others?

    Thanks for any help you can give.....
  2. Gravel Rat

    Gravel Rat LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 9,544

    The Kubota KX41 seems to be a common machine with the larger plumbing companies.
  3. stuvecorp

    stuvecorp LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,214

    I've ran the Kobelco 13sr or 'Gatekeeper', it can fit through a 36" door/gate.

    Rock Set has a small Case and Ksss has experience with the small Case.
  4. Dirt Digger2

    Dirt Digger2 LawnSite Silver Member
    from PA
    Posts: 2,396

    Kubota seems to have the market on these little guys. The ditch witch and Komatsu versions are the same and lack the features the Kubota has. Another nice thing the 'bota has is the removable teeth on the bucket.

    They are a very niche machine. They will not win you any work on the speed excavation side. At times you litterally bring up buckets that have less dirt in them then a shovel would. They are pretty slow with regards it is difficult to do more then one task at a time...such as extend the dipper as you dump the bucket. The power and hydraulics only seem to be able to handle one valve at a time, especially when the dirt gets hard. The other this is especially in hard dirt you always have to have the blade in front and on the ground or you lift your tail off the ground, essentially you are the counter weight. They can also be jerky for the less experienced operators (new anyway...a used one might be tired and not as jerky)

    They do have their place though, they sure beat a shovel if you can justify them and work GREAT in tight places

    here is the one my old company had ---

    Last edited: Dec 1, 2010
  5. Hollowellreid

    Hollowellreid LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 290

    We have a Takeuchi TB016 it has been a good little machine.

    Had 1600 hours or so when we got it. Has a coupler with trenching, digging, and a clean up bucket. Also have a basic hydraulic thumb which is useful.

    For landscaping etc. they are great machines.
  6. 4 seasons lawn&land

    4 seasons lawn&land LawnSite Gold Member
    from NY
    Posts: 3,597

    get a larger machine. You pay for the engineering in the super compact design plus the larger ones are more available.

    I cant think of a reason to use a mini mini over a mini.
  7. bobw

    bobw LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 807

    I need the smaller machine because I work in smaller spaces. Also, I want to keep the weight down for towing purposes.
  8. bobw

    bobw LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 807

    Cruising the net; seems like people either love or hate the Taks. Looking at the specs, it seems like a pretty decent machine and a nice size.
  9. bobw

    bobw LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 807

    How long does it take to remove the teeth? I'm going to be pulling some trenches so I was thinking I'd need both a toothed and a smooth bucket. If it's easy and fast with one bucket that'd be pretty handy.

    I see a lot of the Kubotas in use around here.
  10. Gravel Rat

    Gravel Rat LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 9,544

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