Skid Steer Back Hoe Attachments ???

Discussion in 'Heavy Equipment & Pavement' started by Patton, Dec 26, 2005.

  1. Patton

    Patton LawnSite Member
    from Montana
    Posts: 15

    Hello, I have been getting great information from this site for a long time, but now I really need some input. I am looking into buying a CAT 247B with a bradco back hoe attachment for doing egress window installation and general landscaping. I have used several mini ex's this past year and love them, however I travel quite a bit and can only trailer one unit. I have not logged much time on a skid back hoe. I feel the skid unit would be a better package, but really am not sure. Because of the egress windows, space is a concern. Any input would be greatly appreciated.
     
  2. Scag48

    Scag48 LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,067

    I'm partial to the units from Cat. They have the sideshift option so you can dig right up next to a foundation, etc. plus they are operated from inside the cab so no more jumping off the backhoe seat down into the cab to reposition the machine. The only disadvantage I could see with this is that since you're sitting in the cab and not sitting up a little higher visibility might be an issue, but I really couldn't say, I've never used one. Also, you won't be able to get a machine with a cab using this setup. Well I guess you could, but you'd have to take the door off and that would completely defeat the purpose.
     
  3. Patton

    Patton LawnSite Member
    from Montana
    Posts: 15

    Scag,
    Thanks for your input. I will check into the Cat back hoe units. I have only seen them on the Cat website. Getting close to the foundation is a must. Regarding the door, it would not really be a problem to take it off during the warmer months, which is when I do the egress windows, and put it back on in the winter when the skid has ranch duty. Anyhow thanks for your input, it is much appreciated.
     
  4. ksss

    ksss LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 7,129

    We do a fair amount of egress window excavation. A mini is much better in the sense that you can set dirt anywhere. With a hoe you are limited, that can be an issue in some yards. Here is the way we end up doing them which does away with having to haul two machines. We dig the hole with mini, day or two later concrete company cuts concrete for window. We will go back and remove the concrete with the excavator or not depending on what the contractor or customer wants. After the window well is installed we go back with a dump truck and skid steer and backfill. Short story is we end up making several trips anyway. Like Skag I have never run the CAT backhoe attachment. I have sat in them and there is no visibility. The ability to set in the skid steer seat is nice. However if you can't see what your doing it really isn't helping. My experience is you will need a larger size backhoe attachment. We have used smaller mini's to dig some windows that were too tight for my mini. The machines with less than 10 feet of dig depth are more difficult to dig with. We are usually 6-9 feet in the ground depending on the window. Western Plains Equipment in Billings has/had a used 125 CASE back hoe attachment last time I was there. Pretty heavy duty and considerably less then the 10K Cat will want for their attachment. My suggestion would be 1st to see if a mini will work for you, if not you would want to test run a Cat back hoe attachment before signing for one.
     
  5. Gravel Rat

    Gravel Rat LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 9,544

    Before you go out and buy go rent a backhoe attachment and try it trust me once you have gotten used to running a mini or full size excavator and how nice it is. You jump onto a rubber tired backhoe or like you are looking at a skidsteer with a hoe attachment its frustrating. I know I found that everytime I ran backhoe your digging a hole or a trench etc you have such limited movement. Your constantly repositioning the machine and some spots you can't put the machine there because its too big.

    When ever I did use the rubber tired hoe its like I can't do that damn got to move. Like taking a bucket full of earth from the hole your digging you can only put it to either side of the hole then you run out of reach to the side.

    I don't know how much seat time you have had on a mini excavator maybe you haven't really gotten used to the convience so running a backhoe won't be frustrating. But if you have been running excavator for a long time you just get used to doing things say taking a scoop swing around and dump it behind the machine.

    If you can try see if you can carry a skid and a mini or try do jobs just with the mini.
     
  6. Patton

    Patton LawnSite Member
    from Montana
    Posts: 15

    Kaiser and Rat,
    Thanks for your input. Let me explain my situation more clearly. I have to travel up to 180 miles for jobs ( to Missoula) I am on the east front of the Rockies. I can really only trailer one unit. All last year I just rented mini ex's everything from 2-5 ton machines. I really do like them, but thought possibly a skid with a back hoe may be a more universal setup. We also have a cattle ranch, so would use the skid on a regular basis where as an excavator would be pretty job specific. BUT, I am not against getting both and just hauling the mini, if the back hoe unit is not up to par. One frustrating thing in Montana, is we don't have a lot of dealers with demo models available so I have not been able to try it myself. Of course I will try it before I buy it, I was hoping to pick up some good input in this forum...which I am. If the skid back hoe does not work out, I will probably go with a Cat 301.8.
     
  7. DUSTYCEDAR

    DUSTYCEDAR LawnSite Fanatic
    from PA
    Posts: 5,137

    i bought a jd4500 tractor loader backhoe
    for what i was using it for it was the best unit for all around work but not great for some up close digging
    i also have to rent a small miny-x to do some jobs around pools and foundation digging because the ho cant get close enough or if u can i couldent swing the boom enough to get rid of the dirt but with the mini i can swing it 180 and get it right in the loader bucket and off it goes
    the best setup would be a mini-x and a loader to get the job done fast but its a bigger load to move from job to job
     
  8. ksss

    ksss LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 7,129

    Maybe the best thing to do is demo one. You also may find renting a mini ex. in Missoula is cheaper. Those hoe attachments are expensive for what they are I think. Almost every OEM has someone in Missoula you should be able to find one to run. Bobcat brand is a Bradco. Should you decide on a mini ex I would go larger than the 301. To keep it busy you'll want to at least be able to dig water line, additions, set rock etc. The mininum size is a 7500 pound machine (10 foot dig depth)to be able to dig water line and move rocks of any size. Just a thought. You may want to go to Iron Planet.com they auction a lot of Cat equipment. You may be able to save some money.
     
  9. Patton

    Patton LawnSite Member
    from Montana
    Posts: 15

    Kaiser,

    Thanks for your input. You mentioned you have done several egress excavations, what size of mini are you using? I used a Terex 16 series (7800lbs) and to be honest it was too big for some of the jobs. I had to go down to a 4000 lb machine to fit into a few back yards. Has this been the case with you or are you able to use a bigger mini for this. When I first started doing alot of egress windows I was shopping for a 303CR. Now I am very leary of getting such a big machine (relatively) because of space issues. I just thought a skid combo would be a one stop shop. But now I'm starting to think I may have to get one of each...mini for the egress, skid for all else. :eek: Thanks for the ironplanet tip. I have been a member on that site for a year and a half. I can't believe some of the deals...but buyer beware.Thanks
     
  10. ksss

    ksss LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 7,129

    Mine is 12K machine and 6.5' in width. I had one that I had to rent a smaller machine for this year. To be honest we do them, about 10 a year, but I would really prefer not to. There isn't enough money in them I don't think (atleast on the excavation side). If I can work them in with other jobs I don't mind them, but overall I think they are just busy work. I have a brother in law that lives in Stevensville, his dad is an excavator. Sounds like there is a lot guys excavating in Bitterroot valley. Are the margins high enough to justify driving that far to work there?
     

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