3.5 ton compact excavator choices

Discussion in 'Heavy Equipment & Pavement' started by Boondox, Jan 28, 2007.

  1. Boondox

    Boondox LawnSite Member
    Messages: 38

    I've been looking at the Kubota KX91-3, the Volvo EC35, and the Bobcat 331 because they seem to be a nice tradeoff between capacity and the ability to maneuver in tight spaces. Whatever I get will be used to create and de-silt drainage ditches, harvest firewood and stone, rebuild 200 year old stone walls in my forest, maintain logging roads, and line my pond and the stream that feeds it with boulders to reduce erosion. The ability to get in and out of tight places is a plus, as is the ability to lower large boulders into positions below grade without tipping. The Kubota is less counter-balanced than the Volvo and the Bobcat but is what I'm most familiar with...and the size is perfect for use in the woods. The Volvo is backed up by the best dealer in my area. And of course Bobcats are bomb proof.

    Any feedback on those machines? I live in the sticks so will be sticking with those three brands for ease of getting parts and service.

    TIA, Pete
  2. Dirty Water

    Dirty Water LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,794

    I'm a big fan of Kubota, nice cabs (except for the travel pedals) and very fast and responsive hydraulics. The Kx-91 is not a zero turn machine, but it has very little overhang.

    My second choice would be Case, The CX31 is around that size, and I like those a lot.

    Everyone is going to give you a different opinion, so demo all three and buy the one you liked best.
  3. ksss

    ksss LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,157

    I don't think I would call a Bobcat excavator bombproof. I would go with the machine that gives you the tightest tail swing if your operating in trees and the one that your most familiar with . That would be the Kubota, I have yet to hear anyone have a major complaint with one.
  4. Gravel Rat

    Gravel Rat LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,544

    You can't go wrong with a Kubota :drinkup:

    As for Bobcat being bomb proof that might be stretching it a little I never been too impressed with Bobcat mini ex's.

    Oh ya welcome to the site :laugh:
  5. murray83

    murray83 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 347

    Look into the Kubota U35 as an option to the KX 91,a very nice machine and zero swing.

    But I have to say look into a Deere 35D,nice cab layout,excellant on fuel,good parts network and they are a work horse for its size,good bang for your buck.
  6. mrusk

    mrusk LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,260

    I have to say you can not go wrong with Kubota as long as you have a good dealer. As amatter a fact, all the machines out their are decent. All that really makes a different now is dealer support and then price.

    Just make sure you buy the size machine that fits you best. Don't buy a 3.5 ton if you need a 5 ton. And don't buy a 5 ton if all you need is a 2 ton!

  7. Dirty Water

    Dirty Water LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,794

    I really think you should consider demoing the KX-121. Its not much bigger, but the increased capacity may really help you, and you can still tow it behind a regular pickup.
  8. murray83

    murray83 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 347

    The 161 can be hauled by a one ton too no?

    3/4 tons useually can pull around 10,000 pounds and the 161 comes in around 12,000 with steel tracks if I remember right I may be wrong.
  9. AWJ Services

    AWJ Services LawnSite Platinum Member
    from Ga
    Messages: 4,281

    A 2002 F250 max trailer is 13800
    A 2007 F250 can do 16000

    2007 F550 will tow a max of 24600.

    These are all fifth wheel ratings.
  10. Dirty Water

    Dirty Water LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,794

    Don't forget at least 3,000 lbs for a trailer as well.

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