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Advice needed for future Equip. Purchase

Discussion in 'Tractors' started by GardenofWeeden, Sep 7, 2004.

  1. GardenofWeeden

    GardenofWeeden LawnSite Member
    Messages: 50

    I have been reading up on the posts and so glad I found this website. True eager business owners out there that have excellent advice.

    Since this is the case, I am deciding upon buying a few pieces of equipment for next year. We put a lot of lawns down and other landscaping work for our customers. (Grading, Stump removal, landscape design and rock gardens.) What we are deciding upon is a tractor with front end loader and backhoe that is capable of optional attachements with a lesser degree of work on the operator. (Such as a heavy burden of changing attachments and the sort.)
    Another question is if the Harley Power Rake is as good as it sounds and could fit on the equipment I am seeking?

    Research on the Bob-Cat skid steer loader has an option similar to the Harley Rake, but from you experts...what do you recommend?
    "Garden of Weeden"

    UNISCAPER LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,426

    I would go with a Ford 545D 4x4 or the New Holland equivelant if you want a tractor. This is the ultimate landscape tractor unsurpassed by none, with Fermec comming in a close second. They will lift a house and are built for work, and will last 30-40 years if you take care of them.

    As far a back hoe loaders, once again I have to go with any Caterpillar because of service, dependability, and holding of it's value longer than anything else in the market place. The problem with any specialized backhoe loader, is the backhoe is welded on and the tractor has no 3 point hitch.

    There are a few compact varieities of tractor that have backhoe attachments but none I would call true production machines. Most jap tractors are 10 year throw away models, which means you need to put your equipment on 3 year plans and keep trading in for newer units before break downs become revenue takers. Ford has a reputation for going the distance. My uncles Golden Jubeilee had 27,000 hours on it, smoked like a fogger, but never had the head off and started in 0° weather in 5 cranks after it's winter tune up.

    I guess you need to determine what you are doing the most of. From your list of job functions, it does not look like you do a great deal of trenching, and maybe it would be best to rent when you need to cut trenches.

    If you want grading and shaping attachements, the Ford uses a 3 point hitch that you can integrate into a computer and direct with a laser. The front loader will lift a small house.

    When you start attaching things like backhoes, they become cumbersome and take alot of production time. If you want a back hoe, I would get a mini excavator and combine uses with the grading equipment.

    You can use a skid steer and buy all the attachments you need for the front of it, but at one point, you are going to loose productivity by using a multi purpose machine. Backing up with grade rakes and box scrapers is a real pia and you are best off pulling that equipment behind a tractor rather than dragging it in reverse, forever looking over your shoulder to see if you are going to hit something.

    We use two pieces, track loaders with blades, or wheeled loaders (skid steers, tractors) and the mini X. It costs more, but when you start adding the lost production time and the inefficiencies of multi purpose equipment, specialized equipment for each function is the way to go.
  3. GardenofWeeden

    GardenofWeeden LawnSite Member
    Messages: 50

    Thanks for the advice. I am looking in to the equipment. I am liking the Case 21D. We are expanding and have tons of lawns put in to newly constructed homes. Any info on the harley Power rake?
    Thanks do much for the advice.

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