Another mini micro question

Discussion in 'Heavy Equipment & Pavement' started by turfquip, Dec 22, 2005.

  1. turfquip

    turfquip LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 860

    Today me and another guy grubbed out 19 taxus densiformus root clumps [3' and 4' trees] and we did OK until we hit the monster clump from a very healthy, 6' diameter plant. It took he and I about an hour of chopping, prying and cussing to get that last one.

    It occurred to me I am way to old to be doing it this way :dizzy:

    A mini X is very high on my acquisition list. Financing offers are good right now and presumably will remain so during the off months. My biggest concern is buying the right sized machine to do all this 'stupid work'.

    I've asked about the KX 41 in the past and received great answers as usual. The problem is, the Kubota dealer locally doesn't stock one. On the other hand, there's an Ohio Cat about five miles away with a whole lot full of equipment.

    Now I would like to ask one more time; is that class machine (under 2 ton) sufficient for speedy removal of root clusters such as the ones we did today?

    The 301.8 gets great reviews here and elsewhere. Does this one have expandable tracks like the KX 41? Is it powerful enough to get er done? I do a lot of back yard work, and the market is good enough to obtain more. I can't go after it without a serious increase in efficiency. Even if it costs 600 per month for 3 years.

    Is the 301.8 the right machine?



    GMUGNIER LawnSite Member
    Messages: 61

    I used 35 ton machines to dig stumps and don't think they are big enough - Go with the BIGGEST machine you can afford - IMO It's never big enough - and it's definitely never too big..

    Just my 0.02c worth

  3. Chriscob

    Chriscob LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,491

    I don't know if you have a skidsteer already, but we use the forks to pop the large bushes and trees out. We used to use the backhoe but have found the forks MUCH quicker at removal, plus it's easier to transport the ball and plant. There is a certain tecnique to it. But I've transplanted 5-6" caliper crabs (20 feet tall) quite successfully not to mentions rip and removing large shrubs and trees with my Bobcat A300. Remember to use the torque of the machine not just the hydraulics. You also may have to break loose the roots individually (just as you would with a hoe) if needed.
    Actually, on the size shrubs you listed (which is common) I use my "mini track loader" ASV30 (it only weighs 3,000lbs.) I even successfully transplanted a 16foot tall clump of birch with it. Again, there is a technique. Just set the forks at the correct spacing. Slide them under the center of the root ball at a slight angle and as you drive into the shrubs pry the forks downward and let the power of the machine pop it out. Of course, the ASV with it's tracks is nice because it simply refuses to loose traction.
  4. Gravel Rat

    Gravel Rat LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,544

    When your digging stumps and roots you can never have a machine big enough. My moms ex boss bought a 10,000lb Mitsubushi/Cat to clear his land it barely would touch a 12" stump.

    If I was buying a mini the smallest I would go is a 6000lb unit you can get one of those and where and you still can do a decent sized job with one. If you had a job to dig a foundation or doing some hardscaping using rocks or doing general landclearing of small areas.

    UNISCAPER LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,426

    We just bought anther 301.8, and Kubotas tracks expand just like the Caterpillar does. We just dug around a 2' diamter Queen palm in about 10 minutes. I used a 20" bucket to open the hole, and rip tooth to tear the rots apart. We then took a 257B and set of forks, dropped them into the hole and popped the tree, chained the trunk to the back gaurd, then lifted it out and backed up. We filled the void with the 301.8, then drive the 257 over to where the tree was being relocated.

    The whole process took an hour, we had 9' to work in betweeen the house and a 2-1 slope that we cut back for a wall.

    It's a great mini, and you get Caterpillar service at no extra charge with the machine. In comparison, Bobcat, Kubota, tachehuci, Komatsu, every one of them will make you wait a day or more if you need them. One of the ental stores we use has 80 bobcat skid steers, 16 Tach track drives, Kubota tractors, and Komatsu end loaders, and has had to wait ridiculous amounts of time when they need service.
    With Cat, they come within the hour so you don't loose any time.

    We routinely excavate swimming pools, dig for paver patios, we adapted a trencher from a Dingo so we trench irrigation, the 301.8 is a very versitile machine. It's just not a big machine.
  6. Squizzy246B

    Squizzy246B LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 837

    I have a 2004 301.8 on demo at the moment, great machine but:

    BILL where's the bloody pattern changer lever:blush:
  7. Bill Eh

    Bill Eh LawnSite Member
    Messages: 37

    First I will say a 301.8 is almost as big as a KX41. The breakout force of a 301 is slightly less than the KX41. The KX 41 is a 3600 pound machine and the 301 is just a bit less as I recall but still over 3000 pounds. Over all I would say they will do pretty much the same job. The 301 has an optional pattern changer but when I bought the KX41 that was standard equipment. I never use it. The rental companies need that option more than individual owners. The one thing that tipped me to Kubota was the quote I got for a thumb was half the price for the Kubota. Not sure if all CAT attachments are more expensive though. Both have the expandable tracks. I'd probably buy the one size bigger machine either CAT or Kubota unless access to the work area, transportation or space is an issue for you. You will double your breakout force and get better digging depth for about 1/4 the price more. No matter what machine you get there will be limits to its use. Depends on the normal work you do one will be the best choice. I know one company that does retaining walls and their standard machine they own is the 301.8. They rent the bigger one the few times they need one. The KX 41 (301.5 sized mechine) works good for me. One additional factor that pushed me to Kubota was my chat with the owner of a local rental store that rents the KX41s. He keeps them for around 1500 hours and has no trouble with them. You can imagine the abuse the rental units get. They must be durable. Regardless of what machine you get they are a whole lot more fun than a shovel.
  8. Lazer_Z

    Lazer_Z LawnSite Silver Member
    from NJ
    Messages: 2,578

    Kubota KX41-3 17HP,Max Dig Depth-7' 10",Max Reach-12' 8",Breakout Force-3,505 lbs,Operating Weight 3,693lbs & MSRP $25,890.

    Cat 301.8C 18.1 HP,Max. Dig Depth-7' 6",Max. Reach-12.5',Breakout Force-3,462lbs,Operating Weight-3,935lbs & MSRP $34,500

    Hope this helps out turfquip

  9. Squizzy246B

    Squizzy246B LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 837

    Pound for pound, and having seen and done it myself, I will have to back Bill's (Uniscapers) one eyed, if it aint a Cat its a dog theory on this one. The statistics mean very little compared to actual hydraulic performance. We have now run the KX 41 against the 301.8 and its chalk and cheese. The Cat will bury the Kubota in about 10 minutes flat, and this is with the Cat in JD (SAE) mode which I or none of my guys are familiar with. The Cat is simply faster and more powerful in every respect. It is a very clear case of what to watch out for in looking at statistics. The ONLY meaningful stat above is the dig depth.

    Some of you may recall my scepticism when Uniscaper made a similar statement awhile back....and I had good reason to be a Kubota owner, but now having run both its clear cut.

    UNISCAPER LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,426


    There is an unlockable door under the base boards of the machine. It is not a lever like the larger Cat machines are, it is a nut you turn in the center of a valve body.

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