Backhoe or Skid steer and mini excavator?

Discussion in 'Heavy Equipment & Pavement' started by t190, Jan 30, 2007.

  1. t190

    t190 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 144

    lately i have been wondering apon a backhoe or skidsteer and mini excavator.
    both used the backhoes, i have looked into are case 580/90, 1998-2002. with over 5000 hrs on them for any were from 38 to 45k. the other option is the skid steer and mini excavator route. I have been looking at upcoming auctions at Rb and ironplanet and auction resluts. What i have came up with: is that i could get a decent shape, less than 1500 hrs skidsteer or Ctl for $10-18k. i could also get a good shape cat or bobcat mini-X (1.8 tones to 4tonnes) for around $10-18k. (i know the backhoe is more but if i bought it in the states taxes/customs/exchange blahblahblah would come almost equal)

    so now what i need it for
    -Digging fence poles
    -loading hay/unloading(big square bales 1000 to 2000 pounds)
    -Plowing our yard(large yard due to the fact own a trucking company) avg snow is around 2-3 feet a year
    - there is alot of trenching to do
    - We do have a forklift, but it would be great for moving stuff around the yard in the snow
    -Must be able to go up decent hills(to fields/ sand pit)
    -load a dump truck

    What it must have/do
    -Bucket, Forks, Blade, hay spear Q/A (skidsteer>backhoe)
    -Beable to dig 8 feet deep
    -joystick controls
    - thumb is a big help
    -lift 2000 pounds +
    -Lift 11 feet
    -Cab/ac/heat for plowing in the winter

    Well this is all i can think of now, if i do think of more i will add it.

    If any buddy has any advice (pros/cons please add) to help he decide
  2. ksss

    ksss LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,157

    I would probably go with a backhoe. Nothing you speced out really requires a small machine. It looks like a Super L series II or first series M may fall in your price range. You can find them with hyd. front coupler. Very handy as it looks like you will be switching attachments often. I see no reason to go with a skid steer. The other route. If you did go with a skid steer it will have to be a large one CASE 465/95XT Gehl 7810 sized machine. The mini ex. to be able to productivly dig 8 feet you should have at least a 5 ton machine, a little larger would be better.

    In short go with a backhoe. It sounds like the perfect fit for what you want to do with it.
  3. dozerman21

    dozerman21 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,171

    I would also go the backhoe route. For the jobs you listed, I think it would be a better fit.

    All of the L and M models to my knowledge have been mostly trouble free machines, but I'd stay away from a K series, in case you came across a good deal on one. Definetly get the 4WD (I'm sure you know that), and I would go for the wobble sticks or pilot controls over the 3 lever, if you aren't accustomed to either style. They're nice machines that should be able to handle all your work.
  4. Scag48

    Scag48 LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,067

    Yeah, don't get 3 lever, it's not fun whatsoever.
  5. Gravel Rat

    Gravel Rat LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,544

    Whats wrong with the 3 sticks and foot pedals it takes awhile to get used to but otherwise they are not that bad.

    A 4x4 backhoe is a must a 2wd backhoe is only good for doing utility work where you spend all the time on pavement. With a 2wd your constantly trying to get unstuck.
  6. Scag48

    Scag48 LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,067

    No way, 3 lever with foot swing is not fun at all. Face it man, you're just old fashioned :laugh:
  7. Gravel Rat

    Gravel Rat LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,544

    Running the old style Case controls is extra exercise :laugh:

    Actually I prefer 2 stick machines and even them you need to get used to when your used to running excavator.
  8. dozerman21

    dozerman21 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,171

    Some guys who have always ran 3 levers love them, but if you don't know how to run either style, the wobble sticks IMO are easier to learn. Less movement, but then I don't like foot controls on a skid either. Like gravel said, wobble sticks carry over to excavator controls.:clapping:
  9. Gravel Rat

    Gravel Rat LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,544

    With the old Case foot pedal swing you have to be carefull the boom can swing to either direction FAST :laugh:

    You watch any old timer that is used to using the multi stick backhoe controlls those levers are a extension of their body. Knowing how to feather the hydraulics is a must. Even running a backhoe with 2 wobble sticks takes skill because running a backhoe is a art in itself. A person that has run excavator all their life will have troubles with a backhoe.

    Like somebody said on the site a rubber tired backhoe is a swiss army knife of machines it can do a little bit of everything but nothing perfectly.
  10. coopers

    coopers LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,223

    I'm only 22 and I love the 3 style on case. I grew up on those (I'm not an old timer! lol :hammerhead: ). It's pretty funny to watch someone use the foot pedals if they've never used them....WATCH OUT! It's weird because when I use an excavator it's no big deal....I tried using a 310G with pilot, holy crap I was a fish out of water. It feels so unatural on a backhoe, but if I grew up on Deere I guess I wouldn't say that huh?


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