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Driveway Excavation/excavator purchase help.

Discussion in 'Heavy Equipment & Pavement' started by deerewashed, May 23, 2011.

  1. deerewashed

    deerewashed LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 883

    hey guys my family's landscape design/install business in booming right now and well every now and then we think of buying a mini excavator or backhoe as renting is a b*tch and we think we can money off the machine itself.

    Today my dad called for a few estimates from a few different companies to redo our own asphalt driveway. It is a more than 1/4 miles long but now more than 1/2. Well my mom wants to level out the dowhill parking area and make a cortyard level to the driveway by putting a wall in and filling it on with dirt to make it level.

    well anyway to do everything my mom wants it will require to rip up the driveway, take out 1 36" tree stump, and 2 18-24" tree stumps, dig a trench for base of cortyard wall, and dig new driveway portion as well as fill in old portion.

    Also we need to dig up 1 36" old stump and 1 48" old stump, as well as 6 14" stumps to transplant 4 trees with one of those huge transplant trucks.

    right now the price to dig up all this is steep considering we would have a tree guy and a driveway guy remove the stumps and driveway.

    I am thinking for this price we can buya nice used 3 to 5 ton mini, do it ourselves and we can use the mini later for our biss so we dont have to rent anymore.

    my question is can a 3 ton mini do all this?
    can a 5 ton do all this?
    would a tlb be better for this?
    would a skid be best?

    I think a 5 ton is perfect consider thats what we use most but.....?????

    sorry for ranting but i couldnt really sum it up!!!
  2. deerewashed

    deerewashed LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 883

    also i just learned it would be for a 15x40 barn tear down and base rip up as well as leveling off.
  3. ksss

    ksss LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,151

    I like the 6 ton models the best. I owned a 3.5T prior and the bigger machine more makes up the price difference with its increased capability. It actually isn't even close. You can take on larger jobs, dig deeper, load trucks easier, dig through frost easier etc. They are a little harder to move around. You need larger trucks and trailers to move them around legally. My 3.5t was 5' wide conventional swing my 6t machine is zero swing/zero tail (well nearly) and it takes up 6.6 ft of width. I have owned these machines since 03 and twice I have had to rent a small mini ex. One of those times the 3.5t would not have worked either. They cost about 15k more it seems new.
  4. deerewashed

    deerewashed LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 883

    I know it is the bigger the better but i need something that can do this job but doesnt break the bank if you know what i mean, i am gonna buy used no doubt and want to know if a 3.5 ton can break an asphalt driveway.

    I really just need a nice machine no less than 3 ton for under 20,000. is it possible?
    Is 3000 hours a lot?
  5. tuney443

    tuney443 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 30

    Deerewashed--I'm an excavator in biz for 37 years now.Small mini's have their place but for your stated job description I wouldn't even bother having one on site.You need 2 rigs here--the first is a decent sized excavator something in the 9-12 ton class with nothing smaller than a 3' wide bucket--ideally a 4' bucket with a hydraulic thumb would be best.Have a narrower 2' bucket for those huge stumps that need pulling.Ripping up asphalt can be a PITA if you don't have the right tools to be productive.You have some serious yardage there so you would want at least 2 decent sized dump trucks for hauling.If there's no or limited room to access from either side of the driveway,the job will take much longer.Coordination is key either way.The second rig is a dozer,nothing smaller than a 550-650 Deere for cleaning up residual asphalt[if any],pushing off base,grading sub base,putting back base or adding to it.It's definitely NOT a job for a novice,especially with your size job so only you can judge if you're up to it.It will take some SERIOUS time to do this right,that is a given.
  6. deerewashed

    deerewashed LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 883

    Oh wow. Didnt think it would need to be that large. We were just going to try and save a couple grand on the actual asphalt rip up part of the job, didnt think it would require such large tools. Thank You!
  7. cat320

    cat320 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 823

    I just took out a 36 " stump with my 580L and it just barly did it . bobcat's E35 is a nice size machine that can to alot of the smaller stuff but when it comes to pulling big stumps and barn ripdowns you would want / need a bigger machine i guess in this case a one size fit's all will not work but you could get the smaller machine to do the driveway rip up and do the smaller stuff and just rent the bigger for the day or 2 that you need to pull stumps and the bran tear down.
  8. ksss

    ksss LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,151

    There are many ways to skin this project. If your asphalt is a couple inches thick a 3t machine will work. If its a roadway with 80 years worth of overlay then no it wont. I have pulled stumps as large as 13' across with my TK and my 465 (using both to load the stump on to a 24K trailer. Yes my 160 would have been better but there was no access so you use what you got. I have tore 2 story buildings down with a my TK as well. I see nothing in what you wrote that could not be done with either a 3t or a 6t machine. Granted it wont be fast and depending on the type of barn, as mentioned may not be the project for a rookie but it can done. Your trying to maximize your ROI I do the same thing. When your working on your own project productivity is not the driver. Granted when working for someone else it certainly is. I suggested a 6t because it offers the most versatility from smaller jobs to bigger jobs. Used they will cost a little more but you can do more with them and projects like this will be handled a lot easier with the bigger machine.

    Its like the guy from the UK who posts on here says. "Whats big can do a little and a lot but whats a small can only do a little" or something like that.
  9. deerewashed

    deerewashed LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 883

    Yea it is 2 inches or less of 15 to 17 year old asphalt, i think it will all just crumble with just the first large crack. I am really interested in th bobcat e50 and the john deere 50d. but they both cost in the upwards of 40k lol. barn is one story and i can put a hole through the wall with a light tap of a hammer to show how weak it is.
  10. ksss

    ksss LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,151

    If your looking used avoid the bobcat mini ex. I think the E series might be better but they will come at new price. Other than that no one really makes a bad machine. Find one that is in good shape at a good price and thats the one to buy. Build your market with that machine and when you have a solid niche built and you can afford it then trade that off for a new machine or a newer used machine that you really want. By then you will know what features you want and need. Easier to make an educated decision that way.

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