Excavator craning

Discussion in 'Heavy Equipment & Pavement' started by ma5tr, Oct 28, 2005.

  1. ma5tr

    ma5tr LawnSite Member
    from toronto
    Messages: 103

    hello all,
    after looking at a bunch of excavators except for cat, our cat saleman got us buttered up enough to get us to try one of there machines. (he did this by replacing our lemon 232b with a brand new one!!)

    we think we are going to go new.

    we want to be able to:

    a. lift and place stone for natural stone walls. average stones will be approx 1400#

    b. be able to get into tight areas without having to tear up property lines

    c.have good digging characteristics.

    I understand that the above listed will probably not translate into the 2 machines we are looking at but we want to buy new so these are what we are thinking (from cat anyways).

    1. a 302.5c because it doesn't have 0 tail swing we feel that it will probably be able to handle the same weight rocks as a 303 so we don't know if a 303 is worth the extra $$.

    2. a 303 because it would be good in tight areas.

    what do you think is a more logical machine for us.
  2. Gravel Rat

    Gravel Rat LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,544

    Look at a Kubota 161 its a 12,000lb machine or a John Deere 50D a 10,000lb machine and stay away from Komatsu,Bobcat etc. I have run 161 and worked with one they are good little machines they can do alot of work.

    UNISCAPER LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,426

    You need a Cat 305 with a thumb and a 360° knuckle boom. Any machine in the weight class you are looking will be limited in capacity when you lift and have the stick/boom extended.

    Regarding the replacemnt of a 232B....The way Caterpillar works is they use lots more R&D than any other company in the market., So, by giving you a new machine, they get to dismantle yours and rectify future problems. They do the same thing when they offer replacement insurance on machines that get wrecked on jobsites. Anyone else would tell you tough luck and not even offer you a back up machine. That lost time equates to billable hours and is a prime consideration for any purchase, especially in a seasonal market.
  4. ma5tr

    ma5tr LawnSite Member
    from toronto
    Messages: 103

    thank you all for the quick response,
    sorry i forgot to put in one major factor, i am limited to the amount the machine can way because of the trailer/vehicle that will be towing it. I do not want to get a machne that is more than 7500# thats why i listed those 2 machines.

    I feel that because the 302.5 is not 0ts it will have similar stone placement capabilities as the 303.

    what do you think?

    Thanks again
  5. mrusk

    mrusk LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,260

    I'm looking at a 303 also. I'm looking to buy in the spring/summer. I'd like a bigger machine, but i want something i can tow with my 3/4 ton cummins.

    Bigger is not always bigger. These small machines can dig alot. For average size residential retaining walls and patios/walk ways do i really need bigger? On a 60ft walkway, how much longer will it take me to dig out with a 303 vs a 305? 30 minutes?

    If i had a bigger truck, i do not know if i would even buy bigger.

    A bigger truck will be coming in a year and a half if things keep up. Then i can add a 12-14k machine maybe.


    UNISCAPER LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,426


    For the application mentioned in the post, you have to place a machine for the job that will do it all of the time. If you grab a 1400 lb rock with a bucket, then extend the load, it is the equivelant of lifting a rock 3-5 times it's size and the machine will end up on it's nose, or stalling out.

    For your application, digging a walkway, we use a 301.8 with a 16" bucket and are just as fast as any other compact machine for the task. And, we can drive it into the back of a heavy pick up and drive off if we had to.

    I use the 80% rule. If we can use X machine either 80% of the time, or we cut at least 80% of our hand labor force for a given job, we buy the machine. The 301.8 sits a few days a week, but, we were able to replace 2 employees with it. At a salary of $1,000.00 a week each, do the math, it does not take long to see it penciled out.
  7. Gravel Rat

    Gravel Rat LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,544

    Thats a good way of doing it Bill I never thought of it that way. A excavator is better than a goon spoon any time.

    I don't know what its like in Toronto but here in B.C. Caterpillar really isn't that great service wise etc and parts need to be ordered through Cat there is no field service.

    The reason why I suggested John Deere is they have better prices better service and a better machine in general. Its one of the reasons why John Deere/Hitachi is the most common machine along with Komatsu.

    For a mini it would be hard choice for me it would be between a Kubota or a Deere/Hitachi both have good dealer support.

    If your looking for a Kubota machine in the weight class you are looking at then you will have to go with a KX91-3 it weighs 7500lbs.

    To sum up the rambling the machine I would probably would buy would be

    Hitachi Zaxis 35U
    29.9 Hp
    7600lbs operating weight
    Lifts 3400lbs over blade and 1400lbs over side
    Digs 10'
    Dumps 11.5'
    6100lb Bucket break out
    The machine would have a full cab
    12" steel tracks

    I found a used 2005 Model Zaxis 35 with 198 hours for roughly 45,000 dollars Canadian I also found a 2003 303CR Cat with 702 hours on it for the same price for the same size machine with more hours and 2 years older and it has a open canopy so your paying extra for the name :rolleyes:

    I also found a brandnew John Deere 35D same as the Hitachi so its 52,000 dollars Canadian.

    Sorry for the Cat bashing but I'am not paying extra just for the name and the poor service that goes along with it.
  8. Squizzy246B

    Squizzy246B LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 837

    I have posted this before...somewhere? but this is what we use our 161 for...lots. We lift blocks to 1100lbs regularly but I wouldn't want to do this with a smaller machine at full stick or with our extension. It is amazing what you can do with the extension.


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