1. Missed the live Ask the Expert event?
    Catch up on the conversation about fertilization strategies for success with the experts at Koch Turf & Ornamental in the Fertilizer Application forum.

    Dismiss Notice

First Machine Purchase

Discussion in 'Hardscaping' started by clandscaper, Nov 14, 2007.

  1. clandscaper

    clandscaper LawnSite Member
    Messages: 26

    Just wondering your guys thoughts/ opinions on what the best type of machine to buy for hardscape and general landscape work. I have owned my own business for two years and have rented machines when needed to keep my overhead low, but this spring I want to buy my first machine because business has been great.

    The vast majority of my work is stonework, from patios and walkways to retaining walls and steps. I need something that I can move large stones around with and also excavate the site and move base material, etc...

    I was first thinking of buying a small excavator but now I am considering a skidsteer due to the wide range of attachments so it seems more versatile. I was leaning against getting a compact tractor because in my opinion the versatility one gets from having these machines does not outweight the negatives.

    I currently own a Toyota Tundra so my truck should be able to handle towing the relatively smaller machines. Over the winter I also need to decide whether to purchase a dump trailer for my truck, or buy another truck with a dump bed which could also act as a means to transport the machine.

    Any thoughts would be extremely appreciated. I would like to keep the machine purchase under $15k, so I could be all in with either a dump trailer and machine or used hardscape truck and machine for under $25k.

  2. P.Services

    P.Services LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,319

    a dump truck and a dingo
  3. Littletruck

    Littletruck LawnSite Member
    from Indiana
    Messages: 51

    Look for a used Isuzu NPR or GMC "W" series truck with a flat dump bed, these can be had cheap and they sip the diesel fuel, Mine does better than my tacoma on MPG.

    They dont push snow, if you have the funds look at the UD 4x4...man thats a truck.
  4. cgland

    cgland LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,929

    Definately go w/ a Skiddy. You can't beat the materials handling capability of them, plus they are fast. If you plan on sticking to hardscaping, go w/ a skiddy and mini-x. You can't beat the combo.
    P.S. I have a dump truck for sale if you are interested. 2001 Chevy 3500HD (15Kgvw) w/ 47K miles on it. I may even throw in a 10K# trailer. PM me if interested.

  5. McKeeLand

    McKeeLand LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 681

    Like CG said go with the skid steer first, a mini x is great addition, but you cant get by without a skid-steer for hardscaping. the price range is going to be hard to find a good machine that can lift your cubes of block. you need a machine that is rated for 2500# or better. the bobcat s250 would be perfect. it lifts just about anything except full cubes of wall block, like 4200#. you'll just need to break down a couple of rows off the back. an older Bobcat would be the 873, that will lift full cubes of wall block. with those size machines though you will need a bigger truck to haul, a 3/4 ton or better.

    SOUTHERNGREENSCAPES LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 763

    get a skidder and a real truck. Sorry, i had to do it. I just couldn't resist.
  7. clandscaper

    clandscaper LawnSite Member
    Messages: 26

    Thanks for the opinions. I figured a skid steer would be the way to go.

    How is the backhoe attachment? Is it worth buying since I won't be buying a mini ex for another season or so..

    And Southerngreenscapes, I know my Tundra is not a real heavy duty work truck, but it is extremely reliable and I wouldn't trade it for anything as my personal truck. However, I know I need to upgrade to something larger with a dump bed, which I am planning on doing this spring so that way my crew will have it drive to all job sites and move the machine around with.

    So any thoughts on the backhoe attachment?

    Thanks again
  8. McLandscapingInc

    McLandscapingInc LawnSite Member
    Messages: 66

    I would recommend a CTL and a 550 or 5500 series truck to start with. Also I wouldn't spend the money on the backhoe attachment. Save and maybe in a couple years buy a mini-x.
  9. tthomass

    tthomass LawnSite Gold Member
    from N. VA
    Messages: 3,498

    I've got a mid size track loader.........T190. Works great! Small enough to get in peoples backyards, light enough anything can tow it, strong enough to move pallets........and its a track machine, I don't get stuck.

    *Pulls my 16,000 lb truck (empty weight) out when its stuck and up a slope......all in a grassy, slick field. The day I said it earned its keep.

    SOUTHERNGREENSCAPES LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 763

    I Was Just Yanking Your Chain. I Love To Get Tundra Owners All Worked Up.

Share This Page