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Help with purchase inspection.

Discussion in 'Heavy Equipment & Pavement' started by Tater2018, Aug 11, 2018.

  1. Tater2018

    Tater2018 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 10

    I went to look at a kubota kx 121 last nite. This machine looked well taken care of. Pretty tight for 2000hrs all paint looks great. Everything worked even the a/c
    2 things I noted that I need some help on. After putting the blade down I swung it around and tried to use the hoe to lift the back end off the ground so that the whole machine would be elevated and I couldn’t get the one end up. It seemed to push a little but not able to lift up the whole machine. The owner got in it because he was a bit annoyed that something may be wrong. With his attempt he was able to get the machine fully lifted a couple feet off the ground but it seemed he did it by dropping the bucket to the ground as close to the cab as possible and then pushing the stick outwards therefore lifting the machine up rather than putting the bucket down say 7’ out from the cab and then just lifting straight up. Is thisjust my lack of experience on these machines. Or Is this something showing weakness in the hydraulics? If so is there a better way to do a test before I hand over any$$.
    The second thing I noted was turning left or right at a stand still it didn’t seem to just pivot freely. I wasn’t able to just spin in a full circle. Going forward and reverse were fine and the low and hi speeds worked it just seemed to lack power in rotation. Again my lack of experience? Or should the machine just pivot on a dime when pulling the sticks opposite of each other. Please help with any other advise on what to look for as this is my first machine.



  2. zraffz

    zraffz LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 425

    The closer you get to a 90 degree angle, the harder the machine will be to lift. You were trying to lift with the boom while he used the boom and dipper together. You'd have to research capacity charts to determine if it is doable with that machine.
    The machine may or may not turn the way you did it. I've never really tried to pull both sticks in opposite directions but in theory it should spin without issue. Instead, you want to use a combination of the tracks and the hoe to spin; this will also reduce vegetation damage and reduce the chance of popping off a track.

    You want to check for the obvious leaks from the motor and hydraulic system.
    Check over the motor (oil and air filter will give you a good indication of how the machine was taken care of; as well as the cleanliness of the interior).
    Inspect the shafts of the rams for damage and the packing areas for leaks.
    Inspect the hydraulic lines.
    Check the boom and dipper for cracks or repairs/welds/plates although it wouldn't be common on a mini.
    Check all of the pins and bushings for play; on a small machine you can rock most of the joints by hand - otherwise gently jerk the controls a bit to feel for slop. These areas are bucket to dipper. Dipper to boom. Boom to frame.
    Check the turn table for play. You will have to slowly lift up the machine using the hoe and feel for rocking. Next, position the bucket in mid air extended out and physically push the bucket left and right by hand to determine play in the turn table.
    Inspect the tracks and components for wear or damage.
    Physically inspect the turn table for damage, worn teeth or repairs.
    Pay attention that all of the zerk fittings are in place and properly greased.
    The hydraulics should smoothly move without binding, jerking or slop. The sticks should return to neutral by themselves. Ensure any float functions work properly. Listen for any whining/whirring noise when exercising the hydraulics. Ensure the machine tracks evenly.

    The KX121 is a fantastic machine. I've ran all of Kubota's mini excavators and I'm very impressed.
    hort101 likes this.
  3. TPendagast

    TPendagast LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 15,608

    This is all lack of experience
    A backhoe loader will lift itself with the bucket and hoe
    But not a mini ex , not like you are trying to do.

    It measures breakout force not lifting capacity or pushing capacity
    Many of the smaller mini exes won’t “nose” or push/pull with carriage rotation well... you need to get into a midi before that happens

    As far as rotating the tracks
    1) you don’t want to do that ... it’s a good way to throw a track
    2) what you’re describing is the track rubbing/gaining traction, which is the “resistance” you are feeling
    The track will either grab with its lugs or build up material and push it along like a plow

    If you want the spin 360 with a track hoe, it’s common knowledge for an experienced operator to use the boom to pick up the nose and swing with the carriage rotation while using feet to counter rotate the tracks.
    That’s how you sharp pivot with a track hoe
    Otherwise some forward or backward motion is completely normal for turning sharply with a mini ex
  4. OP

    Tater2018 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 10

    Thanks guys. I’m learning a lot from all your advice. I’m most likely going to sign papers on this machine this week. I’m sure I’ll be on here asking more questions in hopes to learn as much as I can as I put some hrs on it.
  5. OP

    Tater2018 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 10

    So here is a link to an inspection video that I saw. Right around the 1:20min mark is the maneuver I was talking about. Is he lifting the other end up by uncurling the bucket or is he dropping the boom to lift up the machine?
  6. OP

    Tater2018 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 10

    After watching it a few times it looks like once the bucket hits the ground he pushes the dipper stick outwards and that in turn raises the machine?
  7. Mdirrigation

    Mdirrigation LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,328

    Are you sure you want a machine with metal tracks ?
    zraffz likes this.
  8. zraffz

    zraffz LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 425

    I thought the same thing but didn't want to give him more to think about. I've never ran a mini with metal tracks but I know how bad it sucks to track a 16 metric ton machine up a mile long driveway using drag mats!
  9. Mdirrigation

    Mdirrigation LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,328

    I buddy of mine has a 1984 mini he still uses , it has metal tracks . Anytime he had to cross or use a driveway he has to lay down boards .
  10. OP

    Tater2018 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 10

    I had reservations about the steel tracks, but for my situation it actually is a positive. Most of the time it is going to be used on my property in the woods and clearing the concrete slabs and such and I know rogue branches and rocks and concrete can quickly slice and dice the rubber tracks. When I tested the machine on his property I ran it across his lawn forward and backward with a couple slight turns and honestly didn’t tear it up any more the the rubber tracked machines I have tested. Of course if I come across the time or two when I have trek over some blacktop then some mats will be in order.

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