how big of a mini do I need?

Discussion in 'Heavy Equipment & Pavement' started by kyle 03, Oct 17, 2005.

  1. kyle 03

    kyle 03 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 16

    I am interested in a mini excavator. I am looking in the used market because i do not want to get a loan and cannot afford a new one. I install patios and retaining walls and do small excavating jobs with my bobcat and dump truck. I would like to add a mini to my line up. What suggestions do you have? I have a 10,000 pound trailer so a 12k machine is out of the question.
  2. Scag48

    Scag48 LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,067

    We have a Cat 303CR and love it, don't know where we'd be without it now. Great compact size, doesn't have as much HP as the Deere 27CZTS but it digs like it's a 312, extremely impressive for it's size. We sling a 24" bucket on a 7,300 pound machine and it handles it just fine.
  3. allaccesslandscaping

    allaccesslandscaping LawnSite Member
    Messages: 103

    i been testing the mustang 3303 6500 lb manchine.. It has a lot of power for it size. very senstive controls. I to wanted a used manhine. But after I did the math it worth it to get a brand new one 60 months @ 3% intrest. i will put 10,000 down And pay about 500 a month. I rented a manchine twice a month for about $800... So I figure screw might as well pay for one..
  4. kyle 03

    kyle 03 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 16

    What do you guys think about a 331 bobcat or a 302.5 cat? There are a few of them going up for auction in the next few months. Will they have enough power to dig out side walks and patios?
  5. Gravel Rat

    Gravel Rat LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,544

    I would look into a 7500-8000lb machine the Deere 35D would be the right sized machine so you can pick up a decent sized rock,dig a decent sized hole and able to lift enough weight say placing a log.

    So some machines to look at Deere 35D, Hitachi Zaxis 35U, Kubota KX-91, Takeuchi TB 135, Caterpillar 303. My personal choice would be a Deere or the Hitachi as its the most common brand machine used here its also the most reliable and durable brand used here.

    The John Deere 27C isn't much smaller than the 35D the only difference is the 27C weighs 6500lbs the 35D weighs 7600lbs.

    The Hitachi Zaxis 27U and 35D is pretty much the same machine as the Deere just different paint there might be other slight differences that I'am unaware of.

    If I was buying a mini excavator for myself I would be buying a heavier machine a Zaxis 50U its a 10,000lb machine. They can pretty much get into most places you need to go they can do decent sized jobs with ease. I would spec the machine with steel tracks I can't stand the slippery rubber tracks. If I had to work on sensitive areas I would put down plywood to walk the machine on.
  6. Planet Landscaping

    Planet Landscaping LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 607

    Kubota 121-3 is what we just added in the same scenerio.

    UNISCAPER LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,426

    Whatb we do is calculate the size we would be most likely to run the most, buy it, then rent the rest. That turned out to be the Cat 301.8 micro mini, with a 16, 12, and 9" bucket, the deepest stick, we have a toro attachment adapter with a Dingo trencher hooked up to the end. The cool thing about this machine, we can get into 36" gates to excavate patios and dump dirt into powered wheel barrows, soking all hand times.

    We can bend the boom at a 90° angle and side track it, placing a trench within 9" of a fence or wall line. And, we can and have dug swimming pools with it.

    For larger jobs, we rent the Cat 304 or 5. That will be the next addition to the ever increasing arsenal.
  8. Bill Eh

    Bill Eh LawnSite Member
    Messages: 37

    I bought a Kubota KX 41 a 3600 # machine. I kept looking at bigger ones just because I thought I'm spending some serious $ I might as well get the biggest I can. I ended up with the KX41 because I couldn't get the bigger machines in my garage. I haven't been sorry for a second. The machine can do anything you mention you want one for and a whole lot more and as was mentioned by one poster the tracks can be narrowed to fit this little beast almost anywhere.

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