KX121-3S questions

Discussion in 'Heavy Equipment & Pavement' started by Boondox, Mar 8, 2007.

  1. Boondox

    Boondox LawnSite Member
    Messages: 38

    In my quest for a mini-excavator I came up with several good deals on the Kubota KX71-3, but the machine is just simply too small for my needs. The KX121-3S is big, really big when it comes to maneuvering between hardwood trees in my forest, but the specs are awesome. The KX91-3S seemed like the perfect compromise: small footprint, good fuel economy, but a lot more power in the working group than the smaller 71. But I can't find one within 200 miles to look at, and I can't find a used one at all. And if they're that uncommon, I'd probably have to special order any parts needed for it, while the 121 is very common and parts available all over the place.

    So tomorrow after work I'm driving a couple hours to check out a 2006 KX121-3S with rubber, canopy, hydraulic thumb, 24" bucket and only 222 hours on the clock. The seller wants $32k for it, which seems pretty reasonable if it's in the shape he described.

    Are there any trouble areas or things I should definitely check on that model? Any suggestions for additional buckets on the 121? I was thinking a 12" and 30" would be ideal (the 12 for stumps), but with all that power maybe the 24" and a ditch bucket of 36" would be the best choices.

    TIA, Pete
  2. coopers

    coopers LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,223

    The 24" bucket works great for everything, stumps is not a problem either. The 12" bucket I would only use for ditching and that's about it, but that's just me. The 36" smooth clean up bucket is great to have for grading, getting a nice clean scoop of dirt and lots of it. I'm not sure on anyone else but I have never heard of any problems that are serious with the 121. Even where I used to work, with a rental company, our excavators held up very nicely, they were never down for long, only for their services or if some moron snapped a thumb doing god knows what!

  3. ksss

    ksss LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,170

    What happened to the Volvo?

    On the bucket thing. I do most everything with a 24" bucket also. I use the 12 for certain tasks. I do like it for pulling out huge trees. I cut the roots with 12" around the perimeter of the stump. It gives you twice the breakout of the 24". It works real well digging in frost with frost teeth. You may or may not need it. I guess not by what you desribed wanting to do with the machine. A grade bucket is a great attachment. Again since your not working commerically you may not need one.
  4. minimax

    minimax LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 734

    The prob. with stumping with a 12" bucket for stumps is the thumb is as wide as the bucket so you can't get the sides of the bucket under the stump, I use a 20" bucket for clearing and stumping, with a wide bucket if you swing the boom offset to the right or left you can get one of the out side teeth under the stump and to the tap root.I have a 6" and 12"(use for trenching)20",30" grade bucket,20" brush rake. The only thing I know Kubota has trouble with is there thumbs, I know a guy with a KX-121 that has had 5 main bucket,thumb to arm pins break in two and two thumb cylinders blow the head out the end of the cylinder( the treads gave way both times). Did you not like the volvo????

  5. minimax

    minimax LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 734

    I found more KX-91's then KX-71's on Machinery trader?

  6. ksss

    ksss LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,170

    That is true about the 12" concerning getting the edge of the bucket under the stump, but it sure breaks the roots easier than with the 24". This is of course on the very large stumps.
  7. Boondox

    Boondox LawnSite Member
    Messages: 38

    The Volvo is a nice machine, but it's the same price as the KX121-3S, has twice the hours, is four years older, and has no thumb. And in looking at the specs the 121 blows away the Volvo in almost every aspect: bucket curl, weight, ground pressure, HP, lifting capacity.

    I checked Machinery Trader and the only low hour KX-91-3 I found within a reasonable distance was just $2k less than a brand new unit...and that didn't include shipping
  8. Greybeard

    Greybeard LawnSite Member
    Messages: 132

    Try Leahy Equipment, Holyoke, MA. (413) 536-8901. They're about 40 miles from the VT line right along Rte. 91. They always have several excavators in stock, and they deliver. Bill Leahy is the owner, and Barry is the salesman I've dealt with. Good guys.
  9. Boondox

    Boondox LawnSite Member
    Messages: 38

    Greybeard -- Thanks, but I got your post too late!

    I just returned from NH. Nice trip, decently warm weather. The only issue was my dog's big paws turning on the seat warmers, making the mirrors turn out, turning the stability control on and off, etc. Other than that he's a great traveling companion! ;)

    Checked out that KX121-3S and bought it on the spot. It had 222 hours on it and just a couple of light scuff marks on the counterweight. It went into service as a rental late last August and since they don't rent after Thanksgiving (because of the snow) it really hasn't seen much action.

    Of all the minis I test drove (smaller Kubota, Takeuchi, Volvo, Bobcat) it was by far the SMOOTHEST rig I'd sat in. Being as how New Hampshire, like Vermont, has plenty of granite, so I drove over to a one ton chunk and picked it up with the thumb. No problem. Moved it to the side of the rig. No problem. Extended the working group as far as possible with the boulder about six feet off the ground. No problem. For the sort of work I'll be doing that mini excavator is gloriously stable! A very sweet rig!

    Delivery some time next week.

    A question: the dealer said for short hauls (like the 35 miles to my nearest dealer if I need repairs) my 10k trailer with brakes on both axles and my '06 Chevy 2500HD with the 6L V8 would be fine. The loaded trailer would be exceeding my truck's rated capacity, but he said folks do it all the time and there's a fudge factor built in to the specs. Any comments on that?

  10. Scag48

    Scag48 LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,067

    You won't have any issues towing that machine with your truck. Just remember that you don't have a diesel and give the 6.0 a little time to get up to speed. I've towed our 303CR with my old 2500, it has a 6.0 Vortec as well. It'll give the 6.0 a little work out, but just be smart about things and you'll be just fine. Also, be when going downhill and around corners, a 9,000 pound excavator will push that truck around a lot. I had a few scary times with our 303, just take things easy and you'll be alright as you're not towing on a daily basis. Have fun with your new toy! :drinkup:

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