Lets talk mini excavators from 2.7- 6 ton.

Discussion in 'Heavy Equipment & Pavement' started by ksss, Aug 29, 2013.

  1. ksss

    ksss LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,168

    Things seem to be changing some in the way OEMs are marketing these machines.

    I am curious what you guys think about the current market machine weights, tail swings and horsepower in the 2.7 – 5.5 ton weight range. I know the 3.5 sized machine is the most popular but every OEM seems to have a different philosophy in what other machines they offer around that machine. What is driving this? I would like to know your guys’ opinion on who has the best line-up and why?

    Here is what I discovered with the Wacker Neuson 38Z3. It’s slightly heavier than a typical 3.5 ton machine but it had excellent reach. I enjoyed easily towing it, as opposed to my TB153 which is just over 13K lbs as spec’d. Are you guys buying certain machines based on transport weight to avoid the CDL requirements or is it certain performance abilities with the machines?

    Here is what I would see as an ideal mini-ex OEM line-up: 2.7 ton zero tail, 3.5 ton conventional tail, 3.5 zero tail, 4.3 ton conventional tail and a 5.5 ton zero tail. What do you guys think about this and why? For instance, one thing I do not understand is why both Kubota and Bobcat offer 3.2 ton conventional tail excavator. Why not just make this machine 3.5 ton?”

    I am not a real fan of a conventional tail mini ex but they still seem to sell, so others must see value in them. I am curious what some of the different views on this are. It used to be pretty straight forward. The sizes were 27, 35 , and 50. Times have changed, I am curious what the driver is.
  2. AWJ Services

    AWJ Services LawnSite Platinum Member
    from Ga
    Messages: 4,281

    Conventional tail swing machines do not need too weigh as much as a zero tail swing machine in the same class size which leads too better performance with less weight. Take the Tak tb250 machine. It has virtually the same performance as the tb 153 yet weighs 2000 pounds less. The machine with the most promise in the 6 ton class is the new TB260. It looks like they took a KX161 and copied it which is a bonus since Kubota really screwed up with the KX057. I agree on the smaller min ex machines there is no need for a conv tail swing but in the 5 ton class I do thing it is a good option.
  3. jwilkes

    jwilkes LawnSite Member
    Messages: 14

    How did Kubota screw up the kx057? I have 775 trouble free hours on mine and love it. The only thing I don't like is bucket rotation
  4. AWJ Services

    AWJ Services LawnSite Platinum Member
    from Ga
    Messages: 4,281

    Has too much tail swing compared too the kx161
  5. AEL

    AEL LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,724

    That's why you go with the u55. 800 hours on mine and I like it much more then the 50d I had. The 57 only has like 4 or 5 inches of overhang doesn't it?
  6. AEL

    AEL LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,724

    I know this doesn't really fit with the original size of machines but I really would like to see something reduced tail swing or zero between 8 and 13-14 tonne
  7. AWJ Services

    AWJ Services LawnSite Platinum Member
    from Ga
    Messages: 4,281

    Yes the U55 is a nice machine. The KX161 was a reduced tail swing with not much overhang. The KX057 has way more overhang than a KX161. I think there is a need for an in between style tail swing which really helps on counterbalanceing the machine with heavy loads at full reach in this weight class.
  8. AWJ Services

    AWJ Services LawnSite Platinum Member
    from Ga
    Messages: 4,281

  9. YellowDogSVC

    YellowDogSVC LawnSite Gold Member
    from TX
    Messages: 3,792

    For me it is a weight issue. I have Bobcat 335 with thumb and angle blade and A/C. It's just shy of 10k without an operator.

    I'm thinking I'm going to have to upgrade to a CDL soon but that means bigger truck and heavier trailer and then I'd be in the market for the strongest and heaviest mini I could still use in the tight locations I work in. I like having a 12' dig depth and 17' reach but this almost 5 ton machine feels tippy.

    I'd like to see more hp crammed into the smaller machines like I have, too.
  10. stuvecorp

    stuvecorp LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,245

    I just watched a Youtube of the 260 and it does look impressive. The options are also impressive, high hydraulic flow and dual hydraulics-standard! The cab looks much improved from what they have been like. I'm not sure what to think of the reduced tail swing, why not make it a ZTS? But, overall it looks very nice.

    On to Shane's now, nice write up in the Equipment Today! :drinkup:

    I am a little disappointed that the 10,000 pound mini has been supersized. It's nice to have the performance of the 55 size now but don't like the extra hassle of now being in CDL land to legally move it. I've always thought the 50(and I guess the 55, too) size is perfect but I am wondering/thinking that a 25ish size mini would be nice for work that didn't need the 55 size to do(easy to mobilize, not digging very deep, tighter work area). In a perfect world I would have a 17 and 50 size with a 25-30 for the tweener mini.

    I am also a believer that all excavators should be ZTS(or near ZTS).

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