Problems with DitchWitch XT850

Discussion in 'Heavy Equipment & Pavement' started by O'Dell Equipment Rental, Apr 5, 2006.

  1. O'Dell Equipment Rental

    O'Dell Equipment Rental LawnSite Member
    Messages: 24

    First off, I have enjoyed reading post here for the last 4mths or so. Lot's of good information.

    I bought a brand new Ditch Witch XT850 a mth and a 1/2 ago. It has blown 4 hoses ( inside machine between skid plates, not snagged outside) , broken the hyd. pump belt, and today has something wrong in the pump it's self.

    The Ditch Witch Dealer has been running the road picking the machine up to fix it. When the machine runs it is an awesome little machine. I would like to know if any of you own one and have had similiar problems. The machine currently has 70 hrs had 2 when it was delivered. Did I just get a lemon.
    All other Ditch Witch equipment I have had is great.
  2. Dirty Water

    Dirty Water LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,794

    Welcome to the site.

    I think your the first person here who has bought a XT850, though there has been some discussion of them.

    As with all first year equipment, there can be some quirks, but your problems seem like it was built on a monday.

    DW takes pretty good care of its customers (We have a handfull of trenchers and plows by them). I'd see if you can get a replacement machine.
  3. O'Dell Equipment Rental

    O'Dell Equipment Rental LawnSite Member
    Messages: 24

    Actually, it was done on a Friday. They did a "retrofit" on the hyd's before they delivered it to me. The salesman and the service dept. have always been great to work with, but I am seriously looking at asking for a new machine. Once the bugs get worked out of it, I will really recommend it. Everyone that has rented it from me loved it, till it broke. The 4 times I rented it and it didn't break the people had no complaints.

    Since I am a rental store, I would appreciate any feedback, you guys can give me on dealing with Rental Stores and how they exsperience could be made better.
  4. oldrustycars

    oldrustycars LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 301

    i have no experience with this machine. but blowing 4 new hoses and breaking a belt, i'd look at hydraulic pressure. something must be set too high, or causing it to spike. ditch witch values their customers, im sure they'll take care of you.
  5. Dirty Water

    Dirty Water LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,794

    Here is a beef I have with a local rental company. I've rented a Case CX31 excavator a handfull of times, and each time only paid $160 a day.

    Last time I rented it I got a bill for $220. They raised the price to $200 a day and charged me for a tank of diesal.

    I don't mind paying more, but always inform your customers of price changes...its a little frusterating when you see the bill.
  6. Plumberguy

    Plumberguy LawnSite Member
    Messages: 2

    I bought a XT-850 from the dealer in June of 2006. They had been using it as a demo, and had about 500 hours on it. It didn't take long before it began blowing hydraulic hoses. Most of 2007 it was used around here for running a wood splitter and some small bubbler jobs. We had to change the front idler roller on both tracks. We had a lot of jobs lined up for it in 2008 though. In Jan. of 2008, it developed an oil leak I could not find. The Ditch Witch mechanic came out and diagnosed it as one of the lines that goes through the machine, so took it to repair it. After I got it back, it worked fine until it warmed up, then it would barely turn left. Back to the shop, where it took months to diagnose it as a faulty hydraulic pump. $6,842.00 to repair. 540 hours on the machine. First job after it came back it blew another hose. At 581 hours, the left track drive motor sheared the key and the drive motor and sprocket had to be replaced. $3,767.00. Less than 1 hour of use after being returned, it broke a track in half. We replaced them both. $3,800 (including $1,200 in shipping). And now, 23 hours of use later (25 days) it has again sheared the left drive motor/sprocket key and destroyed both.I have also had to rebuild the front bucket quick attachment plate because the welds were cracking and the half rings that act as stops for the bucket were cracked almost completely off. WHEN it runs, it works great, but the down time and repair cost are horrendous. I would have been far better off to buy a used mini-hoe and skid steer. In fact, I sold a skid steer to buy this machine, and that is exactly what the contractor I sold it to did, and he has had no down time. I have been in contact with the salesman, and written a letter to Ditch Witch requesting they buy back this machine. Sadly, their quality, or design, or both leaves MUCH to be desired.
  7. bearmtnmartin

    bearmtnmartin LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 342

    I bought a SK650 a few months ago. I think it is a really great little machine. I only have 120 hours on it, but no problems so far. I do hear about fragile mini skid undercarriges, so I tend to turn carefully. I think the 850 is a modified 650. I also looked at buying one, and I still might buy the big brother, the XT1600. They seem to be a really good idea. But I talked to several owners while I was doing my research, and 2 of them told me that Ditch Witch replaced all the hydraulic lines with 5000psi hose after they had trouble with blowing hoses. They must really run high pressure. I hope mine is trouble free, because its getting lots of hours on it, and now replaces my rubber tire hoe for a lot of work. I can go to a job with my pickup and little trailer and burn 35 dollars in fuel instead of going with the big Louisville and lowbed and burning 150 in fuel. Of course I charge the samepayup
  8. Plumberguy

    Plumberguy LawnSite Member
    Messages: 2

    The saga continues: The factory did replace the drive motor and the sprocket at their cost, The mechanic showed up the first time with just the new motor, and was going to use the old sprocket ( now let me see-the key shears off, the motor spins the broken key inside the sprocket, but we are going to use the old sprocket???). The dealer then hand delivered a sprocket.
    Over 2 weeks down time. 12 hours of use later, the drain plug pops out of the fuel tank and stripes the threads on the tank in the process. They fixed that. 21 hours after that, the tank is again leaking, this time from the fittings that connect the fuel lines by the top of the tank.
    The company's response to my request for doing something to get me into a new machine (I did not expect an even trade): they will take it back, give it a through visual inspection, and extend the warranty for a year. Not even close as far as I'm concerned. I am trading it in to Bobcat for a new 425ZTS excavator and a used MT50 walk behind track loader. I'm taking a heck of a loss, but I'll have confidence that I can actually get a job done without a breakdown. Ditch Witch- NEVER again!
  9. P.Services

    P.Services LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,319

    and hear i want to buy a xt850 hmmmmmmmm
  10. jefftb

    jefftb LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 563

    Tried for weeks to get a demo on an XT1600-their response? Sorry we do not rent those and have none to demo. My response-Hmmm, so how am I to decide if I like one? Them-Well we offer a longterm demo policy. Me-how long? Them-4 months minimum.

    The 4 months minimum was going to be, get this-$13,000 for the rental and not all of that would apply as a downpayment. Uhhhh, no thanks.

    Several months passed, I needed a rental on a vibratory plow to finish a job, (42,000 feet of drip tube) since my plow attachment was being delivered late.
    They rent me an ancient 3700 that blew the hydraulic pump at pickup-they needed two more days to fix it. The tires were flat too at first pickup.

    Pick up machine and tow to jobsite-60 miles one way. Start machine up, back it down ramps and it dies. They did not fill it up with diesel, it was nearly empty. I've never off-loaded a rental with an empty tank until this one. Fill with diesel. Start plowing, get about 800' in and the machine is literally vibrating itself to pieces. The ported head off the engine for hydraulic flow suddenly has a serious drip-almost like a bad faucet. ITs vibrating soo bad that you nearly cannot ride it. Mercifully the machine gets mired in a swampy pit. Get truck, pull it out, day is over.

    Next day, it will not start w/o a jump. Plow about 1000' and its dead. Managed to get it back to life and on trailer. Tow it back to Ditch Witch. Relay story of past 1.5 day.

    Ditch Witch charge for a total of 3 hours metered use and all the hassle and aggravation of them renting me an 6 year old POS? $987.00 plus tax. It came to over $1100 including our diesel fuel for 3 hours run time. Thats over $333.00 an hour operating cost.:dizzy:

    Ditch Witch? Never, Never, Never, Ever again. People I know and trust tell me that DW parts cost more, machines cost more, the attitude is worst, and the machines are less reliable than others.

    I'm really quite glad they could not find a way to demo me a 1600.

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