"Small loaders for mulch jobs?"

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by nocutting, Apr 24, 2005.

  1. nocutting

    nocutting LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 530

    Hi, any thoughts about those small skid steers 14-20hp w/32-42"buckets?, In my area of the country as well as the market I service the best help I get are summer interns from some of the "Hort./ Arbor" colleges in the area.Mulching seems like a Great offer, but if you are a small outfit without the benifit of the "International Labour Pool"- those mini skid steers seem like a good investment, I've operated a Bobcat 743, and it riped up the place I was working installing 8-10ft white pines.......So anyone out here ever use these or a small tractor / loader?- Thanks for your Time :)
  2. Gilla Gorilla

    Gilla Gorilla LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 923

    Yeah I have a Toro Dingo TX420 that is the tracked model at 34.5 inches wide. I used it on my first mulch job this spring for 3.5 yards of mulch. All of the mulch beds are bordered by flagstone walls from 8 to 12 inches tall and it was great to dump into the beds. I have the light materials bucket which is 48 inches wide and holds 6.4cf I am not sure if I saved any time that day versus loading a wheel barrow by pitch ford and dumping then spreading but I did not have to use a pitch fork that day at all, just drove the Dingo onto the trailer and scooped up the mulch. Plus you could barely see the tracks from the unit and two weeks later when it was time to cut the grass you could not tell that I had ever ran it over their lawn one time.

    Look up the revisit mini skid steer thread and there is a ton of info on some manufacturers there.
  3. freddyc

    freddyc LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 578

    I can't speak for everyone or any other machine but I have a Bobcat 310 with a 20hp Kohler engine.

    Its essentially a motorized wheel barrel.

    The good new is that it weighs in at just under 2000 lbs so if you're careful and the ground is dry, as long as you take your time turning the impact is minimul.
    The machine has a 40" bucket and will carry a full load of sand/dirt.

    I looked at the dingo's before picking this one up and felt that due to positionng, I thought the Bobcat was a better deal. I am pleased so far. In short, I sttod behind a dingo and it seemed like the bucket was physically far away and visibility was limited--- I should say I'm short (5'5"). The seating in the tiny Bobcat allows really good visibility. I know Yard-Pro will disagree but I think he's taller which would give better visibility on the dingo.

    The only thing is that you have to use the machine as intended....its not a bulldozer, and it won't pick up 1500lbs.

    Other than that its great. It's handy as heck, cheap to run and is easy to manuver around tight areas. I used it to dig out two 2-3" oak stumps today and it did OK in my opinion. Due to the lightweight, its decent on back dragging/grading too. The only problem is the short wheelbase.

    I think most people wold recommend a tracked machine for your use--- the dingo 420 seems to be a great machine from the specs as long as you are content with the visability of the bucket edge.
  4. aclassic

    aclassic LawnSite Member
    Messages: 178

    we generally used loaders, regular Case/Takeuchi size, to mulch, but we also did lawn prep afterwards, so we rarely had to worry about messing up the lawn. cuts a lot of time though. i would think a mini, dingo size, would be very beneficial though
  5. pjslawncare/landscap

    pjslawncare/landscap LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,410

    We do quite a few large mulch jobs. I have a compact tractor with a loader on it. Never had a problem with it tearing up a lawn. I will either scoop mulch directly out of my trucks or dump mulch in street or drive and scoop bucket loads and disperse. Much quicker and easier than wheel barrows
  6. Itsgottobegreen

    Itsgottobegreen LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,177

    My kubota B7500 is the mulch master. One scoop of the bucket is the same size as our wheel barrows. So we used it to load the wheel barrows (which is where most time on a mulch job is spent) or scoop and take the mulch right to were it is needed. Saves me 2 to 4 hours per job.
  7. Laurentian

    Laurentian LawnSite Member
    Messages: 52

    I have a Toro Dingo 320D. We are a small company with 70% landscape installs and 30% maintenance. With scheduling problems I wanted a versital machine that would replace labors and not complain if I didn't need it for the day. It is well worth the money does the work of three. I have a grapple, land leveler, high Torq auger, cultivater. Plus I had a truck installed with the Bucks roll off system... Perfect for the dingo for loading and unloading without costly clean up after dumping on the property or on the street. For a small company this is the set up to have. My opinion....
  8. Gilla Gorilla

    Gilla Gorilla LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 923


    How do you like your cultivator attachment? I love mine and I can see it making me a ton of money in the coming years. The only pain in the but is having to go behind and cut out the roots that it ripped up before you seed or sod the area.

    I tilled two gardens side by side last week and both customers said that their gardens have NEVER looked so good after they were tilled.
  9. pjslawncare/landscap

    pjslawncare/landscap LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,410

    Hey Laurentian, What exactly is a Bucks roll off system?
  10. Itsgottobegreen

    Itsgottobegreen LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,177

    I plan to get a Dingo 425x in the next few years. Its one of the sole reasons I am going to buy a F-550 with the bucks system.

    The bucks system is a mini roll off dumpster system for the F-450,550,650 and chevy C-4500,C-5500,C-6500. You can get dump bodies, landscape bodies, dumpster, storage sheds, roll back bodies. Its 9 trucks in one.

    If just buying a dump body and lift kit, it will run about $5000 more than a conventional dump. But when you have more bodies, it starts to show it was the best $5000 extra ever spent.

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