Thoughts on John Deere 120C

Discussion in 'Heavy Equipment & Pavement' started by jd5210, Aug 13, 2008.

  1. jd5210

    jd5210 LawnSite Member
    from Houston
    Messages: 20

    Iam looking at a couple John Deere 120c 2003 models roughly 500 to 3200hrs.

    Curious if anyone has experience with these machines good bad ugly? Any compareable models to be considering? I am buying one to dig a retention pond for myself. Not huge but that is why I want to stay around 15ton machines. Also for hauling I dont want to heavy a machine. Thanks
  2. Gravel Rat

    Gravel Rat LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,544

    If you can find Hitachi excavators in the same size you will be happier. The Deere machines are okay but the equivilant Hitachi operates better.

    I would look for a 15-16 ton machine just for the reach and power a 12 ton machine isn't quite enough. I don't know how big this pond is or what your digging conditions are like.

    The one benefit of the Hitachi machines is the Isuzu engines are good on fuel and they are very reliable.
  3. ksss

    ksss LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,148

    Nothing wrong with the Deere/Hitachi excavator. The Izuzu does run cheaper.

    I would pass on the 120 and go to the 160. Whatever you plan on transporting the 120 with will also carry a 160 so the transport requirements are about the same. The 200-210's are when transporting becomes more of an issue. The 160 will give you more reach especially if you get a long stick. I really like my long stick 160. It makes digging deep much easier and translates into less repositioning and less rehandling of spoil piles. You lose some crowding force but I have not seen that to be an issue. The Deere 160's in the new models had cooling issues up in this elevation. I was told by a Deere salesman that they fixed that. If money is not an issue the Kobelco Blade Runner is high on the CDI factor. I would love to have one.
  4. Gravel Rat

    Gravel Rat LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,544

    The Komatsu 158 isn't too bad its a zero tailswing machine. Kobelco machines are good they are a little noisier as they run Cummins engines.

    A 16 ton machine is easy to move on a tag trailer a 20 ton can be moved on a tridem tag but a lowbed is more common which is a pain.

    The 160 size machine is the most common in my area and that size machine can do anything. Guys with 200s have troubles moving job to job.
  5. crab

    crab LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 633

    actually and i could be wrong they are the same machine,Deere runs Isuzu in many of there machines,and last time i checked Hitachi has been making there excavators since oh 1988 or so,i also believe Deere and Hitachi are partners,pick you're color the machine is almost identical.
  6. Gravel Rat

    Gravel Rat LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,544

    The biggest difference is the Isuzu engines in the Hitachi's are quieter and burn less fuel.

    One of the logging contractors have proven the Deere excavator and the same size Hitachi excavator that burns far less fuel. The Hitachi 350s get a full day longer out of a tank of fuel over the Deere. The Deere machines are louder and have less power.
  7. coopers

    coopers LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,223

    Oh the 120C:cool2: It's a nice machine. I personally never saw a difference or really paid enough attention to compare a Hitachi zx120 or a Deere 120C. I liked the 120C's that I used. Deere's 160C LC's are nice machines as well. Place I worked for a while ago rented these out too and we never had issues with them.
  8. coopers

    coopers LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,223

    One more thing JD, any links to look at these you're considering?
  9. Scag48

    Scag48 LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,067

    There can't be many differences, if any, between the Hitachi/Deere 120's aside from the engine. I'll agree with others, the Isuzus burn less fuel and are quieter. Even with the door and front glass open, it's substantially quieter than the Deere counterpart. However, I wouldn't let that sway me from buying a Deere. Typically, the Hitachi will be cheaper as well.
  10. bobcat_ron

    bobcat_ron LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,131

    You are half way correct, some of the ZTS models, they retained the Izzy engine, the 228 has the Izzy engine, Deere's engine was too big for the room given.

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