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Tire chains on a 2WD hoe?

Discussion in 'Heavy Equipment & Pavement' started by zz4guy, Mar 9, 2007.

  1. zz4guy

    zz4guy LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 901

    Most people say that 2WD backhoes are questionable when you go offroad. But the 4WD ones cost quite a bit more, and weight more. And more maintenance and stuff to break.

    How do you think chains would fair on a 2wd setup? Would that help out enough to forgoe getting a 4wd backhoe? Or is there really no replacement for 4wd? I used to operate a 2wd tractor with nothing but heafty chains on the back tires. You would be hard pressed to get that thing stuck in anything, unless it was waiste deep mud or something. We plowed snow and graded with it.
  2. Duramax8832

    Duramax8832 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 147

    If you are used to a 2wd machine already you should be fine. Like a pickup once you get used to the 4x4 you can never go back. I think a set of skidder type chains would be unstopable, but they would be awful on blacktop..I would think regular chains would just cake up with mud and be useless. I worked with a guy that had a 2wd hoe..With the front bucket empty he had plenty of traction. Once he had a full backet the rear tires would just spin.. I could pass him out in the skid steer.
  3. Gravel Rat

    Gravel Rat LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,544

    The problem is if your digging into a hard pile or a dirt bank with a 2wd backhoe you really have to work the front bucket to get any into it. The rear wheels really want to spin and just dig two holes.

    The only 2wd backhoes I have ran is dads old 1980s 310 Deere and at the sawmill that had a 410 Deere the same vintage as dads both machines had a clutch pedal and 4+4. You definatly didn't want to climb a steep hill going forwards without a loaded bucket the front wheels liked to lift. The clutch in the old Deeres was pretty well on and off.

    The JCB I ran for most of a year it was a 4x4x4x4 I tried running the machine in 2wd it definatly didn't do very good. The only time it was in 2wd when I was roading down the highway.

    The reason why 2wd backhoes are cheaper is nobody wants them there isn't much demand for them unless your a city works yard that uses a machine on pavement 95% of the time. Any backhoe used in the excavation business is a 4x4 the only time you see a 2wd is a private land owner that wants a cheap machine to work on their property.

    You can put skidder chains on a 2wd but once the machine has sunk to the axle the chains do you no good. With a 2wd your constantly trying to get yourself unstuck.

    I had the JCB into some deep goo for curiosity I clicked the machine into 2wd I went no where flip it back into 4wheel no problems.

    Anyhow get yourself a 4x4 backhoe if you want to beable to-do any work in soft dirt.
  4. ksss

    ksss LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,162

    The front end will be pushed around extensively with chains on the back, not to mention the issue of chains on blacktop or concrete. The 4X4 hoes are dependable and hold their value. A 2WD hoe has no value either in the dirt or on the dealers lot. Unless your not going off road I would not even consider it. If your working commercially you would have a tough time being productive IE. competetive. Unlikely that you will be able to get the same rate as those with a 4X4 hoe (I can't say for certain as I don't know of one guy here running one to compare). Contractors certainly are not going to let you fight the hoe to get anything done on their dime.
  5. dozerman21

    dozerman21 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,171

    Save your money and get 4WD. You'll regret it if you don't, and then you'll be ready to trade for a hoe that has it. Like Gravel said, the only guys you see using 2WD are city guys working on pavement.

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