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What machine do I need for some concrete flatwork?

Discussion in 'Heavy Equipment & Pavement' started by fool32696, Nov 16, 2012.

  1. fool32696

    fool32696 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 993

    My company specializes in decorative concrete and we do a lot of jobs in the 300-800 sq ft range. I own a John Deere 270 skid loader that I mainly use to maintain some land of mine. I've used it for clearing, grading, and mowing. For most of my jobs it's not worth hooking up my 25' gooseneck, hauling an 8xxx lb machine, tearing up/rutting lawn, and cutting a 6' swath for a 3-4' sidewalk. In addition, a lot of the jobs that I encounter have gates.

    Yesterday I was setting the grade on a 500 sf patio and realized that we'd be moving 15+ yds of soil by hand as opposed to the 7 or 8 that I had guestimated during the proposal. Had a good workout yesterday to say the least. It did get me thinking that a small skid may be the way to go. A 1999 Bobcat 453 with 1600 hrs popped up on CL near me for under 5k that got me thinking it would be the way to go. I already have a heavy built 12' trailer that I could upgrade to a 5000lb axle and pull it with either my 3500 box truck or Econoline van. That way I wouldn't have to have my F350 making an unnecessary trip to a small job.

    I'm against an RC30 just based on what I've read about purchasing cost, undercarriage costs and reliability. I'm open to a stand on mini but am opposed to a walk behind just due to speed, productivity, and safety. I like to pay for things in cash and am much more comfortable not owning brand new equipment. I know there is the "perfect machine" for the job that costs $25k, but I'd like to have the machine pay for itself in a few jobs and not over the course of 10yrs. What do you guys think?
  2. ksss

    ksss LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,162

    I would consider a mini excavator. It makes tear outs much easier, you can ex out side walk much easier and your not tearing the hell out of the subgrade.. You already have a skid steer (such as it is) might as well purchase some capacity you dont have.
  3. alldayrj

    alldayrj LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,793

    My next machine is a mini ex, I also do concrete and find myself in the same situations. I see it going down like this:
    Mini ex tiptoes into the yard, loads wheelbarrels (2 guys rotating 3 or 4 barrels), they dump in the street into the skid bucket which loads the truck. dug in 2-3 hours as opposed to a full long day. on the hunt for a gatekeeper!
  4. swanny

    swanny LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 662

    the mini-ex wouldn't be a good motorized wheelbarrow, but would be handy otherwise.

    I had a Mustang 2032 skid last year...was one of the handiest machines I've owned being that it was so small. My wife was using it quite a few times too. Had a yanmar engine in the mid thirties hp. 4400#'s. Fuel consumption was wonderful, lift capacity was good. Made work really enjoyable for some reason. Was hard to let it go.

    Currently have a Nh Ls160 with counter weights and it's impressive. 44 hp. no turbo, so it gets does great on fuel consumption. 5500#'s. Picks up more than my Takeuchi TL120 and is much more stable too... it's an all around impressive little machine. I regularly pick up a 275 gallon tote full of water with it (holds 286 gallons full....about 2400 pounds gross weight) and move it around. That's a lot of weight out on the end of the forks.
  5. SVA_Concrete

    SVA_Concrete LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 467

    Hands down mini excavator, 3 foot grade bucket with a long stick, when you can afford it put a power tilt on it.

    We have both a CTL (deere ct322) and a Mini Excavator (deere 50D) and the excavator gets FAR more hours than the skid.

    my only regret on the 50, is that it is a short stick, so grading is a bit more of a chore, on the other hand she has tons of lift and breakout because of the short stick.
  6. fool32696

    fool32696 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 993

    I really had never considered a mini ex with a grading bucket. Watching some you tube videos has me thinking this will be the way to go. I think I'd like it to fit through a 4ft gate and be easily towable with an E250 van. What do you guys think about a 1.5-2 ton machine? Which makes should I look at in this range?
  7. ksss

    ksss LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,162

    I have rented the CASE CX17. Really nice, this unit had a thumb on it, I almost bought it. Most of these machines have the expandable undercarriage.

    I would get one with zero tail. I rented a BC 322 I think it was, having to watch your tail sucks. The Deere 17D is also a nice machine.
  8. AEL

    AEL LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,724

    I bought a new kubota u17 this year and am very pleased with it. I believe it expands from 36-46 inches. Very quick, great break out force .
    Posted via Mobile Device
  9. fool32696

    fool32696 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 993

  10. AEL

    AEL LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,724

    Better to spend some money and get a zero tail, then buy a standard tail machine and have to rent a zero tail to do a job.
    Posted via Mobile Device

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