Which would you do?

Discussion in 'Heavy Equipment & Pavement' started by Bull, Oct 21, 2007.

  1. Bull

    Bull LawnSite Senior Member
    from NC
    Messages: 308

    If you were starting up a small business and along with a dump truck you could only have either a mini excavator or a tracked skid steer which way would you go? I know they both can handle similar and different task but as a small stand alone business what would it be?
  2. Scag48

    Scag48 LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,067

    Depends. I can do quite a bit of work with a mini, but I can serve a whole different market with a skid steer as well. I myself would chose a mini excavator, armed with a hydraulic thumb, a 12", 24", and 40" cleanup bucket and maybe a 6' grade beam I can do a lot of work with a 10-12K pound machine.
  3. Bull

    Bull LawnSite Senior Member
    from NC
    Messages: 308

    Thanks Scag48, I was looking the other day at the mid size Kubota mini's but I also like the looks of the Cat machines as well. I do not know alot of the details between the two brands at this point but I am just starting to do some research. What if any are the pros and cons of the zero tail swing feature and how important would it be to have an angled blade versus a fixed one?
  4. RockSet N' Grade

    RockSet N' Grade LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,454

    Bull.........I would also ask yourself what niche market is in your area that you can service? What type of work does it look like is available there? You could buy a used mini-ex, once you are savvy on prices, and if you are savvy on being your own mechanic for less than half of the cost of a new one. Pros/cons to buying used of course. If the question is just which machine I would choose: mini-ex or skid.........I would second Scag's reply.
  5. Bull

    Bull LawnSite Senior Member
    from NC
    Messages: 308

    Well I currently operate a lawncare and landscaping business and have always rented the equipment when I need it. I am considering adding an extension to the business such as can be done with a skidsteer or mini. I was looking into it as this being more of a small scale excavating venture that would be somewhat a stand alone business but brought back into the landscaping function as needed. In other words I would want this equipment out working along with the dump truck as a solo and scheduled back in when I need it on a landscaping job. As far as the niche market we are seeing good growth from a commercial standpoint and also using it on residential jobs. I was thinking of trying to establish some sub work through builders and such.
  6. AWJ Services

    AWJ Services LawnSite Platinum Member
    from Ga
    Messages: 4,281

    What do you rent more?

    Also what type soil do you have.?
    Some guys never even use a tooth bucket on there skids because they are working in much better soil.
    If you are in a soil type like here in Georgia then you will need some heavy artillery.LOL
    What I mean is you could probally get buy with a 7K Mini excavator and maybe a smaller older skid with metal tracks.

    A completly equiped Kubota KX-161 will set you back 60k new.
    A KX-121 will set you back around 40k new.
    That will leave enough for a good used skid.

    I demoed plenty of Mini Excavators and for my soil type the Kubota and Takeuchi are hands down the strongest machines in there classes.
    Plus they are the most competivley priced.

    A really big market here is construction cleanup.
    You come in do a cleanup on a predetermined schedule and it frees the construction site up from the need for rolloffs.
    Here in Georgia we cannot burn or bury construction material.
    Use a single axle Dump with a debris box and the skid or excavator too speed things up.
  7. talus

    talus LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 718

    Like the others said, I think it depends on what you do the most. I was in the same boat a couple years ago. I decided to go with a skid. A lot can be done with a mini ex. however I think a skid is a more versitile machine. With the rental places having just about anything you'll need and yes I know somtimes it's a PITA if what you want is out on rent but you can usuall find it somewhere. If your company does a lot of new lawn and plant installs or grading I say go with a skid. I'm sure it can be done with a mini but isn't as efficient. I found I'm better off renting a mini when I need it. Have you looked at the Ingersol Rand BL 570? Looked at them myself but like the skid/mini ex combo better. In the last year I've probably had to rent a mini a half dozen times as opposed to a couple hundred hours on the skid steer. Lots of loam spreading, hauling mulch,planting some trees, cleared a little brush, moved some boulders, rebuilt part of a small dam and last but not least and my favorite moved tons of manure. Thats my .02. Mini's dig like a mother but I think a skid is more versitile.

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