ZHS vs. Conventional Minis

Discussion in 'Heavy Equipment & Pavement' started by srl28, Jul 13, 2008.

  1. srl28

    srl28 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,177

    Looking to purchase a mini excavator in the coming days and I'm looking in the 8k range. So far I like the bobcat 430 and the kubota kx 91-3 or U35. The U35 and 430 are Zero Clearance models. the 91-3 is conventional. The machine will have a thumb and will mainly be used for picking and placing boulders, brush, digging out stumps and light excavation work. Which do you think is better for me? Does the smaller counterweight of a ZHS model really hurt ya when trying to pick up heavy weights? Most of our propertys are large and at least large enough to not worry too much about clearance. May have answered my own question lol but I want to hear what you all have to say. :usflag:
  2. AWJ Services

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

    The Kx series is not a conventional tail swing but a reduced tail swing.
    The Takeuchi TB145 is a conventional tail swing.

    The Kx series is fine for all but the tightes spots.
    I have a KX-161 and it is a good machine.
    The machine has really fast cycle times and the cab is comfortable.
    I prefer the Kubota over the Bobcat.
  3. srl28

    srl28 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,177

    Just curious why kubota over bobcat, I agree but just wanted to hear your opinions. Worth getting a cab machiine too? 121 wont fit on a 10k trailer and dont want cdl issues so 91-3 is biggest kubota ill do. goot lift capacity and all?
  4. AWJ Services

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

    I hate Bobcat excavators.:)

    I prefer Takeuchi,Komatsu and the new Cats with Kubota in the mix.
    Takeuchi machines have the best digging power but slower cycle times.
    The Komatsu machines have really good controls and I feel they are easiest too run precisely.
    The new Cat machines have a good blend of speed ,power and feel.
    The Kubota machines are very fast and well built.
    The bobcats I have run have terrible controls.

    Here in Ga we have concrete hard ground 6 months out of the year.
    A 6000 pound machine will barely dig in the heat of the summer because of ground conditions.That plays a large part in my opinion.Your soil may be easier too dig so you may need less raw digging power.
    I would recommend a cab.It really helps the resale and keeps the operator happy.

    I think all of the Excavators will have similar lifting abilities.

    Just demo them and find out what fits you the best.
    I personally feel they will all be very durable even the Bobcat and you may like the Bobcat the best.
    Everyone is different in what they need out of a machine.
    I hated Cat excavators till they came out with the new series and they hit a homerun with that machine.
  5. bobcat_ron

    bobcat_ron LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,137

    Bobcat's still seem to have pump issues here and they are tippy compared to the reduced tail swings from anyone else.
    Also, reduced tail swings are still better, how many times are you going to be working so close to a wall that your tracks are leaving rubber behind? With ZHS/ZTS machines, you sacrifice overall undercarriage width and cab space and balance, with RTS machines, you still get a good cab with a counter weight that actually does it's job.
  6. srl28

    srl28 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,177

    Very helpful thank you, kinda the way i was leaning anyway but I love the botas and will probably do that conventional style and with a cab and thumb, no angle blade up front tho, dont see much need for it. thanks guys! Any one else?
  7. AWJ Services

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

    They do not offer the angle blade on the 91.
    But I thought I did not want one either till I had it.
    If you dig trenches it is worth it's weight in gold.
  8. ksss

    ksss LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,168

    As far as reduced tail swing to no tail swing vs conv. swing you have to go with the reduced or no tail swing I think. You can never have enough room. These tight tail machines perform great so why handicap yourself with a conv. machine. I would look also at the TK 138FR, the side to side boom swing is a great feature. I also would look past BC, I have no use for their excavators.
  9. Gravel Rat

    Gravel Rat LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,544

    If your worried about CDL issues carry the machine on a truck. A 8000lb machine should be your bare minimum anything less is a patato patch digger.

    I'am with the rest Bobcat mini excavators are CRAP I would hate to be trying to build boulder walls with a BC mini you would roll over reaching out with a rock.

    As for my take on zero tail swing I never really liked them they are too bouncy and I never been in a area where I have needed it. For a machine building rock walls you want some counter weight balancing the machine.

    What ever you do stay away from the Bobcrap excavators. If you are in rock wall building etc make sure the mini has thumb control on the joystick and not on the floor.
  10. ksss

    ksss LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,168

    I have never had a boucing problem in my zero tail machine. The tracks are longer and the frame wider on these machines to compensate. They also are heavier than a comparable conv. machine. I can fill a 50 inch cleanout bucket full of pit run extend all the way out the side and the machine is solid as a rock. I also have a thumb and coupler at the end of the stick. Still no problems. I have spent considerable time in a large CASE 225 with thumb and coupler and large bucket and that machine was as solid as any conv. tail machine. Properly designed, you should not see a bouncing issue with zero tail. Maybe I have just been lucky.

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