ZTS or conventional Mini-Excavators

Discussion in 'Heavy Equipment & Pavement' started by Boondox, Feb 24, 2007.

  1. Boondox

    Boondox LawnSite Member
    Messages: 38

    Okay, so I understand that zero tail swing equipment is inherently more tippy than conventional, which is why the ZTS machines are wider and generally heavier. The width and weight is supposed to compensate for the tippiness. But just how effective are those mods?

    In looking at the lifting specs (for example the KX91-3 and the U35, which are both Kubotas with the same engine, the first a conventional and the second a ZTS) the U35 is six inches wider and a thousand pounds heavier, has more bucket curl breakout and more dipper breakout, and is consistently rated as able to lift more weight over the blade or off to the side until you get out beyond 8 feet, at which point the conventional machine has the better specs. Yet both Kubota dealers in my area insist that the U35 "should never be used to dig or lift over the side."

    What am I missing? And it also seems logical that the wider stance should help when traversing slopes, yet the dealers say the ZTS is better suited to flat ground ... though neither admits to having used a ZTS machine. Are they blowing smoke?

    What do you experienced users out there -- especially those who have used a ZTS mini-excavator -- think? If I plan to dig and lift over the blade, but will use it for light lifting or scooping out ditches to the side, would a ZTS do okay?

    TIA, Pete
  2. ksss

    ksss LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,170

    Your salesman doesn't know what he is talking about (typical). The reason that a ZTS machine will out lift a conventional machine is due to the location of the counter weight. The weight being closer to the center of the machine and higher typically makes it more effective up close once the boom is extended out the more weight away from the center IE a conventional tail machine the more effective the counter weight is. The numbers you discovered also apply to large ZTS machines as well. The fact that they recommend not digging or lifting over the side is ridiculous. The ZTS I think is the way to go on a mini ex. I also like using them on large excavators. I frequently rented a CX225 CASE. I loved that machine great balance. I have owned both conventional (first machine) ZTS the next. I just purchased my third machine and it was a ZTS. If they were not effective they would not be as popular.
  3. minimax

    minimax LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 734

  4. Scag48

    Scag48 LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,067

    For mini's, ZTS is the only way to go, there's been plenty of times where I simply could not have done what I was doing with a convential tail machine. Your dealers are ******** by saying you can't dig over the side, that's just hilarious.
  5. thebobcatkid86

    thebobcatkid86 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 100

    Bobcat's ZHS is a very stable machine for lifting. I used on to take 150ft x 3/4in. drain snake (close to 300lbs) out of the back of a truck and swing 120 degrees and place it down in the bottom of a trench. Nearly the entire operation was done with the dipper almost fully extended, and the machine didnt even flinch. I know that is not a real big deal but I thought the example was worth it.
  6. minimax

    minimax LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 734

    I set CB18 short catch basins all the time with my deere 35c ZTS and the basins are 1750 LBS and the machine does not rock over at all.

  7. badranman

    badranman LawnSite Member
    Messages: 93

    I had a Bobcat 430 ZHS and a 328. Traded the 328 in and now have two 430's. It is amazing what these will do. ZTS is becoming more popular in the bigger classes as well.
  8. gammon landscaping

    gammon landscaping LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 553

    the only reason i don't like zts is the fact that the operators compartment is a little cramped compared to the conventional.
  9. Scag48

    Scag48 LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,067

    Yeah, seems to be the consensus, but most manufacturers realize this and are pushing for larger cabs. I know the CCR minis from Cat are a lot larger in the cab than the first series.
  10. Lazer_Z

    Lazer_Z LawnSite Silver Member
    from NJ
    Messages: 2,578

    Very true, I got a chance to sit in the cab of a new 303.5 C CR at a trade show last month. I really like what CAT did with the boom swing and auxiliary hydraulics being on the joy sticks keeping the floor clear creating more foot room and they also have adjustable wrist rest's.


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