Author Topic: Mini Excavator / Back hoe. Any experience?  (Read 1489 times)


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Mini Excavator / Back hoe. Any experience?
« on: July 22, 2017, 02:31:00 AM »

Finally after 2.5 Months of Frigging around and more stress than I have had in as long as I can remember, got the keys to the new Digs yesterday.

Its just a little 1 acre block but there is a lot I want to do to get it the way I want.  Much of that is gardening and some building.
I really want to get one of those Kubota BX mini tractors with the bucket, mower deck and backhoe but the ones with the backhoe are virtually impossible to find used. I'd buy a new one but at 30K here but I'll loose too much when I sell it and I know I'm only going to need the thing a limited time. If I was on a property where I'd keep it, different story.

The alternative is to get a used Kubota with an aftermarket 3PL add on excavator.

I'm going to need an excavator for digging out trees and shrubs that I want to remove or move around as well as some earthworks to level ground for sheds and My daughter wants a Granny flat as well.

I Have seen these Towable backhoes which frankly look a bit spindly but I would not be near as worried by speed as the fact they will actually get the job done in their own time.  The add on 3pl backhoe is about the same as the standalone.  The adon would be stronger and more powerful but the standalone I could get away with buying a normal ride on instead of a tractor.

Just wondering if anyone has used one of those towables and if they are worth while or just the toy they frankly look?
Mainly what I want would be shrub and large plant removal and relocation, Leveling of  Ground no more than a meter deep and that's about it.

Any input appreciated.


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Re: Mini Excavator / Back hoe. Any experience?
« Reply #1 on: July 22, 2017, 02:25:08 PM »
I have one of Cranvel's Wombat towable backhoes and they will do what you want to do extremely well. A bit agricultural and they only swing 180 deg. to each side you have to change the pin in the swing ram to dump the other side. Another quirk is if you swing a full 12 in. bucket at full extension it will tip the whole thing over( ask me how I know). Apart from that they are a good machine even if the 2 cylinder wisconsin is a bit hungry on fuel.


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Re: Mini Excavator / Back hoe. Any experience?
« Reply #2 on: July 22, 2017, 03:33:58 PM »
I've used a mini-ex for several years, I think it's more useful than the tractor.  Alas, it's owner moved it away.   When you get to the little dinky ones, they don't have much power at all, and you may have to use a tiny skinny bucket to dig in hard soil. If it's not on a crawler (tread) base, it may be very "tippy" and not able to lift much.


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Re: Mini Excavator / Back hoe. Any experience?
« Reply #3 on: July 22, 2017, 10:35:08 PM »
Hi glort,

I have a Kubota BX 2320.  We lived on the farm for five years trying to make it with a heavy duty garden tractor.  After an hour with the Kubota I just couldn't figure out why I had waited five years to buy my wife the nicest Christmas present I ever gave her.  I'm still amazed and the honeymoon has lasted about ten years now.  I didn't buy the mower because the $2800 was just wrong.  I bought a used zero turn for $3000 and have never looked back.  It cut my weekly mowing time from over eight to about four hours.  The Kubota is always free to climb over high center stuff too.  I would like the BX 23 (the back-hoe model) but I never really regret the decision to go with just the tractor and front end loader.  I think most all of the compact tractors are about the same.  John Deere has the fuel cap up on the hood which at the time was a good decision but now that age has robbed much of my upper body strength it has turned out to be a great decision.  The radiator is in the firewall so the fan blows the air to the forward of the tractor.  On those 25 degree plus days (I'm trying to get a handle on Celsius) this has also turned into a good idea and besides the heat; the dusty crap is directed away from me as well.

As for the back hoe I just hire a neighbor to do the heavy lifting with a real back hoe.  I'm a couple of bucks down but much of that has been work that the compact hoes just couldn't do.

I dream of only one acre.  We're going to start shopping for a small place to wait for God pretty soon as well.  An acre is a lot of land if it's done right.  For me that starts with drawn out plan.  Ok, a drawn out plan on a large paper sack and #2 lead pencil but still a thought out plan.  Try to control yourself for the first six months and do a few walk-abouts and see what's working for others in the neighborhood.



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