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Bobcat E85 vs JD 75/85G vs CASE vs CAT 307/308

Discussion in 'Compact Excavators' started by MH110, Feb 9, 2019.

  1. MH110

    MH110 New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2019
    Messages:
    3
    Location:
    South Valley
    Hi all,

    I haven't found a lot of peer reviews of the below big Mini-ex's, so I thought I'd poll to see what other folks' experiences with similar machines.

    I was all set to order a new JD 310SL when I really started crunching specs and more importantly, usage and found that my small business would be much more productive and efficient with an excavator vs a backhoe. Without going too far into that separate debate, a lot of our work involves, digging footings, trenching, septic work, augering, and working on light to moderate hillsides. We also need to be able to excavate a minimum of 15' in depth for soil pits and exploration. I have an older John Deere 110 TLB so I could still use that in an augmented capacity if needed, its depth taps out at about 9-10', but it can move more material in its front loader bucket and faster than a mini-ex if needed.

    Has anyone had any experience with any of the following (Listed in order of Dealer proximity: close->far):
    -John Deere 75/85G (75 has deeper depth?)
    -Hitachi ZX75US-5
    -CAT 307/308
    -Bobcat E85 Excavator
    -Takeuchi TB290
    -Case CX80C
    -Komatsu, Kobelco, Kubota, GEHL, Yanmar, JCB, Volvo are under the dig depth requirement.
    -any others in the same 18-20k pound weight class?

    Only a few of the above have optional angle blades which I have found are very useful.

    I only have experience with the JCB and it is basically out of the running as the depth maxes out under 15', and it felt a little underpowered. The Bobcat probably has the deepest depth at 15.5' out of the whole lineup. It would be nice if I could get an extendable boom like an extendahoe, but I've only seen that by bobcat and those are on much smaller mini-ex's so it would defeat the purpose. Can you get another half foot or so by using the blade and raising the rear end of the excavator/pushing the front down?

    I'll probably try and demo or rent as many of the above as possible, but I'd like if anyone could give any info on any of the above models. Dealer support is pretty important, but if there is a specific model that likes to live at the dealer more often than not, I may want to avoid that altogether. The ones I'm mostly interested in are the Bobcat E85, CAT, and John Deere/Hitachi, but I would consider anything really. The 17-19.5k weight class is ideal as I can tow it with my equipment trailer and not worry about hiring out for hauling.
     
  2. KSSS

    KSSS Senior Member

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2005
    Messages:
    2,537
    Occupation:
    excavation
    Location:
    Idaho
    I have spent time in the Taki TB290. Very nice machine. Fast and powerful. You also may see if you can run a Wacker Neuson ET 90. It is also very fast and powerful, very heavily built.
     
    MH110 likes this.
  3. StumpyWally

    StumpyWally Senior Member

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2011
    Messages:
    452
    Occupation:
    PE Civil Eng'r, Computer Sys. Mgr., Retired
    Location:
    Liv'in the Dream ---------------> in Upstate NY
    MH110 likes this.
  4. f311fr1

    f311fr1 Senior Member

    Joined:
    May 12, 2016
    Messages:
    477
    Location:
    Middle TN
    We run a CAT 308E2 CR. It has 1400 ish hours. We have been very pleased with it.
     
  5. MH110

    MH110 New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2019
    Messages:
    3
    Location:
    South Valley
    This model keeps being mentioned, so I'm really going to have to give it some careful consideration. I like the dual piston swing boom, one of the few that offer and angle blade with float and it looks to have a decent amount of power. Hopefully I can find a dealer that will rent one out to me for a day or two to get the feel of it.

    Thanks! I checked it out and, although it is a little dated, its very helpful. I might take what you have and just do some updating.

    I really like the CAT, 308 and even the 309, but the 309 is probably a little heavy for my trailer which maxes out at about 20k capacity.
     
  6. f311fr1

    f311fr1 Senior Member

    Joined:
    May 12, 2016
    Messages:
    477
    Location:
    Middle TN
    We pull our 308 on a 25,900 GVW tandem dually goose neck 20 + 5 foot trailer with a Ford F350 Dually. It does a good job. We do have CDL license and commercial insurance on truck and trailer. We run 14 ply tires on the trailer.
     
  7. excavator

    excavator Senior Member

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2006
    Messages:
    738
    Location:
    Pacific North West
    How close is the dealer for which ever machine you choose? You can buy the best there is but if you don't have dealer support you are in trouble. No matter which one you choose, it will break and need parts. How long it takes to get parts and service should be a major consideration. Also, how long has this dealer been around? Mini excavators seem to often draw smaller dealers who also seem to come and go or change brands quite quickly. I prefer Deere/Hitachi but think there are many other good machines out there, Kubota being one that is really hard to beat. You are saying the KX80 does not have the digging depth you need?
     
  8. MH110

    MH110 New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2019
    Messages:
    3
    Location:
    South Valley
    I think I have the younger cousin of that trailer, its a GN power tilt-bed 24k GVWR, 24' long, 14ply. A 308E2 with the long stick, and steel tracks with rubber pads, looks like it will come in at around 19.5k which is about the max my trailer should legally tow.

    I listed the dealers in order of proximity, with CAT and John Deere/Hitachi being within a few minutes of our yard. Bobcat and Takeuchi being within 45min or so which isn't terrible. Case is the furthest away. They've all been around for a long time.

    I've only had experience with John Deere parts and they've been decent. I usually order online to save a few bucks if its something that is a relatively easy fix.

    I just looked up the KX80, it looks like its just at 15' 1", so technically it could work. I'll update the list.
     
  9. Zewnten

    Zewnten Member

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2018
    Messages:
    11
    Location:
    Earth
    Bobcat E85 are nice machines we got one as a loader and the operator was impressed. JD 85 are also nice but they have this weird thing where until they warm up travel is jerky.