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Experience with a mini-skid steer?

Discussion in 'Mini Skid Steers' started by littledenny, Dec 18, 2004.

  1. littledenny

    littledenny Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2004
    Messages:
    132
    Occupation:
    Owner, 2Vets, LLC
    Location:
    Ellijay, GA
    Anyone out there have any experience with operating a mini skid steer?

    Situation: I built a 30x36 garage a couple years ago, and due to circumstances (like a few deployments to Southwest Asia) never got around to pouring a floor in it. Walls are concrete about two feet high, steel trusses and steel shell above that. Has a standard garage door, so I could get a normal skid steer inside, but am looking to try a mini skid steer from my local rental guy, just for the experience. I need to skim out 2-4 inches of hard packed Georgia clay off the top over about half the area, then move some sand into the low side in order to get the grade ready to pour a floor.

    Big Question: Does a mini have "enough rocks in it's pockets" to dig into hardpacked clay, or should I just rent a normal machine? Figure I could do this in a couple hours at most with a normal machine, or real long weekend by manual dragline and wheelbarrow.

    Beyond that, I'd appreciate any comments on operating one of these machines in general. Professionally, I build quite a few retaining walls with either RR ties or 6x6s - wonder if one of these machine would be of any utility in this work and worth the price vice manhandling these ties. ( My partner and I can routinely lay 25-30 ties a day, but we pay dearly for it with hot tub time afterwards. Still, not bad for a couple of 50+ retirees.)

    I'd consider trying a mini for initially cutting into the banks and then moving ties from the pile to the wall, but I'm not convinced that they'd be stout enough to dig into a Georgia clay bank. I'd be happy to have someone convince me otherwise. Thoughts, anyone?

    Littledenny
     
  2. Steve Frazier

    Steve Frazier Founder Staff Member

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2003
    Messages:
    6,126
    Location:
    LaGrangeville, N.Y.
    I used a Toro Dingo once with a bucket and a rotary broom. I rented it to clean up debris cast into lawns from snowplowing. It worked well for what I needed it for, but it is pretty limited in its capabilties.

    The reach is limited, I couldn't load my F-550 with it. It will carry about a wheelbarrow load of material. It doesn't weigh much, so its pushing ability is limited too. There's a place for these machines, they will outwork hand tools, but if a bigger machine will fit, I'd use it!

    You could probably do the job you speak of with a toothed bucket, but it will most likely take forever and a day! Use the bigger machine.
     
  3. littledenny

    littledenny Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2004
    Messages:
    132
    Occupation:
    Owner, 2Vets, LLC
    Location:
    Ellijay, GA
    Steve:

    Thanks, figured that might be the answer. I was inclined to think that these little machines would be too light to do much more than move mulch.

    I've got room to get a bigger machine inside, and can always use up the rental time in doing other things around the property, so I guess that will be my route on this project. I'd rather ride anyhow.
     
  4. PAYTON

    PAYTON Charter Member

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    Dec 5, 2003
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    Occupation:
    OPERATOR
    Location:
    indy
    this will take some work but if ur really scared-worreid about the material being to hard.. take and rent a tiller.. walk behind of course.. and till the ground before hand. yes this will take some time and effort but so much easier with a small machine to pick up lose ground then it is to cut hard pack material. you could have it dont in a good day. work smart no hard.

    payton
     
  5. littledenny

    littledenny Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2004
    Messages:
    132
    Occupation:
    Owner, 2Vets, LLC
    Location:
    Ellijay, GA
    Payton:

    Not a bad idea, the tiller thing. Actually, I was considering the mini more for the experince in trying it than anything else.

    I'll probably finally do it the old fashioned way, by hand, and simply for the exercise. The clay in this space is compacted mainly from a couple years foot traffic, and won't be so hard that I can't break it up with a good shovel. It's a bit moist in there this time of year, so it will big pretty well.

    Still, I'll got a Mantis tiller that might be of good use here. I do occasionally use it to prepare ditchs for railroad tie retaining walls.
     
  6. GeeVee

    GeeVee Active Member

    Joined:
    May 5, 2007
    Messages:
    29
    Location:
    Floridah
    Go rent an ASV RC-30 with toothy bucket from the dealer right near your place, chances are, after using it for this chore, you'll want to buy one with a four-in-one bucket for handling the RR ties and cutting and filling your regular work.

    I am familiar with your area, and own said machine. My FIL lives on Lake Nottely across from the dam.
     
  7. 74inchShovel

    74inchShovel Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2008
    Messages:
    156
    Location:
    Washington
    Rc 30

    GeeVee is right on the money- demo a Dingo, MT 55, Vermeers track machine, then treat yourself to a RC 30. Dollar wise they are on the same page, but the comparisons end there. Good luck!
     
  8. BIGBEN2004

    BIGBEN2004 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2008
    Messages:
    167
    Location:
    Woodsboro, Maryland
    What is the price range on a RC-30? I know that the walk behind skid steers are outrageous when it comes to price. I priced out some used ditch witch walk behind's and they were around $16,000 with about 100 Hrs on them. That is crazy to me.
     
  9. 74inchShovel

    74inchShovel Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2008
    Messages:
    156
    Location:
    Washington
    I paid 23,000 USD for mine. :eek: Yeah, I know. Its alot. The same money will buy twice the machine in terms of a rubber tired skid steer. The Vermeer is about the same, and a mt 55 bobcat is close. But.... it is the only machine out there like it, will outwork a mt55, DW, Vermeer 2 to 1. And it is much safer!
     
  10. BIGBEN2004

    BIGBEN2004 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2008
    Messages:
    167
    Location:
    Woodsboro, Maryland
    When you say $23,000 you mean for a Posi-track RC-30? If so did you get a cab on it or leave it open rops? How do you like it? Does it feel stable on side slopes? All of these questions are if you have a posi-track. If you only paid $23,000 that is not bad at all. The walk behind Ditch Witch was used and was still $16,000 that is crazy for something I have to walk behind and doesn't even come with a seat.:pointhead:pointhead:pointhead:Banghead:Banghead:Banghead
     
  11. 74inchShovel

    74inchShovel Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2008
    Messages:
    156
    Location:
    Washington
    It is a Posi-Track RC 30. No cab, no heat, just bare bones. When I first got it, I felt it was a little unstable "sidesloping", but now it feels rock solid. It will climb a 45 degree grade in dirt, and will do alot of work, it is a legitimate excavation tool. The bad news..... Build quality not even close to Cat, Case, TK, et al. A fair amount of minor problems in the first 600 hours- 2 blown hoses, 2 electrical probs, no bushings at any wear point led to very quick wear in cylinder eyes:mad:. The quick attach system is a joke, very crude, I could go on bitching for a while but the bottom line is there is nothing else like it out there. If I lay down some plywood, I can take 100 yds of dirt out of a backyard and leave no trace of damage to any landscaping. Customers love it for that reason. The track system may be the best thing about it. At 600 hrs it has never needed an adjustment, never detracked, and at present rate of wear looks like it will go an easy 2000 hrs. Good luck!
     
  12. BIGBEN2004

    BIGBEN2004 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2008
    Messages:
    167
    Location:
    Woodsboro, Maryland
    Yea like you said their is weak points you found but their is no other machine like it on the market so you kinda have to live with some of that. You will have to take a look at the new series just released to see if they fixed any of those problems. I see they bumped up the horse power like only 2 or 3 Hp. and now it is just a couple inch's wider but other than that they spec out the same. To see what else they changed you would have to look at one up close. If I find myself needing a machine to fit in tight areas allot I will have to demo one to try for myself.
     
  13. GeeVee

    GeeVee Active Member

    Joined:
    May 5, 2007
    Messages:
    29
    Location:
    Floridah
    I've got an RC 30 that I paid 19k out the door. I can get you one for 20k.

    I have no complaints other than the quality of paint on a couple of pieces that aren't ASV or the maker of the cab.

    I wouldn't have a walk behind for any reason, for any money.

    News to me that they made the machine wider than 46.5", that was a defintie plus to the machine. The kind of turf we have here, can be driven over a number of times without plywood. I drive over my turf at home every time Pedro goes out with me. Plywood is stored for many uses, for sure.

    I have other machines fior bigger work but use Pedro the most.

    I look at a walkbehind like it is a broom, Lots of effort required to make it work. The RC 30 is the turbo charged Backpack blower. Both move the dirt.

    Cost versus Return on Investment too. The price of both new, the work effort produced by each over its useable lifetime? (The work produced/per dollar)
     
  14. capt_met

    capt_met Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2005
    Messages:
    131
    Location:
    Northeast Tenn.
    i came very close to buying a rc30. instead i went with the Tx425 dingo. these are both excellant machines with diffrent strengths. not an apples to apples comparison. my reason for goingthe dingo route were 1) higher hydraulics flow and power, 2) would be constantly getting in and out of machine and it is easier to just step off. 3) price, i was able to find a used dingo with minimal hours for much less than the asv w/ similar hours. i was also a bit nervous about the asv track system as the used unit i was looking for just had the undercarriage done with below 500 hrs. the other used units they had were all needing track work as well. of course many of these problems can be attributed to operator error i'm sure, it was an expense i didn't want to worry about. the asv Is a great machine for what it does better. at the same time don't underestimate the dingo's. they have many strengths and advantages as well. no doubt if i spent a lot of time working in the winter the asv w/ cab would be the way to go.
    take care,
     
  15. NoRespect

    NoRespect Member

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2008
    Messages:
    6
    Location:
    SE
    I've got a Kanga 520g that is the handiest piece of machinery I've ever owned. It will definately load more than a wheelbarrow and pick up a 20' power pole vertically (w/all the electric boxes) and set it in the 4-1/2' deep X 12" hole that I augered.
    I use it to trench waterlines and to build several driveways. On mine I had to put in a 20' X 18" culvert and the Kanga dug the ditch and buried the pipe.

    My machine is powered by the 20hp Honda and I have a standard bucket, 4n1 bucket, 12" auger, trencher, pallet forks w/10' boom, and leveller.

    The best feature of this machine is that I can step on and off it while working instead of climbing in a out of a cage. Also the visability is unrestricted. I've operated small Bobcats and I definately like the Kanga better.

    NR
     
  16. Countryboy

    Countryboy Senior Member

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    Occupation:
    Load Out Tech. / Heavy Equipment Operator / Locomo
    Location:
    Georgia
    Welcome to Heavy Equipment Forums NoRespect! :drinkup
     
  17. NoRespect

    NoRespect Member

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    Location:
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    Thanks Countryboy!

    I get "NoRespect"
     
  18. therealjohnboy

    therealjohnboy Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2008
    Messages:
    100
    Location:
    South Australia
    i have a toro 413 narrow track its brilliant for pave prep in modern houses as its only 854mm wide i made some rippers and put tiger teeth on the standard bucket and it dominates in SA's tight clay it has far more ability than you think. i use it along side my CTL. i was always told to use the biggest machine you can to do a job however the toro excels in finishing work with a level bar especially inside sheds and down the side of houses. and it only cost me $15KAUD brand new.does the work of 10 big men an hour.Great tool and far better to operate than a kanga or dingo wheeled mini
     
  19. bgirls

    bgirls Member

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2008
    Messages:
    11
    Occupation:
    IT director, Transportation director
    Location:
    Flint Hill, VA
    We have the Kanga 520G as well. When my wife decided to buy a mini skid i disaggreed, not no more. This machine has more lift capacity than our BX2200. My wife uses among other attachments a 36" auger for tree planting and the Kanga just powers that auger thru clay, sand stone, and rock.
    As far as power to dig, there should be no problem.
     
  20. NoRespect

    NoRespect Member

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2008
    Messages:
    6
    Location:
    SE
    It's for sale!!!

    I'm no longer using my Kanga and have decided to sell the entire set-up.
    Will post ad in the For Sale Section.
    Thanks,
    NR