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Picking the right size excavator

Discussion in 'Compact Excavators' started by Farmerben, Oct 17, 2018.

  1. Farmerben

    Farmerben Member

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    Location:
    Tennessee
    hello, I’m looking into buying an excavator but I’m having a hard time picking which size to look at.
    Are there any general rules or roles for determining which size you need? My one friend who runs a landscape and excavation company just seems to think go bigger and bigger is better but where does that become not true?
    Thanks
     
  2. Tags

    Tags Senior Member

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    If you can supply some information as to what you’ll be doing with the machine it will make it easier to figure out what size would work best
     
  3. fast_st

    fast_st Senior Member

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    Yes indeed, have to lay out the wants and needs along with the tasks you're thinking of contracting out for as well as transportation limitations. When you get over 30ton moving starts to become a challenge. If 90% of your needs will be satisfied by a mini, buy a mini and rent for the other 10% of the time.
     
  4. Farmerben

    Farmerben Member

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    We have a 100 acre farm. 30 of it in loblolly pine which needs to be thinned/cleared. I have been told to get an 8 ton, but I’d also like to do work for people, maybe in landscaping or excavation work. Am I going to be too big for some jobs?
     
  5. John C.

    John C. Senior Member

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    What are you going to use to move it between jobs?
     
  6. Farmerben

    Farmerben Member

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    Until I can buy my own f350 or 650 My cousin owns a f350 with a 38k gcwr, or I have a friend with a landscaping companies.
     
  7. John C.

    John C. Senior Member

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    I would suggest then that you purchase an excavator size based on the carrying capacity of the hauler.
     
  8. fast_st

    fast_st Senior Member

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    Yeah, I'd set the maximum weight at 20k, I have a 350 and a 550 that both tow a 20k mini or 15k backhoe without any complaints. Though 20k is a midi more than a mini.
     
  9. Jeckyl1920

    Jeckyl1920 Well-Known Member

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    At 100 acres, you may look into a backhoe. It would take you an hour just to crawl across that lot at 3 mph. They aren't so great in the mud, but move faster and have about the same lift capacity.
     
    773 and Blondie70 like this.
  10. cw4Bray

    cw4Bray Active Member

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    I wanted a toy that I could move easily in my P/U. I've been having a blast with it !! It's time consuming dragging dead trees to the burn pile at 2 MPH on 10 acres. I think a chain tied to the truck bumper would be more efficient IMG_20180825_131124000_HDR.jpg . The fun factor is still way up there even with the light weight and low HP. The war department is restricting me from digging deep or doing too much damage at the farm. I need to operate when she's asleep so I don't get nagged. Had to change from stock 6 ply to 10 ply tires.
     
  11. John C.

    John C. Senior Member

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    That's pretty cool looking. Do you back blade the road at the same time?
     
    cw4Bray and bmckenzie like this.
  12. OTG AuGres

    OTG AuGres Well-Known Member

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    Hobbiest - Forestry and Wildlife Management
    Location:
    Michigan
    Someone mentioned transportation capability, which in my case was a deciding factor. I should note, that I’m a hobbiest, not for hire. For me, I looked for the near the top end of what I could haul with my F250 and without needing a CDL. I ended up with a Bobcat E42, which with a couple extra buckets is close to my weight limit. Although it would be nice for something bigger from time to time, I’m amazed at the work I can do with this machine. After having this size machine, I couldn’t see myself going smaller. Using the same weight criteria, I picked up a T595 CTL this summer. Really happy with that machine.