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Question to basement diggers

Discussion in 'Excavators' started by treemover, Dec 25, 2013.

  1. treemover

    treemover Well-Known Member

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    Looking at adding an excavator to my fleet for excavations of basements on new homes. Around average home size is 1450sqft, some larger some smaller and average hole depth is 6'. I am on the fence between a 160 and 200 class excavator, others guys around here have both sizes but probably more 200 class. I really am leaning towards 160 size, most likely a Deere or hitachi, I like the easier transport. We are currently running all tri's and tandems and 160 would go nice behind those. Now for my questions, how much less productivity will the 160 have than the 200? If I were to go with a 200 could I legally pull it on a 25 ton tag? Are there any disadvantages to the 160?, reach, power, etc

    Thanks
     
  2. CM1995

    CM1995 Super Moderator

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    For digging basements as you described, I would lean towards the 160 size for the reason you stated - moving it. It's going to be a lot easier to move it from site to site and the nature of the project dictates you won't be there more than a few days.

    Another thing to consider is the access and size of the lot you are digging on. A 200 is going to take up more room on the site, albeit not much but some places I have worked in I needed all the room I could get.

    If your main purpose for the machine is digging basements, I don't think you will see a big difference in production from a 160 to a 200 sized machine on those types of projects. The easy of transport and maneuverability on site would be more important IMO.
     
  3. buckfever

    buckfever Senior Member

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    Not sure on the DOT laws in your area so I cann't say if you could move it around on a tag.

    If space is a premium like CM said go with the 160 or maybe look into a zero turn machine. Sometimes that two foot of tail hanging out there makes a simple job difficult.
     
  4. treemover

    treemover Well-Known Member

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    Space is limited but not that limited. Most digs are 4-8 hours. We will load trucks on occasion, ponds, demo but basements will be main app. 160 is great for size and move ability. Is reach and horsepower that noticeable between the two classes?
     
  5. CM1995

    CM1995 Super Moderator

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    Yes it can be and something that needs to be considered. I'll preface that with my current situation in finding a track hoe.

    I am about to convert an RPO on a 2011 321DLCR, the compact radius version of a 320. I have rented it for 3 months and decided to go ahead and purchase it for many reasons.

    The first and biggest reason is it is not Tier IV and doesn't come with the exhaust after treatment. I looked at 316E's and 320E's but just didn't want the extra hassle and figured this machine (currently at 2000 hours) would get me several years of service before I had to jump into the emissions BS.:cool:

    I really like the 315 size machine, having owned 2 prior. I would have liked to go with that sized machine but there weren't any available in the shape I would accept through my Cat dealer. The choice to go through the dealer is a business decision that is another topic but I can expound on that if anyone is interested.

    I would have preferred that size machine (315) over the 321 for mainly the reason of transport. In the past I have owned a 321, 325 and 2 315's. Now to answer the question about a noticeable difference, yes there is, mainly in the size of the bucket it can carry and the extra production - it will load a truck faster.

    Most of my projects are "infill" meaning it is a parcel that had a previous life and with that previous life comes all the buried "treasures". Which means we are undercutting material and bringing in engineered fill to develop the site.

    The small increase in production and the fact I couldn't find a decent 315 is the reason why I went with the 321. I hire out the lowboy to move it from job to job or from the job to the pit and this is a cost I can handle since the moves are not that frequent. However, it is more difficult to schedule moves hiring a lowboy as it would be using your trucks to move it. This is something I would think about long and hard. I am not moving frequently, IE every couple of days, the track hoe will be on the site for several weeks or in the pit for a week or two.

    On the flip side, I do have a 54K lb tag trailer that moves all of my other equipment. I have a very good friend in the business that does all my dump trucking and he moves my equipment with his truck and my trailer. He uses the trailer to move his smaller equipment as needed and we share in maintenance cost.

    The 321 will carry a bigger bucket, has more reach and will be more productive by the stop watch than a 315. That being said, my 315's of the past did everything I asked them to do and were easier to move. The break between those sizes of machines makes it a difficult decision, I hope my rambling helped.
     
    Last edited: Dec 25, 2013
  6. lumberjack

    lumberjack Senior Member

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    I would like to hear about choosing to go through the dealer. Easier financing is a big thing for me.
     
  7. Colorado Digger

    Colorado Digger Senior Member

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    Considering that the holes are only 6' deep I don't think you need anything bigger than a 160. How many yards are you pulling out of these holes? Anything less than a 1000 can be handled easy by that class of machine. As for moving a 160, it is way easier than a 210 class hoe. WE move our 210's and 225 behind a tandem and it is no big deal. Mostly it is the workload and volume to think about, A good 160 can be bought for less than 60k.

    Good luck, CD
     
  8. treemover

    treemover Well-Known Member

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    C digger,

    I presume u are running 25 ton trailers? You ever have any problems being overweight? I would say average hole is 400-700,depending on grade of lot. In terms of production, how much quicker is a 200 vs 160 class? Couple 160's around here look to be running same size buckets as guys running 200's, looks to be 48". Our soils range from sand to sandy loam to a clay so nothing to rough.
     
  9. 390eric

    390eric Senior Member

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    Glad to hear you have finally decided to get a excavator CM, things must be going well. Always like reading your posts and projects.

    I would go with 160 size just for the mobility. You already have the truck and trailer to move it. I also personally think its more about how you set yourself up to dig the foundation versus machine size. A good operator with a good plan can make that 160 move some dirt.
     
  10. Colorado Digger

    Colorado Digger Senior Member

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    The weight is a problem, more so with the 225. A 48" bucket on a 210 will get you 1.5 yards or a little less. A 48 on a 160 is much shallower and will probably get you .90 yards or so. I am not sure on the exact bucket figures so no reason for anyone to pick it apart. If you are digging a few of these a week the 160 is better, our 210's normally sit on a job for a long time. It depends if the whole is downtown and you have to dig the hole, then move the hoe to get the concrete guy in. The 210 will give you much better production than the 160 but as mentioned above a good operator should be able to have a field day on 700 yards with a 160. You are probably pulling your sewer and water in at the same time as the hole gets dug so it is maybe a week of digging at the most. Probably 3-4 days with loading out, utilities and stockpiling. Most everything we dig is over 2500 yards and over 12' deep so that's where we find merit in the 210 class. Plus the long and wide undercarriage is a benefit in the mountains.

    Regards, CD
     
  11. CM1995

    CM1995 Super Moderator

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    There are a couple of reasons -

    I have a good relationship with the dealer from the parts counter to the rental store.
    The ability to do a RPO, with a healthy chunk (90%) of the rent go towards purchase.
    Ease of financing and a good rate for used equipment (4% +/-)
    A good purchase price for the year and hours.
     
  12. buckfever

    buckfever Senior Member

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    To add to what the others have said. With most of your work it's going to be a days work. What I mean is with a 160 size machine it might take 6 hours to dig a hole but a 200 will do the same job in 4. Now if you have other work lined up for the 160 you could do the job load up and be on your way to the next project. With a 200 you would be done faster but unless you have a lowboy or can schedule a truck to be there when you finish to move you to the next job your not going to be making more money at the end of the day.

    Also something you may have to think about is fuel. We have a 160 hitachi and a 235 volvo. In a day of hard digging the 160 defiantly uses less fuel but like others have said the 235 will move a lot more dirt.
     
  13. lumberjack

    lumberjack Senior Member

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    That's what I figured, thanks!
     
  14. fhdesign

    fhdesign Well-Known Member

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    In normal digging conditions, for that size excavation, a 160 is going to be better you may even consider something a little smaller with a blade on it.
     
  15. OCR

    OCR Senior Member

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    Question to basement diggers:

    Well, if I've got it right, that model of machine looks like near perfection, for that kind of work... :cool2

    Good job on your acquisition... :thumbsup


    Sure wish I had one like it... :(


    Year, 2011:

    http://www.machinerytrader.com/listingsdetail/detail.aspx?OHID=9588381


    New:

    http://www.cat.com/en_US/products/new/equipment/excavators/medium-excavators/16898152.html




    OCR
     
  16. 390eric

    390eric Senior Member

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    Man someone was rough with the bucket on that 2011
     
  17. CM1995

    CM1995 Super Moderator

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    Thanks OCR. I have been working towards getting another large excavator for the last two years. I missed a real cherry, a 2012 with 780 hours on it that was almost like new condition. Another company bought it before I felt comfortable enough to buy it.

    The dealer found this one in their rental fleet which was in good shape and cheaper. I have owned a 321CLCR in the past and it was a good machine. Trying to find a nice late model, low hour machine is getting harder and harder. I did not want an E model.

    I'll get some pics and post them.

    BTW - I got a much better deal than the one on MT you posted.;)
     
  18. OCR

    OCR Senior Member

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    Good... on both points... :thumbsup



    OCR
     
  19. Fastdirt

    Fastdirt Senior Member

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    Congrats. Would love to see pics. The 321 is my dream machine. If it had the dozer blade, I'd take it to my grave. But it is a heavy one. I see the 321's daily working next to our highway's and roads around here.

    Why did you sell the 321CLCR? Can't wait to see your new one.

    As far as digging basement's. I believe the bigger the better if you have the work to justify it, like it was 10 years ago. Especially, if you can stay in the same subdivision for awhile. Digging basement's can really drag out if they are deep cuts. Like said already, if you are bouncing around to different subdivision's then transport is a huge factor. Sure a 160 would do great either way in my opinion. It's actually a really tough choice without a perfect answer. I know digging basements can really burn some fuel, especially on a 963 or a 200. After being on bigger machines for so many years I went to work with my brother where they had bought a brand new John Deere 200 to dig basements and that thing seemed so small to me at the time. Now, it seems huge after being away from the bigger stuff. They did hire out the transport, but stayed in subdivisions for long periods instead of moving around often.

    Fun topic though. I want to see some pictures of these new machines coming to these fortunate people.
     
  20. CM1995

    CM1995 Super Moderator

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    It was an 05 model and I sold it back in 2007, when things started to get slow. At the time I had a 325DL ( the sweetest machine I have owned) and didn't need two excavators, sold it to a broker out of NY.

    https://www.heavyequipmentforums.com/showthread.php?4164-05-321CLCR-For-Sale&highlight=321CLCR


    I don't want to hijack this thread, I'll start a new one.;)

    https://www.heavyequipmentforums.com/showthread.php?40668-New-to-me-2011-321DLCR
     
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2013