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What Machine do I Need?

Discussion in 'Tractor/Loader/Backhoes' started by blake.wisse, Apr 22, 2017.

  1. blake.wisse

    blake.wisse Member

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2017
    Messages:
    10
    Location:
    Brisbane
    Hi all,
    I now live on acerage and it has become clear to me that I'm going to need a piece of diesel machinery to get a lot of pending jobs done. Hiring machinery doesn't seem to be an option when you consider the price and the ongoing work. I want some advice about what type of machine is right for me. Basically I need it for...

    Small excavations up to 1.5 m deep
    Post hole boring (fencing and retaining walls)
    Earth moving
    Clearing rubbish (cars, steel, junk really)
    Clearing small wattle trees (4ms high)
    Leveling paths and areas for slabs
    And mowing (but not critical) (I can also buy a ride on)

    A bit of background knowledge:
    - Most of the property is about 15-18% incline.
    -The ground is rocky/shale and clay
    -Most excavations will only need to be 300 wide and 600 deep (for pipes)
    -I know I'll need some digging power because of ground hardness. (I had an 8 tonne excavator struggle to break up a rock 1 metre below ground level. Although, he didn't have a Jack hammer attachment, just a ripper)

    Also, I want these attachments/features:

    Post hole borer
    600 bucket
    300 bucket
    Execavator arm (for digging below ground level)
    4x4 capability
    Jack hammer

    Optional:
    Fork lift prongs
    Mowing function

    My limited knowledge tells me I need a backhoe or tractor. But that is literally the extent of my knowledge. Any help would be appreciated.
     
  2. sheepfoot

    sheepfoot Senior Member

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2008
    Messages:
    1,259
    Location:
    wilmington nc
    I would go with a TLB first, 4wd/ 4x1 bucket/ flip over forks/ ex-tenda hoe. It may give you the most bang for your buck. You can run a hydraulic post hole digger off the hoe with a few fittings and you may even find one that is plumbed for a breaker. A good ripper for the hoe and several heavy duty buckets should be a must. Some work still may need to be contracted but the key is finding the correct attachments to work with the machine you choose, one plumbed for a breaker w/a breaker would be worth the extra money up front if you are worried about rock. Depending on the equipment in you area defines the hourly/ contract/ rental amounts which can add up quick, but it can be cheaper than tearing your own machine up also on some sites.
     
  3. Welder Dave

    Welder Dave Senior Member

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2014
    Messages:
    3,421
    Location:
    Canada
    I think you need 2 machines.
     
    check likes this.
  4. hosspuller

    hosspuller Senior Member

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2014
    Messages:
    1,029
    Location:
    North Carolina
    I agree with welder Dave. I have a Backhoe and a tractor. Most of your jobs is backhoe work... except mowing. A hydraulic post hole digger is the best, but very expensive compared to a 3-point auger. Eliminate the mowing and a TLB with thumb will do your jobs quickly.
     
  5. El Hombre

    El Hombre Senior Member

    Joined:
    May 6, 2010
    Messages:
    377
    Location:
    SF Bay Area
    He does need 2 machines; one that does 80% of the work that he owns, and one that is rented to do the last 20%. Those attachments are priced like they're made of gold or something...rent those.
     
  6. blake.wisse

    blake.wisse Member

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2017
    Messages:
    10
    Location:
    Brisbane
    Cheers fellas! That makes things a lot clearer.

    Thanks Dave, I thought it was unreasonable getting a machine that does everything, but I honestly don't know what is available and it doesn't hurt to ask... Unless if I was to ask whether a TLB can toast a sandwich, while streaming netflix...

    And hosspuller, I think I agree. Seems like the backhoe is kinda the Jack of all trades. I believe the post hole digger would be my most used attachment and pride/joy. After digging holes by hand all over this property, I'm looking forward to retiring my crow bar. So I understand, is a backhoe the same as a TLB?

    El Hombre, very reasonable suggestion. I'm just trying to cut my cost, not eliminate them. I'm reasonably sure I'll be needing and execavator out here occasionally. For the tuff stuff... And a tractor.

    And sheepfoot, thanks for your comprehensive suggestion, I'm gonna start looking at second hand TLB's for sale. It would be nice to get a breaker and post hole digger, but the price is starting to sound a bit daunting. You make a good point about not over excerting an owned machine for the sake of battling a bit of rock. Obviously, whatever I end up buying will be my baby and I would do my best to keep it that way by contracting bits out here and there. As El Hombre said, might be worth hiring some parts like the breaker. But I'm sure I'll need to own a hole digger though.

    I'm the sort of guy who's happy to spend an extra 30% for something that I know has been looked after, that is a superior brand. I do a lot of my own maintenance and regular servicing on tools and vehicles to make sure they last longer then the norm. To me this is more important then being reactive and only looking at something when it's broken. I also consider my time in repairing neglected things as wasted time, but not to say I don't take my car to the mechanic every few years.

    Now that being said, if any of you gents were to buy a a TLB, (not necessarily knowing who your buying off) would you get
    A quality brand (or are they all pretty good these days)?
    Low hours or new?
    If low hours, what's considered to be low hours?
    What tonnage would you consider a minimum? ( not including execavating rock as I'm reasonably sure there is no limit)
    Which nationality makes reliable machines?

    At the moment, I've been seeing a lot of JBS and Kubotas getting about. I seem to be drawn to these machines. What other good brands are there?
     
  7. cuttin edge

    cuttin edge Senior Member

    Joined:
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    1,019
    Occupation:
    Finish grader operator
    Location:
    NB Canada
    Get something that you can get parts for. What dealers are closer. How much are parts. Some brands are crazy expensive for parts. A windshield wiper motor for a Volvo loader is $1100 compared to a $200 case loader.
     
  8. Plongson

    Plongson Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2016
    Messages:
    118
    Location:
    So. Utah
    Wow...the title of this post should have been "How many machines do I need",,,
     
  9. hosspuller

    hosspuller Senior Member

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2014
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    1,029
    Location:
    North Carolina
    I'm with cuttin edge... local parts and service is most important. Especially for an older machine that's likely to be in a homeowner's budget vs making a living with it. The major brands of machinery are similar in performance between the same age & class machines. They are competitors after all. I would also stay away from lesser brands since they're likely to be a service and parts headache. My experience is with 30 year old Deere equipment. Parts and service has always been available. Sometimes expensive and some times very reasonable (Deere filters are actually on par price wise with after market and superior in quality)
     
  10. blake.wisse

    blake.wisse Member

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2017
    Messages:
    10
    Location:
    Brisbane
    Good advice, thanks hosspuller and Cuttin edge. I'll have to do some more research as to what's trending in southeast qld. Maybe call a few local diesel mechanics and see what they recommend.

    And Plongson, yes, I realise that I've been asking for the super machine, but until yesterday, I had no idea that Backhoes were so handy. Knowing that they accept as many attachments, it would seem as though that is what I need to get started.
     
  11. Chad Duncan

    Chad Duncan Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2016
    Messages:
    37
    Location:
    Duncan, BC, Canada
    TLB= tractor/loader/backhoe.
     
  12. Welder Dave

    Welder Dave Senior Member

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2014
    Messages:
    3,421
    Location:
    Canada
    If you find a backhoe in your price range, post it on here and there will people that can tell you if it's one to consider or walk away from. An older well maintained machine is often better than a newer abused and neglected machine.
     
  13. AusDave

    AusDave Senior Member

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2008
    Messages:
    276
    Occupation:
    Self employed
    Location:
    Australia
    Hi Blake. You'll find JCB backhoes pretty common up your way and you can get parts and advice from third party suppliers such as Rouse Hill Tractors at a reasonable price compared to JCB dealers.
    If you can find a low hour one from about ten years ago before the engines and electronics became complicated you'll find it easier to maintain yourself. As you mentioned main thing is to find one that's been cared for.

    Have fun, AusDave
     
  14. blake.wisse

    blake.wisse Member

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2017
    Messages:
    10
    Location:
    Brisbane
    Sorry guys, been in a remote location for 2 weeks and couldn't access internet. Thanks AusDave, solid advice. That always seems to be the problem these days, New stuff becomes too electronic and complicated and the older stuff seems to be easier to fix and built to last. Thanks for the tip on JCBs and Rouse Hill. I'll look into that.

    Thanks Welder Dave, I will take you up on that offer.
     
  15. NH575E

    NH575E Senior Member

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2015
    Messages:
    288
    Location:
    North, FL
    There are different levels of TLBs. The industrial size TLB can probably do more heavy duty type work but there are also AG size with removable backhoes that can double as an AG tractor. Those also have an optional 3 pt with PTO so you can use them as a regular tractor when needed. It largely depends in the degree of work you want to do and your budget. If you have the budget for a new machine one of the larger AG TLBs may be the ticket and be more versatile than an industrial type.

    Kubota Version
    The John Deere 110 was one of the first in that category and used ones can be found. They are not as powerful and have noted some problems so you would want to research your choice carefully.
     
    Last edited: May 8, 2017
  16. blake.wisse

    blake.wisse Member

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2017
    Messages:
    10
    Location:
    Brisbane
    Thanks NH575E. I hadn't considered any of that. I guess I just assumed you could remove the backhoe on all of them. I won't say I have an unlimited budget but I have a bit of flexibility. From what I've looked at so far, I'm considering used machines between the $30 - $45 k (Australian) but willing to spend up to $60. I see a lot of JCB, CASE, DEERE, CAT, but as some of the fellas above said, it's more about how it's been looked after and how much parts are. i would prefer an industrial style machine with some serious digging power (not because I want mine my land but because I don't want to work my machine too hard. Hence I've decided to not get a rock breaker due to the stress on the machine) . So now, based on your advice, I need the 3pt and PTO with that. Because a post hole digger/ auger is going to be absolutely essential. Also, I'm going to an auction on June. I plan on finding a diesel mechanic who knows a thing or two about TLB's to tag along and give me his two cents on the machines available. I'll inform him of your recommendation and see if he can't point out the better machines within that range.
     
  17. TomA

    TomA Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2012
    Messages:
    76
    Location:
    Mariposa, CA
    You don't want a 3pt post hole digger. Get a hydraulic driven attachment that goes on in place of the backhoe bucket. You can reverse it when it gets stuck.
     
  18. blake.wisse

    blake.wisse Member

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2017
    Messages:
    10
    Location:
    Brisbane
    Hey all. Thanks TomA. Yes agreed, a post hole digger on the boom would be handy. Does that require just (2) aux hydraulics. I noticed some excavators have 4 spare hydraulic hoses, I'm trying to think what that would be for.

    So just an update, I've been watching the market for sometime to get an idea of what's a worthy price for a TLB and to explore my options. I went to the RB auction today to see what people pay for earth movers. Unfortunately there was only 1 TLB, 2013 CAT 432 F Premier 4x4, 4 in 1, forks, check valves, extend hoe, ss, rear aux, 138 hours. Quite a beautiful machine but I knew it would be well out of my price range, but that's not the only reason I went. By the way, sold for $110000. Now if I'm correct, I'm expecting a machine like this to be brand new at $140000... Is that right?. Hard to find a retail price on these things.

    The reason I went was to get an idea of how machines devalue. I'm getting the impression that it is directly related to how much abuse (or love) they've received. So I'm guessing that 110000 was a steal for a machine with only 140 hours.

    So while I was there, I wanted to get an idea of what owning a skidsteer and midi excavator would cost me (initially) and after standing around for hours, walking km's and listening to auctioneers pretending to make sense, I have to say, I don't think I'm all that keen on owning two machines, especially considering that I need twice as much
    storage space,
    Chance of getting ripped
    part suppliers,
    potential problems,
    parts laying around the yard...

    I don't know, any thoughts?

    I suppose two machines mean
    One can work while one is getting serviced.
    And I'm assuming a skid steer and a midi excavator would be more powerful then one TLB...?

    Personally, I think I'm leaning towards the TLB, based on a simplicity and the good advice I've received so far, but I don't want to assume anything and I thought it would be careless of me to not consider all options with such a big investment.

    Also, by my mathematics, I worked out that if I were to buy a decent midi excavator (5-9 tonne) and mid range skid steer, I would be looking at $55000 (auction price, 80% of expected value), $66000 private seller price, not including attachments.
    Where as I could by a decent 95-2010 model TLB with 3000-8000 hours for around that price and I would only need to buy an auger and ripper after that. Tuff decision...

    Lastly, I cheeked out some tractors at the RB's, not much to report.
    John Deere 7810, MFWD, 175 hp, 3 hyd outlets, 3pt hitch, weights, 540/1000 PTO sold for 57500 with no attachments. Seems a bit much.

    1999 New Holland, 110 hp, 2 hyd outlets, 540 pto, 3pt hitch, 9500 hours sold for 13000

    And little Kubota L4150 MFWD, 50hp, loader bucket, 540 PTO, 3pt hitch, 227 hours, sold for 12500. Nice machine but would barely scratch the surface on my block.

    Thanks for the advice so far, I'll keep you posted.
     
  19. cuttin edge

    cuttin edge Senior Member

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2014
    Messages:
    1,019
    Occupation:
    Finish grader operator
    Location:
    NB Canada
    Pricing is hard at auctions. Sometimes the bids get crazy. 138 hours on a 2013. Must have sat for a long time. That's a little over 2 weeks working. I would stick with a rubber tire back hoe. Excavators are not built for doing a lot of traveling. Been a while since I've been on here, but you want a machine for your own use isn't it. Walking long distances are hard on your undercarriage, whereas a backhoe can go anywhere.
     
  20. blake.wisse

    blake.wisse Member

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2017
    Messages:
    10
    Location:
    Brisbane
    Yeah, agreed. Everyone and everything is pointing to the backhoe. Good point on the travel. Didn't consider that. And yeah, must have been sitting around. It started at the drop of a hat though. I feel like I'm really starting to understand these machines though based on all the advice.

    Yes the machine is for my own use, which makes another worthy point, efficiency isn't paramount. I don't mind if jobs take a little longer because I'll be operating the machine in my own time and not as a contractor (in and out perspective).

    I know I've already asked this, but what is low or mid hours. I would assume 7000 hours would be mid range based on what I've seen on the market?