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I'm an idiot and I'm going to buy a piece of excavating equiptment.

infernozx

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We bought a house last year, its a bit of a fixer upeer. 1992 build, that is well done, but hasn't been updated. We live in an area now that easily supports 1-1.2 million dollar houses, and we purchased at around $600k, so it seemd like a decent deal. We've done a couple of whole house reno's before, and so this one seemed like a decent one to work on.

That's the preamble.

Since moving in, weve discovered that there's 3 big projects we would like to address outside the house.

1) The driveway is really small. We live on the side of the hill, and have a retaining wall to keep the high-side neighbours house in his land. Out low side doesnt have a wall, and as such is a steep hill that goes down to the neighbours driveway. We loose about 40ft of useable space here because of the slope. Our current driveway is 3 car at best. We figure we can build out a wall, re-grade, and get another 3-4 car spots.

2) The retaining wall between us and the road, is falling down. It was improperly built, and sagged on day one. It's build of giant 1300lb concrete blocks, that have lifting wire on them. We need to pull them out, fix the base, and put them back.

3) We have 1/4 acre of yard, that's steep. Really steep. Think vinyard steep. A heavy rain can cause some errosion. It has NEVER been developed. It wasn't given any kind of path, switchback, or even seeded. So it's an absolute mess.

Originally we were going to rent machines. I figured 2-3 days with a $300/day rental for the driveway project. 2-3 days at $400/day for the retaining wall, and then maybe 10 days+ of a $400/day machine for the back yard.

That got me thinking... I wonder if I could get a machine, hold it for 2-3 years while working through these projects, and then sell it on without losing more then say $5000 in maint/depreciation..

Sounds great right? Sure, but I've never owned a diesel engine, let alone a pice of equipment.

Now I'm pretty handy with fixes. I have a mill/lathe, can fix most circuit boards I find broken, I can tear down and fix a cherry picker/hydraulic jack. So There's really nothing fixing wise that I consider off limits. (did my parents AC yesterday which was neat.) I can weld, cut, and fab. Not bragging, just trying to get across that most repairs and mods don't really scare me.

So we've been looking around locally, and what I'd really like is something that will lift my 1300lbs blocks, but also not be too big that I can't move it on my trailer in a pinch. (im not moving it 100 or 200 miles, just maybe 10 min down the road).

The trailer is 7500lbs max, and I think its good for a 6000lbs max load on it. I would be ok to cheat that up a tiny bit just to get the machine down to my brothers/parents house... If the machine is more then a few min away, I'd be ok paying to get it delivered, but that kind of factors into the cost.




We've found a few things fairly locally. A JD400. It's $15000, and looks rough and old. It's about an hour away. Also new tires. But I think the resale would be shit.

THere's a Case 580 SuperK ExtendaHoe, $19,900 That one is really promising looking. It's a 1994, and has new tires as well. I'm concerned that It's too big. I don't have much space to store something like that. I can't trailer it, but I could just drive it down the road. It looks pretty clean. This resale seems like it would be easier?

The third one is a Bobcat 329. It's $25,000, which seems cheap for a miniex, it looks pretty clean, but I'm concerned that it won't be as versitile as I'm looking for. It's about an hour away too, and is probably about as big as I'd want to trailer home. Resale on this seems like it would be ok?

The fourth would be a hell of a drive. 8 hours each way, and would be for a Hitachi EX12. It runs but has a bad water pump or rad. Seems like an easy fix, unless Im missing something. I feel like this machine might be a bit too small though.



So irate4x4. Am I nuts? Do I just rent and suck it up? Is the backhoe a better all round machine then the mini? What's more reliable. If I kill something expensive before selling on, my whole plan goes to shit. I'd honestly prefer to get something cheap like $3500, and that way it's less risk in the pot, if it dies, its cheap to write off. Can a backhoe be used in steep terrain? can I build myself a route down into the steep yard as I go?


oh, and I live in the suburbs, not on a farm.. otherwise I'd probably already have one.
 

dave_dj1

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DO NOT buy a rubber tired machine for the slopes, you will hate it and it won't do the job you hope it will. Buy a tracked machine. A 10K excavator will probably just about lift your blocks. It will crawl around the slopes much easier and in my opinion safer. As per Irate4x4 take vids of you running the equipment for the first time 🖕
 

Thefishguy77

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I just got a 480C for free from my neighbor. Its a big machine when you have to “store” it. I have 10 acres so its not the hard for me but if your in a neighborhood then its going to stick out more. My ideal machine would have been a mini-ex but a free running backhoe is the right machine for me. Half considering fixing the brakes and seeing if I can trade it for a mini-ex. Not a 8,000lbs one but at least one or 2 sizes up. Guy in town has a 20,000lbs mini. That a big mini...
 

YotaAtieToo

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Are you sure you know what you're getting into with this much excavation? What the local codes like? Have any waterways near by?

Tracks over tires x's a million

As far as sizing. A 35 model (~7500 lbs) will do a lot, I loaded a bunch of old truck shells and scrap with a 35 bobcat, a few of the picks had to be over 1300 lbs. I've used a bunch of different machines in this size doing a lot of different things. They really will do more than most people think. I wouldn't be afraid to look at one for the right price.

That being said, I really like the 50 models (~11k lbs) over all, still able to haul it behind any 3/4 t or bigger truck or probably even a new 1/2 t. But will obviously get more work done.

Also I wouldn't be afraid of anything up to about 20k lbs, these can be hauled behind a 10 wheeler no problem, or if you know a guy with a 1 ton and proper trailer. It doesn't sound like you will need to be moving more than once anyway.

The problem is that these are what everyone wants. For the reasons I listed, you can haul them behind common trucks. Good luck on your search :flipoff2:
 
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Juztyn00

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I'd vote for the 580 Case as they are fairly solid reliable machines. A tracked machine large enough to do real work is going to have to be trucked in and they tear shit up just moving them around the yard. Do your research on building a retaining wall, An improperly built one is a good way to get sued by your down hill neighbors. There's a lot to be said for just renting the right machine for the job then not ever worrying about resale or major maintenance costs.
 

infernozx

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Thanks for the input so far. I feel the same about the wheeled vehicle on the hill.


As for the permitting/legality...

We're allowed up to 4ft walls without permitting. So my wall is going to be 4ft. We're going to place it almost 20ft back from the property line, so if it fails, it will still be in our property.

For the big 8ft wall. We're repairing it, not building it. So again no permitting required. I have had a couple of companies come look at it. The consensus is that it was just poorly placed originally, they sloped the blocks up around a corner, places them 1/2 on concrete and 1/2 on fill. They didnt put in any drainage. Liability wise, I'm not changing anything strucurally, I'm just fixing things that were done incorrectly. That's our areas test of permit/no permit. You can fix, you can't add or remove.

There's no water features anywhere near us, the city's road is about 20 ft away from where we would work. Gas and water are on the other side of the property from where we're working and they've done their marking thing already.

While i haven't operated heavy equiptment before, I'm confident I can pick up the operation pretty quickly.

I like the 50s, they look more stable, but I'm not dropping $75k on a machine. I believe the Bobcat is about the same as a 35?
 

Chevy_man

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Tracks only.

Last time I looked decent skid steers were going for $30-50k here. Mini-ex that can lift that will be a 10-12k machine. $20-30k in decent shape.

Get rid of your little car hauler and get a 14k equipment tilt deck if you're moving equipment. I've seen car trailers destroyed quickly with a 10k machine on them.



You'll be better off renting. Mini-ex to dig, skid steer to move material and lift things. Skid steers don't dig. They scoop and move.

Nobody sells good equipment. They sell the stuff they've had issues with. Every used one will need pins and bushings, grease zerks replaced, hydraulic leaks fixed, electric issues fixed (watch out for power tool attachments, I've seen a few that wouldn't retract the pin so you got the bucket on it and that's it).

My coworker bought a brand new John Deere skid steer. $60k machine, and he sold it for $40k with 300 hours because it needed $5k worth of work before break-in was complete. He was using it around his yard and lost the final drive on one side, main hydraulic pump, and blew out a few seals over the course of a summer. JD raped him on parts, and he now has a Kubota that's been flawless. The guy who bought it thought he was stealing it, my coworker was happy it was someone else's junk.
 

Ted_Kaczynski

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If I read your OP correctly, you're willing to piss away $5k just to own and store a machine you have no long term use for. Why?

I have no experience with owning equipment, but why are you willing to piss away $5k just to do it?

Your maths don't add up from the get go.
 

infernozx

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Rental cost is going to be ~$5k give or take. Renting sucks. You always run out of stuff to do, or have too much stuff to do.

Gravel truck fails to deliver on time? That's another $400 day. Work calls and needs you right now!? $400. My estimates are shit and it takes 20 days of machine time to get the back yard done? That's an extra $4000.

So ya, I'm hoping that I can own and use a machine for the next 2-3 years, and the cost of owning it and using it is less then $5000, then I'm leaps and bounds ahead. Then I can sell it and recoup most of my costs.
 

Tooheysmax

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see if you can lease it for 1 year if its going to cost you say 5k you can sub lease it out to neighbors with an insurance policy or buy it under an LLC and fast Line depreciate it against the house as a construction asset. Im pretty sure your taxes would then be a wash on the property.
 

rockota

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so you're talking about a mini-ex. I have a Deer 26d. 2012 model with 2400 hours. Paid $15k for it, added a $1400 thumb and it has been good. It's not quite as balanced as a larger unit, but for my needs, it's great.

Two things I'd say... unless you can get one cheap, you're going to be throwing money away, like Ted mentioned. You might be better off renting a machine for a month.

A mini-ex probably will not lift the 1300# blocks unless you get into the larger units, or maybe even a midi.

I personally would not attempt to use a backhoe for your projects on that small of footprint... you'll want tracks and something easy to move in a small place.
 

Chevy_man

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so you're talking about a mini-ex. I have a Deer 26d. 2012 model with 2400 hours. Paid $15k for it, added a $1400 thumb and it has been good. It's not quite as balanced as a larger unit, but for my needs, it's great.

Two things I'd say... unless you can get one cheap, you're going to be throwing money away, like Ted mentioned. You might be better off renting a machine for a month.

A mini-ex probably will not lift the 1300# blocks unless you get into the larger units, or maybe even a midi.

I personally would not attempt to use a backhoe for your projects on that small of footprint... you'll want tracks and something easy to move in a small place.

We have a jd 27. It won't pick up more than about 800lbs without pulling itself over.
Our cat 305 will pick up 2500, but it's 12k lbs and 3x the footprint of the JD.

Thumbs are fun. Picking up shovels and anything else in the way without breaking it is a good way to entertain yourself for a bit.
 

Ted_Kaczynski

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Rental cost is going to be ~$5k give or take. Renting sucks. You always run out of stuff to do, or have too much stuff to do.

Gravel truck fails to deliver on time? That's another $400 day. Work calls and needs you right now!? $400. My estimates are shit and it takes 20 days of machine time to get the back yard done? That's an extra $4000.

So ya, I'm hoping that I can own and use a machine for the next 2-3 years, and the cost of owning it and using it is less then $5000, then I'm leaps and bounds ahead. Then I can sell it and recoup most of my costs.

You're assuming one machine fits all your needs. It's already been brought up that it most likely won't. Renting could be "2 or more machines for the price of one".
 

Ted_Kaczynski

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Also renting is a possible expensable cost on taxes with a receipt, owning equipment and losing isn't so straight forward.
 

Tinstar

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I agree with Chevy Man in part. Mini-ex that can lift that will be a 10-12k machine. $30k plus in decent shape at least in my neck of the woods.

YEP: Get rid of your little car hauler and get a 14k equipment trailer if you're moving equipment. Tilt decks are spendy and you aren't hauling very often. A 14k equipment trailer is just part of owning equipment in that weight range.

Sounds like you want to own some equipment. Its more work than it seems but can be rewarding.

DeWalt for the grease gun win.
 

TiTRD

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If I was going to buy a machine it would at minimum be a CAT 305.

The smaller ones you just rent per your needs. My septic force main decided to separate itself, so rental it was. I got the largest machine my 7000# car trailer would hold. CAT 302.5. It was great for the job at hand, but pretty worthless around the rest of property.
 

infernozx

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Thanks guys.
I really don't plan to move it. It was more just a convinience thing.

And honestly I don't want to own it long term. After the work is done, it's going to be useless to me. I'd like to sell it right away. Like I said, I've got 3 parking spots now on a residential street. I'll have 5-7 when I'm done. I don't want to have a big trailer, truck, wifes car, project truck, mini-ex jamming up all my hard work.

I think the feeling im getting here is that To do the blocks I need a big machine. To do the rest I need a tracked machine. I'm going to accept that I'm going to need two machines. Local rental place suggests the 50D or 85D for placing the blocks. I can't afford to buy one of those, so I might have to do a day rental or get a crane just to do the blocks, and then look at a small tracked machine to do the rest of the work.
 

Ted_Kaczynski

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Thanks guys.
I really don't plan to move it. It was more just a convinience thing.

And honestly I don't want to own it long term. After the work is done, it's going to be useless to me. I'd like to sell it right away. Like I said, I've got 3 parking spots now on a residential street. I'll have 5-7 when I'm done. I don't want to have a big trailer, truck, wifes car, project truck, mini-ex jamming up all my hard work.

I think the feeling im getting here is that To do the blocks I need a big machine. To do the rest I need a tracked machine. I'm going to accept that I'm going to need two machines. Local rental place suggests the 50D or 85D for placing the blocks. I can't afford to buy one of those, so I might have to do a day rental or get a crane just to do the blocks, and then look at a small tracked machine to do the rest of the work.

So you made up your mind before this thread. Why even ask? Be sure to update with total cost. At least you got the thread title right.
 

cj3a

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I am not a equipment snob so I use what I own. Old equipment that has a ton of hours usually can be sold for what you purchased it for. The repairs are what the cost of ownership is. Sell the trailer so when friends ask to borrow it you have no way to move it.
 

infernozx

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So you made up your mind before this thread. Why even ask? Be sure to update with total cost. At least you got the thread title right.

Jesus man, reading comprehension is not your strong suit is it? I've been patient with you because, well I thought maybe you were just a little retarded and I didn't want to goober up my thread, but shit are you dumb. Your comments start as incoherent, and then just continue as what I hope is a weak attempt at trolling. If you're just day drinking speak up and we can try this again. If you're sober, take a look in the mirror and either make some changes in your life, or go drink some bleach. I bet you're an absolute riot to be around in real life. Are you that guy who just out of the blue and with no context goes off about how everyone else is doing stuff wrong, and you're always right, and how you had to set someone "in their place"

I know this is chit-chat, but it might be time to step back and evaluate your life.
 
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try to negotiate the hours on the machine, not the time on the property. you might be able to save yourself some money that way
 

Splib

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Jesus I know this is chit-chat, but it might be time to step back and evaluate your life.

Inferno, sounds like you got some sound and helpful advice. :beer: Just look at the future of this thread as entertainment. This is irate, not Pbb. In for the giz, as always :cookie:
 

ThePanzerFuhrer

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I am not a equipment snob so I use what I own. Old equipment that has a ton of hours usually can be sold for what you purchased it for. The repairs are what the cost of ownership is. Sell the trailer so when friends ask to borrow it you have no way to move it.

This is how I work buy it cheap and run it till it dies. I would stay away for a tractor backhoe on the steep stuff. Can be done but not for a rookies first time out. Your gonna want a 305-312 sized excavator for the project your describing. The problem I see is it looks to be a 2 machine job. A hoe to prep the area and a skidsteer to move the material to the correct spots. Don’t forget to add the cost of a plate compactor and laser into the project.

Start posting machines we’ll give u our opinions. Don’t pull a action fan and make sure you document the progress here for our entertainment!

I think it’s funny how all the 20k and less machine command a premium on the used market. I have never paid over $30,000 for a excavator. I just picked up a 9,000 hour 9060b for 27500. Super nice shape for its age. I’ll get another 9,000 hour out of that thing! Business closings or retirement auctions are the best places to get good used equipment. If your patient and have the cash on hand you can get good deals.
 
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rockota

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We have a jd 27. It won't pick up more than about 800lbs without pulling itself over.
Our cat 305 will pick up 2500, but it's 12k lbs and 3x the footprint of the JD.

Thumbs are fun. Picking up shovels and anything else in the way without breaking it is a good way to entertain yourself for a bit.

Oops... typo. I have a 27d...

Agreed - it's top and forward heavy compared to others.
 

Ted_Kaczynski

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Jesus man, reading comprehension is not your strong suit is it? I've been patient with you because, well I thought maybe you were just a little retarded and I didn't want to goober up my thread, but shit are you dumb. Your comments start as incoherent, and then just continue as what I hope is a weak attempt at trolling. If you're just day drinking speak up and we can try this again. If you're sober, take a look in the mirror and either make some changes in your life, or go drink some bleach. I bet you're an absolute riot to be around in real life. Are you that guy who just out of the blue and with no context goes off about how everyone else is doing stuff wrong, and you're always right, and how you had to set someone "in their place"

I know this is chit-chat, but it might be time to step back and evaluate your life.

You sound butt hurt by the truth, it's ok. You posted your shit on a public forum asking, deal with it cvnt.
 

infernozx

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This is how I work buy it cheap and run it till it dies. I would stay away for a tractor backhoe on the steep stuff. Can be done but not for a rookies first time out. Your gonna want a 305-312 sized excavator for the project your describing. The problem I see is it looks to be a 2 machine job. A hoe to prep the area and a skidsteer to move the material to the correct spots. Don’t forget to add the cost of a plate compactor and laser into the project.

Start posting machines we’ll give u our opinions. Don’t pull a action fan and make sure you document the progress here for our entertainment!

I think it’s funny how all the 20k and less machine command a premium on the used market. I have never paid over $30,000 for a excavator. I just picked up a 9,000 hour 9060b for 27500. Super nice shape for its age. I’ll get another 9,000 hour out of that thing! Business closings or retirement auctions are the best places to get good used equipment. If your patient and have the cash on hand you can get good deals.

Thanks.

I've noticed the same with the bigger machines. There's stuff thats just way too big for me. Like I couldn't even turn it in my driveway big iwthout tearing the gutters off my house.. $20k..

Then there's a little 27d, for $50k. I get that there's hours, and condition differences, but not that many.

As for the two machine, I was thinking that by buying instead of renting, I could just spend more hours out there moving dirt using the cleanup bucket. THe one thing I have going for me, is that our plans have been designed around not moving too much dirt too far. We are going to try to maintian dump truck access to the yard, as well as the front, so I shouldnt have to be doing long hauls.

At least that was my thought.

I'm gonna go get some pics to hopefully better explain the layout.
 

infernozx

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Here's a pic. I'll try to describe reference the colors.

Green is our property outline. Big thing to note is that between our driveway at the property line is like almost 40ft.
Orange is a level path from the road, to our back yard, (through the neighbours property. They're good people, and happy that we're improving the property. Their fence is on our land, they've given us free use of their driveway to get materials and equipment into the yard etc.
Blue is the block retaining wall. It's about 8ft tall total, and currently leans into the driveway.
Purple is about as far as the land is level with the driveway.
Pink is where we have about a 15-10ft drop between our yard and the neighbours yard. That's part of the area we would like to bring up to the driveway level, and be able to use as parking area.
Finally the red circle, is about.... 60 ft below the red line. That's just to kind of demonstrate the slope on the property. It's steep right behind the house, and flattens out at the bottom.

Our plan was to do the driveay project, using a machine, and dump trucks to bring the material right to the fill point.
Then use our new found space, to be able to store the blocks while we tear down the block wall and rebuild it.

Then when we move to the back yard, we were going to tear out the old shed there (ours) and then use the neighbours driveay there to facilitate getting trucks backed in to drop fill.. the fill would allow us to build a switch back to the lower flatter point in the yard and then develop that out.

We have a concrete driveay we don't want to destroy, and the neighbour has asphalt which we can't destroy, couple that with the small space in the driveway is why we were shying away from any larger machines.

Currently we park the truck next to the trailer where the previous owners had that white car, and then we park the car next to the purple line. That is just enough room to get both vehicles in and out of the driveway each day, but we really dont have space for much material storage, or machine storage, or anything like that.

photo13215.jpg
 
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