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To the newer SCUT ownwers with backhoes


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#1 David Brown OFFLINE  

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Posted April 16, 2015 - 07:02 PM

When I bought my Massey GC1705, I didn't get a backhoe.  Two years later, we're thinking about adding one.  My question is, are they worth it?  I've heard they're nothing more than toys.  Do you use yours much?  Would you buy it again?  It's a lot of money to shell out for something I MIGHT use once or twice.  Just trying to get a good understanding of their capabilities.  Thanks.


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#2 boyscout862 OFFLINE  

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Posted April 16, 2015 - 07:30 PM

You are asking good questions. The other one to ask is what kind of soil you have. I have a full size Ford TLB and it has alot of trouble digging on my property because there are many rocks 3'+ which require the dozer. If you are only going use it occassionally, you may want to just rent a machine when you need it. A weekly rental rate is usually a much better deal than a daily rental. Try the dealer. 

 

One warning. A friend had a brand new FORD 1710 TLB in 1986. He worked it too hard and the clutch bellhousing cracked apart. I heard that others have done that too. This is bony Ct. If you have soft soils you may be okay but the hard can tear the tractor apart. BTW an old full sized TLB runs $5,000 to 10,000 around here. Good Luck, Rick


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#3 Username OFFLINE  

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Posted April 16, 2015 - 08:41 PM

The smaller ones are handy for delicate digging around buildings and where you need to be careful on digging up a line or something but I find them VERY slow for digging any amount of ditch.They lack reach that is needed on many occasions and have a small  bucket capacity.I borrowed my friends 2720 with a hoe to dig a drainage ditch  1 1/2' deep but ended up using my old 680 club to finish it up in an hour where I would have been all day and then some.Of coarse I had one heck of a ditch to back fill.And as has been said,big rocks will stop them in there tracks.

 

One thing you might find handy is having a thumb.You can pick up and carry rocks,limbs and such that are difficult or to long to fit in a bucket.


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#4 Cvans ONLINE  

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Posted April 16, 2015 - 09:20 PM

Depends on how big a hoe you get. Around here if it won't reach 6' down it's kind of worthless for much besides wiring because it won't reach below the frost level. Tree stumps surprisingly take a lot of reach or your going to be moving all the time. 

Like was stated above it depends on what your planning to use it for. 


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#5 David Brown OFFLINE  

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Posted April 16, 2015 - 09:30 PM

 

Like was stated above it depends on what your planning to use it for. 

Thanks for the replies.  Some good info there.  First off, my soil is very soft although there is a lot of shale as you dig down.  It's hard to say what I would use it for because I picture it as something that probably has many uses that I just didn't realize until I own one.  For now, my primary uses would be: digging a drainage system off the house and garage to get the water away from the buildings, firewood (I wanted a thumb for this reason), the ability to lift longer logs in order to cut them into firewood without stooping all the time, and stump removal.  I have a few around here that I would like gone.  I could rent a stump grinder but a backhoe seems like so much more fun.  In the end, it seems like this little backhoe would come up short for me while adding hours to the meter on the tractor.  As cool as it would be to own one, I think I will let it pass.  Thanks guys.



#6 Tennblue59 OFFLINE  

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Posted April 16, 2015 - 10:22 PM

Lots of issues here to consider....
As reference, I used to own a dedicated excavator - a small 3500 lb unit. I bought it specifically INSTEAD of buying a backhoe attachment for my 2320. More to it than that - I bought it needing repairs and got a good deal for much less than the deere hoe would have cost me. I have also owned/ran full size backhoe loaders (17,000 lbs).

Small hoes beat using a shovel ANY DAY!!! But, they have limited use and efficiency. My machine specs were much better than what you would get on a typical scut backhoe. It was great for cutting ditches (at least in Tennessee soil), ok for digging (NOT pulling) stumps, ok to dig the occasional burial hole for livestock, fair for digging foundations, etc - IF you have time and patience, you can do a lot with one. Remember its a small shovel!

One of the biggest problems with small hoes is the lack of weight. You can dig UP like crazy, but the hydraulics will bounce and shift a small hoe around a lot as you push, pull and drag. A scut hoe is only gonna weigh a couple thousand pounds. Performance gets MUCH better once you get up around 6-7000 lbs - beyond the range of most scuts. A 7-10,000 lb hoe is much more capable than the small ones!

Second, at least for me, the hoe is not as valuable a multi-use tool. If you get a loader on your tractor, you will find a lot of uses for it that you never thought of. EVERYBODY needs a loader! Aside from digging holes, you can't do as many things with a hoe - especially if you have a loader as well. There are things that you can do easier with a hoe, but not as many. I didn't find myself using it all the time like I do my loader. They take up a lot of storage room and take time to mount/unmounts to your tractor.

I kept my track-hoe for about 10 years and finally sold it because I didn't use it enough to keep it up. To be fair, I still have access to a full size machine, and have a skidsteer as well, so I don't go without for the occasional need. For MOST people, I think you are financially better off renting the appropriate digger if you only need one occasionally.

Also depends on what you would do with one. I had mine when we had 30+ acres of very run down property and plenty of use for it. Once we got stuff fixed up, I didn't use it as much. I would have done better for my use with a much bigger hoe though. If you are rural, you find more use for one, but you spend a fair amount of $$$ and don't use it that much. That's my opinion, for what it's worth...
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#7 Cvans ONLINE  

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Posted April 16, 2015 - 11:42 PM

One word of advice is to make sure that your 3 point hoe comes with a sub-frame. You cannot believe how much a backhoe can bounce a tractor around, 

I know you said you've decided to wait on purchasing one so this is for the future. I would suggest that down the road if the chance arises to operate one do it. It will be a real eye opener and fun too. 

I presently own a Ford 850 with a New Holland 3 point hoe and a Kubota 11,000 lb. trac-hoe. It's still fun.  :smilewink:


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#8 FrozenInTime OFFLINE  

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Posted April 18, 2015 - 09:39 AM

For the price of a new, or used one, and using it very few times, much better to rent one.  You won't have to find a place to store it or have to fix it when the hyd. leak or line breaks.  You also won't have to tell your buds you don't want to let anyone else use it unless you like to be the guy that loans tools/tractors out.  But in the end, it's your choice.


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#9 David Brown OFFLINE  

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Posted April 18, 2015 - 02:22 PM

For the price of a new, or used one, and using it very few times, much better to rent one.  You won't have to find a place to store it or have to fix it when the hyd. leak or line breaks.  You also won't have to tell your buds you don't want to let anyone else use it unless you like to be the guy that loans tools/tractors out.  But in the end, it's your choice.

Yep, my choice and the choice has been made.  Reason has won out over the cool factor of having a toy like that.  I move enough stuff around so I don't trip over it.  I sure don't need something else getting in the way.  I have a friend who has a small backhoe so perhaps I'll have him come in a do a little digging.  Thanks for all the advice guys!  Going out to split some wood now.


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