Backhoe Capabilities: Back Hoe  -- Tractor Attachments Implements 3ph Discussion Forum and Review Backhoe Capabilities: Back Hoe -- Tractor Attachments Implements 3ph Discussion Forum

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 05-15-2001, 19:07 Post: 28221
Keith



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 Backhoe Capabilities

I am pretty much decided on buying a NH TC35D for my property. I would really like to package it with a backhoe, but could not justify the cost unless it will allow me to do some or all of the following: 1. Dig a dry well and put in some drainage pipes (no sweat) 2. Excavate a 30 x 50 ft area to 18" in preparation for a concrete slab in front of my garage in 2 weekends 3. Remove some old 6-8 inch stumps (no time limit) 4. Dig a small 25 x 35 foot pond (no time limit). I realize this set up is not a true backhoe/excavator but do you think it could do the job?






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 05-15-2001, 21:53 Post: 28232
Roger L.



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 Backhoe Capabilities

The backhoe will do the dry well drainage and the stumps. For the other jobs you are better off with the front end loader and a set of removeable bucket teeth. Frankly, I don't think you can justify the price of the tractor with these jobs. You can get them done commercially - and better and faster - for a fraction of the price of a compact tractor....much less a compact with loader and hoe.
You might be better off to justify the tractor in play terms: it being fun to run. Or you can use the "large sandbox" justification....where a few acres is about the right size sandbox... or you might try the argument that it will save you from suffering a bad back down the road. and believe me, if you end up with a back injury a tractor would have looked cheap at any price.
All of these are valid arguments. But saving money on dirt-moving projects is borderline at best.






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 05-16-2001, 05:49 Post: 28236
Paul Fox



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If we apply cold logic to the finances involved in the purchase of a homeowner tractor and associated equipment, few if any of us could justify it. All the work I've done with my tractor in 13 years and 2200+ hours on the meter could have been hired done for the $25,000 or so I have invested. I could have bought two fully restored and professionally painted tractors for the money I sank into my old Farmall. I "justify" my purchases two ways: 1. Convenience. With my own tractor, I can do what needs doing when it's convenient for me. 2. Stress management. My day job involves a lot of stress. Coming home and wrenching on old iron or running my "modern" tractor is a heck of a lot cheaper than therapy, and easier on the marriage than spending my evenings in the local watering hole. Besides, it's a really neat toy, and I WANT IT! ":^)






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 05-16-2001, 05:58 Post: 28237
Keith



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When I spoke about justifying the cost, I was referring to the backhoe only (approx $6,000). The tractor will be used to help maintain my 50+ acres (1/4 mile driveway/snow removal, 5-6 acres of field, haul firewood, etc). So my question is if I'm going to get the tractor anyway, do I go the extra mile and get the backhoe?






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 05-16-2001, 06:04 Post: 28238
TomG

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 Backhoe Capabilities

I use a combination of box scraper and loader for larger shallow excavations. A ramp down is needed, but I have used a BH to cut out ramps when finished. Awhile back, somebody here calculated the volume of earth that had to be removed for a project and compared it to the number of hoe buckets required. It was a good illustration, but the arithmetic doesn't have to be done to realize that a very large number of buckets would be needed for even modest projects. In addition, a lot of the work would be wasted, because a hoe's reach isn't enough to dump the earth outside the excavation when the tractor is in the middle of the hole. You'd still have to go in and get the dirt with a loader. Hoes strut their stuff when trenching and digging fairly small deep holes--maybe stumps as well but I haven't taken out a stump yet. A hoe really isn't an excavator, but even so, a BH is a very useful thing. I didn't have an alternative when I got mine, because I couldn't find a contractor who would take on my fairly small jobs when I needed them done--that's another argument for having you're own equipment. Besides, my baby hoe and baby tractor managed to trench close to an apple treeómy wifeís favorite apple tree. Contractors have larger hoes and would have wiped out the treeóguess thatís another argument. Come to think about it, the tree probably is how I managed to get the tractor and hoe without a lot of debate in the first place. My hoe has been busy enough to justify the cost, and there are several projects this year as well. However, the pro with a tracked hi-hoe did come in to demolish a house at our other place. There are some things where you donít even think about using a compact tractor. However, even he managed to save a spruce tree. I donít know if itís my wifeís favorite spruce, but all well that ends well. Tractor for play, hobby and convenience might also be something that ends well, even without economic justification.






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 05-16-2001, 06:15 Post: 28240
Paul Fox



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Ah. Well. Quite frankly, the same rules apply. If the list of things you mentioned was the ONLY thing you'd use a 'hoe for, I'd say no. But, I have a backhoe and I'm here to tell you, they're like computers...most of us could get by just fine without one, but once you have one, you'll never want to be without one again. You'll find all sorts of little tasks that are MUCH easier with a backhoe. The comments above about convenience and accessibility of small 'hoes is well taken. When I made my living with my tractor, I got a lot of work because I could get in and out without tearing up the lawn or requiring trees to be removed. In fact, I still have a business relationship with a full-size contractor that has three excavators (small, medium and large) and a TLB, and he calls me every once in a while for a small job, or a job in a tight place. If you can afford it, go for it. You won't be sorry.






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 05-16-2001, 21:41 Post: 28281
Greg franklin



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 Backhoe Capabilities

I am on less than an acre of land with no stumps, level land and a bad septic system. I justified my hoe with two jobs; two weekends upgrading the septic system at a justifiable return of about $750 and one very deeply tilled, spur of the moment, sweat-free, no-back-pain ten minute flower bed which rationalized the remaining $5,750. It is not for sale.






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 05-17-2001, 06:25 Post: 28285
JeffM



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Keith, I went through the same scenario last year when I bought my 4400. Reality was that the pure economic justification was difficult, if not impossible, no matter how creative I was. But I went ahead and got the backhoe with the tractor because 1) it was about $1000 less to get it as a package at the same time, 2) it got covered under the financing, and 3) I knew that I would probably not spring for it in the future because of the big price tag. Now that I have the backhoe bought and paid for, I'm glad I did it. The convenience factor is huge for me because I spend a fair amount of time digging out rocks, stmps, and boulders that would not get done otherwise. I was able to put an "emergency" drainage trench in last fall in an hour when I needed it, rather that wait for a week to hire it out. I use the hoe far more than I ever imagined and for jobs I didn't imagine. I also think that between a backhoe and a loader with toothbar, it is perfectly reasonable to do the jobs you describe with the time limitations (or lack thereof) you describe. Not the fastest way to excavate a pond, but given time you can do it. I also consider it to be great therapy.






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 05-23-2001, 14:56 Post: 28498
Big Eddy



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 Backhoe Capabilities

I too will weigh in with a vote to get the backhoe. When I bought my tractor I was looking at used tractors. A tractor with loader and mower, or loader and backhoe sold for about the same price. A new mower is $3000 less than a new backhoe, so I bought the TLB. Also, I knew that once I had the tractor I was done (Capital approval board was only going to say yes once!) and there was no way I would be able to sell the need for a backhoe later. However, if the Garden tractor dies and the grass gets 2' high, a mower will be an easy sell.

Now that I have the backhoe, I can't imagine not having it. As said before, the backhoe is very useful for all kinds of projects, from moving rocks, trees, digging trenches, laying water pipe, wires, etc. I also used mine to create a 10 minute garden along the pool fence. Just scooped out a foot deep crater, grass and all, and filled it with fresh soil, planted the plants and done.

For all the needs you suggested, the backhoe will do it, with perhaps the exception of the pond. My pond is 100' by about 20', and was already dug when I bought. I drain it and clean out the muck once a year with the backhoe, but it is not the right tool. I can't use the loader in the mud (Sink to China) and while the backhoe can reach almost to the center, I have to dump the spoils on the bank, then move them to higher ground before I can pick them with the loader. I suppose I could dump them in a dump trailer, but I don't have one, and I can't pull a trailer with by Backhoe installed anyway. If you are digging a new pond in the dry season, it will take time, but you can do it with the loader. If it's wet, then you have to use the backhoe from the edge, and the width and depth you can dig are limited.

If you are trying to justify this on cost, don't bother. To do your trenching, stumps, excavation, I could do the whole job easily in a 1/2 day with a fullsize backhoe for about $250. The pond would be best dug with an excavator, and would be another $500 or so, not having seen the job. If you want the spoils trucked, add cost for that, or if you want them spread, a dozer, or the Backhoe for another $100-200. There might be float fees in your area, but here we cover that on the bigger job. Total cost less than $1000 and done in 2 days.

But if you want an investment and a toy, that will be invaluable to you over the next 25+ years, get it now and enjoy. Not knowing your age, the $6000 now is only $500 - or one job/yr for 12 years - and you still have it the other 364 days to play with.

Big Eddy






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 05-29-2001, 07:42 Post: 28706
JeffM



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Keith, don't know where you are at regarding the backhoe decision these days, but here is a relevent situation that happened to me yesterday. I went behind our new house with the loader and landscape ("york"Wink yeah right rake on the tractor to start finish grading the back yard area. This area hadn't been touched since last fall when the septic system and water line went in. There had been a lot of settling (1-2 feet) in the rock-embedded medium-clay soil where the water line trench was and some around the concrete septic tank also. (I should explain for our Southern friends that the frost in our area can get real deep, so we put our water line from the well in at 6 foot depth, as I'm sure our Canadian and New England friends on this board can appreciate.) Now, you can call it paranoia or anal retention or whatever, but I got nervous about the settling around the septic tank, so I took a shovel (aka: very small manual backhoe) and dug down 2 feet to the exit pipe from the septic tank. I was greeted with the pipe at a 30 degree angle headed toward China and effluent (aka: nasty water) leaking out around the tank seal. Called my uncle who had seen the system go in and he comes over (on Memorial day no less) to help assess the situation. Bottom line: about a six foot section of pipe including a 45 degree elbow had settled over 6 inches pulling the top of the pipe out of the tank seal in the process. My uncle says, "I've got 90 minutes before dinner, how fast can you get that backhoe on your tractor?" Result: an hour later we were sipping cocktails, having dropped the rake, put the hoe on the tractor, carefully excavated about 8 feet of septic line, lifted the pipe back where it belonged, put crushed stone and clean sand under and around the pipe and backfilled the 2 foot deep trench. Luckily the pipe had gradually bent, not broken. I was awful glad I had the backhoe, and my uncle, to get that job out of the way fast.






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Discussion Boards > Active Subjects > Messages as Posted > Back Hoe Forum

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