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Old 10-04-2012, 09:49 PM   #1
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Micro Back Hoe?

I'm in the market for a powered digger, called a micro or mini backhoe. As much as I'd like the tracked version, unless I get an unfathomable deal on eBay I think I'll be relegated to one of these:

I gather Harbor Freight is the cheapest (after $1000 coupon) but I doubt I want to go inexpensive on this. Other sources I've checked are DR power (waiting on quote) and Northern Tool. I threw out a bid request on 1 unit from Alibaba (scary).

So just a general query, what do you know, what should I be looking at/for?

and then
everything changed
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Old 10-04-2012, 09:59 PM   #2
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Re: Micro Back Hoe?

So, you're trying to rationalize getting a cheap hoe?

Someone was bound to say it, I just did it first.


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Old 10-04-2012, 10:55 PM   #3
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Micro Back Hoe?

My only experience is with big ones, hoes that is.
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Old 10-05-2012, 12:02 AM   #4
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Re: Micro Back Hoe?

I have almost the same digger but much bigger on the back of my Kubota tractor. I have a 33 hp front loader w/ digger. I would say the smaller one shown would be almost worthless. Reason being even on my Kubota with stabilizer arms set and front bucket dug in with brakes set the digger can still pull the tractor forward when digging in anything hard. My digger has something like 4000 lbs of digging force so it pays to have something big and heavy behind it to anchor it. Otherwise it is useless and it would just pull you along. Better than a shovel though.
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Old 10-05-2012, 01:37 AM   #5
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Re: Micro Back Hoe?

I've always found that it is better to buy more than you need to get the job done, buy it used, and sell it for the same price or more when I'm done.
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Old 10-05-2012, 05:26 AM   #6
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Re: Micro Back Hoe?

Originally Posted by BajaSportsmobile
I've always found that it is better to buy more than you need to get the job done, buy it used, and sell it for the same price or more when I'm done.
Or rent a big one as needed...

I have 30+ years as a landscape contractor and have "attempted" to use those models. I definitely agree with Roonie, way too lightweight to be any good. Those models are basically just good for moving loose sand or very dry dirt around, not really as a digger. Also has a very short total reach, which is very important, especially with that rig - you would spend your whole day moving it around and re-setting.
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Old 10-05-2012, 08:30 AM   #7
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Re: Micro Back Hoe?

Rent it, Rent it, Rent it... Let me be clear on this... RENT IT!
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Old 10-05-2012, 09:00 AM   #8
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Re: Micro Back Hoe?

With Marc & Firetrux

Unless you think you are going to use it all the time, RENT ONE.
Learn to use one on a rental machine if it breaks take it back
Besides don't you have a nice little tractor, if you are going to buy one why not get one for the back of it?

I still think renting one is the way to go.

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Old 10-05-2012, 12:47 PM   #9
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Re: Micro Back Hoe?

I had a backhoe attachment on the back of a 20 hp Kubota and it worked pretty good. I did manage to cut through almost every underground utility on my property.

I suggest looking at a Bobcat backhoe. We rented one for about $150 for a day which included delivery and pickup.
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Old 10-05-2012, 01:02 PM   #10
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Re: Micro Back Hoe?

The little bobcat backhoes are easy to learn to use and literally you can be digging away after just a few minutes of practice, so don't let that worry stop you renting one.

And remember, I don't know where you are planning on digging but coincidentally my street is completely flooded this morning after someone with a backhoe went to work without doing the utility line check. A few minutes after the road started to flood, along comes a local city utility truck and a locater service right behind.... ooops.

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