Which models are compatible with a backhoe?

PaulL

Well-known member

Equipment
B2601
Jul 17, 2017
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487
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NZ
I'll extend my advice and thoughts a bit.

Dad always had a mini-excavator. I used to ask him why Mum was digging out trees in the garden by hand when he had an excavator. And often when he had a trench to dig, he'd go get a spade. When he upgraded to a mini-ex with a tilting bucket, I borrowed his old mini-ex for a year. And I learned why. Things I learned are:
  • when you drive a mini-ex on your lawn, it tears things up. Sure, you can be careful with turning, but it still chews it like you wouldn't believe. A tractor mounted backhoe wouldn't have this problem as much of course
  • when you use an excavator or a backhoe, it ruins your sod. You can start by removing the sod with a spade first, and return it afterwards. But once you've done that, why use an excavator, may as well just finish digging by hand. If you just use the excavator, you now have to spend time reseeding your lawn, it may take as long as you saved with the machine
  • an excavator (or backhoe) often makes a trench wider than you need. Which is more lawn damage than you need
If you have 500 foot of trench to dig, and you haven't established your lawn yet, sure. Get a machine. But also consider what machine is best for you - a chain trencher is often the right machine for cables or pipes, an excavator for footings etc etc.

If you're using it for general purpose digging, it is often a compromise.

Don't get me wrong, I'd still like to have a backhoe. I'd probably use it twice a year, but when I used it I'd be happy. But I don't because it wouldn't be $10,000 worth of happy, I'd probably rather have a grapple, or rather rent a mini-ex once in a while (because they're fun).

Having borrowed Dad's excavator my view of the number of jobs I'd use a backhoe for is much smaller than what it was before having one. I'll add the caveat though.....YMMV.
 
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majorwager

Member

Equipment
MX5100 FEL ford 1620 FEL International 484 FEL Lull 844C
I'll extend my advice and thoughts a bit.

Dad always had a mini-excavator. I used to ask him why Mum was digging out trees in the garden by hand when he had an excavator. And often when he had a trench to dig, he'd go get a spade. When he upgraded to a mini-ex with a tilting bucket, I borrowed his old mini-ex for a year. And I learned why. Things I learned are:
  • when you drive a mini-ex on your lawn, it tears things up. Sure, you can be careful with turning, but it still chews it like you wouldn't believe. A tractor mounted backhoe wouldn't have this problem as much of course
  • when you use an excavator or a backhoe, it ruins your sod. You can start by removing the sod with a spade first, and return it afterwards. But once you've done that, why use an excavator, may as well just finish digging by hand. If you just use the excavator, you now have to spend time reseeding your lawn, it may take as long as you saved with the machine
  • an excavator (or backhoe) often makes a trench wider than you need. Which is more lawn damage than you need
If you have 500 foot of trench to dig, and you haven't established your lawn yet, sure. Get a machine. But also consider what machine is best for you - a chain trencher is often the right machine for cables or pipes, an excavator for footings etc etc.

If you're using it for general purpose digging, it is often a compromise.

Don't get me wrong, I'd still like to have a backhoe. I'd probably use it twice a year, but when I used it I'd be happy. But I don't because it wouldn't be $10,000 worth of happy, I'd probably rather have a grapple, or rather rent a mini-ex once in a while (because they're fun).

Having borrowed Dad's excavator my view of the number of jobs I'd use a backhoe for is much smaller than what it was before having one. I'll add the caveat though.....YMMV.
Can't beat the 360 rotation w/ the mini/compact excavator. Most have the offset boom allowing machine to dig right next to existing structure. They generally have a blade for backfill, used a JCB recently wherein the blade angled 30 degrees, very handy. As you mentioned utility lines, the compact backhoes, unless the TLB models, require raise stabilizers, relocate to tractor seat, reposition, then move back to the hoe seat. lots of wasted steps. Further, as you noted, the excavator, rubber tracks, might not be as landscape friendly. But the hoe stabilizes do plenty of damage. Won't buy another backhoe, but was tempted last year by JCB, 4CX, built in optional coffee maker. 👍👌🗽🇺🇸. The current climate requires YMMV, YMMV, YMMV YMMV.💯
 

majorwager

Member

Equipment
MX5100 FEL ford 1620 FEL International 484 FEL Lull 844C
I was looking for the backhoe option for the M6060 on Kubota's website last night but it's no longer showing in the "build my Kubota" process. I happened to see the manager of the local Kubota dealership at the gas station this morning and asked him about it. He told me that Kubota sent out a memo this week stating that the backhoe for the M60 tractors (and possibly others) is discontinued. I asked why and the manager told me "poor sales". It's something like $20k for the backhoe, and the manager's advice to me was to buy a used Kubota mini excavator, something like a 10k pound model. One day maybe.
Enjoyable comment👍👌🗽🇺🇸