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looking for opinions on backhoes

Discussion in 'Heavy Equipment' started by cmo18, Feb 28, 2013.

  1. cmo18

    cmo18 Senior Member
    Messages: 815

    We currently do 2 large lots with a international dresser 520 and 12ft pusher. It works great and can do both lots in about 6 hours on a 8" storm.

    However with the machine getting older, harder to get parts for and for we can only use it in the winter were considering selling it for something year round.

    A backhoe would be ideal because we can landscape with it and plow snow but I would like to get some opinions on what backhoe I should be looking for that will compete with the loader.

    I like John deere and Cat for service and support.
  2. RJ lindblom

    RJ lindblom Senior Member
    Messages: 346

    Years ago I spend several hours running a Cat 416B. They still have the machine, I think it has about 6000 hours on it and the pins are still pretty tight.

    It seems a cat 420 would be the machine to have, IMO. You really can't go wrong with either, IMO.
  3. alpine779

    alpine779 Member
    Messages: 70

    We run a cat 420 d it with 10' horst push on it. Its a really great combo and moves a lot of snow but won't ever really "replace' a loader as far as capability with pushing snow. Anytime you have long runs and higher accumulations the backhoe is gonna have a harder time pushing compared to the loader. We also loaded the front tires with calcium for added weight. The other suggestion I would make is if you get a push for your possible future hoe purchase add the back drag option. We did and we love it.
  4. tuney443

    tuney443 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,847

    Well,being a Deere man for the last 30 years,if you can find a clean,well maintained, and low hour 710 D,E,G,J,or K model,that will most likely slightly surpass your old 520 for plowing which always was a good solid machine,just a little slow. A 710 is a LOT of machine though for someone's back yard but only you would know what's best for you when you say ''landscaping.'' To me and most excavators,the words landscaping and a 710 just don't go hand in hand.It's smaller brother,a 410,is also a lot of machine,but don't go below a E model here as the earlier 410's were a lot smaller.I have a 410G,which is 1 fantastic all around rig with gobs of power.Maybe your local Deere dealer can let you try a few if you dangle the carrot just right if you catch my drift.Thumbs Up
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2013
  5. peteo1

    peteo1 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,660

    Being a Cat guy I like the 420E for digging, especially the excavator controls. As far as pushing and moving material I think its a bit under powered or maybe the gearing is just too tall. If you're going to push a lot of snow go buy a Case 580. I hate digging with them but those things run forever and maintenance is pretty cheap. We have both at work and our Case has almost 9000 hours and while its pretty loose it runs strong as heck and doesn't smoke.
  6. PTSolutions

    PTSolutions PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,537

    Not to hijack, but I'm In for more info on this. We will be bidding a large freight terminal for next season and am trying to decide between backhoes or other equipment.

    How many hours is too many for large equip? I know its a different class than compact. i.e. skids start getting tired and worn out at 3k hours but that shouldn't be much for payloaders and such.

    Here is one I found locally:

  7. johnhenry1933

    johnhenry1933 Senior Member
    Messages: 256

    Not to be obtuse, but that depends on how it was used, how (by who) it was operated, the degree of maintenace and care, and the specific piece of equipment. I think generally as far as large loaders, 10k hours is nothing (or has another 10k+ left), whereas in medium duty loader/backhoes, 5k-8k it may be needing some serious servicing soon. But again, it all depends on the user, how used, maintenance and specific piece of equipment.
  8. RJ lindblom

    RJ lindblom Senior Member
    Messages: 346

    Maintenance on a backhoe and front end loaders can run 10,000 plus. The thing to look for is how the does the transmission shift? Also the pins and bushings, how tight is the loader and backhoe? Look for leaks, mainly hydraulic and transmission.

    The John Deere 310 is an excellent machine, it has been around in various incarnations for the last 40 years.
  9. tuney443

    tuney443 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,847

    The 310J would be an excellent choice.They are a highly sought after machine so expect to pay accordingly.
  10. rob_cook2001

    rob_cook2001 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,192

    The 310sj's are a VERY nice machine!
  11. goel

    goel PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,079

    Picked up a good used New Holland this year.

    If we would have had it last year it might have got 10 hours work. This year it is already close to 200 and its out double shifting all weekend doing relocation.

    It had more hours than I was looking for, but the price was right. It was well maintained, very tight and has been excellent so far.

    After having one, will not go without again. Considered renting again, but for the 5 month cost of rental, 2 years winter rental would have paid the machine off in full.

    Put a 12 ft pusher on it because it roads between many locations. It could take a 14 ft for the small snows easily, but it also weighs 19,000 lbs.

    I purchased a backhoe because a wheel loader or ag tractor would only get 3 months use from me. Both a wheel loader and ag tractor can push snow better, but a backhoe I can use 12 months a year.
  12. RJ lindblom

    RJ lindblom Senior Member
    Messages: 346

    I was thinking about that the other day. I was wondering of those who operate ag tractors, how many are used seasonally? How many are leased? How many get used doing ag work when not moving snow?

    A backhoe can see work year around easily.
  13. Grassman09

    Grassman09 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,808

    I'm renting a 710D this winter from a friend it's a big machine for sure. Its too bad it hasn't been maintained over the years. Leaks engine oil allot and hydro oil. Front end is fairly loose too it seams. Main hydro line off the pump burst this week. While that was beeing fixed noticed the blow by or breather tube was off and there was a nice amount of dirt in the engine there.

    I lease to own a agg tractor and don't use it at all in the summer. It's 3 season old and has maybe 300 hours on it. Another 2 seasons and no more payments. No use for a backhoe currently in summer or not one big enough to push large amount of snow.

    I do not understand the companies that lease for winter only at close to $20'000. I'd at least buy a few and maybe sell them after a few years if maintenance is a issue.
  14. cmo18

    cmo18 Senior Member
    Messages: 815

    I have tried almost all 310 model, very nice machines

    I know a backhoe wont do what my loader can do, and we average out at 140" a year. Just in February we had 3 ft of snow. Lets just say ive been busy!

    Im really going to try and keep the loader for big pushes as Ive found a 1998 310SE at a fairly good price in good shape with low hours. I havent called or tried it yet, have any of you? This old of a machine have ride control?

    Really the main reason im looking at a backhoe is because of operator comfort. I have a bad back and can only run my loader for 2-3 hours max on a good day.
  15. Grassman09

    Grassman09 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,808

    If you have a bad back forget the backhoe. Bumpty bump bump goes the backhoe.
  16. cmo18

    cmo18 Senior Member
    Messages: 815

    anything with ride control is better then no ride control!
  17. goel

    goel PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,079

    If you need comfort an ag tractor with a frame mount would be much smoother.

    Even with ride control, a backhoe Plowing bounces around a lot. With the hoe dangling off the back, and bucket and pusher off the front (worse when backing up). Even if you were to mount something like a Horst pusher direct to the arms eliminating the bucket you would plow faster, but still bounce a lot.

    After 6 or 8 hours pushing snow you definitely know it. With a bad back I would not be doing it,
  18. Grassman09

    Grassman09 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,808

    I have ride control air seat and some sort of ride control or dampening system for the loader arms on my skid steer. Still bounce around. My friend who drives my tractor said to me he feels the skid steer bounces around less then my tractor. His coffee does not spill as much in the skid then the tractor.
  19. peteo1

    peteo1 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,660

    Most of your Cat and Deere machines over the last 10-15 years have air seats in them. If you can find one with ride control your back should be ok. Kinda like riding in a boat but there's no hard bounces.
  20. tuney443

    tuney443 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,847

    Yes,the E model was offered with ride control but that won't offer much comfort to your bad back when you're pushing,stacking,and/or loading snow.Ride control's only job is to hydraulically dampen bouncy bounce while moving from point A to B for the comfort of the operator and to help avoid spillage for whatever's in the bucket.