OT: Midsize Backhoe Loader Advice wanted

Going to do some building in a fairly remote area. Toying with the idea of buying a mid sized backhoe/loader. Something smaller than a Case 580 but bigger than the little toys about 5000lbs? I know some of you have some experience with this so I thought I'd ask. Budget is less than $5k for something like this. Older is ok as long as its repairable or useable, can do some fixing up myself but don't have the time to rebuild a complete machine. Am I dreaming? :-) I'm in AZ.

What sort of machines would fit the criteria, at least I could be on the look out.

Thanks guys Marty

Reply to
Marty Escarcega
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Marty, you don't really say what you intend on doing with the backhoe. How deep you might be digging will make a big difference as well as if you are going to be dumping into a truck or just on the ground. Small machines do good to dig 7-8 feet deep and have a hard time dumping over the side of even a medium size dump truck. My thought is to buy a decent machine, use it and you will get what you paid or something very close to it when you sell. From what I see around here even total junk backhoes will go for more than 5K.


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I recently bought a 1964 Ford 4000-Industrial backhoe loader for $2500. It looks terrible (needs paint badly), but everything that is important works, and no hydraulic leaks. This model came with a 12 foot (model 713)backhoe, a 7 foot front loader, and the whole outfit wieghs

8120 pounds. This means that you need a 6 ton trailer to haul it around legally. And, a 3/4 ton pickup has to work pretty hard to pull it around. But this machine fits your description of "medium" and it is a real workhorse for me. It came with a 45 hp (net) gas engine, but also is available with a 3 cylinder diesel. Pretty old, but parts seem to be quit easily available. It loads our dump truck.

Pete Stanaitis


Marty Escarcega wrote:

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Pete & sheri

If you are doing any serious work other than moving loose piles of dirt get a real back hoe

CAT412, Case580, JCB

JCB makes some nice smaller units

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Are we there yet?

snipped-for-privacy@aol.com (TSJABS) wrote in news: snipped-for-privacy@mb-m24.aol.com:

Tim, primarily, dig up to 4' and 12" wide. But here, the ground is pretty hard. Caliche. Sometimes rocky. Definitely not "potato dirt"


Reply to
Marty Escarcega

Small is not your friend when it comes to backhoe work. In that price range, you might be looking at something on the lines of a Ford 755 (15 ft) or 753 (13 ft) hoe on a 4500 industrial tractor/loader. These are going to be ~1975 and older, so you need to be capable of doing some maintenance.

These were a very common backhoe of the time, and are built to be a backhoe platform, not a farm tractor. The hydraulic pump is generously sized. Look for damaged chains (a weak point in this design) and the general state of various pivoting parts (having prior owners who know how to grease is better than having prior owners who never grease). Check over the hoses - not too expensive, but a pain in the butt to replace some of them. If it's got one of the fancy transmissions, be sure that works well, as they are a pain to deal with in this day and age when they go wrong.

Parts are still available from New Holland dealers, but tend to be expensive.

Much is going to depend on what you can actually find in your area, so go looking, and don't look too small. You do not want an ag-tractor add-on hoe.

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