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Farm Digger Advice 3-5 Ton

  • 19-01-2022 12:52pm
    Registered Users Posts: 584 ✭✭✭

    Looking at buying a digger 3-5 ton for around the farm. Can anyone advise me a good make to buy. Budget 15k max.


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,213 ✭✭✭Grueller

    I know this is a glib answer, but your contractors one, with him sitting in it. By the time you've €15k gave to him you'll have so.e work done not to mention time, diesel and maintenance.

    I had a track to cut across a concrete yard a month ago. Gave a lad with a plant hire business up the road a call. Track 10 metres long and I had the edges con sawn. He arrived, unloaded with a breaker on a 3 tonne machine on his way home one evening. Took an hour to break, dig and load. €50 on a cheque. If I owned a digger I would have had to go hire a breaker, do it myself and then return the breaker. A half days work and the breaker would have cost more than the €50 probably.

  • Registered Users Posts: 584 ✭✭✭farmer2018

    No offense but I don't want people telling me I don't need one. Looking for recommendations please. At €40 an hour the 1000s don't be long adding up.

    Obviously your job you needed a contractor in that case.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,189 ✭✭✭Tileman

    If you gave a lad a cheque for €50 don’t expect him back again. By the time he pays tax on that it wouldn’t have being worth his while unloading.

    to me that was a cash job I’d he quoted u 50

  • Registered Users Posts: 8,239 ✭✭✭Pussyhands

    Ah I dunno. That works for some people but diggers hold their value well.

    And some jobs you'd be thinking "ah it's not worth hiring a lad out" but if you had it yourself you might tip away at it.

  • Registered Users Posts: 9,259 ✭✭✭tanko

    Takeuchi, Kubota, Volvo, Hitachi, would be good machines, anything well minded that isn’t wrecked doesn’t be long for sale.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 8,397 ✭✭✭FintanMcluskey

    I'm not sure how useful 3-5 tonne is on around a farm.

    They are really groundscare machines.

    6 tonne would be a minimum IMO.

  • Registered Users Posts: 8,611 ✭✭✭Mooooo

    What are you going using it for? If there is any drainage involved a bigger machine would be better. If its a choice amongst those weights would go with the 5 tonne. Have hired out 3 tonnes before and they can be too light even around the yard for some jobs. Unless you need something to be pulled behind a jeep as well try for a bigger machine, value doesn't seem to be there currently tho, there is demand for everything.

  • Registered Users Posts: 849 ✭✭✭Easten

    I'd +1 that.

    Even the 6 ton is a bit of a hen pecker and very hard to find value. I was in the market for one but ended up buying a Hitachi EX130 for the same money as an ex60. I paid 17k for it, held it for 2 years and sold it on again for 17k. I open drains, made up walls, dug out for two slatted tanks, one for myself and one for a cousin.

    My advice is to buy the best machine you can afford, don't be choosing brands. Ask someone who knows machines to have a look before you buy. If you mind it you can always flog it on again once you are done with it

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,213 ✭✭✭Grueller

    None taken. Everyone has their own ideas on what they value around a farm. I have a hedgecutter here and it is absolute lunacy. I just don't have the time to operate it but think it's handy😤

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,213 ✭✭✭Grueller

    He gets a few jobs a year and understands that it is always cheques. Unloading a mini digger from behind a jeep in a yard you pass every day is about 5 minutes work. I also move an odd digger for him with my tractor on local jobs if his truck is off up country. He pays by cheque at €40 per hour pulling one of his low loaders. I have often moved a digger 2 miles from his yard in an hour or little better. €40 on a cheque.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 4,002 ✭✭✭Kevhog1988

    Id go for a Takeuchi if possible OP. For a small machine they are easily the best about. We had about 10 mini diggers at any one time when i was on utility work in the UK and the Takeuchi was the best of the lot. Dont go near JCB!

  • Registered Users Posts: 445 ✭✭rs8

    I think the job grueller is talking about is a technicality... most men would want minimum €150 euro to show up.

    On the other note a 5 tonne would be the best in my opinion.. cleaning out small drains you'd have enough reach to through it on the bank the far side on alot of them!! Hitachi ex50/ kubota are great machines .. hard with that budget to know what your getting tho. If you could stretch to 20k be better quality/value

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,919 ✭✭✭enricoh

    The two local hire crowds have nearly all takeuchi under 10 ton. A mate bought an 8 ton off one of them when they were upgrading. It might be worth your while tipping into some hire places.

    Dunno what the bigger jcbs are like but heard the smaller are pure junk alright.

    There's zero value in any machinery to be had as far as I can see locally- it's the Celtic tiger 2. Is buying up north these days a non runner or what's the craic anyone know?

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,983 ✭✭✭SuperTortoise

    Had a 4.5 ton here a while back driving stakes, not nearly heavy enough, for my land at least.

    An 8 ton is about the right size for farm work, big enough to do drainage work or drive stakes but not a brute of a thing to bring from field to field IMO.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,567 ✭✭✭kerryjack

    That's the way it should be, jesus you would nearly insult a lad now by giving him 50 quid for an hours work ,FFS what have we become, I do have access to a work 3 ton here and bring it home every evening no problem doing a few jobs for 50 quid and helping a lad out, the company I work for think the same as myself machine is well minded and free safe parking at home in my own place. 3 ton is limited, I think a 6 ton is a nice sized machine and is big enough for most jobs.

  • Registered Users Posts: 76 ✭✭Le shovelle

    5 or 6 ton is a nice size but if you've good teeth on the bucket of a 3 ton, it would surprise you what they would do. You could pick up an Hitachi zaxis 30 maybe around 2009 for around your budget. There's a better reach on those than than the newer models.

    Depends on your ground. Horses for courses I suppose.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,464 ✭✭✭cjpm

    Fiat hitachi 135 a lot of digger for the price of many minis

  • Registered Users Posts: 367 ✭✭NiceFella

    I'd hold off on buying one for about 12-18 months if you can. I think the market on diggers and everything atm is a bit high due to the pandemic. You might have a bigger pot to put to something that will last you then. Just a consideration.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,529 ✭✭✭Limestone Cowboy

    I've a 140 here and to be honest if I had a way of shifting it I would have a 210 instead. There has been very few times I wished the 140 was smaller. You won't shift much with a 3 or a 5 ton and a 3 ton won't load into a dump trailer unless you are up on a heap. A 5 ton will just about off the ground.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,464 ✭✭✭cjpm

    Plus if you’re filling trailers of stuff with a mini digger, the tractor driver will be sitting in the cab twiddling his thumbs while you’re loading. Minimum 10t would be my opinion.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 870 ✭✭✭Aravo

    No value in buying equipment in these times with the price of them. I think I would be paying by the hour for a digger and driver for now or hire a digger on its own and then decide what works for you.

  • Registered Users Posts: 16 The middle inch

    We have an old Kubota 5.5t machine and find it an incredibly useful machine to have about the place. It was about 18 years old when we bought it in 2010 but was low hours and well minded. It is well able to dig and seems to have similar digging capacity to a 3cx. It is very handy for cleaning ditches and dykes, small drainage jobs, loading stone/dung/rubble etc and indeed lifting as we don't have a loader. The benefit we found in having one is it makes plenty small jobs very easy like going at a burst buried pipe, putting up a post for hanging a gate or filling fertiliser into the spreader as we can use the big bags. You can get jobs done in a few hours that might be on the long finger for when a hired machine is in which in our case might have been once every 4 or 5 years. But if you have a big job, get the contractor. No matter how good you think you are, a good contractor will have output and quality that just gets the job done. If you put a value on your time, there is no comparison.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,241 ✭✭✭Figerty

    Same here. have an old 3-tonne Kubota. Pretty knackered when I bought it but I have kept it going. Great for clearing out sheds, drains, even pulling out the tractor if it gets stuck. A lot of work is done on it when the conditions suit. I've dug holes a few percolation tests for neighbours. I have done a load of land drainage since I bought it. Light on diesel also.

    The only disadvantage is the reach isn't great when trying to reach across a drain to put up cleaning on a wall.

    It's worth the same now as what I paid for it in 2005! I have put parts into it though. I don't have a trailer.. and that's no harm....

  • Registered Users Posts: 584 ✭✭✭farmer2018

    What are the Bobcats like lads?

  • Registered Users Posts: 584 ✭✭✭farmer2018

    Is there any point buying an older type Kubota or Hitachi folks? I see some for sale on done deal up the North at the moment.

  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 12,664 Mod ✭✭✭✭blue5000

    Running costs are the main problem with an older digger. A burst pipe could leave €300 worth of oil on the ground in a few seconds. Even a few weeping rams could be costing €10 an hour to keep topped up. You would want to be handy with a spanner, then there’s worn bushings and pins that make working with an old digger ‘interesting’ and time consuming. You would want someone with you that knows a machine inside out when looking at them.

    If the seat's wet, sit on yer hat, a cool head is better than a wet ar5e.