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Mini Digger

  • 13-09-2023 8:01am
    Registered Users Posts: 98 ✭✭

    Hi Guys;

    Just wondering if anyone can reccomend any dealers for a mini digger looking for one to complete garden of my house.

    Anything from 3/4 to 3 ton considered around the 5k mark, I have been scouring Facebook & Done Deal but they seem to be like hens teeth.

    Am I looking in the wrong places ?

    It appears to me that anything in this price bracket either seems to be sitting in sheds gathering dust or else sold on the export market.

    I know I wont get much for 5k but expectations are on the low side just want something functioning and reliable

    Also considering JCB 3CX with a back hoe seems to be more available than mini diggers.


  • Registered Users Posts: 445 ✭✭rs8

    You'll get heartship for that money, tbh I think your wasting your time. Neighbour hired a 13 tonne case (relatively new) digger there last week for 550 euro. Got a site of work done and sent it off again. This week alone I've put 2 hydraulic hoes and a battery in my 6 tonne .... be better off hiring a machine sometimes i do wonder

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

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

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,204 ✭✭✭DBK1

    This is 1 of your best options I think too. If it’s only a garden you’re doing it’s madness to be a worn out mini digger to try and do it.

    Hire a decent digger for a week and get it done. Or if you’re not experienced driving diggers hire a good man on a 3cx or 4cx and let them do it rather than wasting time rooting around if you’re not tasty on a digger.

  • Registered Users Posts: 98 ✭✭Dave_D_Rave

    Ya true on the hardship side allrite allways a risk at that price point.

    I suppose why was leaning towards buying something was it wouldbe handy to have around for the uncles farms allways clearing to be done etc.

    I looked at the auction side of things Irish Machinery Auctions has some unused chinese 1 tons sold as seen, they ended up going for 6k after hammer and commissions same ones on AliExpress for 5k inc delivery

    Hire is sounding like a more realistic option

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,735 ✭✭✭lakill Farm

    in 2008 i bought a 2.7 ton digger . my dad laughted at me . lads told me , just hire one out , get a lad in with one an experienced operator will do 3 times the work in the same time . the work that digger has done since i bought it is crazy . everything from loading stone and gravel to hedgecutting, i have a grab for it . at the time i was 24 no house no land no experience .

    last week i bought a 14 ton digger as land im buying needs some work and my dad was like . feck it your right cant you tip away when you have time and sell it when your finished

    on a mini digger your not going to buy much for 5k and realistic you need 2.5ton plus but you might buy an old jcb 3cx with forks on the bucket (4 in 1 bucket) or an old massey , ford or case equivalent.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 1,410 ✭✭✭have2flushtwice

    last month we were working about 10 miles away from the auction site in naas. Was waiting for concrete to go off to powerfloat so we went over for an hour. (Looking back it was madness but anyway it all worked out!!)

    They had the Chinese diggers there.

    Material and buckets were light. Now what are you going to do with a 1 or 2 ton that would need heavy stuff, but it just won't last. Valve chests were basic, all controls were out the front of you, your neck will be killing you after an hour. In a known brand the controls are at your hands when you sit back in the seat. As the machines were light, a load in the bucket at any distance out from the cab would be fun.

    They also had new shipping containers 40 ft, 20 and 10 as well. Smaller ones could be handy for outfarm storage.

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,735 ✭✭✭lakill Farm

    how much were 20ft and 10ft containers making ?

    bought a dry straight enough 20ft container for €900 a few weeks ago. €300 then for a lorry and hiab . the 14ton diggger was on top of its head to lift it here when i was moving it to the final spot. it was 2.4ton empty

  • Registered Users Posts: 98 ✭✭Dave_D_Rave

    Seems like a very good price.

    Could you share County and company ?

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,323 ✭✭✭arctictree

    What about getting a backhoe for your tractor? Or are these a waste of time?

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,410 ✭✭✭have2flushtwice

    I don't know I was only looking at them passing. They were new. I'm passing that way tomorrow if I've time ill pop in and get a few pics

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  • Registered Users Posts: 98 ✭✭Dave_D_Rave

    While they do a job n some spaces reviews are not that favourable. Constant hopping in and out to move tractor and have trouble getting into tight spots clearing out gully ect.

  • Registered Users Posts: 128 ✭✭anfieldrd

    Lakill what did you buy in 2007, after a mini digger myself, willing to spend 10-15 k! What would you look out for in them?

  • Registered Users Posts: 6,828 ✭✭✭CelticRambler

    Don't know if they'd have been the same Chinese diggers, but for all the same reasons as the OP, I opted to buy one rather than rent. 1t machine with a variety of attachments. Possibly the best 8k I've ever spent on "tools & equipment", delivered right to my door from China, put into service the next day and never shied away from anything I've asked it to do - digging trenches, shifting stone, ripping out tree-roots, lifting massive oak trunks, cutting roadways through scrubby woodland, general landscaping. Next on the list is setting fence-posts; then on to breaking concrete ...

    Yes, the controls are simple levers and out in front of you, but I'd have spent a week of 10-hour days on it with no problems, either for myself or the machine. The real only downside is a stupid arrangement of the engine making it damn near impossible to get to the filters, but that's something I'll sort out when I lift the safety cage off to fit some new lights.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,782 ✭✭✭older by the day

    That's interesting. How did you go about buying it. Did you see one first somewhere. What site. I don't like giving my card details to the other end of the world

  • Registered Users Posts: 6,828 ✭✭✭CelticRambler

    An Alibaba ad popped up on my screen when I was looking into the costs of renting. At the time, I was trying to figure out what jobs I could line up for what period of time to get the best value out of a rental. The headline price on the ad seemed too good to be true, as it suggested that owning a machine outright could be cheaper than renting one for two or three weeks (with no guarantee that I could use it for the whole rental period due to weather/change of plans/whatever).

    But I followed up on the ad, found that there are several suppliers on Alibaba that sell individual machines to private purchasers, and went with one that responded quickly to direct e-mails. I paid (in dollars) with a bank-to-bank transfer from my Revolut account. I had (still have) a named contact in the company, who sent me step-by-step confirmations as and when the machine was dispatched from the factory, delivered to the port, loaded on board (with ship tracking number) and offloaded in Cherbourg (my "local" port, only 400km away), at which point I got an e-mail from the freight forwarder with the customs & VAT charges (exactly as forecast by the Chinese company) who then organised the final delivery.

  • Registered Users Posts: 98 ✭✭Dave_D_Rave

    Well great to hear that, would you happen to have a link to that machine by any chance ?

    Would be great to evauate that

    You have described my predicament exactly was planning to rent this year but weather and family commitments make it near imposible. Realistically I have to fit works around my free time which isnt muc.

  • Registered Users Posts: 6,828 ✭✭✭CelticRambler

    I'll get back to you on that in a few days - packing up at the moment to go earn a crust at the other end of the country.

  • Registered Users Posts: 135 ✭✭Bangoverthebar

    I got a yanmar b27 a few years ago for 2k. I was lucky and stumbled across it. All the pins are worn but the engine and under carraige are sweet. Savage handy.

    You wont find a digger at small money through a dealer. You need to talk to retired builder or small plant hire places

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,735 ✭✭✭lakill Farm

    westmeath , it was a private sale from the back of a pub. it was dry and no damage as they use to store furniture in it but needed the room back

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,735 ✭✭✭lakill Farm

    Bought a Kubota 61-2a . you will pick up a 61-3a for your budget or a new over brands .

    If you can get one with a hydraulic hitch take it

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  • Registered Users Posts: 98 ✭✭Dave_D_Rave

    Sorry to trouble you again @CelticRambler did you have time to dig up the links to the machine you purchased

  • Registered Users Posts: 6,828 ✭✭✭CelticRambler

    Sorry for the delay - the computer on which the info was stored was having trouble with the heat ...

    Anyhow, it's the Shandong Machinery Co. Ltd, with an alibaba listing here: It's "Betty" who looks after me, if you want her direct e-mail, send me a PM.

    This was my 1t machine fresh out of the box :

    hard at work about six months later:

    clearing this area :

    and using the topsoil to build this embankment

    and back in the first space last year, reducing the level by a metre and a half (to create a pond for irrigation purposes)

    I have another photo showing it happily lifting/carrying a big lump of oak (2m x 0.6m) but I can't find it at the moment.

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,735 ✭✭✭lakill Farm

    so will all taxes charges, haulage what was the price of the digger

  • Registered Users Posts: 6,828 ✭✭✭CelticRambler

    A quick follow-up for anyone that's interested in these cheap Chinese diggers (assuming they even find this thread).

    After a thorough, scheduled winter service (consumable spares are sooooo cheap :-) ) and a few voluntary "enhanced user experience" modifications, my cheap machine is back at work and proving the value of owning outright rather than renting. We've been plagued with storms for months - just finished with Monica last week, now Nelson is working on taking the next bit of roof off ...) - and it's been impossible to plan any kind of serious earthworks until very recently.

    But after an unexpectedly dry week, I put other things on hold to get this job done:

    Yes, this is what central France looks like when it's dry. This is an area of about 250m², now levelled from the back door of the barn behind the trailer to the lawn area behind the open barn. Once the spoil has been cleared (wet, sticky clay; it needs to dry out a bit first) the yard will be ready for digging drainage trenches and laying hardcore.

    My 1t machine is about as heavy as the ground could support in its current state, and that was using polypropylene mats for extra stability, so working with a small bucket wasn't really a handicap. There's no way I could have reliably rented a machine and been sure to get the job done on any particular day. Monica came and flooded the place the following week, but I've been able to get a few other jobs done at the top end of the garden (again, using mats to limit how deep I sink) and out the front where the ground is cobbled, and making use of (almost) the full set of buckets and teeth that came with the machine.