Tractor with Backhoe attachment usable in the Ozarks?

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by CJ, Jan 1, 2006.

  1. CJ

    CJ Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    5,202
    Joined:
    May 10, 2002
    Location:
    The Ozarks
    Some of you may remember we had a New Holland Boomer 45D, that was stolen off the dealer's lot when we sold our farm in Missouri. Now that we've bought land again, we will be buying another tractor probably next year.

    We really liked our 45D, so most likely will just get another. Since our new land is all wooded and hilly with some bottom ground, our initial usage will be a bit different. We'll be building our homestead from the ground up. I'm really thinking one of those backhoe attachments would be wonderful. I think they run around 9k or so. Wouldn't we most likely spend that much hiring out backhoe work? A grand here, a grand there....

    However, I wondered if anyone has every used one in the rocky Ozark soil, and if they're up to the challenge. We'll be digging footings, stumps, working on creek banks, water and power lines, road work, gardens....

    Anyone?
     
  2. Iddee

    Iddee Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,464
    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2005
    Location:
    Middle of NC
    I don't know about the ozarks, but my sister spent quite some time jacking a backhoe off her husdand's leg when it rolled over on him. He is nearly 60 y/o and very experienced with his equip., and is not a risk taking person. A backhoe on a hillside is a game of russian roulette.
     

  3. CJ

    CJ Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    5,202
    Joined:
    May 10, 2002
    Location:
    The Ozarks
    Indeed, so is operating a tractor. The areas we'd use the backhoe though, are in the bottom ground, where we will be building our homestead. We chose this piece of property because once down in the bottom, you can't see anything but our land, total privacy.

    The hillsides will be left as they are, wooded, private and our haven from the world. We plan to selectively clear the middle of the property, which happens to the the bottom land, and hide away there :).
     
  4. ceresone

    ceresone Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    5,018
    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2005
    a west plains, mo. man hired his out--and it wasnt much bigger than a lawn tractor. was a john deere with a backhoe attachment. he dug the footing for our family room and garage. mind you, by hiring out, i mean man and tractor.
     
  5. Ross

    Ross Moderator Staff Member Supporter

    Messages:
    13,086
    Joined:
    May 9, 2002
    Location:
    Ontario
    I've used a Kubota version of what you're talking about on similar soil...... OK rocky ground with roots etc. Greater care than you might think is required for these powerful little machines as said, even on flat ground. They work well and as you're getting a new tractor anyhow then by all means get a backhoe for it too. Wallenstein make one, but you'll likely do better buying a NH brand with the tractor. There are two joystick configurations personally I prefer the CAT set up over Deere. It puts the swing and stick on the left handle and the bucket curl and lift on the right. Makes pulling grade a bit easier, and filling the bucket/picking up rocks.
     
  6. fordy

    fordy Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    9,337
    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2003
    Location:
    Whiskey Flats(Ft. Worth) , Tx
    ...............I think you would be Better served to buy a 4x4 Diesel tractor like a ford 445 with shuttle shift , Without a backhoe. Most of your work will be with the frontend loader and the Boxblade . For those times that a backhoe is necessary either rent a machine or hire a local contractor . If you have as much Rock as I think you have , the Backhoe will be virtually useless . To dig ditches in limestone\granite you're going to have to hire one of those Vermeer ditching diggers with the hugh spinning wheel that is equipped with those special carbide teeth . I have watched one of them here as they have that wheel spinning at several hundred RPM and then drop it into solid rock and it just slices away . I vote for a diesel tractor and NO backhoe . fordy... :)
     
  7. GrannieD

    GrannieD Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    338
    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2003
    Location:
    Missouri Ozarks
    We have hired our backhoe work done...pond enlargement & bank building..You do run into places with ledge rock or hill areas that you wouldn't use a tractor/backhoe...I don't know about your bottom ,but ours floods occasionally as do all the neighbors so I'd think a bit about that once every 25 year high water on a bottom...they are usually so fertile & deep soiled because of water...We are in SW Missouri...GrannieD
     
  8. CJ

    CJ Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    5,202
    Joined:
    May 10, 2002
    Location:
    The Ozarks
    Lots of good advice! yes, we figure our bottom land has floodable areas, there are wet weather creeks running all over it. We'll build our home and barns slightly up out of the bottom, but our chosen areas for pastures and gardens will be in the possible flood areas, because of the rich soil.

    The Boomer 45DA is a 4x4 diesel... I'll have to look up the Ford, I'm not sure what that model is.

    We dont' expect to get to live there for 5 or 6 years, but plan to put an RV pad in this year (up at the top by the road, no way we're getting this monster to the bottom!) and start working on the place when Jim is between contracts. It tends to make hiring work out a little difficult. Bleh!
     
  9. michiganfarmer

    michiganfarmer Max Supporter

    Messages:
    6,633
    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2005
    Location:
    Near Traverse City Michigan
    I dont know anythign about rocky soil, but backhoe is an indispencable tool on a homestead. My dad used to have one. we set new septic tanks, ran hundreds of feet of underground water pipe, and removed a few dozen tree stumps. I used it to dig out under the walls of my crawl space to pour deeper footings, so I could make my crawl space a full basement. Plus it would not only carry a round bale on the loader, but also would carry a round bale under the backhoe like you would carry a small package under your arm. A loader/backhoe will pay for itself in short order. I really wish I had bought it from my dad when he sold it.
     
  10. fordy

    fordy Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    9,337
    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2003
    Location:
    Whiskey Flats(Ft. Worth) , Tx
    .................Really , it comes down to what you can afFORD and how your priorities are being accomplished . The Ford 445 is a small (by commercial standards) tractor at about 12,000 pounds . One fact that alot of folks don't take into account on these commercial tractors ....is how STRONG the frame is made on them to facilitate thousands of operating hours and a long operable life . On a small diesel tractor , ford\new holland , normally there is ONE Hydraulic pump to power the f\end loader , the 3 point hookup , etc. as you increase the workload the operationable speed will drop noticeably . ....On the 445 you have ONE , front mounted hyd. pump that powers the f\end loader exclusively , which means the operation is both powerful and fast . Next , you have another hyd. pump mounted internally that powers the 3 point hookup and it , ALSO cycles very fast .
    ..................One last thought on a Backhoe . A backhoe will render the BACK of your tractor , USELESS for Anything other than backoe type functions . The backhoe is only SAFE and useable when stationary , and BOTH Arms are deployed and firmly set . And , you Won't be hauling round bales around strapped to the backhoe because the weight will cause the front wheels to defy gravity and you'll have NO steerring which isn't much fun . fordy... :happy:
     
  11. Ross

    Ross Moderator Staff Member Supporter

    Messages:
    13,086
    Joined:
    May 9, 2002
    Location:
    Ontario
    We've owned both 3pth backhoes and an industrial backhoe loader. The 3 pth version does have to be sized to work with the machine or it will over power and out weigh the tractor, but there are plenty out there to suit a Boomer. Ford industrial tractors are great machines but some have hydrostatic trannies which havn't always been well maintained and some have an odd standard that makes towing difficult. Neighbor have a loader version that was just awful for towing a wagon. Shop carefully for used Ford Industrials they don't always suit ag operations. Oh and BTW I'm going to sell my industrial backhoe and buy another 3pth hoe. A 3pth hoe will do all the digging I'll ever attempt on my own, and I'll hire out the bigger projects. A midsized excavator will out work any industrial backhoe of the same or even more hp in digging operations and do it cheaper than owning a backhoe.
     
  12. Ozarks_1

    Ozarks_1 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    250
    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2003
    Location:
    Ark. Ozark Mtns. (Marion County)
    "Rocky Ozark soil" is totally unpredictable.
    There are places on my property I can dig 6' without hitting a rock - of course, there are other places I can't even dig six inches. I have both a 3-point mounted backhoe for my Fergie TO-20 and a full-sized old Fordson ... different machines for different jobs.

    I think Ross is right about having a 3-point unit and hiring out whatever big jobs you can't tackle yourself. (I sort of "inherited" the old Fordson and find it too useful to part with.)

    One last thought about backhoes ...
    It only takes a few minutes to install/uninstall a good 3-point unit once you get used to it.
     
  13. CJ

    CJ Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    5,202
    Joined:
    May 10, 2002
    Location:
    The Ozarks
    Yep... I know there's jobs we'd need to hire out, but I can't help but think of all the "little" jobs that never got done before that would be so easy... like RUNNING water to the chicken coop! LOL

    When we get to spend more time on our land, I'll have to look at the ground better. It's rather a unique laying piece of land, it's possible where we want to do things it may be nothing but ledge rock. Obviously a backhoe isn't going through that!