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Cheap thrills: heavy machinery
Old 10-22-2006, 12:30 AM   #1
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Cheap thrills: heavy machinery

I needed to dig a gravel pit for my kid's playground. We don't have a great supply of cheap illegal labor around here, so I hired a highschool kid at $15/hour to help me dig.

After 5 hours ($75), he dug a very shallow pit about 10 sqft (of about 300 sqft needed). So, I fired thanked him, and went to plan B.



$170 for 4 hours rental, and it handled the digging, moving the dirt around, and gravel loading/dumping. I was a heavy equipment virgin before this, but I think I'm hooked. Now I want more acreage and a bunch of new toys!
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Re: Cheap thrills: heavy machinery
Old 10-22-2006, 12:35 AM   #2
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Re: Cheap thrills: heavy machinery

I used to drive one of these in the coal mines to clean up spills from the shuttle cars. It was the only fun part of that filthy job. Of course ours could not be gas powered when we were 500 feet underground and surrounded by coal dust. Bobcat made a version that ran off a 440 V cable line that we used.
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Re: Cheap thrills: heavy machinery
Old 10-22-2006, 05:14 AM   #3
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Re: Cheap thrills: heavy machinery

That ain't no stinking 'heavy' equipment!!!!

If it has wheels... it is light... you need TRACKS and SIZE...

Can't get the pic here.... but this is getting 'heavy'


http://www.cat.com/cda/layout?m=37840&x=7&location=drop


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Re: Cheap thrills: heavy machinery
Old 10-22-2006, 07:10 AM   #4
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Re: Cheap thrills: heavy machinery

For a few years I drove a Combine part time. They are a fun trip with a short short turning radius. Maybe a bulldozer would be more fun.
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Re: Cheap thrills: heavy machinery
Old 10-22-2006, 09:42 AM   #5
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Re: Cheap thrills: heavy machinery

sgeee, coalmines to RE, I'm impressed

Must be some story there. I never saw much connection between the two but I suspect that learning to LBYM would be a useful tool learned from that envirenment.
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Re: Cheap thrills: heavy machinery
Old 10-22-2006, 10:10 AM   #6
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Re: Cheap thrills: heavy machinery

We've owned a Bobcat (or Bobtat, as we call it) for 19 years. We bought it new and paid it off on a loan like a car. We went without a new car so we could afford it. We've gotten a lot of use out of it. We live in the country in formerly rural VA so we dress our gravel driveway and plow snow occasionally. We've got a log splitter, forklift, and trailer hitch attachments as well as the standard toothed bucket. We've rented backhoe and hole driller attachments with great success.

It has "flotation" tires, which are wider than standard but it still kills the grass whan turning. It is definately not a machine for fine work. If I had known better when I first got it I would have gotten a diesel engine and articulated steering.

It has always been a lot of fun. I was "forced" to build a large barn to keep it in.

Mike D.
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Re: Cheap thrills: heavy machinery
Old 10-22-2006, 10:26 AM   #7
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Re: Cheap thrills: heavy machinery

Down our way, we need equipment like this to handle the everyday chores:

http://www.letourneau-inc.com/html/e...ng/L-2350.html

The only downside is that they do leave rubber marks on car roofs
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Re: Cheap thrills: heavy machinery
Old 10-22-2006, 10:41 AM   #8
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Re: Cheap thrills: heavy machinery

Ditch Witch makes this cute little backhoe. I have been sorely tempted to rent one for a weekend. Never needed a hole, though. Darn.

[img][/img]

(Trying to figure out how to put an image here. No joy. If it ain't there, follow this link and look at the thumbnail under Trenchers and Plows.)

http://www.ditchwitch.com/dwcom/Category/CategoryView/0
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Re: Cheap thrills: heavy machinery
Old 10-22-2006, 11:05 AM   #9
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Re: Cheap thrills: heavy machinery

You want cute? This one's even Smurf-colored:

http://www.kobelco-kenki.co.jp/produ...E_50UR-3_b.pdf
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Re: Cheap thrills: heavy machinery
Old 10-22-2006, 08:55 PM   #10
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Re: Cheap thrills: heavy machinery

Quote:
Originally Posted by sgeeeee
I used to drive one of these in the coal mines to clean up spills from the shuttle cars. It was the only fun part of that filthy job. Of course ours could not be gas powered when we were 500 feet underground and surrounded by coal dust. Bobcat made a version that ran off a 440 V cable line that we used.
I bet you listened to a lot of loretta lynn back then working your fingers to the bone
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Re: Cheap thrills: heavy machinery
Old 10-23-2006, 12:36 AM   #11
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Re: Cheap thrills: heavy machinery

My grandfather, all my uncles, my father and most of the adults in my hometown all worked in the coal mines. That's about the only work available if you lived in that part of Southern Illinois during that time. When I was in high school, Standard Oil bought out Old Ben Coal Corporation and the children of employees of Standard Oil were invited to take a test and compete for a college scholarship. The only catches if you won were you had to go to one of a handful of schools that they found acceptable and you had to major in either Mining Engineering, Geology, or Electrical Engineering.

The scholarship was $1000 per semester which didn't come close to paying everything. But it paid tuition and fees and bought my books and gave me a start on my first month's rent back then. By working 10 hours a week in a bookstore and 10 hours washing dishes, plus working in the mines during Summer breaks, the $1000 scholarship made going to school look better than working full-time in the mines.

The coal mine gig in the Summer was a good deal. I made far more money doing that than most other things I could do. Coal mining isn't back breaking work today like it was in my grandfather's day. You do have to work 500 feet underground. That drives some people crazy. I saw two different people loose all sanity just from their first ride down in the cage. It took several people to hold them down long enough to get them back out to the top. Their coal mining career ended before it ever started. The underground aspect didn't bother me, but it was a filthy job. You came out of the mine after every shift completely covered in coal dust -- head to toe and in your ears and nostrils. Everyone looked like they had been spray painted black.

If you live in a low cost-of-living area like Southern Illinois, the coal miner's pay is pretty good. And the UMWofA has a very generous medical benefit and pension plan. Renegotiation of contracts and strikes were always scarry, but a sensible person with a frugal approach to life could do okay and take care of his/her family as a coal miner.

Loretta Lynn? I was mostly a rebel growing up -- more into head banger heavy metal and I definately turned my nose up to country music. I rediscovered country music long after I left the mines. Loretta Lynn is alright. She accomplished a lot when you consider where she came from.
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Re: Cheap thrills: heavy machinery
Old 10-23-2006, 07:46 AM   #12
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Re: Cheap thrills: heavy machinery

Here's what I did for 13 years.
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Re: Cheap thrills: heavy machinery
Old 10-23-2006, 12:26 PM   #13
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Re: Cheap thrills: heavy machinery

I rented a skid steer once (like wab's original picture above ), got a little too cocky/distracted & came within an inch of taking out a corner of the house.

Let's be careful out there folks!
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Re: Cheap thrills: heavy machinery
Old 10-23-2006, 12:48 PM   #14
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Re: Cheap thrills: heavy machinery

You guys surely know how to have fun.

Several years ago I have an idea to open a grownups playground consisting of a 100 acres of land and rent out 2 to four Front end loaders and backhoes just for the guys to have fun. The idea did not fly because the possible liability involves, these big Cats can do some real damage.
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Re: Cheap thrills: heavy machinery
Old 10-23-2006, 01:52 PM   #15
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Re: Cheap thrills: heavy machinery

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mach1
You guys surely know how to have fun.

Several years ago I have an idea to open a grownups playground consisting of a 100 acres of land and rent out 2 to four Front end loaders and backhoes just for the guys to have fun. The idea did not fly because the possible liability involves, these big Cats can do some real damage.
Dude, that's brilliant. You could use it as hubby daycare. The wife drops me off on her way to work, and I get to dig around in the dirt all day!
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Re: Cheap thrills: heavy machinery
Old 10-23-2006, 01:57 PM   #16
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Re: Cheap thrills: heavy machinery

Up until a few years ago dh was insisting he was going to get some small machine like that. I had visions of holes and trenches all over my yard, thankfully he found another hobby (vehicle) and my yard is safe.
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Re: Cheap thrills: heavy machinery
Old 10-23-2006, 03:03 PM   #17
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Re: Cheap thrills: heavy machinery

Tank Draging Wagon. Went out and retreived the tanks when idiots drivers got them stuck in the mud. Lots of fun, lots of motor, and lots of tracks to spin. Hook one up and you had about 120 tons under your ass butt. Great fun but it did not last long enough. Back in the late 50's and early 60's (no EPA stuff on those babies) all in Korea.
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Re: Cheap thrills: heavy machinery
Old 10-26-2006, 04:55 PM   #18
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Re: Cheap thrills: heavy machinery

Not so heavy machinery is a small tractor with a front loader used as a power wheelbarrow. My miniature skid steer is small enough so you just stand on a small platform on the back of it. Landscapers use them since it is so easy to step off of them to work. Mine weighs 1500 pounds and has golf cart tires on it. When curious about things, look on eBay to see the variety and prices.
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