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Stephen Blair

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Kubota do a 71 which is 2.8 tonne and I've driven those as they're a very popular machine over here with the hire companies. The difference between them and the 91 is night and day yet to look at the two they practically indistinguishable and the 71 is hired out as a 3 tonner, and I've seen them for sale as a 3 tonne machine also.


So do your homework before parting with the dosh as small differences on paper can be a big difference in practice, and a decent example of anything around that size will be fair money and you want to try and get it right.


Good luck.

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The kx61 is 2.6 ton so tows legally on a plant trailer with all the buckets. I am rubbish at taking pictures of machines in action as I'm always to busy trying to get the job done!


My neighbour has one with grab etc and really rates it. Might be ideal for you, Stephen? Looking at the photo with the two guys chilling beside it it looks much bigger than 2.6 ton.


It certainly packs a lot more reach than my 1.5tonner.


In an ideal world, I'd have a 5t and a 1.5t. In practice, I don't have enough work for the 5t and they are cheap to hire including grab (or even a 7.5t) for the larger jobs.


I spend a long time two years ago deliberating whether to trade my 1.5 ton for a 2.6 ton, but when I did the calculations half my digger work required a smaller machine to get into gardens, etc. Another 30% of the work was good nature reserve day rate where I wouldn't have got much more for a larger machine (even though it would have been justified/useful) Only about 20% was quote rate where a larger machine would help. But for that tiny amount, it was a job by job decision whether to hire and do it quicker, or plod along and use my machine.


5 tonner is still in the pipeline/pipedream (:lol:), but I think a tracked post driver may well come first. Possibly a conversion on my tracked dumper, but she's old. But cheap :thumbup:

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Stevie, have you looked at the small Volvo's.

I cant comment on any other makes as Ive never used any, but Iv had two used EC25 Volvo's 2.6 tonne, kept both for about three to four years and never had any problems with them. Also sold both of them private and made almost what I bought them for.

Bought a new EC27 2.6 tonne in January and more than happy with it. I did demo the Kubota, only in dealers yard on concrete. They seem to be really well made and Im sure the dealer said something about they have two hydraulic pumps that would be better if your use implements on the machine, but the model with the same cab size to the Volvo (im fairly large) was over three tonne so it ruled out the transport for me.

I move mine with ease with either the transit tipper, Isuzu NKR 3.5 tonne tipper or Isuzu rodeo 4x4. The time your have everything on the trailer I might be slightly over weight with the transit and 4x4 but it sits well and Iv never been pulled and I pass the commissioners weight bridge at Stirling regularly.

For the size and easy moving it makes a huge difference on the type of work I do now.







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I really think your starting point is transport?


The 2.6 class is just a compromise brought about by our towing legislation and you have to be ultra careful with a 2.6 tonne to come inside the weight?

I doubt the one pictured would scrape under 3.5 on the stripped down Ifor Tipper?


Then there's the 3 tonne class, as is rightly pointed out has so many variables from manufacturers it's crazy?

Again this is all about the need to stay under the 7.5 tonne weight, and just using Kubota's example, the 71,91 and 101 could all loosely be termed 3 tonne but totally different animals?


Once you're over this and into a dedicated haulier then the sky is the limit obviously, but you'd be amazed just how quickly an 8 tonner can appear big in woodland with a 13 tonne impossible? In the same terrain a 5 tonner could be so much more agile, it's really a case of horses for courses?


The other factor is who's local to back you up? Plenty of choice of manufacturers, but no use if it's half a day to get a diesel filter?

It's normally not hard to see what everyone else is running, which is a reasonable pointer of decent backup?


I'd say if you can tow it with what you have just dip a toe in with a Takeuchi TB016? This will be a revelation from having nothing and I'd bet it'll never leave you anyway?

You can then add a 3 or probably 5 tonner depending how it all goes to fit your workload exactly?

It should be perfectly possible to add a TB016 for a reasonable timescale for almost zero in depreciation terms, and should cost very little to run?

A quick hitch and grapple will get you going and you'll be stunned by what it will achieve?



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