Mini Excavator for Sale! Tips Before You Buy That Mini Excavator! ConEquip 101

Mini Excavator for Sale! Tips Before You Buy That Mini Excavator! ConEquip 101

So you’re thinking about buying a mini
excavator. There’s a lot of things you should know about it before you buy it.
My name’s Ben and this is ConEquip 101. So you finally made the decision, I
have to buy a mini excavator to do whatever I need to do, That’s stinking
awesome, welcome to our world. But here’s a couple things I just want to share
with you from my heart cuz I done sold these machines for quite a while and the
biggest thing that I found out was evaluating the customer’s needs. So I want you to go into your brain and
say, alright, I really need to get this size machine, width wise, because I got to
fit into backyards. I want to get steel tracks, not rubber, because I’m doing a
lot of demolition. I want to get a machine that has a minimal radius
because I’m working next to people’s houses. Or are you loading trucks more
and you need a conventional, a big swing and it’s coming around and loading and
you’re not gonna tip over. These are some things that you need to think of. Don’t
just go because you like Bobcat and it’s white, although it’s my preference, you
got to really think what your needs are because if a sales guy sells you
something that you don’t really need because he’s got it in stock, shame on
him. You need to know your needs, write them down and then you go from there. So, I’m gonna start in the back. Most many excavators have diesel engines. Make sure
that you check the oil. This is all before you start even
running the machine. You show up to a dealership, you show up to a private
seller, before you even start the machine check the oil. Just kind of look around
and see if there’s any excessive oil dripping down that you can see even.
Another good thing, wherever the machine’s sitting, look under the machine and see if there’s any fluids underneath there. Checking the oil, very
common sense, but you got to do it. So if you think that that’s just enough to
check the oil and look for fluids underneath, not happening! What you
need to do is climb up in the machine. You’ve got to start the machine and let
it run for at least 15-20 minutes. You got to do it. We’ve got to get these
fluids warmed up in the engine. You got to get the antifreeze warmed up,
hydraulic fluid warmed up, because when you get oil heated up it starts to get
more lubricated and thinner so you’ve got to go and check after this. Let it
run 15 to 20 minutes minimum. Come back out check underneath and take a peek. Hey, we got some problems here. Next thing that we’re going to be moving to is going to
be the ROPS. Some have cabin closures, air conditioning and heat because it gets
hot a lot of the times and if you want productivity you’re gonna want your
operator comfortable. I kind of don’t agree with it, well they’re just here to
work. I’m telling you, productivity comes when the operator is comfortable. You’re
working this machine in the winter, if that’s one of your needs is the machine
in the winter you’re gonna want to have an enclose cab with heat. If you don’t
need any of that you’re running it in the spring or so whatever just maybe a
open ROPS would be ideal for you. Think of your needs. Next… you want this off?
I’m gonna shut it off. Let’s move from the ROPS and the engine
on down a little bit lower to the undercarriage portion of the machine.
We start, this particular Bobcat has rubber tracks on it. I’m gonna say pretty
near 90 to 95 percent of mini excavators have rubber tracks. If that’s what you need because again
you’re going in backyards, you’re going across people’s driveways and so forth,
you’re not gonna want steel. You’re just gonna tear some stuff up, mark their
driveway up, I don’t care how good a deal it is, if you got steel tracks and you’re
gonna screw somebody’s yard up, it ain’t worth it, man.
Check out the rubber tracks, check the treads out on it. On rubber tracks the
way to find out if something is, is bad is one, you can just check the profile of
the track and see how tall it is. Just like in a car and a car tire. The other
thing is, is it’s really good to check the whole track on each side because
there’s steel braided cords that run through the whole rubber tracks. And if
any of those are exposed and they start to have a couple of this steel threads
ripped out, that track is a ticking time bomb
and you’re just gonna have to buy a new one. It’ll start splitting your tracks,
gonna fall off and then you have to call me for a rubber track. I’ll be more than
happy to help you out on that. Next big thing would be the final drive and
sprocket that are turning the rubber tracks. There’s no real way to check the final
drives unless it’s just a fact of driving the machine back and forth
pivoting each way and you have to be cognizant to listen specifically for the
final drives. If they’re bad you’ll start hearing some grinding and
so forth you might feel some hesitation as it goes over, don’t confuse it with just
the ground that you’re on. You’ve got to be cognizant and just listen
specifically to the final drive. Listen as well as you would listen to your wife
when she’s telling you something. The sprockets that go around the final
drive we’re going to look and see if they are sharp. If they’re very pointed
and sharp you’re going to probably have to replace them and then what’ll happen
is that your track will fall off. You got to get somebody else to come over
push the idler back put the sprocket or put the rubber track back on, and at that
point you might as well call me and buy some sprockets too. So, we move on from
sprockets. You got bottom rollers, one top roller, the number of them are gonna vary
depending on the machine you buy. Some mini excavators actually don’t have a
top carrier roller. Just up to manufacturers design. Occasionally
they’ll go bad you got to replace them. They’re not terribly expensive.
Kind of easy to do. You’ll start hearing a little clinky, clinky sound as you’re
moving forward in a consistent manner. You’ll keep hearing it. The other way to
check these is you can turn the boom sideways over here, pick this side of the
machine up, and then you just grab the rollers and just feel them. If they’re
jiggling, it sounds like Christmas, you know jingle, jingle, jingle,
that means the rollers got to get replaced. We can help you out with that
too at ConEquip Parts. Moving up to the to the front idler wheel it’s kind
of same concept. There’s just a shaft and bearing seals so just be looking at it
it’s kind of hard to tell honestly. There is a hydraulic cylinder inside here that
pushes the front idler forward. The seals go bad on these once in a blue moon but
nothing crazy-bad that they can’t get fixed. So, we got the back
fill blade. Lots of mini excavators have them probably 90 to 95 percent comes
standard with a backfill blade. This is just a 2-way backfill blade. One, it’s not
meant to be used as a dozer. You’re not tearing up a bunch of stuff. You got to
buy a different machine for it. Excavators are not meant for that thus
it’s called a backfill blade. Another feature that
these have on machines is this could be an angling backfill blade. What’s the
purpose of that? You got to think of your needs. Are you digging trenches and then
you’ve got this pile of dirt right next to it and, man, wouldn’t it be nice to
just angle the blade with your excavator and go
and just angle it right back in there? What’s your other option? Well, I could go
up to it push it in. That gets old after like the fourth time so an angle blade
might be a great option for you. It’ll cost a couple bucks more but you’re gonna make
it up on the first job guarantee it. Next portion we’re going to be talking about,
and it’s extremely, extremely important, the attachment section. With buckets,
augers, hydraulic hammers, you name it, there’s a bunch of different attachments
that you can get for these machines so when you’re showing up to the dealership
or showing up to the private seller typically everybody wants a bucket
you’ve got to ask yourself, how wide of a bucket do I normally use? Am I just digging little water line trenches? Am i doing clean out for ditches and so forth? Those
are two totally different bucket sizes. If you need a bucket they’re gonna be
costly. If somebody has an array of different bucket options you’ll probably
end up using them so just bear that in mind as to what size buckets you need
for your company to be successful. Let’s move up to the pins and bushings section.
If you can tell I raised the boom up a little bit in order to check this. Why? We gotta check the tightness of the
pins and bushings on the machine to the best of our ability that we can. I’m not
looking at this section here, I’m checking out the pins and bushings I
said, remember? Pins and bushings. Here’s the pins, how much movement is in here
when I do that quick? Not much. You’re gonna have a little bit of play of
course but up and down, ain’t got much play in here. Check the cylinders, pretty
good. Just follow it all the way up. Okay? Side to side’s alright. Again, I’m looking
for more play in here. Here’s the bushing that’s welded in, pin going through.
Things are good. You might not be able to get the top but typically if this
one’s gonna be alright you’re probably in pretty good shape. Not
too shabby. So, as you’re checking out the pins and
bushings, keep an eye out on the hydraulic lines as well. You got some steel fittings and so forth.
You got some on the hydraulic cylinders. Make sure they’re not cracked at the
cylinder all the way up on top and especially down the boom. And very
crucial, one of my favorite friends, the auxiliary hydraulics right here you want
to add an attachment, an auger, hydraulic breaker, whatever, and it needs hydraulics
you’ve got to have this feature already on the machine. Don’t call me if you want it on your machine, I can’t help you.
And on the stick part with your attachments, Bobcat at least has these
prefab eyes already welded to the stick so you can have a hydraulic thumb on
here. And here’s where the cylinder goes into. You can buy them aftermarket
and stuff like that if the machine doesn’t already come factory set with it
but Bobcat manufacturer already has them in there. Kind of important to know. Let’s
move on to this portion, back here would be the swing frame. Very important to make sure that this is
not cracked. This is over a thousand bucks so you definitely want to make
sure, take an extra minute and just look at it. Just look at it. Would you just
look at that? Just look at it. No cracks, nobody likes a lot of crack. So,
these are some great pointers for you if you’re looking to buy a mini excavator.
Here’s a checklist right at the end of the video that you can take with you
when you’re purchasing it. Check them off, make sure you got it good. Like us on
Facebook, subscribe to our YouTube channel. If you got some comments that I
might have forgot, put them below so other people can have a positive
experience and start in their business owning a mini excavator. This is Ben for ConEquip 101.

About the Author: Michael Flood


  1. What would you say is an hour mark that a machine shouldn't be bought? Assuming I'm looking to have a machine run me for 10 years @ 200-300 hrs per yr. Great video by the way! I really appreciate you helping out the uneducated.

  2. What brands do you like? Looking for a farm (toy) mini. Less that 8000 lbs. want a thumb. Do not need closed cab.

  3. I'm looking for a general use machine. Something that is good to have for personal use and some occasional sidework.

  4. Good job, but don't tell me is a Bengal tiger that just walked out of the grass and went into that shade..Oh, if you don't buy a CAT you sick the CAT on us right, See Ya

  5. my knowledge of diesel equipment is limited at best but i find myself in position of needing to buy a Excavator. thanks for the vid and the knowledge

  6. Listening to the final drive same as you would if your wife is telling you something important is not really listening too good 🙂

  7. Good looking out my friend! Well done! I’m in the market for a new hoe. I’m just trying to determine if I should buy new or used.

  8. Very helpful and I like your pet tiger. One thing I did see elsewhere is to check the rotation for wear (noise/grinding) on the slew ring?…apparently a very expensive item to replace?

  9. I'm not sure why you add all those annoying special effects. They're not necessary, and just because you can do that doesn't mean you should.
    (As demonstrated on an episode of home improvement)
    Just a suggestion. 😁

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