May 26 2014:
Three weeks ago I bit the bullet and ordered (on line) a very small backhoe attachment for my Kubota. It came to the Depot just the other side of the border and I went and brought it home.. That free shipping within the US was a deal breaker.. so that was the best way to get it.
This is the SMALLEST backhoe that you can buy.. And that’s good because my tractor is small too. I ordered orange.. though not quite a match , But I can live with it. It took me about 4 hours to unpack, assemble & get it attached to the tractor. The instructions are poor.. so it was a “figure it out yourself” kind of project. Good thing I’m a “figure it out myself” kind of guy.. My overall impression is good.. The quality seems to be at par with any Kubota attachment I have.
In this photo you can see the reason I have yet to really try the backhoe out.. the roll bar on my tractor is IN THE Way.. can’t sit on the seat.. I’m not a fan of the roll bar anyway, hits trees.. Kubota has R.O.P.S on all the tractors for safety. It was suggested to me to just cut off the top only so that there is still some roll over protection. Not a bad idea… Hmm maybe arm rest and grab handles .. cup holders ! I do have metal & welder..
As I look at the three point hitch mount I see room for improvement there too. A sub frame like the BX 24 D has for the Kubota backhoe is something I could make. One cool thing with this backhoe is that it has it’s own hydraulic system , tank, pump and valves.. it’s driven with the rear PTO from the tractor.. and works even at low motor rpm’s. They supplied me with a new PTO shaft . But it needs to be trimmed to length. So I just used the one from my Rototiller . it was the right length.
So I took the rops off.. so I could at least give the backhoe a try. The perch (seat) is good you can really see what you are doing… but the doing is going to take some practice. I found the controls to be … “unnatural” .
I kept wanting to push forward on the left stick to lower the main boom. And pull back to raise it.. I guess that makes sense to me because the front loader works that way.. and I’m getting very good at that. As you can see by the control diagram that they have it the other way. Which is different than the manual. Scratch..scratch.. I will swap the hoses around .. Because I’ll wrap my brain around working with the two sticks better. But I was digging away awkwardly and yes it’s small but it digs ! and I tried some sod too and no problem… big rocks are a problem … Big roots too.. so there are limits.
I removed the backhoe from the tractor tonight and pulled the cover off the valves.. Yup will be easy to swap the hoses.. not bothering till we get home from our Alberta trip in a week.
With the hose swapped the operation is more natural now.. And by the end of summer i’ve had a few chances to use the hoe. first I found out how deep it will dig when trying to remove a concrete slab in the yard. 4 ft ! that’s it.. It is a very small hoe after all.. so I can’t expect much. But dig trenches… Yes ! and quick too.. I can move forward from the backhoe seat too. I’m getting good..
I’ve used the back hoe lots over the years with very few problems..