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Thread: New Remote Build - Towable Backhoe?

  1. #1

    Default New Remote Build - Towable Backhoe?



    I'm about to do a new build at a location quite remote. I've been told having one of these can be very useful. I have the ability to get one to my property via snowmachine tow in winter but it won't be easy - it's about 100miles out in the sticks.

    Has anyone taken one of these and used for a remote build, and did you find it useful, necessary, not-so-great, etc.?

  2. #2
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    You can get more done with a shovel.

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    Member ChugiakTinkerer's Avatar
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    I'm inclined to agree with gbflyer. I haven't used a towable, but I have worked with a mini-excavator. The unit in your photo looks too small to be particularly useful and I suspect that you would eat up a lot of time moving and positioning it. Invest the money in hiring a young helper with a stout back and you'll probably be much better off.

    I'm in a similar situation, although my property is only 10 miles off the end of the road. I'm thinking of buying the mini-ex and walking it out in the winter then flying out for excavation in the summer.

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    Member ChugiakTinkerer's Avatar
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    This little beast might be more useful, being able to position itself seems like a big plus.

    https://anchorage.craigslist.org/hvo...905760277.html

  5. #5

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    Yeah, that does look pretty good. The guy who suggested I get the towable pictured above said it skids backward on it's own with a push from the bucket for short distances, like 30ft or so, and was useful for digging foundation, outhouse or septic, developing a spring, etc. In fact he said it was one of the more useful items he had hauled to his place.

    The one you linked looks better.

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    Much of how useful any tool is depends on the ground you need to dig in. A digger like the one shown above would not make any headway after the first two feet here, in Chase. My 38 horse back hoe/tractor fights the old river bed of tightly packed round rock and gravel. A mini ex does a good job too. The DR rig would not hack it.
    Hauling anything into a remote site has to have multiple uses to earn its ride. 100 miles is a long way to haul anything.
    And we all find many other uses for anything hauled in.

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    Member ChugiakTinkerer's Avatar
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    I can see there being utility on the towable hoe depending on your excavation needs. My property is in an area of discontinuous permafrost. As such my buildings float on pads rather than being on footings. The only thing I need to dig for is an outhouse hole, plus maybe some prospecting for gravel. For that usage the towable doesn't seem worth the effort to me.

    If I were doing a lot of digging that would be different. Where's your place and what are your excavation needs?

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    Supporting Member bullbuster's Avatar
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    I have used these to some effect. They are a pain until you figure out they need to be anchored EVERY time you relocate the unit. You can scratch out a trench or dig a down hole. Hook to a truck or tree (for a single downhole). The learning curve is an easy one. The breakout power is not that of a big excavator, but more than your #2 spade. Very handy for an all day dig.
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  9. #9

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    No permafrost where I'm at and I haven't really defined my excavation needs yet. I'm thinking of using cribbing instead of piles, for example. My dirt appears to be about 6inches of organics, up to a foot of clay/sand, then 4ft of sandy gravel and that's as far down as I know of.

    I'll think on it a bit, thanks for the replies.

  10. #10

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    Got a nice little base of operations put together...just needs door and windows. It'll be base camp for cabin build. Hand digging turned out to be easy so I'll not worry about the towable backhoe for the moment. There are a lot of trees to remove though; that looks like real work.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brother Dave View Post
    My dirt appears to be about 6inches of organics, up to a foot of clay/sand, then 4ft of sandy gravel and that's as far down as I know of.
    Dig down to the sandy gravel layer and then go up from there. That will be fine unless you are subject to high winds, in which case you will need to do something about uplift.

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