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Crawlers, Dozers, Loaders & Backhoes Discussion Forum

Backhoe advice

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Dave Panning

06-09-2012 06:22:26

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I am looking at an older backhoe for occasional farm use. Case-Ford-Deere. Any opinions on good or bad features to look for? Thanks, Dave

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Brian Allen

06-17-2012 12:49:10

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 Re: Backhoe advice in reply to Dave Panning, 06-09-2012 06:22:26  
I found a 1979 555 Ford 3 CYL 2 wheel drive extend - a- hoe.

It is well worn, but is a strong machine. I have been digging ditches, cleaning out fence bottoms, and digging out big rocks and stumps with no issues.

If you can afford it, go with a 4 CYL motor as I could use a bit more power.



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06-16-2012 20:22:19

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 Re: Backhoe advice in reply to Dave Panning, 06-09-2012 06:22:26  
I bought a 1970 Ford 4500 gas about five years ago- $6100. From a jockey I knew. Spent about a grand replacing all hoses and some bushings since then. It"s a gear drive- newer 555 (?) had some torque converter issues, and for my farm use, the gear drive is more dependable. Case 580 has an excellent rep- looked at some at 10 grand or more.

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06-10-2012 20:31:47

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 Re: Backhoe advice in reply to Dave Panning, 06-09-2012 06:22:26  
Don't know how much you are willing to spend, so is hard to recommend specifics. When I was looking for a cheap farm hoe. 8000 dollars. I went to a used dealer I tractor pull with. He recommended I stay with a Case 2 wheel drive. Which he had none of. just Ford and JD. I ended up with a 480E Case.because it just weights 10000 lbs. can haul it on a 14000 lb. trailer and pull it with a single wheel pickup. It isn't very good looking but works good. I have repacked every cylinder, I think. and put most of the bushings in. My hoe also has a hyd thumb. wished it had a clam-shell buckett. Get one new enough to get a Cummins engine. They have 4 valve covers. almost last forever. Opinions are like belly-buttons, everybody has one. Vic

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06-10-2012 19:07:29

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 Re: Backhoe advice in reply to Dave Panning, 06-09-2012 06:22:26  
I ask a just retired heavy equipment mech who owed his own business. He says that due to parts availabilty if looking for an older one JD or Case and in newer you can add in Cat. He says that the Ford and JCB are good ones too but can be very had to find parts for.


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Bob Bancroft

06-09-2012 09:21:50

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 Re: Backhoe advice in reply to Dave Panning, 06-09-2012 06:22:26  
Had an IH 3444. I can't recall the hoe number, maybe 3121? It was a great machine. It's weakness was the splined arrangement on top, where the hoe hung on the tractor. I now have a Ford 655A w/extendable arm. It's been a good machine also. I need the length to reach and clean some open ditches. It does burn more fuel than the old IH did gas!

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06-09-2012 07:49:03

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 Re: Backhoe advice in reply to Dave Panning, 06-09-2012 06:22:26  
Have heard the Deere's have more complicated hydraulics that can be expensive and a pain to repair. Best to have someone with experience check out machines you are looking at. Before you buy, post the info, and pictures if possible. There are several people on here that can tell you about specific machines.

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06-09-2012 18:55:44

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 Re: Backhoe advice in reply to Backhoes, 06-09-2012 07:49:03  
I second the notion, to have someone local to check the various functions of the backhoe you find. Then post Model #, Serial#, and condition, here. Somebody here knows the woes, and will be happy to disclose those! Sorry if I just waxed poetic, it's been a long day!

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