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  • Hi Hoe Machine

    Yeah i just had a job offer as a Hi Hoe operator from a friend of mine. Seems everyones losing intrest in having a manufacturing shop in ontario, Lots of Tool die guys machinists layed off. Anyhow Does any one know anything about operating one of these gigantic digging machines?? I guess a course may be a good idea, Boss would be pissed if i flipped it into a hole on him. Have any of you guys ever operated one?? Im wondering if it is a good idea for a guy 50 years old to gret into. Thanx Mike

  • #2
    Mike...are you talking about a track excavator? I've run them here in the mountains...very much fun on a steep slope. Get him to put you on it for an afternoon. You'll know after a couple hours if it's your drink of whiskey!
    Set the control directions up for the way that feels best to you. Most of the new ones can do this(controls reverse direction).
    Rest your elbows on the armrests and try to use just your fingers/wrists to move the controls. Try to be as smooth as possible. DO NOT smash the bucket through the wall of the house (don't ask...I was only 15).
    It's easy on the body but I find it boring as hell.
    Lots of work for a decent operator around here and in Alta.
    I'd go for it if I was you....gives you a good option that can last for years.
    I know a few hoe operators in their 70's here.
    Russ
    I have tools I don't even know I own...

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    • #3
      I used to work on all types of equipment. This new stuff air over hyd or elect over hyd. is a breeze to run. Very operator friendly. Many heated in the winter and a/c in the summer.
      If it is a tire hoe or track most work the same. Gradall's are cool. They are a drive to the job rig with a cab in front to drive and an operator cab in rear to work. They allow you to drive the whole rig from the operator seat to get around on the job.
      I have run all from Bobcat size to the large mining size. I never had training on operating them. I was trained to fix them. I had them down in minutes.

      Go for it. The only problem I can see is you will not get much exercise except for your wrists and the butt
      Life Is Grand

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      • #4
        I grew up operating various machines as my dad and grandad were in the excavating business. Never got very good at the backhoe, but my brother did and stayed with the trade. When it came time to build my house I rented this little guy. The house was built on a crawl space, so the machine was OK for the job. I started out with the backhoe but I proved to be painfully slow so I finished the job with the front end loader. Took 4 or 5 days for the 2500sq. ft. footprint.

        Weston Bye - Author, The Mechatronist column, Digital Machinist magazine
        ~Practitioner of the Electromechanical Arts~

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        • #5
          If you have good manual dexterity as I think you must being a machinist, you should do well. I've rented a lot of machinery for things around here. The rental place gives me the 2-minute "class" and I'm off and running. I've used the track Ditch Witch, 4-wheel Ditch Witch, FEL & back hoe, grader and a skid-steer with post hole digger. (Many times each.) I own a crawler and built the "Kenbota" (grader/FEL). Who said you can't teach an old dog new tricks.

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          • #6
            Go for it!! I'm 61, and I'm learning to drive a forklift. I was 50 when I got my pilot's license. Wouldn't want to do either for a living, though. The county paid me $35 a month to drive a school bus when I was in high school. That was enough professional heavy equipment experience for me.

            Roger
            Any products mentioned in my posts have been endorsed by their manufacturer.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by CCWKen
              If you have good manual dexterity as I think you must being a machinist, you should do well. I've rented a lot of machinery for things around here. The rental place gives me the 2-minute "class" and I'm off and running. I've used the track Ditch Witch, 4-wheel Ditch Witch, FEL & back hoe, grader and a skid-steer with post hole digger. (Many times each.) I own a crawler and built the "Kenbota" (grader/FEL). Who said you can't teach an old dog new tricks.
              Ken where are the Kenbota pics?
              Life Is Grand

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              • #8
                Sounds Good

                Im getting a lesson later today at the gravel pit. Thanx for the replies. I feel that i I quit machining for a living when i get home my hobby intrest should become renewed greatly.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by cybor462
                  Ken where are the Kenbota pics?


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                  • #10
                    Ken... you must have way too much time on your hands.
                    Looks good though. What will it lift? Will it lift a full bucket of earth?
                    What is the cap. of the hyd. tank? Did you add the pump or is it just the pump from the tractor? That is if it had a pump originally.

                    Either way it works or you cheated and lifted the bucket by hand and then snapped the pic.
                    Life Is Grand

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                    • #11
                      Kenbota leftovers.....

                      Hey Ken;
                      I looked closely at those pics you sent of your reinforced & powered Chinese sheet metal machine....The drive unit looks suspiciously like a lawn tractor transaxle !!! Leftovers from building the Kenbota ?
                      How did that idea work, anyway ?
                      Rick

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by cybor462
                        Ken... you must have way too much time on your hands.
                        Looks good though. What will it lift? Will it lift a full bucket of earth?
                        What is the cap. of the hyd. tank? Did you add the pump or is it just the pump from the tractor? That is if it had a pump originally.

                        Either way it works or you cheated and lifted the bucket by hand and then snapped the pic.
                        Yep, it works and will lift about 600+lbs. The bucket is 4.2cft level. I've had it heaped with #2 base and dirt. I have a set of forks for the bucket that's handy for moving things around.

                        The only parts from the original tractor are the front axle assembly, engine, dash, seat, diesel tank (under the hood) and fuel pump. Oh and the hood but that was extended 18". The hydraulics were added. Everything else was salvage yard finds (Eton trans & differential) or built from scratch a couple of years ago.

                        Originally posted by Dicks42000
                        Hey Ken;
                        I looked closely at those pics you sent of your reinforced & powered Chinese sheet metal machine....The drive unit looks suspiciously like a lawn tractor transaxle !!! Leftovers from building the Kenbota ?
                        How did that idea work, anyway ?
                        The drive is from the salvage yard. I picked it up years ago for a project that never came about so I used it for the sheet metal machine. Works Great! I no longer have to hold a part and try to crank--Just press a pedal. I still have the frame, transaxle and clutch out of the original Kubota G3200. I'll probably save the clutch for another machine I'm planning and scrap the rest.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by cybor462
                          Ken... you must have way too much time on your hands.
                          Looks good though. What will it lift? Will it lift a full bucket of earth?
                          What is the cap. of the hyd. tank? Did you add the pump or is it just the pump from the tractor? That is if it had a pump originally.

                          Either way it works or you cheated and lifted the bucket by hand and then snapped the pic.
                          Bucket loaders are a dime a dozen but how many guys you know with their own road grader? Did you notice the blade hanging down below?
                          - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
                          Thank you to our families of soldiers, many of whom have given so much more then the rest of us for the Freedom we enjoy.

                          It is true, there is nothing free about freedom, don't be so quick to give it away.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Your Old Dog
                            Bucket loaders are a dime a dozen but how many guys you know with their own road grader? Did you notice the blade hanging down below?
                            I did not see it because of what I have hanging down,,oopppsssss, sorry kids may be watching

                            Yeah I saw it. I had a road grader too, hooked a blade to my junk murray 8hp lawn wrecker. No big deal. Of course I will post pics of my REAL grader. It would eat yours for dinner. As soon as I find it!

                            No no Ken,, it is cool. Just want to see it in action though. Lets go, get someone to snap a pic with you working it.
                            Life Is Grand

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