Small Backhoes - Kubota or Bobcat?

I’m already doing cleanup work around my park and need a backhoe to move stuff around and do some minor trench digging to fix plumbing issues and minor grading to get a few pads ready for upgrades.I’m curious of you guys that do hard work or come from construction what you would recommend. I want the most versatile machine. A couple fellas have recommended the Kubota B21. I have heard the Bobcat equivalents might have better bucket attachments for picking up and holding. I’m looking at the Bobcat CT122.

Unless its a personal passion project to play with machines, I personally would recommended you just hire to get whatever work you need done.  Safer, less liability, now you have to worry about getting it stolen, played with and now you have to fix it, maintain it etc… 

It’s about making money or saving a ton of it with hours I have nothing else to do with.

It’s a free country, but if you’re going to by a backhoe, make sure that you are 100% competent in using it. I know many stories of park owners who rented such equipment trying to save some money, only to crash it into the mobile home and destroy it, or hit a utility line, etc. There was a case at a Hertz rental equipment affiliate in which a homeowner rented a giant earth-moving machine in his quest to dig his own pool (apparently nobody bothered to ask for the renter’s qualifications before taking delivery of it). The homeowner quickly rolled the giant machine over on top of his house, causing one of the greatest property losses in the history of rental equipment (it totaled the machine and house).

I have done this type of work myself and I would recommend renting the equipment for the different tasks. That way you can choose the best machine for the type of project you’re working on. Even large contractors often rent their equipment because the cost of maintenance and repair can be serious.

If you really want to own a piece of equipment, renting will also give you a chance to try out different machines and learn what serves you best.

One of our parks owns a small front loader / backhoe called a Terimite. We bought it from a local rental yard. I looked into, and have owned Kabota’s in the past, and they do about the same stuff. My onsite guy is trained, and for this park- it works well to own it. We call prior to digging, and use it to level lots, trench electric lines, trench in new sewer lines etc…I am an old farm boy, so I get how to operate equipment and can manage how our employees should operate it as well. 

Thanks Jim. I’m no farm boy but grew up in in the bush without running water or electrical. So I have a good appreciation for hard work and safety.It would probably work out the same for me to own either one. Heck, just getting on one and tearing stuff up sounds like enjoyment to me.If I buy equipment like that, is it best to own it under the park manager S-Corp assuming I have multiple parks and want to shuttle the machines around to different parks as-needed?

My machine is owned by my management company.