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 Post subject: JCB 3c... erm.... what?!
 PostPosted: Sat Jun 18, 2011 7:45 pm
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Chaps, just typed a long post and then lost it, so this will be the annoyed shorted version!

I've been hiring either a Man With a Shiny JCB or a self-drive 2t tracked digger for dutes around our land - 18 acres of mixed woodland, lake, paddock and lawns. I have a Massey 1235 with Lewis loader, 4-in-1 bucket and a 60" cutting deck for general mowing / loading / digging duties, though no backhoe. I'm now getting to the point where I'm bored of constantly shelling out for hires when I could have a machine sat here ready to work for not a huge amount of cash. The Massey has been fantastic but suffers greatly from a surfeit of power over weight - it can physically lift things which it shouldn't lift! Way too many wobbly moments and situations where I've just had to back off do things the hard way. It's an excellent tractor, but at only a ton or so, it's not really much cop for decent lifting / carrying duties.

My head says I ought to get a medium-sized tracked machine and be done with it, but my heart points out I could spend half as much on a Shiny Yellow Toy of Much Goodness.... it'd be being asked to do digging / stumping, general loading / carrying and some hauling of trees / logs in and around the woods and more to the point, out of the lake...

THing is, despite googling like a madman, I still don't really understand the differences between the 3C2 / 3C3 / 3CX and so on - childish logic tells me I need a 4-in-1 front bucket, forks, and preferably being a lazy and untalented backhoeist, a hydraulically side-shifting backhoe. Which model that actually equates to in real life is beyond me, or indeed whether some of those features are overkill is beyond my ken too.

Also how do they all comapre in terms of size / weight - one of the duties would be stump pulling / log shifting on the dam at the end of the lake and obviously I don't want more weight on there than I have to to get the job done... also around the grounds there are hedge gaps which may fox a larger machine... or rather the machine would fox the hedges!

So am I barking up completely the wrong tree and should I traipse back to the tracked forums, or am I thinking along the right lines with a 3Cxyz machine? If so.... which one?

For reference, I'm thinking sub-£5k, and have been wondering about these two which aren't a million miles away from me:

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/JCB-3C-3-POWER-TRAIN-Digger-3cx-/290578532494?pt=UK_BOI_Industrial_Tools_Construction_Tools_ET&hash=item43a7d4888e

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/JCB-3CX-White-CAB-2WD-Digger-Superb-con-year-/290578495243?pt=UK_BOI_Industrial_Tools_Construction_Tools_ET&hash=item43a7d3f70b

Ooh, which raises another point - 4WD. Now this is no construction site, nor farmers fields, but we are on clay soils, and the Massey struggles when its not in 4WD mode, but then it's on turf tyres so it'd struggle in a heavy dew. The paddocks are fine, but away from there we do have some slopes and more to the point the land around the lake does get soft. So is 4WD a neccessity or not really a proviso?

Thanks for all your help in advance, and apologies for the lack of reverence in my post, and the slew of silly novice questions!

 Post subject: Re: JCB 3c... erm.... what?!
 PostPosted: Sat Jun 18, 2011 9:27 pm
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Welcome to the forum HK!

On 18 acres I wouldnt go for a tracked machine. Rubber tyre diggers are quicker at fetching and carrying things.

A tracked machine for loading duties around a yard makes a hell of a mess on the surface because of the skid steering whereas a Rubber tyre machine won't.

At a 5k budget a 4wd machine is going to be tight. 2WD diggers are great as long as you are never in a position whereby you have to drive the machine on days when the ground is unsuitable. A contractor on the other hand will be under pressure to work in all weathers and would need 4wd but someone not under that pressure a 2wd will be good enough.

That 3CX shown has no 4 in 1 bucket. That particular digger is the lightest in weight of the two shown and would have the least chance of getting stuck. It would have an even less chance of getting stuck with 12.5 by 18 inch rims on the front.

The 3C3 would be my choice of the two because of the 4 in 1. a 4 in 1 bucket is one of the best inventions ever. Big broader tyres on the front of that machine would be a must. A 4 in 1 bucket is much heavier than a standard bucket.

A bit predictable for some I know but a 3D would be the one I'd go for if I was you. Massive long back actor. Its lighter at the back than a 3CX Sitemaster and funnily enough its fitted with 12.5 by 18 inch rims at the front as standard!

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JCB Hydra Digger Loadall 65
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 Post subject: Re: JCB 3c... erm.... what?!
 PostPosted: Sat Jun 18, 2011 10:34 pm
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Thanks chap, useful info. Is there a spec list anywhere comparing the models?

Likewise I'd clocked the 4-1 bucket on that 3C, I just wasn't sure if I should go for the CX on principle. What about forks on either of them?

3D sounds interesting, not come across one of those, yet another one I know nothing about!

 Post subject: Re: JCB 3c... erm.... what?!
 PostPosted: Sun Jun 19, 2011 12:28 am
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The two machines will be very similar mechanically unless the 3CX has a Perkins rather than Leyland. Personally I would not bother with one without 4in1, particularly if you are heaving trees. A 4wd would be more useful, although the temptation may be to use it when the weather is poor. The old Powertrain represents the pinnacle of the 3C development and was the transition to the new model with a proper power shuttle transmission, 4sp syncro box and wet disc brakes. No doubt the 3CX would be a little nicer to drive.

 Post subject: Re: Re: JCB 3c... erm.... what?!
 PostPosted: Sun Jun 19, 2011 9:26 am
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essexpete wrote:
A 4wd would be more useful, although the temptation may be to use it when the weather is poor.


This is the bit that concerns me - of course I'll be using it all the year round, and given I have a day job, I'm going to struggle to fit in usage purely to fairweather days.... how much of a problem is this truly? Is it going to have to sit still for six months of the year in fear of a drop of rain?

 Post subject: Re: JCB 3c... erm.... what?!
 PostPosted: Sun Jun 19, 2011 12:54 pm
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:) No No it would never be that bad! Only in periods of exceptional heavy rain do 2WD's suffer. I regularly take my diggers through bogs at all times of the year. Very few of the days is the ground too wet.

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JCB Hydra Digger Loadall 65
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 Post subject: Re: JCB 3c... erm.... what?!
 PostPosted: Sun Jun 19, 2011 7:16 pm
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Phew, I had visions of the thing sat still for weeks on end, this is England after all, rain is hardly rare!

Am I right in thinking all machines of that era have the manual methods of moving the backhoe left and right (slewing? Side-shift?) Or are some of them hydraulic at that point?

Is the 3D the one with the extra long backhoe? I like the idea of something a bit lighter if that bit is right, but not sure what else I'm gaining or losing over a 3c or a CX?

 Post subject: Re: JCB 3c... erm.... what?!
 PostPosted: Sun Jun 19, 2011 8:20 pm
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Here's a 3d... sounds like it has a few issues though? Forks which is good, knackered back actor and no 4-in-1???

http://item.mobileweb.ebay.co.uk/viewitem?itemId=320705158542&cmd=VIDESC&title=Description&index=6&nav=SEARCH&nid=90282626612&emvAD=320x529

 Post subject: Re: JCB 3c... erm.... what?!
 PostPosted: Sun Jun 19, 2011 8:57 pm
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Not sure I would pay the premium price that a 4x4 machine commands when it's for use on your own land. You may have the worst soil in the world but if it's that bad and you want to run a machine on it reasonably regular it's time to upgrade the running areas by installing some drainage and laying some stone down. You'd have the ideal machine to do it and it's far better than just running a 4x4 machine in and churning the ground up. If things get really bad with practice you can usually walk any machine out of most situations on the front and rear buckets.

The back actor on a 3D may be a bit longer than on the 3C but not sure how much you'd notice the difference, probably notice the extra weight on the rear end more. You will notice the extra reach of a machine with the extending rear dipper though.

Don't worry about the side shift for back actor too much. Not sure of any generation of JCB that has power side shift, it's simply unclamp the kingpost and use the machines bucket or dipper hydraulics to move the arm across the rear end, then re-clamp when done. The arm is slewed parallel to the rear of the machine during this procedure. Clamping is a hydraulic lever procedure on all except ancient machines.

May I suggest downloading and reading some of the JCB manuals on this site for a lot of useful information.

http://www.classicmachinery.net/forum/downloads.php?cat=5

 Post subject: Re: JCB 3c... erm.... what?!
 PostPosted: Sun Jun 19, 2011 9:33 pm
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You read my mind - one of the machines tasks will certainly be clearing / reinstating old land drains, ditching and certainly the though of laying yet more hardcore around the place is on the list.

Beyond that, there's little I can do about the type of soil - the lake is in a natural depression and fed by run off from the surrounding fields which are "above" it, so there are certain sections that are somewhat soggy even now - having said that surely if 1.5t of Massey and implements plus 3t trailer can make it through on turfs, surely a JCB on nice knobbly ags would be okay I'd have thought.... plus as you say, there's always the walking option: I've done something similar with the Massey before now, shoving it backwards with the 4-in-1! If the worst comes to the worst, I'm sure the farmers would come to my aid, they're big-league arable so have some enormous machines to hand!

So that late model 3C is looking like a good choice.... can it be retrofitted with forks on the 4-in1 bucket?

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