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09-21-2012, 08:39 AM
would this work up there along harrison creek

09-21-2012, 05:34 PM
The bucket looks a little small, but it depends how much and what kind of material you are running. Hows the access, those two wheel drive loaders can tricky to navigate, especially on soft terrain. Also, the price seems good. Equipment up here is spendy, when you can find it. Might be a good starter loader for a smaller operation.

09-21-2012, 08:53 PM
yeah i am starting small to work my way up gotta start somewhere also looking for a trommel and a few other things

09-21-2012, 11:26 PM
It would sure beat a shovel. though a shovel will seldom will have breakdown's I started out with a tow-able backhoe if I remember right a 1 cubic foot bucket, then moved up to a case 580 backhoe, it was not easy to drive it 25 miles off road, but a wonderful tool once here, now I have an excavator and wonder how I ever got anything done without it.. But I started small and paid as I went..

09-22-2012, 09:03 AM
now I have an excavator and wonder how I ever got anything done without it.

Boy isn't that the truth! My latest addition is a Hitachi EX300LC-3 delivered last week.

If I was limited to one machine for mining, it would be an excavator. At least a 200 class size. Incredible mining machines.

09-22-2012, 10:01 AM
yeah i was thinking of a towable one and a original gold screw trommel first then my friend said he could get the heavey equipment but i dont really want to put my season in someone elses hands i want to know for sure if he did not come through i would still be able to mine . so what are your thoughts on the original gold screw trommel ? and also a towable back hoe .

Brian Berkhahn
09-22-2012, 01:37 PM
now I have an excavator and wonder how I ever got anything done without it

YUP! I love my 311 Cat, wish it had a longer boom at times but it works.

09-22-2012, 03:46 PM
In my opinion if you are going to buy a rubber tire backhoe stick with Case or Cat. Easier to get parts and alot better machines than the other hoes. John Deere is all right but I just dont like them. My 416 Cat backhoe has been a very good machine for me. If you do go with a rubber tire hoe pay the extra and get a 4x4 with the extenda hoe. My favorite toy? The Cat 385 excavator. I can really move some material when operating this beast, but at 300+ gallons a day of fuel and $20,000 for transport fees it is probally not for everyone.LOL.

09-22-2012, 04:36 PM
I don't have any experience using farm tractor-class equipment mining, but I have a lot of on the farm experience.

Small front tires on tractor loaders are a hassle. Weight capacity especially in turning corners and tire wear/flats/busted beads. 4WD drive is a big plus. Keep in mind that the backhoe raises the center of gravity.

My only experience with track equipment is JD450, D-6C, M60A1 and M113. I think I'd be more comfortable operating with 50% on a track than 50% on rubber. Not just durability, but also center of gravity.

09-22-2012, 05:23 PM

Picking a piece of equipment has to be based on the application, the mining objectives and the budget. Alaska has problems of logistics on top of everything else.

The application:

So, we might assume you're mining a placer deposit. What is the surface condition as far as boulders, trees, muck, clay, rock type i.e. quartz, sharp basalt or soft rock?

Production capacity:

What do you expect in terms of capacity? 10 yards per hour? 50 yph? etc.

The combination loader and backhoe has advantages and disadvantages. In a mining operation, you need both but not always on the same machine. The optimal situation is an excavator and loader.

New or used:

The choice to buy used equipment comes with a long list of check marks that need serious consideration. Every item on the list has trade-offs. What is the history? Was it used in a rock quarry for the last 20 years? Landscaping? How loose are the joints? Total hours is an obvious check point that has another list of trade-offs. Low hours = higher cost, high hours = lower cost. How much time is being allowed for maintenance? What are the logistics for spare parts? How many spare parts will be maintained at the mine? Do you have a budget for spare parts?

Is the engine low time or high time? Will the seller provide any warranty on engine, transmission and hydraulics?

Does the mining operation depend on this single piece of equipment for production? What are the contingency plans for break downs?


What are the available modes of transport to the mine site? Have you calculated the total cost of transport from Yuma?


POL; petroleum,oils and lubricants are the biggest kicker. 5 gallons of hyd. fluid at the Cat. dealer in Fairbanks is $110.00. The second kicker is transporting POL in todays hazmat regulatory environment. It goes by ground transport or else an exhorbitant hazmat fee will be added to transport.


Machines require regulatory permitting and permit approval.


What is the necessary reach? Reaching down as well as up all need to be specified before the purchase. The plant design would dictate the specification for the required reach for the loader-backhoe.

There are probably many other considerations in answering your question.


09-22-2012, 08:24 PM
geo i live 200 miles from yuma and when we come up we will be hauling our own equipment to the claim i can drive it streight to it .so we dont have to pay anyone to transport it still not sure what we are getting yet i might just start out with a towable back hoe like danak had mantioned . not sure how big we are going to go but if anything i want to use something other than a shovel and a dredge lol . the claim is on north fork harrison creek

09-23-2012, 09:19 AM
Congratulations on the 300 purchase Dick !

09-23-2012, 10:03 AM

Last winter, I was offered an all day visit to the Doosan PROVING GROUNDS near Tucson. I was able to test drive everything from the smallest loaders, excavators, articulating haul trucks to the Biggest!

The Doosan Dealer in Anchorage is very friendly and offers this service to serious mining companies that want to get a feel for what the equipment can do. "Digging is believing". :)

The Bobcat Proving Grounds are Co-located. PM me for the dealer info.

- Geowizard