Earthforce EF-3 Backhoe

  My back has gotten pretty bad over the years. Therefore, I need a back-aid, such as a Backhoe. After renting a little Allmand TL425, I realized I needed one of these do-all machines for my very own. Starting in April, 2007, I started watching machines and prices. I started with Terramites. But they were mostly gas engines and little machines. What I really wanted was something bigger - but not as big as a full size. This thing has been amazingly useful, involving itself in many, many Outcrop Acres projects, including: the Front Wall, the Machine Shed Pad, the Courtyard Drains, the Patio, the West End of the Front Wall, and moving Porta-Shed. Pretty darn handy!

  Earthforce was a company in Europe that was bought by Ingersoll Rand. They rebranded these Earthforce machines as Bobcats and IR. Bobcat took the smaller ones (EF-1 through EF-4 also known as the EF-100 thru EF-400) and created the B100, B200 (see picture below), B250, and B300. They dropped the EF-3 and renamed the EF-4 / EF-400 the B300. IR took the EF-250, EF-400, and the EF-500 and ended up with the BL-275, BL-370 and the BL-570. See these Earthforce Brochures for more information.

They are really well made, heavy machines. The EF-3 has four wheel drive and four wheel steer. Its powered by a Kubota 1.7 litre diesel. Here its moving some dirt and working on the new garage. Note the backhoe boom is swung to the left to counterbalance the weight of the machine on the slope. It has an 18" bucket.

  This is a Bobcat B200, which is what the machine looked like after Bobcat bought Earthforce and changed the paint scheme. The B200 didn't steer the rear axle, like the EF3, and has a lighter front loader without bucket leveling. It also has a smaller 1.5 litre Kubota motor. The B250 is the same as the B200 with 4-Wheel Steer (like the EF3). Most B250's came with side shift backhoes. Bobcat Clones

  Click Image for Better View First use of the Dump Truck with the EF-3. This taught me a lesson in stability and Center of Gravity. Always keep the bucket low. Always operate on level ground. Failing either of the proceeding, wear the seat belt.

  EF-3 with the forks in use. These pickets are pretty light. They are being positioned for ease of installation into the Medium Picket Fence. Click Image for Better View

  Waiting for more work See how the machine does not tear up the nice grass like skid steers can? It is a fantastic size for stuff around the house - not too little, not too big. Goldilox would love it Click on the picture for a full size look.

  Note the bucket leveling system (the black bars above the lift arms). They keep the bucket level as one lifts the loader. Its also a Bobcat Quick-Tach front bucket system so that other Bobcat Skid Steer attachments can fit. Note all the dirt that's been exposed. That's the problem with a toy like this - things always look under construction!

  The view out the back is pretty wide. Two joysticks help me cut up any trees that I'm tired of. The little red button turns off the motor and the black one beeps the horn. In case I need to get someone's attention when I'm showing how energy conscious I am.

  A full view of the cockpit. Note how easy it is to get in an out. The seat swivels all the way around with a little lever. That little lever to the left of the seat is the throttle. That little wheel in front steers. The observant will see another red stop button and horn button in front. See those diamond plate floor boards? They unbolt with four bolts to give wide open access to the pumps and the hydraulic plumbing. EF-3 Cockpit

  Here's how I go after big trees - I dig around the trunk and find the roots and bust them up. Then, when all the main roots are broken, I dig some trenches along the side, about three feet out. I go deep here and make sure to get all the underground roots. That gets me a giant 8x8 hole that I can dig deep enough to bury the stump once I get it loose. This machine is fantastic!

  Another view, next to some excavation. See the red thing? I put that thing between the raised loader arms and the hydraulic cylinder to keep the loader from smashing me when I'm servicing the machine (that's what you do to machines - you service them. You don't work on them.). This view also lets you see the bucket leveling system pretty well. EF-3 At Home

  Back on the job site. Nice thing about that Bobcat Quick-Tach is that I can put some pallet forks on and move those bricks around. Its a handy machine with the 4-Wheel Steer - gets in nice and tight and doesn't tear up the ground.

  Rental Core Aereator - $60. Grass Seed - $50. Pallet Forkes - $600. Cost for wife to return the rental on Monday morning - $8,456,363. Being able to use my own machine to load truck - Priceless. Lifting Aereator

  Click Image for Better View Taking a ride on the old couch being relegated to the man cave. The expert photographer caught the EF-3 in full trot, explaining the blurry shot. We were moving upwards of 3 mph. That prevents any harm to come to my Daughter if the hydraulics failed. Note also I instructed her to keep her feet raised.