Candig Mini Excavator / Backhoe
I purchased my mini backhoe / excavator back in August 2004. Since then it has been a very useful tool for our 7-acre property.
The first thing that impressed me about the Candig backhoe was the company itself. Gordon & Nohra-Cecilia Leschyson ,the President and Vice-President of Candig, answered all questions promptly and courteously before my purchase.
Other factors affect my decision to purchase a Candig backhoe was that they were a Canadian company. That eliminated any cross-border hassles with Canadas own bureaucratic and confusing Customs Agency.
After my order, Day and Ross shipped my mini backhoe excavator. You will need to either rent a forklift to get it off the truck if you have it delivered to your home. Another option is to pick it up directly at the nearest Day and Ross depot. If you pick it up Day and Ross, you will need tools to take the crate apart and you will require a good size pickup or a trailer to carry the pieces home. Bring a friend with a strong back, as a few of the pieces are heavy.
I had the excavator delivered to a local Heavy Equipment Rental place and then paid them to bring it to my home. I had to write a letter and sign it stating that I would not hold them liable for any damages to the backhoe. That cost $250. But it was worth it since I did not have to worry about renting a forklift and trying to synchronize the rental time with the delivery time.
Upon opening the crate I was surprised to see a small bottle of touch up paint. That is just another example of Gordons attention to detail and concern for the customer.
Building the backhoe was easy. I would suggest you do it with two people. I did it myself, but it was difficult and dangerous. Just be very careful if you do it alone. Some pieces are quite heavy. The Honda engine came pre mounted to the main frame. Tires and the hubs are mounted to the frame. Then you install the boom mount, then the main boom, then the attaching arm then the bucket. Next the hydraulic lines are installed. You need to purchase hydraulic fluid and motor oil separately, as it is not legal for Candig to ship it.
I like Candigs design. They use pins for many connection points, making them easy to install and remove. One caution however -- check all pins before each use! One came loose on my bucket while digging. I was very fortunate to have noticed it before using it the next time. Another plus for me is that I can easily repair almost anything on the Candig. Everything is easily accessible and Candig had the foresight to use common parts that are easy to obtain.
My first job was some grading around the house. As I had already spend most of the summer trying it by hand, the backhoe was a welcome relief. It saved me hundreds of backbreaking hours of shoveling. I scooped tonnes of dirt into a large wheelbarrow and disposed of the extra dirt elsewhere. My next purchase is a garden tractor with a dump trailer.
The following winter, our walk out concrete patio started to heave up due to frost. Normally this would not be serious, but the builder of our home poured it under the door jam. The whole back wall was raised almost an inch! We cut the cement by the door to relieve the stress. The next summer I decided to take out the concrete patio and lay patio stones. Now the concrete was 4 6 inches. I used an 8 lbs sledge to break it into large chunks, some weighing hundreds of pounds. Trust me, next time I will rent a concrete saw with diamond blades! The backhoe assisted me as I used a 10-foot scrap steel tube as a lever to raise and crack parts of the concrete. I used the backhoe as a hand to push down on this 10-foot lever. I later used the backhoe to move and lift the large chunks into the back of my pickup for disposal. After the removal I used the excavator to remove dirt for the preparation of patio stones. The backhoe assisted in loading stones and screening into my wheelbarrow. After the patio stones were installed, I had extra stones to use on my driveway. I used the backhoe to move the stones around to build up the driveway around my garage.
The next summer I then used the excavator to create a 10-foot wide V-shaped culvert from our pond to a lower lying area to drain the overflow / runoff in the spring. The culvert needed to be 200 feet long. It took approximately 4 days to do. It would have been impossible without the Candig backhoe.
That same summer I cleared a 100 ft by 20 ft area of stumps below our power lines so I could mow the area to keep trees from growing there. Stump removal was easy with the Candig mini excavator. The large ones were removed by removing dirt around the base then prying the roots up, thus loosening the whole root base. The Candig backhoe can lift quite a bit so stumps can be loaded directly into a pickup. I would suggest purchasing the thumb attachment from Candig if you plan to lift objects such as rocks, logs, or stumps.
Plates are not required for the Candig in Ontario according to the MTO. They consider it farm machinery so a plate is not required. Other provincial or state regulations may vary.
We are quite happy with our purchase. It has saved us quite a lot on rental fees and many hours of back breaking digging and lifting.
If you decide to purchase a Candig mini backoe and you purchased it because of this site (testimonial), I would request that you tell Gorden Leschyson that Vince Pelss referred you to Candig. Candig has a very generous referral program for Candig customers.
I have personally given a demonstration to someone interested in purchasing the Candig mini backhoe. He was so impressed he bought one the following year.