Excavator operation tips and tricks

Doc

Administrator
Staff member
I have been excavator shopping for years. First looking and dreaming, getting to know price points as no way I could afford the size I hoped to buy. I finally pulled the trigger and bought a Kubota KX033-4 (formerly Kubota KX91 model). It's a 2017 with 530 hours. Well now it has 532 hours as I just spent a couple hours getting to know the machine.

I realize now I sure could use some tips from experienced operators. Good to know stuff that is not so obvious. So far I've dug my first small hole. Trickier than I thought. I filled in a fire pit that is no longer used due to where the shed was built and I've used the blade to level out the gravel in front of the new shed. I found out the rubber tracks do not do so well in mud. I about got stuck. I finally got the right bucket move to help pull me up the hill out of the mud. Again, it was tricky and still not sure I did it the best possible way.

It is fun to operate. I want to be as safe as possible and learn to do things the right way so any pointers on best practices and proper operation would sure be appreciated.
 

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Bannedjoe

Active member
I know it's a bit of a drive, but you're welcome to bring it here to practice!!!
I need a few trenches dug.

Congrats on the acquisition!
 

bczoom

Super Moderator
Staff member
GOLD Site Supporter
If you want to dig holes/ditches, move both hand controls in pretty much equally for the movement. Don't curl one then pull on the other. Do them together and just take bites that aren't as deep.
 

Doc

Administrator
Staff member
Yeah. Good tip Brian. I slowly figured that out but have not mastered the motion of doing them together yet. To muddy to practice a lot today.
 

mla2ofus

Well-known member
GOLD Site Supporter
As for getting stuck remember if you can't pull it out try pushing it out. Pick a spot to dig and dig a hole, then using the bucket, fill it in and use the back side of the bucket to compact with as you fill. Oh, and don't be afraid of overgreasing all the pins. Lack of grease is what makes pins get loose prematurely.
Mike
 

Doc

Administrator
Staff member
As for getting stuck remember if you can't pull it out try pushing it out. Pick a spot to dig and dig a hole, then using the bucket, fill it in and use the back side of the bucket to compact with as you fill. Oh, and don't be afraid of overgreasing all the pins. Lack of grease is what makes pins get loose prematurely.
Mike
Thanks. Previous owner sure over greased, and it does seem like the way to go.
Owners manual says to relieve the hydraulic pressure when you turn it off. On my tractor all I do is move the FEL and 3PH levers and I can see / hear pressure relieved. It did that on the excavator but no joy. I did not release the pressure. Any idea how that should be done?
 

mla2ofus

Well-known member
GOLD Site Supporter
I'm guessing it has pilot operated hydraulics which without it running won't actuate the main valves. Just ground the bucket and dozer and sleep well. Take the owner's manual to a Kubota dealer and have the service dept. explain how to relieve the pressure.
Mike
 

Bannedjoe

Active member
I have a sneaking suspicion that I'll be renting something like that from the homedopes soon.
I've operated lots of equipment, but never an excavator.

I'm going to guess the most basic rule of rules apply:

Rubber side down!!!!
 

Doc

Administrator
Staff member
you tube should show lots look up your model.

Yep, lots of great info on da tube. :thumb:

I have a sneaking suspicion that I'll be renting something like that from the homedopes soon.
I've operated lots of equipment, but never an excavator.

I'm going to guess the most basic rule of rules apply:

Rubber side down!!!!

Yep, from what I've seen and done I think this is rule number 1. :clap: :clap:
 

thepooguy

Member
for longevity try to always dig off the front of the machine and trailer long distances rather than tracking. when turning sharp lift the front of the machine and use your feet on the tracks and use the swing to assist. this keeps mud out of the tracks and puts less wear on the final drives. in freezing temps ALWAYS clean the tracks with a shovel. takes a very long time to thaw them out and get the machine moving again. never over tighten the tracks, follow the manual on tension. dont run them loose either as putting tracks back on will ruin your day. always level the machine before digging as well this keeps turntable wear to a minimum and helps to avoid tipping when swinging. in the end, once you get fluent running the machine, you will LOVE IT. an excavator is almost therapeutic to operate. have fun!!!
 

Doc

Administrator
Staff member
for longevity try to always dig off the front of the machine and trailer long distances rather than tracking. when turning sharp lift the front of the machine and use your feet on the tracks and use the swing to assist. this keeps mud out of the tracks and puts less wear on the final drives. in freezing temps ALWAYS clean the tracks with a shovel. takes a very long time to thaw them out and get the machine moving again. never over tighten the tracks, follow the manual on tension. dont run them loose either as putting tracks back on will ruin your day. always level the machine before digging as well this keeps turntable wear to a minimum and helps to avoid tipping when swinging. in the end, once you get fluent running the machine, you will LOVE IT. an excavator is almost therapeutic to operate. have fun!!!
THANKS Pooguy. So much good info there. :tiphat: :thankyou2:
 

FrancSevin

Proudly Deplorable
GOLD Site Supporter
I have been excavator shopping for years. First looking and dreaming, getting to know price points as no way I could afford the size I hoped to buy. I finally pulled the trigger and bought a Kubota KX033-4 (formerly Kubota KX91 model). It's a 2017 with 530 hours. Well now it has 532 hours as I just spent a couple hours getting to know the machine.

I realize now I sure could use some tips from experienced operators. Good to know stuff that is not so obvious. So far I've dug my first small hole. Trickier than I thought. I filled in a fire pit that is no longer used due to where the shed was built and I've used the blade to level out the gravel in front of the new shed. I found out the rubber tracks do not do so well in mud. I about got stuck. I finally got the right bucket move to help pull me up the hill out of the mud. Again, it was tricky and still not sure I did it the best possible way.

It is fun to operate. I want to be as safe as possible and learn to do things the right way so any pointers on best practices and proper operation would sure be appreciated.


I have a sneaking suspicion that I'll be renting something like that from the homedopes soon.
I've operated lots of equipment, but never an excavator.

I'm going to guess the most basic rule of rules apply:

Rubber side down!!!!

I will be renting one of this in a few weeks. Glad this thread is here.
 

Jim_S

Spammer Hammer
Staff member
GOLD Site Supporter
Doc, I think this guy is doing something wrong . . . :whistling:

.
 

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