Ditch Witch SK650 general discussion

Sfoppema

Well-Known Member
Location
Central MA
I'm working on a similar setup, do you have a link to the ramps that you bought? My current ramps are a solid 10' ramp that won't work well for hinging.
I got them from discount ramps.com ....Supposedly they are rated for 5k, but I never tried using them as is. If you can see in the photos, I had some kick stands welded on (they just swing down when the ramps open up). Also, after about 6 months, a crack started appearing at the hinge point, and I had my welder touch it up and add some extra welds to make it more rugged. Cheap Chinese stuff, but they work great. If I bought a new set, I'd just have my guy reinforce them before I even installed.
 

Sfoppema

Well-Known Member
Location
Central MA
They are really light and it's very convenient to not have to move them around all the time and have to throw them in the bed etc.
 

Sfoppema

Well-Known Member
Location
Central MA
as packed up on this photo, the standing platform sticks out slightly, but not as far as the driver's side mirror. Not sure if it's "legal" or not, but no one has ever said anything, and I'm not going to take the grapple off.......When I got my 1050, which is longer, I pick the loader up, and set it down on top of the ramps (I'll take a picture and post). In that orientation, which looked a little weird at first, everything stays inside the width of the truck. The grapple sticks up about a foot above the top of the bed, which is only 9'6", so it's still plenty short even sticking up.
IMG_20200921_171532925.jpg
Not the best angle, just looked on my phone to see if I had a picture.... I'll get a better one when I have a minute, but the "dogs" at the bottom of the attachment plate sit right on top of the ramps when folded up. This is what it looks like driving down the road. Everything is within the width of the truck this way.
 

Sfoppema

Well-Known Member
Location
Central MA
The next truck will have hydraulic ramps. Might be selling this truck in the next year or so. It's a dt444e 1996. Not a lot of nuts. Probably going to try to get a 26k cabover or dt466 with the same set up.
 

Jehinten

Well-Known Member
Location
Evansville
I got them from discount ramps.com ....Supposedly they are rated for 5k, but I never tried using them as is. If you can see in the photos, I had some kick stands welded on (they just swing down when the ramps open up). Also, after about 6 months, a crack started appearing at the hinge point, and I had my welder touch it up and add some extra welds to make it more rugged. Cheap Chinese stuff, but they work great. If I bought a new set, I'd just have my guy reinforce them before I even installed.
I also bought my ramps from there. I got the 10,000lb 10' ramps. At 80lbs each they are not terribly pleasant to haul from the platform to the back of the truck where they are stored.

I'll look into the one that you bought.

Thanks,
Justin
 

colb

Well-Known Member
Location
Florida
20201204_161942.jpg

Same old same old...

The front roller assemblies are up to almost $1200 now, FYI. We are at 2305.7 hrs on the chasis and this may be the first front roller replacement on this side. Replaced the other last year.
 

Bucknut

Well-Known Member
@colb Offhand I’d say we have 1600 hours on ours. Never had any issues other than track changes. Probably due.

I assume you grease the front rollers regularly?It’s a little disheartening to know that preventative maintenance isn’t really enough. :nocausagracia:
 

colb

Well-Known Member
Location
Florida
@colb Offhand I’d say we have 1600 hours on ours. Never had any issues other than track changes. Probably due.

I assume you grease the front rollers regularly?It’s a little disheartening to know that preventative maintenance isn’t really enough. :nocausagracia:
No, I was told that the unit had no grease fittings. I did see one on the roller. Is it accessible without removing the track, and how often should I grease it?
 

Bucknut

Well-Known Member
It is accessible, you just have to creep the machine forward until the zerk faces front. Not certain but I think a flexible grease hose is required to reach it.

I think those are the only two greaseable points on the machine. As far as intervals, I’m not sure how often DW recommends. We probably do it twice a year. This has been a good reminder.
 

VenasNursery

Well-Known Member
Location
Michigan
It is accessible, you just have to creep the machine forward until the zerk faces front. Not certain but I think a flexible grease hose is required to reach it.

I think those are the only two greaseable points on the machine. As far as intervals, I’m not sure how often DW recommends. We probably do it twice a year. This has been a good reminder.
On my Vermeer 650tx the front idlers bearings(sealed units no grease fittings) didn’t go bad but the wheels had flat spots no longer being round
Like a messed up octagon almost a triangle lol
It was 5 years old but I think it’s from overloading it which puts the stress on the front idlers
If I remember correctly they were $600 a side
 

Fivepoints

Well-Known Member
View attachment 71946

Same old same old...

The front roller assemblies are up to almost $1200 now, FYI. We are at 2305.7 hrs on the chasis and this may be the first front roller replacement on this side. Replaced the other last year.
Sucks that they are that expensive now. I bought one a couple of years ago from ditchwitch for around $350. I'm going to need another one. The two block trick works well for getting the machine up. I'll elaborate more if needed.


I really should take time to post what I ended up doing for the radiator mounts. It so far has fixed my issue with cracking mounts.
 

Sfoppema

Well-Known Member
Location
Central MA
Good moral booster for the 650 community! This past weekend we got a bunch of rain, then snow, then cold weather (central MA) Monday morning got to a job and went to take the brand new sk1050 (in April....550 hours now) off the truck (had run it for probably 60 seconds before we left the yard). It ran for 30 seconds then died. Let it sit a minute, run for 30 seconds then die. Not getting fuel.. Some sort of freeze up somewhere, presumably fuel filter (there are two). Didn't have an extra handy and was standing in the snow remembering all the times I had spun my wheels in the snow/cold and thought I'd never do it again.

Drove home, annoyed, managed to limp the brand new 38k shit job off the ramps sketchily. Popped the hood on the old trusty 650, wiggled the glow plug relay and fired her right up. Used it all week. Thing is a tank. No freeze up in the fuel filter.....



Warmed up yesterday and I ran the 1050 for awhile, going to change the filter and it'll probably never happen again. But seriously. Gotta love the brand new overpriced diesels shitting the bed and faithful getting the job done.. smh. Never getting rid of it.
 

Sfoppema

Well-Known Member
Location
Central MA
View attachment 71946

Same old same old...

The front roller assemblies are up to almost $1200 now, FYI. We are at 2305.7 hrs on the chasis and this may be the first front roller replacement on this side. Replaced the other last year.
I just noticed the assembly in the photo.... Why not just get the roller with the bearings in it? It's been awhile since I've changed one, but as I recall the "wheel" just pops right out of that idler swing arm looking thing. I seem to recall that with the bearings in it being like 3-400 bucks..... bearings I think are 80 bucks? Could be misremembering. Unless the thing was so worn out you needed to... just curious
 

VenasNursery

Well-Known Member
Location
Michigan
Good moral booster for the 650 community! This past weekend we got a bunch of rain, then snow, then cold weather (central MA) Monday morning got to a job and went to take the brand new sk1050 (in April....550 hours now) off the truck (had run it for probably 60 seconds before we left the yard). It ran for 30 seconds then died. Let it sit a minute, run for 30 seconds then die. Not getting fuel.. Some sort of freeze up somewhere, presumably fuel filter (there are two). Didn't have an extra handy and was standing in the snow remembering all the times I had spun my wheels in the snow/cold and thought I'd never do it again.

Drove home, annoyed, managed to limp the brand new 38k shit job off the ramps sketchily. Popped the hood on the old trusty 650, wiggled the glow plug relay and fired her right up. Used it all week. Thing is a tank. No freeze up in the fuel filter.....



Warmed up yesterday and I ran the 1050 for awhile, going to change the filter and it'll probably never happen again. But seriously. Gotta love the brand new overpriced diesels shitting the bed and faithful getting the job done.. smh. Never getting rid of it.
Hopefully just a freak incident
 

colb

Well-Known Member
Location
Florida
I just noticed the assembly in the photo.... Why not just get the roller with the bearings in it? It's been awhile since I've changed one, but as I recall the "wheel" just pops right out of that idler swing arm looking thing. I seem to recall that with the bearings in it being like 3-400 bucks..... bearings I think are 80 bucks? Could be misremembering. Unless the thing was so worn out you needed to... just curious
Maybe that is the cost difference. My ditch witch dealer has advised against purchasing just the bearings. Says they have bad outcomes too often.
 

marne

Member
Location
TX
Good moral booster for the 650 community! This past weekend we got a bunch of rain, then snow, then cold weather (central MA) Monday morning got to a job and went to take the brand new sk1050 (in April....550 hours now) off the truck (had run it for probably 60 seconds before we left the yard). It ran for 30 seconds then died. Let it sit a minute, run for 30 seconds then die. Not getting fuel.. Some sort of freeze up somewhere, presumably fuel filter (there are two). Didn't have an extra handy and was standing in the snow remembering all the times I had spun my wheels in the snow/cold and thought I'd never do it again.

Drove home, annoyed, managed to limp the brand new 38k shit job off the ramps sketchily. Popped the hood on the old trusty 650, wiggled the glow plug relay and fired her right up. Used it all week. Thing is a tank. No freeze up in the fuel filter.....



Warmed up yesterday and I ran the 1050 for awhile, going to change the filter and it'll probably never happen again. But seriously. Gotta love the brand new overpriced diesels shitting the bed and faithful getting the job done.. smh. Never getting rid of it.
Despite the higher lifting capacity, what are your thoughts on the sk650 vs. the 1050? Rumoring about geting a 650 over a later model because I think it's a straight forward unit, that is lighter, more robust, easier to work on and still offers 32hp for running implements, not interested in lift capacity.

Thanks alot
Marne
 

colb

Well-Known Member
Location
Florida
Despite the higher lifting capacity, what are your thoughts on the sk650 vs. the 1050? Rumoring about geting a 650 over a later model because I think it's a straight forward unit, that is lighter, more robust, easier to work on and still offers 32hp for running implements, not interested in lift capacity.

Thanks alot
Marne
Do you want a lighter unit or one with less ground pressure?

I think both units are similar enough to be "robust", and I would expect them to be more robust with newer developments. I understand that that may not actually be the case. My sk650 is robust except when it is not. I had a steel structural part break and since it was in the middle of the unit they had to strip out quite a bit to get to it.

The Vermeer 725tx looks easier to work on - the fluids are accessible under the control panel and the side panels are removable. The sk650 requires small arms on occasion. The 32hp is probably necessary for stump grinding and for carrying a massive log uphill. I suspect that digging 36" holes with an auger might benefit from the hp as well. The 32hp do not help with grappling, fork, or bucket work.

The gpm and psi of the 1050 are higher, so pay attention to how gpm, psi, and hp are important to your application.

The sk650 is not a tier 4 unit, so it has those benefits.
 

Reach

Well-Known Member
Location
Atglen, PA
Do you want a lighter unit or one with less ground pressure?

I think both units are similar enough to be "robust", and I would expect them to be more robust with newer developments. I understand that that may not actually be the case. My sk650 is robust except when it is not. I had a steel structural part break and since it was in the middle of the unit they had to strip out quite a bit to get to it.

The Vermeer 725tx looks easier to work on - the fluids are accessible under the control panel and the side panels are removable. The sk650 requires small arms on occasion. The 32hp is probably necessary for stump grinding and for carrying a massive log uphill. I suspect that digging 36" holes with an auger might benefit from the hp as well. The 32hp do not help with grappling, fork, or bucket work.

The gpm and psi of the 1050 are higher, so pay attention to how gpm, psi, and hp are important to your application.

The sk650 is not a tier 4 unit, so it has those benefits.
Be careful of the Vermeer 725 - we snapped off one of the loader arms, and I’ve heard of several others who have as well. They can break lifting heavy or pushing hard, due to the way they are designed. They have a stress point where the plate enters the tube just above the pivot pin, so they tend to break near there.
 

marne

Member
Location
TX
Do you want a lighter unit or one with less ground pressure?

I think both units are similar enough to be "robust", and I would expect them to be more robust with newer developments. I understand that that may not actually be the case. My sk650 is robust except when it is not. I had a steel structural part break and since it was in the middle of the unit they had to strip out quite a bit to get to it.

The Vermeer 725tx looks easier to work on - the fluids are accessible under the control panel and the side panels are removable. The sk650 requires small arms on occasion. The 32hp is probably necessary for stump grinding and for carrying a massive log uphill. I suspect that digging 36" holes with an auger might benefit from the hp as well. The 32hp do not help with grappling, fork, or bucket work.

The gpm and psi of the 1050 are higher, so pay attention to how gpm, psi, and hp are important to your application.

The sk650 is not a tier 4 unit, so it has those benefits.
Many thanks for your reply, I need the lightest unit for transportation reasons (in my country legal weights are painfully limited) but with the most hp/torque/flow and at least 73" hinge pin height. The unit has to work in tight spaces where it should trench, drill holes, run the harley rake and use a rotadairon, which I believe is the most demanding implement when it gets wet. Sometimes dirt has to be pushed around. Maybe a tiny forestry mulcher will follow.
I would never come to the crazy idea to grind a stump with a mini, I have 100hp+ for that:).
That mini never has to carry heavy loads around. Vermeer is never an option for me again.
The only other mini I would seriously consider is a 8 series kanga, which has to be imported, damn I like the way they are built, these are true mini-tanks and a 4 cylinder diesel is sweet.
DWs are straight available and I have dealer support, sk650s are rare here but appear maybe once every two years for sale. My thought is that they do not suffer from modern so called improvements, but I worry if the undercarriage for example is up to the task, as they have the same delta type on all current loaders, which must be for a reason, maybe it just rides smoother. On the other hand they're simple, deliver the flow comparable to newer units, weight less and for sure saving 10-15k is not that bad too.
Many thanks on your thoughts
Marne
 

Sfoppema

Well-Known Member
Location
Central MA
My experience with the sk650 is that it is a brick shit house. 1050 wins without question on comfortability. It rides like a caddy compared to the 650. If you are carrying weight on pavement a lot, the 650 will get the job done, but it is a bumpy ride. It's still a bumpy ride on the lawn, but especially so on pavement. With all that rumbling and getting up in hours, things rattle and break, so you have to be mindful of that.

1050 moves more weight, but I have been enjoying a pipe dream of putting custom weight kit on 650 and designing some kind of suspension system for the standing platform. 1050 I think is a hair faster.

Any mini I think can be tricky to work on because of the exoskeleton. changed motor mounts on mine a few years ago that was a bear....

1050 might have to much psi for some attachments. bought a "black" splitting screw attachment for mini earlier this year and they said if I used it with the 1050 it would void the warrantee because it puts out too much psi. Wouldn't have expected that. Things that are important to think about depending on your implements.

Overall happy with both. The 650 has been very good to me, but we have taken care of her. She had been abused as a child. We adopted her at 3700 hours and the motor was basically moving around without any mounts attached. used it for awhile before we did anything about it. have flipped it probably four times. around 5400 hours now and she still fires right up. brick. shit. house.
 

New threads New posts

Kask Stihl NORTHEASTERN Arborists Wesspur TreeStuff.com Kask Teufelberger Westminster X-Rigging Teufelberger Tracked Lifts Climbing Innovations
Top Bottom