Vermeer Joins the Mini-Excavator Fray

By Larry Stewart, Executive Editor | September 28, 2010

Vermeer Manufacturing expanded its product line to include compact excavators with the introduction of the first in an expected line of seven models. The CX224 weighs 5,400 pounds and digs to depths of 8 feet 4 inches. A 25-hp Kubota diesel powers the unit, and Kubotas are used throughout the line.

Vermeer's decision to add its name to the list of 25 manufacturers competing for the attention of small-excavator buyers is a reflection of two significant market dynamics. Dismal sales of directional boring equipment and trenchers (the company's bread and butter) and the desire to extend dealers' product offerings. The company's market research indicates that, with so many Vermeer customers using compact excavators, a significant number of them would like to buy this type of equipment from the same dealer they work with for other underground equipment.

The excavators are manufactured for Vermeer by an offshore manufacturer, and Vermeer says they are the only marketer of this line of compact excavators in the United States.

The CX224's boom swings 55 degrees left and 80 degrees right from the rotating house, so that the machine can dig very close to jobsite obstacles such as walls and footings.

The excavator features top-mounted boom cylinders and bi-directional auxiliary hydraulics. Short-lever, pilot-hydraulic joysticks control work functions.

Standard equipment includes an 18-inch bucket, dozer blade, two-speed travel, rubber tracks, and ROPS canopy. A heated cab is an available option.

CX224 vs. The Field
Weight (tons) Dig Depth Power Breakout Force
Source: Spec Check
Scat Trak 224s 2.6 8'5" 32 hp 4,410 lbs.
Yanmar B22-2B 2.7 7'9" 17 hp 4,190 lbs.
Vermeer CX224 2.7 8'4" 25 hp 4,410 lbs.
Gehl 253 2.8 8'7" 24 hp 4,343 lbs.
Kobelco 25SR-2 2.8 8'5" 18 hp 3,988 lbs.
Mustang ME 2503 2.8 8'7" 24 hp 4,343 lbs.

Vermeer's Planned Line
Weight (pounds) Dig Depth Width Breakout Force
These preliminary specs are subject to change.
*Models CX218 and CX219Z are expected to have extendable track width.
Source: Vermeer
CX216 (20 hp) 3,417 7' 3'2" 3,306 lbs.
CX218 (20 hp) 3,747 7'8" *3'2" 3,306 lbs.
CX219Z (14.5 hp) 3,968 7'8" 3'2" 3,306 lbs.
CX224 (25 hp) 5,401 8'4" 4'10" 4,410 lbs.
CX229 (25 hp) 6,172 8'4" 4'10" 4,409 lbs.
CX234 (33 hp) 7,054 10'1" 4'11" 5,070 lbs.
CX254 (50 hp) 11,353 11'2" 6'1" 7,725 lbs.

Auxiliary hydraulic flow ranges from 8.7 gallons per minute for the smaller models up to 26.4 gpm for the largest. Model CX219Z is expected to be zero tail swing.