The hoe is great! If you don't plan to use it for any really heavy duty digging, it would be fine as is. But, who the heck is going to do that??? If you do these mods you will have a hoe that BLOWS AWAY any competiters, for less than half the price. These mods will not take very long, if you have a welder and metal cutter of some kind. These hoes have a huge bucket and rams, they are too strong for the subframe setup, from the factory. Even with these issues, I recommend one to anyone looking for a hoe.
1). Prevent pivot pins from popping out. The existing middle section pins can pop out when a twisting force is applied. Get some 1/2" x 1/4" bar stock and weld a piece of it across the open part of the booms, near the pivot pins, in the center section. (see yellow arrows) There is one pin that needs it the most. If you look at the pins, you will see the one that is in the mid-section joint does not go through very far. It barely protrudes out the other side and does not have a snap ring holding it in, just a S-shaped hook. I put the little piece of metal across the open area on top of the boom to keep it from spreading, and tacked in the pin, with a few small welds. If you have to remove the pin latter, a quick pass with a grinder will take of the tack welds.