View Full Version : which skidloader

03-25-2005, 01:32 PM
I currently own a case 1845c, but need something bigger with vertical lift. I have looked at the new case 445 (85xt), new holland 185b, cat 252, and bobcat 250. The case dealership is offering the best deal, however, do any of you have recommendation or preference and why?

Anthony Orlando
03-25-2005, 03:22 PM
I have a S205. I really like it and it should be comparable to yours.26,000 with cab and heat, hand and foot controls, strobe, Bobtach, selfleveling bucket and a 68 inch bucket. It has a strong lift rating and beefy tires.

03-25-2005, 07:12 PM
Shanqua, what do you plan to do with the loader? As far the 1845C goes, were you planning to trade it in or sell it on your own?

03-26-2005, 05:32 PM
Do you want both more lifting capacity and power? Do you need vertical lift? The 440 I think is the best option although it does not have a vertical lift. The 440 has 2200 pounds of lift approx. 80hp, turbocharged, considering your 1845C has 1750 pounds of lift and 56 hp it is quite an up grade. Remember the 445 is not turbocharged. The CASE machines are built heavier than the others. The cabs on the Bobcat are nice but CASE closed the gap somewhat on the 400 series. The CAT can be had with CASE control pattern. You may struggle with the CAT controls if you have spent any serious amount of time in a CASE. Which machine probably comes down to what you expect the machine to do. I would demo each of them and draw your own conclusions.

03-26-2005, 10:36 PM
I am partial to Bobcat. They are the only ones I will buy. But I don't think you can go wrong with any of the choices you posted with the exception of the New Holland. They are still behind compared to all the other brands. They are one of the hardest to work on. Just to raise the cab takes a few hours. With all the other brands a few minutes and you can have the cab raised and have access to all the hydros.


03-27-2005, 09:29 PM
As far as I know, NH has rather decent servicability... surely not a few hours. They might require a bit more to lift the cab forward, but I'm not sure if they're that far behind other manufacturers.

03-27-2005, 10:42 PM
New Holland makes an awesome skid steer. I know thats the choice around here.

03-27-2005, 10:47 PM
we have a mustang, nothing wrong with it but we dont plan on buying another one, got ours in 1997, it is a 2040 which is about 1300lbs class. Just got back from Las Vegas Conexpo show and the Mustangs are almost exactly the same as they were in 97, thats almost 10 years ago and no real new development, gonna be a Cat or Bobcat next time around..........now a ?....does anyone here have a bigger skidsteer now then they once had, and regret going bigger for working space reasons etc? We were looking at the Cat 236 and the bobcat 205 which are bigger then mustang.......

03-28-2005, 12:13 PM
thanks for the responses. I do home construction, so i am looking for lifting capacity, and height reach. This will be benifitial in unloading lumber bundles, and getting plywood to roofs. (machine will be used primarily for lift and carry)I won't do much digging, but do topsoil/ finish grading with my skid also. I am hoping the longer wheelbases over my 1845 will lead to a smoother ride also? The case dealer is offering me my original purchase price as trade on new, off of cash price. ( it is real clean, low houred and they already have it sold if i make the deal.) I am partial to hand controls. I love the cat controls, have not used the bobcat hand controls. The case seem like they take quite a bit of effort, Do they fatigue you after a lot of use? Sorry about the rambling.

03-28-2005, 12:22 PM
[QUOTE=BobcatS250]As far as I know, NH has rather decent servicability... surely not a few hours. They might require a bit more to lift the cab forward, but I'm not sure if they're that far behind other manufacturers.[/QUOTE

I don't know how much experience you have with New Holland but my experience is very in depth and I can tell you yes they are about 10 years behind all the other big name skidsteers. They have not made a major upgrade since they started producing them. They are not easy to work on either. I used to rent several of them for our plowing operations and have nothing but horror stories. Now we own most of our own equipment and only rent a few pieces each winter and we make sure its anything but NH. I also work for our DOT and they hate them so much that you can pick them up at the 2 state sales this year because they are getting rid of them all.


03-28-2005, 02:00 PM
JustUsDe, I won't argue the topic because I don't have any hands-on experience. However, do keep in mind that servicability is not the only reason people buy machines. NH machines usually underbid the next pricier option by quite a few grand, and landscapers -- especially startup ones who don't demand all that much from their equipment -- have latched onto them. And for the record, read my user name again and tell me I'm a NH fan. :)

F550: if you compare a S205 to a Cat, be sure to compare it to a 242B. ROC are about equal and so is lift style. 236 doesn't match up with a S205.

Shanaqua: if you want slightly better load capacity at max height, a Bobcat or Case style might be for you. If you don't do much digging, the Case 445 will probably as good a loader as any; if you really do like the Cat controls, go with a 252B or 262B. (262B is a great loader btw). The Case controls (on what model?) should be okay -- I find that it's a lot easier to control the machine with Case controls than with Cat controls, but that's me. You may find it differently. I would test out the Case unit to see what's going on.

Have you narrowed your choices to any specific models or manufacturers?

03-28-2005, 07:50 PM
Don't shhot me here, but I saw a John Deere (I think 280) with a root grapple working yesterday. That thing was tearing out trees , carrying them straight to the chipper.... it was an awesome sight!

I know everyone hates the Deeres, but this thing was earning its keep in a hurry...looked like it had really good reach and seemed very stable carrying a 20ft tree latched onto one end with the grapple. :cool2:

03-28-2005, 07:58 PM
Deere fixed their earlier problems and are great machines. In most applications, they are very heavy duty and will be able to stand up to whatever you throw at them.

03-29-2005, 10:40 AM
thanks Bobcat 250. yesturday i demoed the Case 435,445 Bobcat 250, anc Cat 262. they were all very good machines. The bobcat and Cat are about $4000 higher. The Case seems like a simpler machine than the bobcat (less electronic gadgets to go wrong). No matter what machine i get, i will get hand controls. I loved the Cummins 4 cylinder in my 1845 (it was bulletproof), do you know anything about these new case motors? The 435 is a 3 cylinder, the 445 is a 4. It would be about two thousand more to go from a 435 to a 445. Does the longer wheelbases on these vertical machines actually make a noticeable difference on ride? thanks.

03-29-2005, 10:49 AM
I would second your opinion about the gadgetry. Although I still think that fewer electronics is a better thing, the electrical systems in today's machinery is developed to the point where there shouldn't be any serious failures (barring the unfortunate).

The 435 and 445 actually have the same wheelbase, but in general, yes, longer wheelbases (depending on how the machine is loaded) will have a smoother ride. Of course, if the machine isn't loaded very evenly or if you're going over 4x4s all day, any skid steer will give you the same ride.

The new motors: honestly, I'm not sure what they are or who they're made by. Kaiser might have an idea at this one, but I think they're still part of the Case-Cummins deal. Mainly, their chief aim was to meet Tier-II standards, so that's probably the most significant change.

As for which machine to buy: were you able to check out visibility, sound levels, ease of operation, servicability (if you'll be doing it yourself), and any performance characteristics? If the Case 445 is still $4000 lower than the Bobcat, you might have a great deal... if the Bobcat dealer didn't give you anything for trade-in, you might have some room to negotiate there.

03-29-2005, 11:49 AM
The Bobcat dealer is basically allowing me wholesale- which i can understand (the machine is very much above average condition, but it is an off brand to the Bobcat) I thought the case was a not quite as loud as the bobcat. I think the visibility is similar in both machines. I really like the thought of the Kubota motor in the Bobcat. The 435 is a 3 cylinder 72 hp 207 cu in. the 445 is274 cui 74 net hp. Is there a disadvantage to having a 3 cylinder?

03-29-2005, 02:31 PM
Here's my experieance. I had a deere 240 and it actually impressed me except that it had a couple major oil leaks.But, for a small machine, it performed great. Awsome stability, hydrauilic power, and traction for what it was. I also have a cat 236. Bought it with 2800 hours this fall, haven't had a problem yet. Good power, comfortable, great view of the bucket edge, a big help when grading, and the controls are probably the easiest to learn and use. Very low effort, you can run it all day and not feel fatigued. It doesn't seem to have the traction my deere had though. Also, oil and filter changes are very easy, most all the common maintenance issues are easy to get to.I have driven some of the other makes but not enough to comment on.

03-30-2005, 01:22 AM
Shanaqua - I currently have a Cat 246 that I am using for basically the same thing that you are wanting a skid steer for. A forklift that can go anywhere. First question you need answered is whether you will be dealing with half bundles of lumber or full bundles. If you are dealing with full bundles then you will need the biggest skid steer that you can get your hands on.

Got a tractor trailer load of 1x6 pine boards last month. They were all half bundles and stacked four high on the flat bed. We had no problem getting to what was on top so lift height was good. The 1x6x8 were not a problem. We could even lift two half bundles at one time providing we were very careful and didn't make any sudden movements. The 1x6x10 could only be handled in half bundles but were easy work for the machine. The 1x6x12 were borderline even with the half bundles. Even when we were simply carrying them the back of the machine was doing a bit of floating.

Hydraulics was not the problem. The problem came from how heavy my machine is and how much weight it can counterbalance. I do have to admit that different tires would help. When I got the machine it had Cat tires that were filled with silicone. Easily 200# each and they were tearing this place up. Switched over to a set of Galaxy Mighty Mows that are really sweet on grass but I lost a good 400# off the back of the machine. Regardless, the 1x6x12 took the machine to the limit and even if I had the heavy tires in the back, I would have flipped with a full bundle.

Before you buy, make sure you sit down with a calculator and figure the weights of the bundles you will be working with. The 246 I have is a great machine but the honest truth is that it is on the small side for dealing with lumber.

Hope this helps a little.


03-31-2005, 02:41 AM
I'm gonna wave the Cat flag, but if you can get a Case for $4000 less than go for it! Sounds like a smokin deal, we're in this business to make money, right? I will second what grassman said about his Cat. Easy to service, the rear door swings open and all the components inside the engine compartment are easy to reach. The radiator fan blows air up instead of pulling it into the radiator. For us this saves us tons of time, we're in a very dry and dusty climate and this fan setup requires us to clean the radiator about half as many times as we would need to with another machine. The joysticks are a dream as well. I hear the B series sticks are a little smoother, I haven't had a chance to try a B series machine yet. Also, visibility out of the machine is pretty good. I can see all the tires from inside the cab of our 216 easily and being able to see the bucket lip is very important for grading. I've run Bobcats and hated the fact that I couldn't see the bucket edge, it drove me crazy. The visibility out the back is okay, a Deere has a lower, sloped hood that will give more visibility but how much do you really need to see out the back? As long as I can look back and see if I'm going to run into something that's all I need. Well there's my .02 Good luck!

03-31-2005, 02:28 PM
I can see all the tires from inside the cab of our 216 easily and being able to see the bucket lip is very important for grading. I've run Bobcats and hated the fact that I couldn't see the bucket edge, it drove me crazy. The visibility out the back is okay, a Deere has a lower, sloped hood that will give more visibility but how much do you really need to see out the back? As long as I can look back and see if I'm going to run into something that's all I need. Well there's my .02 Good luck!

(Not disagreeing here, but adding in a few things.)

I was in a 280 SII and I hate to say this, but the visibility was atrocious. You can see around you (eg turn your head and look around), but as soon as you tilted your head, you couldn't see anything. The instrument panel left a four inch by four inch gap in the top window and looking toward the corners was a pain because of the two MASSIVE cab pillars. And tires were gone. No low-profile style such as Deere's, Gehls', and NH's will allow you to see the tires without lifting the boom arms... which in some circumstances is very important.

Visibility is relative. If you don't ever find yourself looking to make sure your tires are treading right, who knows -- maybe a low-profile design is for you. (BTW -- Bobcat's design is NOT low-profile, even those they advertise it as such.)

04-03-2005, 04:25 AM
The new motors are INVECO. These motors are a part of the CASE-CUMMINS-INVECO alliance. As far as a three cylinder, I have not run it. I ran the prototype machines with the INVECO motors (4 cyl) and found them not lacking for power. They sound different than the 4-390 and the power curve is a little different but they run well. I find the CASE controls very low effort. Not as effortless as the pilot controls, but much easier to run with precision (atleast for me). The DEERE and BOBCAT controls I find much more fatiguing. The bucket tilt and loader function on the Bobcat although not having any "feel" are low effort. Turning the machine, and the long travel in the sticks I found very uncomfortable. The feedback in the sticks that you feel in the Deere and Bobcat is what I find very annoying about them. I can Turn my CASE machines on asphalt with zero feedback in the sticks. Try that in a Bobcat.

TerraFirma Excavating
04-03-2005, 02:27 PM
I've run Bobcats and hated the fact that I couldn't see the bucket edge, it drove me crazy.

I wonder what type of bucket was equipped on these machines? I find that will the low profile bucket, I can see the cutting edge fine. With the shorter bottomed (about 4" shorter) C&I (Construction & Industrial) bucket it is a little more difficult to see. I use the low profile bucket for most of my work because of the higher capacity and I have it equipped with a bolt on cutting edge. My C&I bucket is equipped with bolt-on teeth and has much more breakout force since it is shorter.

04-04-2005, 06:44 PM
Who is Inveco? Have they been around for a wile, and what is their reputation?

04-04-2005, 08:11 PM
If I can butt in for Kaiser for a second... I think he means Iveco, the same compacy that produces some of the lighter-duty trucks. They're not a huge engine manufacturer, but given their rather sturdy line of trucks, I highly doubt you'll have any significant problems there. I *believe* Iveco makes the smaller engines for Case (as is the case here).

04-05-2005, 01:11 PM
The case dealer just called, and offered another $500 case owner loyalty discount! I like the cat, but the case deal might be too hard to turn down.