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View Full Version : Need opinions on Cat 308 excavators...


thepawnshop
02-27-2006, 07:41 AM
After the boom broke on the Hitachi 160 I was demoing, I am back to the drawing board for an excavator. I know the 308 lacks alot of the size of the 160, but I can get a good one used for around 40k and it comes with the offset boom option and zero tailswing to boot. If I go with a machine of this size and type, I may sell my JD 35D mini.

I would like to hear any opinions regarding the CAT 308 if possible, before I pull the trigger. BTW...the local CAT dealer wants 62k for one with 1100 hours and an individual wants 38k for one with 3300 hours. Any thoughts regarding hours would be nice as well.

Thaks!

Squizzy246B
02-27-2006, 08:07 AM
Hey Doug, I'll be following this thread with interest as its likely we will up size our Kubota KX 161 to a compact radius 8 tonne machine in the next 12 months. According to some websites those prices are not outrageous for low hour machines. It appears low hours would be 1000-1200 hrs or less. I don't think 3000 is a lot for a machine of that size but it depends more on how its been used or abused. 6000 hrs is considered major overhaul time on a mini and probably the end of the road for many. A 308 makes the break across into the mid sized machines and most operators I talk to want 10 to 12K hrs out of their machines before getting serious with the spanners.

Track condition is a biggey. Good Luck

thepawnshop
02-27-2006, 12:00 PM
Thanks, Squizz...the local CAT dealer caled me a few moments ago...said he just sold one with 1100 hours for 58k. I like that 38k figure much better...it looks like at this rate each increment of one thousand hours has equalled ten thousand dollars.

OK, you guys who buy used equipment...are 3-4,000 hours ok for a used machine in this weight class? BTW...the John Deere dealer is trying to get me into an 80C with 4000 hours for 41k....but I really like the stats on the CAT.

mastercraft
02-27-2006, 04:42 PM
I bought a Komatsu PC-75UU1 about a year and a half ago with 3200 hours and have had zero problems so far. Everything works, no leaks, nice clean machine. It has rubber tracks that I thought were on their last leg, but have hung in there fine so far, hopefully to be replaced with steel before this summer. I paid $18,000 for it from an equipment dealer. I would'nt be afraid of those hours on that machine at all. Mine has the ztr, and offset boom as well, and I absolutely love them. Good luck with your purchase!

Scag48
02-27-2006, 04:48 PM
First off, the 80C isn't zero radius swing, so it's really not in the same league as the 308CCR, but it's close. Plus, I wouldn't give them $41K for that machine with 4,000 hours given your market prices.

3,000-4,000 hours isn't a lot of hours for this piece, but how it was treated makes the difference. Would you rather have a machine with 2,000 hard hours or 4,000 "easy" or well taken care of hours. It's about like buying a car. I would take a higher mileage car for less money as long as I knew it was taken care of well beyond what was required by the manufacturer. I'll use myself as an example. I bought a 98 Audi A4 at the end of last summer after the sale of my maintenance business. I had 2 options: 1) buy an older car with under 80,000 miles, as at 80,000 miles $1,500 worth of work needs to be done (waterpump, timing belt, etc.) 2) buy a newer model year car with over 95,000 miles that I knew had the timing belt and water pump changed, otherwise the car would have blown up. I found one, bought it, and haven't looked back. I got it for a fair price and I knew the service record was impeccable. I find it's the same for equipment. If you find something with more hours, you can tell by looking at service records and the machine itself what kind of life it has had.

I know that when I get into excavation, whenever that may be, I'm not going to be able to afford anything with less than about 7K hours. So inspection is going to be key and having $3-4K in the bank as a precautionary measure for breakdowns is going to be the route I take.

thepawnshop
02-27-2006, 06:20 PM
Well, my father in law is strongly against me buing a machine from an out of state dealer based on pictures alone. I really respect his opinion, mainly because he recently retired from the construction equipment resale business (he managed the whole operation which had offices in several states). I am torn. Of course, the seller tells me he has babied the machine, but it (the machine) is in Wisconsin and I am in Virginia. His thoughts are, if it gets here it could be a total lemon. He thinks I should wait and buy a used machine locally and preferrably from a licensed dealer. Of course, that will set me back about another 20k.

If any of you are curious about what I am looking at, here is a link to it:

http://www.machinerytrader.com/listings/forsale/detail.asp?OHID=5234713&guid=290DD1749CB14C98ADCDAF5BF08DA2E7

Take a look and give me your thoughts!

thepawnshop
02-27-2006, 06:55 PM
Also, is there any way to avoid buying someone elses 'headache"? Meaning, how the heck do you avoid buing a lemon, short of always buying new? Is htere some type of service where you can pay an unbiased party to do a "pre inspection" prior to purchase?

Gravel Rat
02-27-2006, 08:04 PM
If you are going to buy a machine out of your area your best bet is go take a drive or a flight to look at it. Its far cheaper than buying something from picture and get it and the thing is a piece of crap.

As for that style boom on that Cat try to avoid it one contractor here has a 312 Cat with the same style boom he says it adds too much weight above center. If he had a choice he wouldn't buy a machine like that again its too top heavy. He said if your not carefull you could roll backwards on a slope.

I would also buy the lowest hour machine you can afford why buy a half worn out machine.

Don't let anybody talk you into a Komatsu I would stick with Deere,Hitachi or Kobelco or you can go drain your wallet Yellow (Cat).

Also stick with a 16 ton machine if you are excavating you go any smaller than it takes longer to-do jobs.

One of the contractors I know bought a Hitachi Zaxis 75 its his mini machine but he can't do with out the 160 Deere which is only a year old and close to 1/2 paid for.

Keep searching you can find a perfect machine for you don't let the boom falling off the Deere scare you away from Deeres they are a tough machine.

ksss
02-27-2006, 08:17 PM
Gravel Rat touched on my point. If your buying an excavator to dig foundations I wouldn't waste time with a machine that small. It can be done and have done it with my 12K machine but it will be slow. I would not go any smaller than a 120-130 size machine. I am contemplating a Case CX160 it has 1500 hours with a thumb for 70K. I would really ponder what you want your excavator to do. Unless your only digging crawl spaces, you wont have enough machine. I am currently renting excavtors to dig the foundations. The smallest machine I prefer is a 160. The basements here are almost universally 9' walls which puts them about 8' in the gound and they range from 2K square feet and up. That is a lot of material to move. Combined with the fact that with a smaller machine you will need to bail dirt out of your way a second time because of lack of boom length. Something to think about.

DKinWA
02-27-2006, 08:19 PM
The machine you linked to is a gray market machine. There cost is almost always lower than a similar north american model. Some say parts are harder to get and others say the parts are all the same. I know a guy with a broke down gray hitachi and it'll stay that way because the part he needs costs more to make than the machine is worth. If you can't afford to risk your money, I'd be very careful if you buy a gray market machine.

Dirty Water
02-27-2006, 09:43 PM
Can someone explain what "Gray market" means?

thepawnshop
02-27-2006, 09:51 PM
Gray market is an imported machine that does not carry a "US" warranty, I think...right? But how could you tell? Was it the serial number? Cause it looks just like the other 308's.

I did like the 160 size machine, but I would REALLY like to have the "zero tailswing". If I had the money, there is no doubt I would buy either a Kobelco or a Deere/Hitachi 135...but they are hard to find with low hours at a price under six figures. I'm getting frustrated...I know I am going to need a machine in a couple of weeks and I am trying to avoid sinking upwards of 10k for two months of rent. But the voice of reason on this forum rings loud.

Also, I had not thought about the added weight from offset boom...I can see where that could present a problem. Thanks everyone for your help...keep those thoughts coming!

Dirty Water
02-27-2006, 09:54 PM
Also, I had not thought about the added weight from offset boom...I can see where that could present a problem. Thanks everyone for your help...keep those thoughts coming!

I could also see the offset boom + having less to counter balance due to the ZTR chassy making for a real tippy machine.

Scag48
02-27-2006, 10:54 PM
http://www.machinerytrader.com/listings/forsale/detail.asp?OHID=5340537&guid=77F4D4F4AA7C4E9E95DCC6469E3DA19E

Check that out, it's in Georgia, but the price is decent. Competes with a 312 but is zero radius. I know it's way above your price range, but if you're looking for something to dig basements/footings, I think the 308 will get left behind.

Gravel Rat
02-27-2006, 11:27 PM
I agree avoid the grey market machines you will have troubles getting dealer support on it.

If you are going with a zero tail swing the machine has to have the long carriage under it. The 158 Komatsu I ran I hated the way the machine bounced its a zero tail swing.

Unless you really really need the zero tailswing then go for it if you don't stick with a conventional tailswing.

The bigger machines have the reach you need especially when your digging a foundation where you can't move the machine closer.

Another thing with the bigger machine is you have the lifting power to say lift concrete septic tanks etc.

ksss
02-28-2006, 12:02 AM
http://usediron.point2.com/Xhtml/Equipment/Details/P2/Excavator-Crawler/KOBELCO/SK115SRDZ/268775/Photos.html

although this machine is 3/4 the way across the country its a nice excavator. Maybe a tad small but the price is right with less than 1K hours and has a dozer blade. Zero tail machines are awesome the CX225 that I rent is every bit as stable as a 210 conventional. It is nice not to have to worry about where your tail is at. They typically have greater lift capacity than a convential machine due to the location of the counter weight. The issue is they are heavier than a conventional machine of equal capacity and cost about 10-15 % more to buy. Some grey market machines are easier to buy parts for than others. Kobelco is probably the best (read easiest) to get parts for Sumitomo is also good. I have heard some horror stories of Hitachi and CAT grey market machines. The blue Kobelcos with the helicopter cabs are grey market. The Sumitomo machines are yellow and say Sumitomo (manufacturer of CASE and Link Belt excavators). The main issue with the grey market machines is the EPA restrictions. The don't qualify to our air standards. Also some parts (filters hoses etc,) are different. The internet has made getting parts for grey market machines easier. An easy why to know if your in grey market machine is all the safety decals and notices in the cab will be in a language other than english. There is also a blue sticker usually inside the door saying that it was manufactured by ***** and made for North America.

Gravel Rat
02-28-2006, 12:35 AM
The Kobelco Ksss posted looks like a pretty good machine atleast that machine doesn't have the tail lights like the regular conventional machines :laugh:

Another thing to add to the grey market machines the Komatsu that are grey market are the blue color not the yellow ones.

Scag48
02-28-2006, 02:22 AM
I read an article in a trade magazine once that was talking about how grey market machines can cause a liability to the contractor who owns it. It went on to say that since these grey market machines didn't pass US safety standards, an operator who is injured on a grey market machine could potentially sue the contractor, or something along those lines. You'd be okay if you were working for yourself with a grey market machine, but it's just not worth the difference in cost.

thepawnshop
02-28-2006, 07:46 AM
I absolutely LOVE the Kobelco 135...in fact, I had found a 99 model for 41k delivered, but my biased "buddy" who is a Deere dealer claimed that parts are hard to get for a Kobelco and I beleived him. According to you guys, Kobelco parts are VERY easy to find. Considering you all arent trying to sell me anything, I think I beleive you a bit more! I have already contacted my local Kobelco dealer and he knows I am in the market for a 135.

Still curious how somebody could see that the CAT that I was originally interested in was a grey market machine, though!

Thanks!

Squizzy246B
02-28-2006, 08:17 AM
Still curious how somebody could see that the CAT that I was originally interested in was a grey market machine, though!

Thanks!

The model (308B SR) and the serial number - only 5 digits for starters and the cab is different to that sold in most western countrys. Looks like a South American machine. However, if it was a machine destined for the asian market then its generally not a problem to get parts or cross reference parts.

I recently looked at a grey Cat mini that some clown bought. It was destined for South America and he was real upset that our dealer couldn't just "order the parts"...hell, they didn't even have a parts list for it, nothing cross referenced and generally nothing even looked the same. So much for globalisation. :rolleyes:

Gravel Rat
02-28-2006, 12:29 PM
Getting parts for Kobelco's isn't hard they are assembled in the US and I wouldn't be worried about getting parts for it.

I don't know why you guys are so scared about break downs if the machine breaks down its no big deal get it fixed.

Scag48
02-28-2006, 01:13 PM
[QUOTE=
I don't know why you guys are so scared about break downs if the machine breaks down its no big deal get it fixed.[/QUOTE]

Because when our machines don't run, we don't make money, it's that simple. You, on the other hand, are an operator, not the boss, so you could really give a sh!t if the machine runs or not. I'm sorry to say it man, but that's the truth. I'm not trying to be an ass about it, but you have to understand that everyday a machine is down it costs money. You and I both know that, it's just that when you're in the shoes of someone who has to pay the bill for the repair PLUS the downtime it gets a little ugly. And sometimes, you're right, it's not a big deal if they break down, but if you can't get the parts for it within a day or so then you're sinking.

The easiest way to tell if a Cat machine is grey market is if it has REGA printed on the side. That's a sure fire way to tell. REGA is marked on the cab door and on toolbox on the right side of the machine. Another way is like Squizzy was saying, the cabs looks different. I've also noticed the seats are not high backed, they are short versions, much like the seat on our 303CR.

Gravel Rat
02-28-2006, 03:11 PM
Ya I'am a trucking company running excavators is just one part of the job. I also was a company mechanic when a machine broke down no one was in a huge panic we just fixed it.

Break downs are just something you got to deal with they are not the end of the world. If you are running on borderline of going broke because the machine is down you shouldn't be in business.

It does make me laugh you guys get in such a panic about a minor break down its like your company will have to fold its doors because the machine isn't working.

Order the parts and repair it simple as that and go back to work no big deal. The one contractor I worked for the boom cracked on the excavator we took it back to the shop welded up the crack and put the machine back to work.

Like I meantioned before if you can't repair your own equipment you really shouldn't own it. If the contractors here couldn't do their own repairs they wouldn't be in business with excavation machines.

Some days I was laying on my back in a landfill repairing a broken down machine its just part of the job. Do you think I liked the smell of garbage no I don't but the repairs had to be done.

With the dump trucks if they are out hauling and blow a tire you just run back to the shop and fix the tire and go back out hauling no big deal. There are times where we took the truck off the road for a few days to-do work on it. The customers job gets put on hold and the customer doesn't care just wait a few days and the job will be done.

So your guys deadly fear of break downs is way too unesscessary life is too short to be stressing out over minor things.

If you keep up on the maintenance and do inspections on your machines daily there won't be any major surprises.

So to sum it up if its BROKE FIX THE DAMN THING its easy to do. As I said if you work for a excavation contractor here and you can't pull wrenches your not working simple as that.

The boom that broke Doug Brant machine big deal patch it up and get the machine going again.

Scag48
02-28-2006, 03:48 PM
Here's the deal. Most of us don't just run equipment. We are landscapers so we have other things on our plate aside from the equipment. We have 2 trucks, 4 trailers, 2 pieces of equipment, a 6 man crew, and at least half a dozen customers who all want their job done NOW. I understand where you're coming from, just fix the machine. But we have other things to worry about. When our machines are down, we still have to run the crew, we can't just stop what we're doing, send the crew home, and fix the machine like you can, we'd lose way too much ground. Right now, mentally, I'm putting myself in your shoes and I know what you're saying. If I was out doing a job and it was just me and the machine and it broke down, obviously I have nothing else to focus on except getting that machine running again. But you gotta look at it from a landscaper's point of view because that's what most of us are :dancing:

pinepointe
02-28-2006, 04:42 PM
I was just looking at a CAT 307 in pa they are a nice machine, but i feel that you get more bang for your buck with a komatsu i'm currently looking at a pc-50 mr 2 anyone have one to talk about

pinepointe
02-28-2006, 04:46 PM
has anyone looked at or own a komatsu pc-50 mr-2 i'm looking at buying one just would like some input

murray83
02-28-2006, 06:14 PM
good arguements on machine downtime if your going to buy see if the dealer will provide a rental to you if your machine is in the shop, thats #1 on my list if i owned my own firm. also not everyone has the money for this but keep a parts supply for the models you own,nothing pisses off a customer and a company owner worse than seeing a machine shut off,and nobody around remember "time is money".

and yes landfills SUCK lol bad memories laying and rolling around in wet sloppy clay,in 25 degree warn june days with the stench of garbage around you :laugh:

charlie orr
02-28-2006, 06:24 PM
Doug,

It sounds like you have driven a 308 before, but if you have not take the thing for a spin. It's pretty slick. We rent 305's all the time and on occasion rent a 308. The zero swing is the best, but I will tell you this get one with a hydraulic thumb. We have a JD 50D with thumb and rubber tracks but no comparison the 308 has the size, strength and is pretty reasonable price wise.

thepawnshop
02-28-2006, 08:44 PM
Charlie, this all started originally with me wanting to simply upgrade my 35D to a 50D. I was planning to put 10k down and trade in my 35 on it. The more I started looking around, the more appealing a machine a little bit bigger seemed to be. I was wondering, though, if the 308 could replace my 35D, meaning, can I use my auger on this machine? If so, I could justify a newer machine with less hours.

In the perfect world, I would get a 135 size/class machine and keep my 35D, but monetarily, I don't think I can pull that off, unless I buy a late 90's model, and something that old with 4-5,000 hours just seems a bit risky. I was VERY excited about the 308 I found on Machinery Trader...that was until I found out it was a grey market machine. I really don't want to buy a headache so whatever I buy, I am going to buy it here locally from a reputable dealer with support.

DKinWA
02-28-2006, 10:58 PM
I said it was a grey market machine, because I recognized the stickers on the side of the machine in the link and they are definitely not in english. I've seen a lot of them on machines from overseas at the Ritchie Bros auctions.

Gravel Rat
02-28-2006, 11:37 PM
One thing with the grey market machines especially the ones that just get shipped from overseas is they smell musty.

Scag48
02-28-2006, 11:57 PM
And the paint on them usually never lasts, which is why most of them get new paint once they hit the shore.

ksss
03-01-2006, 08:35 PM
The Ritchie bros sale in Olympia is a big auction for the grey market stuff. Most of it is hammered but especially the mini excavators bring the money. It surprises me what some of the grey market minis bring.

Scag48
03-02-2006, 01:42 AM
Yeah, I've heard some of the prices they get for grey IHI, Hitachi, and Komatsu minis. Darlingsons International out of Woodinville sells a TON of grey market machines. www.darlingsons.com

UNISCAPER
03-02-2006, 09:05 AM
They most lilely have their own people sitting in the middle of the auction bidding against each other. When the sale takes place, the owner just buys the machine back from the person who bought it unless it wwent for the price they need to see. It's one of the oldest tricks in the auction book, illegal as hell, and yet happens all the time.

Scag48
03-02-2006, 03:14 PM
Auctions never struck my fancy. They never have machines that are actually worth having, people pay way too much for them, and you can't test run them. I'll stick to dealer certified used pieces or private party sales.

Gravel Rat
03-02-2006, 06:26 PM
There is nothing wrong with buying a machine from a auction mainly from a Ritchie Bros auction. You just have to know what you are looking for and what to watch out for. At Ritchie auctions you can get in the machine and test it they really don't like you digging a scoop out of their yard thou.

I do have news for you dealers go to Ritchie Bros auctions to buy equipment the auctions here at Surrey there is quite a few dealers bidding on excavators to clean up and sell.

If you know what you are doing you can save yourself 5-10 grand buying from a auction.

Most guys that go to auctions are buying fullsize excavators ie 15 ton and bigger.

I have been going to Ritchie Bros auctions for 15 years now. It is fun to bid on something and drive the price up and quit while your still ahead. Especially if someone else is hot and heavy for the same thing. Like I said thou you only go so far or you maybe buying the piece of equipment :o

When I go to auctions and see something I want I know what the market value of the machine or truck is worth. I won't buy if its getting over priced its not worth it.

The best day to go to a auction is when its pouring down rain and miserable out usually people are not hanging around to buy so things go a little cheaper.

Another thing to have to watch especially with trucks that are all the same color and model is make sure your bidding on the right truck or machine because they will bring a group up onto the ramp and you have a choice of what lot number you want.

ksss
03-02-2006, 09:10 PM
I like auctions especially the Ritchie Bros. sales. I usually go to Olympia once or twice a year. I have got some sweet deals. You just need to know what the market value is on what your interested in and know the machine machanically enough to not get bit on a POS. Sometimes thats hard to tell. However there is nothing wrong with auctions in general and like Gravel Rat said they are a lot of fun. I have bought a Vibramax roller 265 twin drum for eight thousand I brought it back and the dealer would give 12K on trade. I also bought buckets, hoe pac, chop saw, even Slate flooring at Olympia, 360 Case trencher. I gave 2200 for the trencher and got 7500 for it when I resold locally.

Dirty Water
03-02-2006, 09:41 PM
sheesh, Olympia is only two hours from me, I should check out these auctions.

Gravel Rat
03-02-2006, 09:56 PM
The Olympia auctions are usually big ones you go to rbauction.com I'am pretty sure there is a auction this month.

DKinWA
03-02-2006, 10:52 PM
Yep, there's an auction the 29th and 30th. They say it's in Olympia, but it's actually about 20 minutes south of Olympia on I-5. I'll be there as usual.

Squizzy246B
03-02-2006, 10:59 PM
Just love the way these threads get de-railed.

Hey Pawnshop, spoke to a local guy today who runs mostly Hitachi, coupla a Cats and 1 Kobelco (I can't use the language he used to describe the Kobelco). When he bought his last machine he put the 308 up against the Hitachi and reckoned the only difference between them is the features and functions in the cab. He believes they are the best two excavators in their weight class. He went Hitachi on price and personal preference on the cab. He now has 7 machines.

thepawnshop
03-03-2006, 10:50 AM
Thanks, Squizz. I love my Johon Deere stuff, which as we all know is just repainted Hitachi equipment, so I may look at that angle again...By the way, are you referring to the Zaxis 80?

Gravel Rat
03-03-2006, 02:00 PM
The one of the other excavation contractor has a Zaxis 80 he really likes the machine its better than the PC 75 he had but he says it has slightly less digging power. The thing he likes the most about the 80 is its a very well balanced excavator. His machine has the standard boom on it his Komatsu had the offset boom it was a grey market machine.

He hated the Komatsu he wanted to get rid of it quick it was a POS ever since he bought it so he went and bought the 2004 Hitachi Zaxis 80 to go along with his 2005 160 John Deere.

dug1016
03-04-2006, 02:28 AM
Doug,

The Deere/Hitachi 80s will get around better in mud and questionable ground conditions even though they have less drawbar pull than the Cat. Any advantage the Cat has in drawbar pull goes out the door because it weighs nearly 2,000# more than the Deere/Hitachi's with 13 less inches of engine displacement. Also, if you want to know how it will dig, look at Arm and Bucket dig force numbers. Higher numbers typically mean the tractor is a stronger digger. Finally, Hitachi's have always been know for smooth multi-function hydraulics (swinging the house, positioning the boom and arm and curling the bucket, all at the same time), while the Cat's have not (to the same degree). I would be concerned about the CAt 308CR's13 gpm less flow in its hydraulic system as opposed to the Deere/Hitachi's. Simply, the Cat isn't going to multi-fuction as well.

Doug

dug1016
03-04-2006, 02:31 AM
BTW,

Yes, the Deeres and Hitachi's share components, but many (excluding the 80C, 135RTS, 450D, 650D and 850D) are made in Kernersville, NC by Deere employees (who also assemble the Hitachi orange).

Squizzy246B
03-04-2006, 06:43 AM
Doug,Finally, Hitachi's have always been know for smooth multi-function hydraulics (swinging the house, positioning the boom and arm and curling the bucket, all at the same time), while the Cat's have not (to the same degree). I would be concerned about the CAt 308CR's13 gpm less flow in its hydraulic system as opposed to the Deere/Hitachi's. Simply, the Cat isn't going to multi-fuction as well.Doug

That was very true about 15 years ago but I don't think you have run any of the Cats latley. They multi function just as well as any these days.

Scag48
03-04-2006, 09:46 AM
Yep, I'm with Squizz, they're all the same anymore. I find no difference in hydraulic smoothness between brands.

UNISCAPER
03-04-2006, 11:33 AM
The Deere/Hitachi 80s will get around better in mud and questionable ground conditions even though they have less drawbar pull than the Cat. Any advantage the Cat has in drawbar pull goes out the door because it weighs nearly 2,000# more than the Deere/Hitachi's with 13 less inches of engine displacement. Also, if you want to know how it will dig, look at Arm and Bucket dig force numbers.

I'm having a hard time beleiving this for the following reasons.

First, 13 inches on a machine that has a variable flow pump and will direct power to where the machine needs it rather than rip the boom off the cab mounts, as Hitachi machines are famous for, is not going to affect the way you use it.

Second, all manufacturers pump up, slant, and twist their written specifications to meet their sales forces need to prove a point on paper.

I'll revert to my grandfathers test tank at the marina. One test is worth a thousand expert opinions.

When you are serious enough to make a buy, call both sales people from both companies and place both machines on the same job site at the same time. The one that you feel will be working better for your company stays and the looser get sent to the trailer.

Don't for a second, beleive written propoganda by any manufacturer, see for yourself. If a sales person does not want to oblige you get forceful. Tell him if he wants to make a sale he will do it as you say. Since 90% of equipment sales people are whores, your odds are pretty good they will do what you ask. They have a 50% chance of selling you something which is better than a person walking in off the street to see what is on the lot.

When you make your choice, consider servicability. There is no Japanese company or for that matter American company who can compare to the way Caterpillar tractor will service your company. None.

Gravel Rat
03-04-2006, 03:43 PM
Like I said Hitachi has proven themselves for building a tough excavator digging in severe rock conditions that we have here in B.C. . When you have forestry contractors building kilometers of roads through mountain sides Hitachi/Deere is it.

Take for instance Peter Kiewit just bought a Komatsu 1250 for a project in B.C. because the rock is so hard here they needed a bigger machine. The price of the machine is close to million and half but they need it to dig fractured rock. The machine weighs 250,000lbs guess what Caterpillar doesn't build a excavator big enough their biggest machine is only 187,000lbs. Hitachi build bigger excavators too the EX1200 coming in a 238,000lbs.

Heres some picture of what we deal with

www.seatoskyimprovements.ca/Photo_Gallery/pages/STS_Photo_22_pg.JPG
www.seatoskyimprovements.ca/Photo_Gallery/pages/STS_Photo_24_pg.JPG

You guys are landscapers and you probably don't know what severe digging conditions are like. You also are pretty much small scale digging probably maybe dig 10-15 yards of earth a week. Where as a excavation contractor on a regular landclearing job will move 10 yards of material in a hour.

As for what Bill preaches about Cat serving you the best he is just scared of other brands. If Hitachi/Deere was that bad contractors in B.C. or Canada wouldn't be buying them.

mrusk
03-04-2006, 03:57 PM
Gravel rat- Please post some more pics!!

BTW Its looks gorgous there!!!

Gravel Rat
03-04-2006, 04:08 PM
I will post more I have pictures here but I don't have my scanner hooked up anymore I rarely use it.

Scag48
03-04-2006, 05:12 PM
Looks like a CATERPILLAR articulated truck in the second pic.

We move 10-15 yards of dirt a week? Right. Yet another misunderstanding.

And nobody EVER said Deere/Hitachi was bad, we just like Cat better. They wouldn't be #1 in the world market by chance.

Oh yeah, this 5110B is bigger than that Komatsu. 280,000 lbs. http://caterpillar.dozernet.com/Unit/Manufacturer/CATERPILLAR/Hydraulic_Excavators/5110B_ME/7451/

UNISCAPER
03-04-2006, 05:47 PM
As for what Bill preaches about Cat serving you the best he is just scared of other brands. If Hitachi/Deere was that bad contractors in B.C. or Canada wouldn't be buying them.

Specifically, we are speaking of a 308 Caterpillar. A), how did you get off on a tangent about 250,000 lb machiens when we are talking of a 308 compared to a Hitachi.

As far as being scared of other brands, not at all. I'm scared of the down time the other brands will and have brougth to my company that cost thousands of dollars. When you say Jap it rhymes well with crap.

"You guys are landscapers and you probably don't know what severe digging conditions are like."

You need to take a vacation Gravel Rat. Let me show you around.

"You also are pretty much small scale digging probably maybe dig 10-15 yards of earth a week."

Umnnnn, since you are an excavator and no freekn clue as to how much digging is involved in any given landscape job we would do, this might be a good time to side step the coversation a bit. For the record, the average swimming pool has 140 yards of earth that is removed. For the record, the average brick paver project has 25 yards of spils we remove, and for the record, most retaining walls we install are slope sides, the grid we install requires removal of zones ranging from 85, to 1000 yards of material depending on the wall. Not only do we excavate them, we also replace soils and compact them. We typically run 3-4 of these job types per week.

BTW, a 301.8 CAT with a 20" bucket can remove 140 yards a day in a tight access spot using 2 power buggies. A 250,000 lb machine would be worthless in this application because it could never get behind the homes where we work.

I'll close by once again saying no company, no where can provide the service we get with Caterpillar tractor. When you do a nuts to bolts comparison of every brand made, and if you did them side by side, not reading from an idiot sheet made up by that manufacturer, you would find there is not too much difference from one brand to the next. Do that same test with both machines in a year, two years, three years, you would then see the differences. Then there would be those times that you would need service techs. With other brands, you get to wait. With CAT they appear when you need them to.

Gravel Rat
03-04-2006, 05:56 PM
All brands of equipment are used but Hitachi/Deere and now more so Komatsu are the most common brand excavators used. Caterpiller still has the wheel loader and bulldozer market and they have the off highway dump truck market.

For excavators they are over priced and don't last longer than any other brand. Maybe you guys should try other brands and open your eyes a little. When you got one of the largest gravel mine companies in North America switching to Komatsu excavators that says something about Cat's reputation.

One thing for Uniscaper if it wasn't for Komatsu excavators mining in this area California wouldn't have any gravel. You know how many tons of gravel California takes out of the Coast of B.C. Just one gravel pit alone ships 10 million tons every year. Each ship load hauls 16,000 tons of material.

Heres something for you just one of the 450 Hitachi excavators building road here use just as much steel to rebuild buckets every year as your machine weighs. The one contractor I work for the clean up bucket on his Kobelco weighs 3 ton.

Lets put it this way how many of your landscape jobs requires 100 ton of material ?

The one small housing development in this area we screened a ton of material must be well over 5000 ton of topsoil. Pretty much the landscaper working on that project will move 80% of that in a wheelbarrow because a the ground is too steep for a skid steer.

To hardscape around most houses here to build up the area it takes 30 tons worth of boulders another 150 ton of gravel or upto 10 tandem axle truck loads.

Just to get a driveway into some of these new sites takes 20 plus truckloads or 300 ton of fill.

The last thing on machines the one pit still runs a 345 Caterpillar Cat's quote to rebuild the machine was 500,000 dollars. Its being replaced with a Komatsu.

Scag48
03-04-2006, 06:06 PM
That was a bunch of rambling crap that means absolutely nothing. Go to business school or actually run a business, you'll see the big picture VERY fast. I've said it before and I'll say it again, if you knew everything about this business you would be an owner and not just an operator. Sorry man, you don't know it all.

Squizzy246B
03-04-2006, 06:25 PM
I'm getting a bit tired of being told how little I know and how tough it is blah blah...

GR - did you ever stop to think that there is a quite a bit of earth moving going on in other parts of the world?. That other people may have some experiences that even over shadow yours??...it possible you know that BC is not the world mecca for excavators???

I'll give you a little example. The state of West Australia is 7 times the size of Texas. We have the worlds two biggest mining companies here. Just one mine at Mt Newman makes the whole of BC look like a backyard operation. They run in very hard conditions 24/7 and 365. Some of us guys have experience in that field....you know...maybe we happen to even have a little more experience than you..its possible.

When I was out picking up the 248 the other day my dealer had 60 odd new skids in stock, not including the CTL's. Thats a lot of skid considering they are not even the market leader in skids here, and not bad for a company that is "only interested in mining". We also had 2 minis out from cat on demo for a total of three weeks???...not bad for a dealer only interested in mining. I rang ofr oil and filters at 6.30 pm the other night and they were on my doorstep at 5.00 am in the morning...can't get another skid dealer in the state to answer the phone at 6.30 pm??

Now, lets assume that there could be some other people out there who have a bit of experience in this matter...just assume right

Back to the 308. When some of us ignorant dumb ass landscapers where running 35 tonne excavators out in the gold mines about 18 year ago the Cat would not multi-function well. The boom robbed the travel and the bucket. When we got a brand new Hitachi my business partner Johnny used to stick it up the hill, drag himself up on ledges where a mountain goat couldn't go. The Cat couldn't do it. The pit boss was amazed. Lets assume that was true then anyways.....Now, having more recently had two Cat mini's out on test myself and asked this same question of a local operator who predominatly runs Hitachi, there is no real world difference between the Cat and Hitachi in the 8 tonne size...particularly in multi-tasking now that they all have variable displacement pumps.

I respect your opinion but you have to respect others. There is nothing wrong with a difference of opinion but you have to realise that there is a world outside BC. If we can't offer some discussion without it deteriorating into a slinging match somebody invariably pulls up their anchor and leaves. Thats not healthy for the forum. Have a look back at the posts above and see the information offered to the question.

UNISCAPER
03-04-2006, 06:27 PM
Ummmnn this pertains to a 308 Cat how???????? Frankly I don't care how gravel gets to California. If only the legislators could put more of it up their asses this place would run just fine. What I do care abpout is people being able to make intelligent decisions based on real tests and knowledge. One thing is certain. If you read every manufacturers written crap about how much break out force they have, how much powet they have and believe it, you will buy a machine that you will have to talk yourself into liking.

ksss
03-04-2006, 08:37 PM
OK, if I only excavated ten yards of material a week I wouldn't be able to afford an excavator. 10 yards an hour, if I couldn't get more productivity from a 4000 pound excavator than that I would get rid of it. True, I doubt anyone on this forum is involved in many 100,000 cubic yards of material moved type jobs but it is a landscape forum. Perhaps another forum would be more suited to your experience.

I will agree that CAT does not own the patent on good service. Not all CAT stores are as accomodating as the experiences of some of the CAT customers who post on this forum would make it sound. Deere and CASE both have excellent reputations in this area for providing good service. CAT does well, but they have pissed guys off just like everyone else from time to time. The fact is if there is a service truck available you'll get it, if not your going to wait. It does not matter what the service truck says on the side of it. Many guys around here are tired of inflated shop rates from CAT and refuse to do business with them. Is that a local thing yea it probably is, are there better examples of CAT services, yes there are. My point is that buying from CAT assures better service like me buying a set of Arnold Palmer golf clubs assures me of being a golf pro. Their (CAT) service is generally good I am sure, but does that mean that no one else can provide quality service to their customers?

qps
03-04-2006, 08:46 PM
Looks like a CATERPILLAR articulated truck in the second pic.

We move 10-15 yards of dirt a week? Right. Yet another misunderstanding.

And nobody EVER said Deere/Hitachi was bad, we just like Cat better. They wouldn't be #1 in the world market by chance.

Oh yeah, this 5110B is bigger than that Komatsu. 280,000 lbs. http://caterpillar.dozernet.com/Unit/Manufacturer/CATERPILLAR/Hydraulic_Excavators/5110B_ME/7451/

A Cat in a picture from GR.....must be photo-shop by uniscaper:laugh:

Squizzy246B
03-04-2006, 08:49 PM
I thought it was a thread about "Cat 308 opinions needed"..it got dragged into the gutter by GR..and its been coming for some time. If nobody can offer anymore helpful opinions on the 308 then the administrators should close the thread.

thepawnshop
03-04-2006, 09:32 PM
I am almost scared to jump back into this thread...who the hell strated this thing anyway? Just kidding. Back to the 308...I went to look at one at our local CAT shop (which by the way, has a reputation for excellent BUT expensive service) that was just repoed. The sales guy who has been calling on me for while met me in the yard and asked me several qualifying questions about what my uses were going to be. After that, he told me he thought the new 305 would be a better fit for me...for more reasons than I need to go into here. He said the whole hydraulic system has been reworked for this new model. He also conceded that years prior, the JD 50D (and Hitachi) were kicking their rears performance wise in the 6 ton class easily, but that this year, they had the 50D killer coming out and one would be in his lot next week and on my site shortly thereafter for a demo. I am open to this idea/class of machine because I could sell/trade my existing machine and wouldn't need to pay someone to haul for me whenever I had a job to do elsewhere. Also, they (CAT) now has an angling back fill blade as well as auxiliary hydraulics controlled from the joystick as well as the the boom angle from the other joystick. The 305 and the 50D are VERY similar on paper, and I am a JD fanboy, but the added options that CAT is putting in their machine may make me CAT fanboy...who knows. I am almost scared to ask for opinions regarding the 305's...perhaps I could start a new thread about the 305 so I can get a bit more education about quarries and where/who gets the stone.

Gravel Rat
03-04-2006, 09:59 PM
Back on topic

Why are you going with a small machine ?

You had a 16 ton machine now your going to a 5 ton machine about the size of a 161 Kubota. If you want to do general excavating and digging basements you will be doubling the time of the jobs going to such a small machine.

For regular construction work you should be looking at minimum 312 Cat or the better size a 314 LCR.

When basements and house preparation a 16 ton machine minimum you need to beable to have the reach and lifting power. With your guys soft easy digging soil you need something with good size buckets.

Trying to dig decent sized basements with a 5 ton mini is like trying to put out a house fire by urinating on it.

Squizzy246B
03-04-2006, 10:55 PM
Hey Doug, I couldn't actually see where you stated you were going to dig basements..are you?

We have run the KX 161-3 for nearly 3 years now and its a real handy sized machine when you only have one excavator. In the right hands it can dig a decent sized swimming pool in 1/2 day no problem. Its big enough to load our 9 tonne tipper and small enough to get into most backyards. It can run a breaker that capable of doing some serious work. However, reading back, it seems you need a larger machine (for whatever reasons) or that really your question might be "what size"? not what colour.

We will have to wait and see what the 305C brings. Hope its not all talk.

Your dealer is correct though in one aspect. Hitachi set a performance standard that had the others running to catch up for a number of years. I firmly believe that if it wasn't for some of the asian manufacturer's we would still be sitting on vinyl covered boards without cabs, A/C and the rest of the comforts. Cat and Deere certainly needed the hurry up in that regard.

thepawnshop
03-04-2006, 11:04 PM
Hell, I dug the last one with the 35 D..which is only a 4 ton machine. Of course it did take quite a while...

The thing with a smaller machine is that you can do so many more things around a homesite...dig water & sewer lines, bury drain tile, dig footers and piers, etc. We (myself and the salesman) agree that it may be in my best interest to get a machine a bit larger than what I have now and rent the "big boys" when necessary. I am ok with that.

Now if we start a new subdivision once I complete the one I am in now, which still has 8 lots left, then I will be able to justify buying a new 15+ ton machine. In retrospect, though I would LOVE to have a larger machine now, I have to weigh it against potential hours of usage and the numbers just don't work. I own two pawnshops as well as a construction company so my time in the field excavating is limited, making the numbers work even more difficult. Honestly, my desire for equipment is as much about playing in the dirt as it is about making money...I love excavating becasue it is fun...but I still want/need to make money doing it. There is no way I can keep a 160 size machine busy right now because I really don't want to hire an operator. It has been my experience that "operators" generally don't take care of teh equipment like owners do.

Squizz...to clarify..I really just WANTED/WANT a larger machine. I don't really need one. But after renting and demoing a couple, I wanted one even more. Ultimately though, I think the voice of reason has spoken and as I said before, I am going to need to start another development to justify that kind of expense.

Gravel Rat
03-04-2006, 11:29 PM
There isn't anything wrong with the 161 size machines they are handy as h*ll and very versitile.

As for operators that abuse equipement are sacked. If you work for a excavation contractor in my area you break the machine you fix it. Operators that are hard on machines are hitting the road and it doesn't take long for the word to spread between the contractors that Tommy is a bad operator no work for Tommy.

I would try the 161 Kubota its a proven perfomer its 1000lbs heavier and you will get the machine for a cheaper price.

Scag48
03-05-2006, 02:12 AM
Doug, fly me out there for the summer, I'm looking for an operating job this summer. Hahaha. I'll run your big 'un excavator!

tylermckee
03-05-2006, 03:47 AM
how big are the houses you dig for? How deep do you have to dig, on average? How long does it take to dig a basement with a small machine? lot siize? what are the setbacks?

you mentioned starting another development, im assuming you have someone else come in and develope the place?

thepawnshop
03-05-2006, 07:31 AM
The subdivision I am in now already had the road and utilities installed. Each lot had/has to be cleared and basements cut into hillsides. The houses are no more than 50w x 34d. The last 4 foundations I dug with a JD 160 (which is what go t me hot to trot for a bigger machine) and before that, I dug one with my 35D. On the one I dug with the small machine, we didn't run into any rock...the last four, I pulled out rocks the size a small cars! I couldn't pick em up with the 160, but I could dig around them and push them. Still, with only 8 more foundations, I can not justify the larger machine, no matter how bad I want it...But if say I have to dig 30 more basements, then we are talking!

I do have a contractor friend who excavates as his only job and developing subdivisions is what he does day in and day out. SO I will have him come in and install all the utilities and cut in the road and perhaps do a rough grade, but the rest would be on me. He has track loaders, VERY LARGE excavators, excavators with hammers (which we did have to use on this site for a strom drain we had to install...not cheap!) and any other machine necessary to get the job done.

Mark my words, will have the big toys in my stable as soon as the opportunity presents itself, but for the time being, I better stay on the porch with the pups and let the big dogs run. So...I guess I will be looking hard at that CAT/JD comparison in the 10-12,000 lb categary a bit harder. As for Kubota, it really does come down to dealer support, and we don't have a kubota dealer within an hour of where I am at, but CAT and JD are very close, have great reputations service wise, and hold a really good resale.

Squizzy246B
03-05-2006, 07:53 AM
Squizz...to clarify..I really just WANTED/WANT a larger machine. I don't really need one. But after renting and demoing a couple, I wanted one even more. Ultimately though, I think the voice of reason has spoken and as I said before, I am going to need to start another development to justify that kind of expense.

Thats a healthy enough afflication:) that some of us suffer from. My contention with the bigger machines comes with transporting costs. We can shoe horn the 161 into the dump body of the Mitsi and stay on two axles whilst sneaking under the max height...just. There's a pic on this page somewhere:

http://www.lawnsite.com/showthread.php?t=125808&page=2&highlight=challenge

Squizzy246B
03-05-2006, 08:25 AM
Doug, I was just going back through some stuff from when we were deliberating over the purchase of the 246, the 248B and the 301.8. Basically, if the machine had to work more than 1 week in a month to make its total repayment we couldn't really justify the purchase. That included the finance, insurance, maintenance, everything, the whole kit and kaboodle and we have some pretty extensive replacement plans for tracks an tyres etc.

They all come in easily under the week. Thats the way we looked at it anyway. The machines need to work less than 12 weeks in a year to meet all the costs. Anything after that is profit less fuel.

To be honest, with our setup and the wide variety of work we do the ideal setup would be the 1.8 and 304 and 308 sized machines..but that may be dreamworld...or wally world:) . I'll say again the KX 161 at 12,000lbs is a really universal size round a building site. Around that 12 to 14K lb size there really is only Hitachi and Kubota. We just busted out a concrete swimming pool that should have been done with 40K odd lb machine. It can be done.

Hope this helps.

qps
03-05-2006, 08:28 AM
Thats a healthy enough afflication:) that some of us suffer from. My contention with the bigger machines comes with transporting costs. We can shoe horn the 161 into the dump body of the Mitsi and stay on two axles whilst sneaking under the max height...just. There's a pic on this page somewhere:

http://www.lawnsite.com/showthread.php?t=125808&page=2&highlight=challenge

First time I seen those pics sqizz, nick work...but how in the heck do you get the kubota in the back of that truck:confused:

Squizzy246B
03-05-2006, 08:32 AM
First time I seen those pics sqizz, nick work...but how in the heck do you get the kubota in the back of that truck:confused:

C,mon, a girl like me has to have some secrets:rolleyes: :laugh: :laugh: Actually we just pick it up with the 248 and push it in..being a Cat Skid can lift 12,000lbs an all

RockSet N' Grade
03-05-2006, 08:56 AM
You guys have hit on alot of good points. I run excavators and run Gehl and John Deere. My favorite machine is a Gehl 802 which I bought used with 3,000 hours.
Depending on your area, be sure to check out service and repair. Around here, Deere and Gehl excell......the Cat folks won't even return your calls unless your're a big player and although Komatsu is a great machine they don't have product support.
When a machine is down, its not making money and it needs to be fixed now! "Service" is a major factor in purchase that must be taken into account....talk with operators and check out their experiences with the different brands.
Whatever you get, grease your machine religiously. We use Lincoln 12 volt grease guns.....alot easier and faster than hand pump and well worth the money. Cheapest thing you got going for you with big equipment is good greasing and keeping your filters changed regularly.

qps
03-05-2006, 09:31 AM
C,mon, a girl like me has to have some secrets:rolleyes: :laugh: :laugh: Actually we just pick it up with the 248 and push it in..being a Cat Skid can lift 12,000lbs an all

You need to change you avatar...or whatever its called...looks like your passed out,sleeping on a dead cat....it's starting to freak me out...;)

Squizzy246B
03-05-2006, 09:52 AM
You need to change you avatar...or whatever its called...looks like your passed out,sleeping on a dead cat....it's starting to freak me out...;)

There, hows that?? and it wasn't a Cat...I hate Cats....it was a Wombat and yes it was dead. (Wombat: - Eats, roots, shoots and leaves)..I don't think you are taking this thread seriously Tim.

tylermckee
03-05-2006, 11:22 AM
The subdivision I am in now already had the road and utilities installed. Each lot had/has to be cleared and basements cut into hillsides. The houses are no more than 50w x 34d. The last 4 foundations I dug with a JD 160 (which is what go t me hot to trot for a bigger machine) and before that, I dug one with my 35D. On the one I dug with the small machine, we didn't run into any rock...the last four, I pulled out rocks the size a small cars! I couldn't pick em up with the 160, but I could dig around them and push them. Still, with only 8 more foundations, I can not justify the larger machine, no matter how bad I want it...But if say I have to dig 30 more basements, then we are talking!

I do have a contractor friend who excavates as his only job and developing subdivisions is what he does day in and day out. SO I will have him come in and install all the utilities and cut in the road and perhaps do a rough grade, but the rest would be on me. He has track loaders, VERY LARGE excavators, excavators with hammers (which we did have to use on this site for a strom drain we had to install...not cheap!) and any other machine necessary to get the job done.

Mark my words, will have the big toys in my stable as soon as the opportunity presents itself, but for the time being, I better stay on the porch with the pups and let the big dogs run. So...I guess I will be looking hard at that CAT/JD comparison in the 10-12,000 lb categary a bit harder. As for Kubota, it really does come down to dealer support, and we don't have a kubota dealer within an hour of where I am at, but CAT and JD are very close, have great reputations service wise, and hold a really good resale.
Well hell if thats all you need to do that 308 seems like it would do just fine, then later on if that other development opens up i would look into a bigger machine and keeping the 308 for getting into those tight places.

Gravel Rat
03-05-2006, 03:31 PM
I have a idea how Squizzy gets the 161 into the dump box I'am not going to say anything :laugh:

What are you worried about the dealer only being a hour away all the dealers for us is minimum 4 hours away. If the equipment is 30 miles up one of the inlets here having a service guy come would take 8 hours.

If your buying a brandnew machine you shouldn't have to see the dealer for atleast a year. When we want parts from a dealer phone them put them on a courier and they are here the next day.

Any parts that need replacing on a regular basis are bought in bulk like oil filters etc. The one contractor here that has the 161 Kubota its only seen dealer service for a few oil changes and check ups otherwise its been the most reliable machine.

To be exact the Kubota dealer is 108 miles away (Map Quest) most of the equipment dealers are the same.

thepawnshop
03-05-2006, 07:05 PM
GR, the reason I dont want a dealer over an hour away is well, because I am lazy. I have worked hard to be in the position I am in both financially and in life and if my only choices to save me time are JD or CAT, I think I am in good shape. Hey, at least I'm honest. Hell the closest dealer of the bunch is Hitachi. Here in Roanoke, VA we are very fortunate...withing a 30 mile radius we have: JD, CAT, Hitachi, Bobcat, Case, Kobelco and New holland dealers...makes shopping for a deal A LOT easier!

But seriously, it sucks that you have to go 4 hours for service, but that tranlates to an 8 hour round trip. I have much better things to do with my time than spend whole days moving equipment to get serviced. OF course, I have been known to send a $20 an hour operator to take one of my machines in...but that is when I am totally tied up at one of my other businesses (which I have been for the last 8 weeks...). Also, in the first year, you should have 2 trips to the dealer...the 100 hour and the 250 hour visits.

Gravel Rat
03-05-2006, 09:01 PM
The service man and representives come to us machines don't go to the dealer it costs way too much in trucking. The dealers have F-450 and F-550 service trucks they come to the job site or to the shop. For a contractor to ship or take their own excavator to the dealer say a 160 Deere is minimum 1000 dollars. A 200 size machine that has to go on a regular lowbed your looking at 2000 dollars or more.

The Komatsu mechanics in this area will strip a machine down in your yard and haul back to their shop the parts they need. Same with the Hitachi and Deere dealers they both have service trucks. The only time a machine will get trucked to a dealer is if its a major like taking the house off the undercarriage.

If your dealer makes you take your machine to them they really have you bent over then they should come to you. When you pay for service they come to you if not tell them to stick up their you know where.

Like I said its easy enough to have filters shipped to you mainly OEM oil filters most contractors buy 15-20 at a time. Other parts from the dealer is cheap enough to ship. Other parts like hydraulic hoses we just have them made locally and if its a repair we can't do hire a local diesel mechanic its fast and cheaper.

I don't think you would be disapointed with the 161 Kubota if that is the size of machine your after. The one that works in this area has seen some pretty severe conditions its working in mud up to the house or on 45 degree plus slopes. The buckets which are CWS quick connects the 161 has cracked the steel around the lugging form digging the hard rock.

thepawnshop
03-05-2006, 09:35 PM
they do service in the field here as well, but it is cheaper in the shop from what I am told. they may be feeding me B.S., but who knows. So you like the Kubota and are quite passionate about it I see. Squizz seems to be a fan as well....I guess I may look at it a bit closer. Thanks for all the info, GR!

Wait...I REALLY need zero tailswing...that really kills the Kubota.

Gravel Rat
03-05-2006, 09:58 PM
The reason why I like the 161 is I have seen what one can do its a good little machine. Everybody has the same complaint about the travel pedals being awkward.

The machine is good on fuel the one I got to use would go all day on a tank of fuel. The Kubota engines are really reliable never had any problems with them.

Kubota has been building small equipment for years look at the good reputation their farm tractors have.

thepawnshop
03-05-2006, 11:12 PM
I had hear somewhere that Kubota has the controls for the auxiliary hydraulics on their joystick as standard equipment...is that true? CAT just started offering it with their larger "C" class minis, as well as the angled blade, which is very interesting to me.

Squizzy246B
03-05-2006, 11:38 PM
Wait...I REALLY need zero tailswing...that really kills the Kubota.

The KX 161-3 is zero tail swing. Our 2003 machine has the aux control on the foot pedal. BTW the travel pedals on the Kubota are useless..well close to it anyway, we just do it by hand, elbow..or chin. The Kubota has an angle blade available. I have got to tell you that you need to run the Kubota side by side with a Cat or Hitachi to see how you feel about the performance. The Kubota is set up relatively "conservative" I assume for durability reasons. If you want to dig like Grandpa's threshing machine look at something else. The Kubota is solid, reliable and relatively easy to service. Its a good owner/operator investment but the KX 121's around here in hire fleets fair less well and generally have the hydraulics cranked to get them to perform.

Scag48
03-05-2006, 11:39 PM
Yes, Kubota does have the aux. hydraulic control on the joystick, where it should be! It cost us $2K to have it moved from the floor to the joystick of our 303, that was money well spent. The floor control is fine if you're running a breaker, but using a thumb all day and having to use the foot pedal pissed me off after a while.

thepawnshop
03-05-2006, 11:51 PM
Seems to me trying to use the foot pedal to run a thumb COULD be alot like rubbing your belly while patting your head...it can be done with practice, but it isn't natural.

Scag, that is one thing that has botheredme about CAT...they can get you anything you want...but you better beleive you are going to pay for it. After spending some time on the Kubota site, I am going to call the dealer tomorrow. Hell he is only 50 miles away and its in my old hometown. May be worth a trip down there just to visit old friends. I seriously doubt he could help me with my 35D, but you never know. I have to get out of that before I get into another machine. I don't mind carrying both payments for a few months, but I would rather not.

When buying a new machine, nothing ever seems cut and dry...they all have good points and bad points. The ONLY bad point I can find with the Kubota is the 4 1/2 inch overhang...6 tons is a good all around contractor machine. Hell who knows what I may end up...a Yanmar??!?! (Though I am sure they are excellent machines, I seriously doubt a Yanmar is in my future).

tylermckee
03-06-2006, 12:19 AM
I put a couple hundred hours on a new vio35 and it was a good machine. like all the mini's i have operated the travel pedals were garbage, and it takes a while to get used to the foot operated thumb but you get used to it. never skipped a beat with me beating on it for 10 hours a day. so if the bigger yanmar machines are anything like the 8K# vio35 i wouldnt hesitate to buy one. Our yanmar dealer was telling me that yanmar and deere are the same, like hitachi and deere.

Squizzy246B
03-06-2006, 12:19 AM
When buying a new machine, nothing ever seems cut and dry...they all have good points and bad points. The ONLY bad point I can find with the Kubota is the 4 1/2 inch overhang...6 tons is a good all around contractor machine. Hell who knows what I may end up...a Yanmar??!?! (Though I am sure they are excellent machines, I seriously doubt a Yanmar is in my future).

My Dad used to say "better your sister in a whorehouse than your brother on a Yanmar" Lol :rolleyes: :rolleyes:

Dirty Water
03-06-2006, 12:29 AM
My Dad used to say "better your sister in a whorehouse than your brother on a Yanmar" Lol :rolleyes: :rolleyes:

We had a tired old rental Yanmar on a large project...I'd have to agree with your dad on that one. Backhoe controls on a ex, and about 2' of slop travel when you let go of the stick.

http://www.beveragetractor.com/images/used_construcequip/excavators/Yanmar-B3.jpg

Scag48
03-06-2006, 01:14 AM
Doug, you're right. With Cat, you get what you want, but it does cost money. Either way, we got our machine how we wanted, when we wanted, and for a price we wanted. We couldn't negotiate prices on the thumb control relocation, but we did get our buckets and thumb for cheap.

ksss
03-06-2006, 01:41 AM
If your looking at 12K machines. Check out the Takeuchi TB53. Its a good excavator. Zero swing front and back. It specs very well. I've been happy with mine.

Gravel Rat
03-06-2006, 02:12 AM
Yes the thumb control on the floor is a PITA the Kubota 161 I ran had it on the floor and the 690 Deere I ran had it on the floor but the rest of the machines is on the stick.

The floor pedal is geared more towards the breaker as you can prop your foot against the pedal and push for hours on end poking at rock.

I wish there was a Takeuchi dealer closer for us out here in B.C. the closest dealer is in Alberta which is too far to get a machine.

There are a few Yanmars around and they do have the backhoe sticks I personally get more tired running a backoe than I do a excavator nothing beats excavator controls.

A little off topic but you could tell what operators used to run old Case backhoes with the swing pedals as the crotch of their jeans is either ripped open or been sewn back together :laugh:

Squizzy246B
03-06-2006, 03:56 AM
We had a tired old rental Yanmar on a large project...I'd have to agree with your dad on that one. Backhoe controls on a ex, and about 2' of slop travel when you let go of the stick.


A beast for sure:)

qps
03-06-2006, 07:22 AM
I had hear somewhere that Kubota has the controls for the auxiliary hydraulics on their joystick as standard equipment...is that true? CAT just started offering it with their larger "C" class minis, as well as the angled blade, which is very interesting to me.

Yes the 06 mini's have controls already on the joysticks....waiting on a c304cr..on a boat somewhere;)

thepawnshop
03-06-2006, 07:56 AM
I was told by my local CAT guy that the new "C" series mini's would be on his lot this week.

I have seen alot of good things about the Takeuchi's...but unfortunately the nearest delaer is 4 hours away and I am not going that far for a mchine no matter how nice.

Gravel Rat
03-06-2006, 01:57 PM
Thats it 4 hours the nearest Takeuchi dealer for us is a 4 day drive away :laugh: