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View Full Version : Suggestions on new skid steer(S300 or simliar)


cbmoore
08-15-2006, 02:13 PM
I am looking at purchasing a new skidsteer loader. it will be used to clear ~20 arces of underbrush and small pine trees and then get the land ready for pasture. I am looking for 1 machine that can do the most work. I know an excavator would be better to remove the trees, but I don't care if it takes alittle longer with one machine.

I am looking at a bobcat S300 gold package, standard controls, high flow, with steel tracks,
rotary cutter, root grapple.

I would like to get opinions on this set up as compared to other brands, sizes of machines,etc... I can afford the price of a tracked machine.
I would like to eventually find a used mulching attachment to clear the thicker trees out.

Thanks,
Brian Moore
Western NC

Qualey
08-15-2006, 06:55 PM
Steel tracks SUCK. Get a track machine if cost is not a limiting factor, even if it is a Bobcat:)

ksss
08-15-2006, 08:09 PM
I don't have any complaints about steel tracks and since it doesn't sound like this is a commercial operation I don't think I would spend the money on a tracked machine. We run the CASE 95XT with high flow cab AC and ride control. They can do a large amount work. You may want to demo one and see what you think. A 90XT or 450 same machine 450 is the latest version would also be fine for what your doing. The 450 is a radial lift the 95XT or 465 is a vertical lift machine same machine other than lift geometery. Extremely well built, they may be a little over built for what sounds like a hobby farmer.

cbmoore
08-15-2006, 10:43 PM
How does the bobcat compare to a Cat or Case in quality of design/build ability to do heavy work and cost.
The machine will be for personal use, but I do use the equipment as designed and sometimes beyond the design limits.

Thanks,
Brian Moore

cddva
08-15-2006, 11:24 PM
Are you in the mountains of Western NC? If you're going to be working on sloped terrain you may want to give more consideration to a track machine IMHO.

ksss
08-15-2006, 11:37 PM
As far as cost the 465/95XT will be more money. CAT does not make a 3000 plus R.O.C. machine until you get in the tracked machines. If your talking Bobcat and CASE you will find the CASE will be more heavy duty, more power higher ROC. It would be highly unlikely that you will be able to push this machine beyond its engineered limits. The cab in the bobcat is better. The CASE cab has been improved on the 400 series but the cab on the Bobcat is still better. For the type of work your doing either machine would do fine. I would demo both and see which you prefer.

cbmoore
08-15-2006, 11:57 PM
Thanks for all the help.

Brian Moore

Scag48
08-16-2006, 12:43 AM
CAT does not make a 3000 plus R.O.C. machine until you get in the tracked machines.

This is a huge bummer, but I gotta tell ya man, even though I love our Cat service, if CASE service is worth half of what my Cat service is and we need a 3,000 ROC skid steer and CASE releases a good pilot control system, I'd look into it. Then I'd drive to Idaho and buy you a beer:drinkup:

ksss
08-16-2006, 01:42 AM
I would be happy to drink it. We'll invite qps from Indy after he gets himself a CASE track machine and will let him buy all the beer.:drinkup:

Scag48
08-16-2006, 04:11 AM
When the day comes to replace our 216, it's going to be a tough decision, our service is just too good from Cat. But, that doesn't pay the bills, CASE will definately be in the running for a replacement, you have my word on that. I'll at least give them a shot to bring me a demo and see how they size up.

QPS is just mad because his 304CCR hasn't shown up yet and his 257 is in and out of the shop. Just think of it this way, it could be worse, you could have a basically new 312 sold out from under you (thanks dad...):laugh: :laugh:

AWJ Services
08-16-2006, 05:49 PM
I would personally step back too the S250 machine.

For Grading and pushing I feel more confident in the conventional lifting arms for durability.

I personally would never own a wheeled machine for what you are doing.
The Bobcat tracked machines stink for durability.

Takeuchi has the best tracked machine with pilot controls.

Mike33
08-16-2006, 10:26 PM
I have a bobcat 185 with steel tracks and i like them. yes we take them on and off depending on job, not a problem. We can remove them in 10 minutes and install in 15 or less. I have been in a few cases and did not like the cab you could not see very well.
Mike

tdusek
08-21-2006, 01:04 PM
Has anyone looked at Gehl? The 7810E just came out and looks very promising. 3850 lift, 99hp, 41 GPM, large cab.

http://www.gehl.com/const/Product_Detail/prodpgdt_7810E.html

I am seriously looking at it, I think I will demo it first.

cbmoore
08-21-2006, 01:22 PM
AWJ,
Can you tell me your experiences with the Bobcat track loaders. What is not as durable or well made. I have no experience with any track machine. I have ran alot of hours in an S185 skid steer and no problems.
I would like to have as much info as I can before I spend any of my money.

Thanks,
Brian Moore

AWJ Services
08-21-2006, 03:52 PM
The wheel motors have given them tons of trouble.
I have several people how have repetitive failures every 500 too 800 hours.
The repair is several grand per side.
The factory dealer here who sells in this area will not replace them under warranty till they completely die.
Normally they give intermittent trouble first of randomly they will stop pulling.

Most have traded out of them when financially possible or when the extended warranty expires.

Bobcat makes a good machine .They say they have the wheel motor problem fixed.

I prefer Pilot controls and do not care for the suspended track machine.

Only one choice out there right now.

cbmoore
08-21-2006, 09:46 PM
Thanks for the information. We tested a T300 on the dealer lot. I thought it was a ruff ride on hard ground and it would spin the tracks instead of digging into the dirt pill. The S300 would dig better in hard ground and for $20+K less.
I can't see how the difference in upfront cost and maintance can be out weighed by the ability of the track machine. Our S185 with steel tracks will go any where we need to hills, mud, etc.. I will say that mud and hills combined will stop the machine.

Thanks,
Brian Moore

cddva
08-21-2006, 10:49 PM
I just received a dvd today from ASV for the new SR-80. It focused on traction, suspension and stability of the machine. They had a Bobcat T250, Takeuchi TL140, Case 450??, JD 332 and NH?? machines, all about the same horsepower rating and all track machines. It showed various demonstrations of hill climbing, mud conditions, crossing an apex of a hill and riding over small logs/stone (suspension) and ground clearance demo. As pointed out in the dvd all the others with exception of Takeuchi are skid steer chasis', which they say makes the machines less stable due to design issues (location of machine Cg versus track layout.......CAT machines were not included in comparison for obvious reasons). It was rather surprising to me to see some of what the other machines couldn't do or do very well as compared with the ASV. None of the other machines could climb a soft steep bank (no load in bucket). The Bobcat got stuck in the mud and the ASV had to pull it out. Granted, it was all about pointing out the good of the ASV and not so good of the others. While I'm sure some of the others can lift more and do have their good points, it still seems that a machine that's not as stable and gives a rougher ride would be harder to spend a day working in and it may even negate some of the lifting capacity if it can't traverse over hills/slopes, mud or rough ground well with a load.
Now for the disclaimer....I own an RC-50 and I've never operated any other skid or track loader (this was my entry into construction equipment) so I'm not pretending to speak as an authority. Also, I know you have to take "advertising ads" with a grain of salt. I'm sure in the end equipment choice still comes down to what type of work will it be used for most and which machine does that work best for the money (plus dealer support & service). But, for the type of work you described (land clearing on sloped terrain) it would seem like alot of the attributes shown in this dvd would be important to you. Rather than stopping at demoing a T300 you may want to give the ASV a test ride, unless you have no dealer/support in your area. You may be able to request this dvd on the ASV website for your own take on it. Just my 2 cents. Now, let the barrage of rebuttals rain down on me! :laugh:

ksss
08-21-2006, 11:14 PM
It is not hard to make a DVD making the most of your strong points while avoiding your weak points. Running down the competition is a relatively easy thing to do on film. Deere has done the same thing. They did it when they released their first skid steers and they have done it with their tracked machines. Certainly ASV can do things others cannot. I am sure each of the OEMs listed could build a DVD showing how their machine excels at certain tasks while the competetion fails. The problem with ASV/CAT has been durability issues with the suspended track. What the DVD does not show is the cost of maintaining each of the different tracked machines in their DVD. If they had done that you would see that that the cost of the suspended track system far exceeds the nonsuspended units. If your getting more from your ASV to justify the added costs then perhaps its worth it. I would bet there are few guys out there that are utilizing their ASV in a way that no other tracked machine could follow.

Scag48
08-21-2006, 11:34 PM
I'm still unsure as to why everyone is stuck on tracked units. From someone who has had both, I still prefer wheeled machines. Cheap to maintain, no worries that you're ruining a $4K track, no cleaning out at the end of the day. I think a lot of guys put it into their minds that a wheeled machine simply won't do. Unless you're working where you really need that extra traction 80% of the machine's operating time, don't buy one, you're throwing away $15K. We had plenty of jobs that we used our 277B where the 216 physically wouldn't go, due to traction, not because of size and/or horsepower. In the sandy soil we have here, pushing a pile really takes some bite and that's where our 277 really stood out. In the end, we still didn't need it. More often than not, a wheeled machine with tracks is just as effective. I'm actually opting for tracks on our next skid steer.

ksss
08-22-2006, 12:06 AM
I follow the same thinking as Scag. Do I believe that tracks have a place? Yes I do. Does that mean that everybody that owns a skid steer should have tracks ? No I don't. When I came back from AZ this winter after running everyones tracked machines and the new prototype CASE machines, I was impressed with what these machines could do. However as I have worked through the year this year, I would have been hard pressed to properly use a tracked machine where it belonged to maximize productivity and track longevity. We had a wet Spring and so for about a month it would have been great. After that, the added track advantage would have been nonexistant. The wheeled machines may not be as sexy as the tracked machines but at the end of the day, what is sexy to me is high productivity and low upkeep costs, because that means I am making money and keeping more of it

Scag48
08-22-2006, 03:51 AM
KSSS, you're right on man. Productivity is sexy. From someone who used the hell out of our 277 when we had it (just sold it today, actually) there really was no better machine for what we were using it for. But, now that the job is over and we won't be taking on any more orchard removals, having a tracked machine just doesn't appeal to us. Sure we'd love to keep it, but that doesn't pay the bills. The machine really performed well pushing small apple trees into piles so our 312 could stack and burn them. With our sandy soil we needed all the traction we could get. Our whole intent on buying the 277 was for that task alone, then we realized we could use it on our landscape sites as well. But as it turns out, I can get along just fine without a dedicated track machine for our landscape jobs. About the only thing I'll miss about that machine was the horsepower and lift capacity, that's it. Needless to say, great machine, but not for our needs and I'm sad to see it go.

tdusek
08-22-2006, 07:20 AM
I have run a T190, my BIGGEST complaint with operating is cold weather, no matter how much I cleaned at the end of the day. I was frozen in the morning. I feel that is with all track machines.

However, wheeled skid steers are great until mud gets involved. I have been stuck in mud or spinning a lot in it with only wheels. All wheeled skid steers need tracks over tires unless it is only driven on a hard surface.

Tracks: Steel are durable and protect the tires etc. Rubber tracks seem cool but I have not had any experiance with them.

I would take a long look at the Loegering VTS system, I know it is a lot of money, but that track system brings the track out like 8 inches farther forward than Bobcat tracks, increasing your tipping and stability. I have dumped a bucket load into a dump truck on uneven ground and had the machine tip and ended up facing the ground while still in the machine. Pretty scary. Anyway that is my 2 cents.

Think of it this way, add $7.00 to your hourly rate for 1 year at 40 hours a week and you'll make up the 15K.

Scag48
08-22-2006, 02:10 PM
The VTS system looks really cool, but is really overpriced. I'm sure it works well, but for that kind of money you're better of buying a dedicated track machine, even though it gives you the ability to take the tracks off and put wheels back on, there wouldn't be any real point in doing so.

tdusek
08-22-2006, 06:29 PM
Like I posted in my last one, Cold weather will freeze up the tracks.

Has anyone found out how to keep the tracks from freezing in winter besides power washing them out at 15 degrees or a heated garage?

Winter I would put the tires back on.

The rubber tracks get aweful traction in snow.

Scag48
08-22-2006, 07:10 PM
Hmm, in that case, if you had VTS you could use that in the summer, then swap to tires with steel OTTs in the winter for the ultimate setup. I think the steel OTTs are fairly decent in snow, then you could have the best traction in all conditions.

janb
08-22-2006, 08:41 PM
Like I posted in my last one, Cold weather will freeze up the tracks.

Has anyone found out how to keep the tracks from freezing in winter besides power washing them out at 15 degrees or a heated garage?



in the olden days (steel tracked crawlers) ... and now... I always park on clean wood planks at end of day (flip 'em over everyday) to ease the freezing issue

mrusk
08-22-2006, 09:12 PM
I have had my cat 246b for 4 or 5 months now and 98 operating hours. Before i bought it, i was also looking at tracked machines, but just couldn't afford them. There has only been 1 job where i wish i had a tracked unit and that was working on a steep hill after a week of rain.

For what i do, i think the wheeled unit was the way to go. I operating in some tight areas where i have to make 180 degree turns to get where i need to go. I also am also running on and off pavement to move materials.

Sure tracked machines tear up the grass less. But on the job i am on i brought in 100 yards of fill, 50 yards of top soil, 45 yards of mulch, 55 tons of qp, etc, etc. No matter what machine you use, moving that much material will rut stuff up.

I am 100% pleased with my purchuse!

start2finish
08-22-2006, 10:11 PM
I would personally step back too the S250 machine.

For Grading and pushing I feel more confident in the conventional lifting arms for durability.

I personally would never own a wheeled machine for what you are doing.
The Bobcat tracked machines stink for durability.

Takeuchi has the best tracked machine with pilot controls.


The S250 has the vertical lift pattern identical to the S300

When you go to the T machines the lift pattern changes from T300 to T250

I own a S250, I am sure of this

dozerman21
08-22-2006, 11:56 PM
I would stay away from the VTS system. Like stated earlier, they're pricey and also complex. I know someone with a Case 95XT that burned up 3 hydraulic pumps in less than a year after running those. Evidently, they are heavy to spin and once you get them packed with mud it really works that drivetrain.

As far as track machines vs skid steers, it all depends on how you will be using them. If your running on dirt/sand/mud 90% of the time, track machines IMO are the way to go. It's not just for traction. They are less bouncy, they grade better, float better, and push better than skid steers. If you're on and off pavement, running on debris, or traction isn't a concern, then skid steers are the way to go. It really just comes down to what your using it for.

I prefer a vertical lift machine because I work in tight places sometimes, and they're also better for loading trucks. I don't know that a radius lift is any stonger than the vertical. I've pushed and dug with each and they both seem as strong as the other. Just my $0.2.

AWJ Services
08-23-2006, 12:16 PM
The S250 has the vertical lift pattern identical to the S300

I guess I am thinking of the S220.


I prefer a vertical lift machine because I work in tight places sometimes, and they're also better for loading trucks. I don't know that a radius lift is any stonger than the vertical. I've pushed and dug with each and they both seem as strong as the other. Just my $0.2.

I meant more as a wear standpoint.
Less pivot points.

Tigerotor77W
08-23-2006, 01:57 PM
I guess I am thinking of the S220.




I meant more as a wear standpoint.
Less pivot points.


Mechanically, that makes sense. What about the Case 90XT/450, though? It's a brute of a SSL and yet has more points than a vertical-lift machine.

ksss
08-27-2006, 10:04 PM
The 450 does more grease points. However, the majority of those are due to the mounting the tilt cylinders and not due to structural design. This differs from a vertical lift machine that has additional grease points at the linkage in the rear tower (if so equipped). It is still a radial lift machine with essential one grease point in the upper tower. The remainder grease the tilt cylinder mechanism, and are very low wear compared to the main structural grease points. One day I would like to own a 450. I just wish they had a higher lift capacity, at least around 2800 ROC. They are considerably less expensive than a 465 with all the capability except the lift and reach.