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Planet Landscaping
09-29-2006, 09:43 AM
Is the Cat 247 b the ultimate 4 season machine that it appears to be????????????????? Worried about the tracks????????????// Sweet machine,BUT Will it hold up?????????? Help me spend my money:dizzy: :laugh:

Digdeep
09-29-2006, 06:35 PM
I haven't posted in a while since school got completely underway this month. It's amazing how middle school students can run you out of energy! makes spending a day in a machine a walk in the park.

Planet...I can't speak specifically for the 247 since I own an RC50. I demoed the 247 before I bought the ASV machine and I bought the RC50 because it felt more balanced front to rear (247 is a skid on ASVs undercarriage) and it was much heavier than the RC50 by about 1500lbs. I live in Wisconsin and use that machine to excavate, landscape, load trucks, push snow....you get the idea. I have found it to be so much more versatile than any skid steer I have ever sold or used (I also own a Bobcat skid). You just can't beat it for all around productivity. The operating costs are higher than a skid, however, the productivity I get has far outweighed the cost by an exponential amount. I now have over 1,000 hours on my tracks and feel like I have 30-50% track life left with no problem. I was extremely pleased with how it works removing snow. It's fast, has plenty of traction, and I can push up snow piles that a skid wouldn't come close to. I'm a big big proponent of choosing the machine that best fits your needs...from a dealer you are comfortable with. I would recommend that you try both the ASV and the 247 to see the differences for yourself. I sold the Bobcat tracked machines and I'm not swayed by their claims of being better than the ASV (both by experience selling them and dealing with customers who have bought them). Besides, I just can't take the beating that the rigid machines give the operator. I can only imagine that that pounding would have some sort of a health impact down the road if I made my living in a machine for 10 hours a day over 10-15 years. Best of luck with your choice.

Planet Landscaping
09-29-2006, 07:11 PM
THANKS, I am choosing between the 247 and 257 cat. I am leaning toward the 247. Both R SWEET.

RockSet N' Grade
09-29-2006, 07:55 PM
Planet.....go to ironplanet.com and see what a used CAT goes for and read the blurbs on machines with 300-1000 hours on them.......that may help you make a decision as far as "ultimate machine" is concerned.

Scag48
09-30-2006, 12:56 AM
Why not just get a skid and save yourself thousands. When researching the purchase of a tracked machine, one must sit down and figure out the percentage of time the tracks are absolutely necessary.

Planet Landscaping
10-01-2006, 11:24 AM
Over nice lawns to work is possible,No? Snow? Gotta be awesome. Harley rake???? Should work well,No? We have wheled Kubotas too. Am I making a 40k mistake????????????????????*trucewhiteflag*

RockSet N' Grade
10-01-2006, 11:49 AM
Don't know if you are making a 40K "mistake". For guys getting into this, there is an "allure" to getting a new piece of iron......it's sexy, it's easy to do, it feel's good......but those monthly payments keep coming no matter what- whether you have work, whether it is in the shop being repaired....it is a real cost that most do not fully realize until they are in pretty deep. A skid is a necessary item for most, just be smart about it.......
I think I would rent or demo a machine until I was so busy ( 5 days a week/10 hr. days) and had a back-log of work signed up that I could justify a machine purchase.
Then I would start really looking at used machines and become familiar with them ( example: gehl 4640 turbo w/100 hrs., power tach, cab/heat, two buckets for $21,575) and then make a decision as to whether a new $40K machine is really what you "need".

Planet Landscaping
10-01-2006, 11:59 AM
My concern is the tracks!!!!!!!!!!! Should I just buy wheeled??(Bulletproof)

Planet Landscaping
10-01-2006, 12:01 PM
I have a demo Cat 247 and 257. They demo AWESOME, BUTTTTTTTTTTTTT I dont think they will hold up under ALL conditions

dozerman21
10-01-2006, 12:57 PM
Planet- I have had two different track machines (Bobcat and now Deere) and they are a 4 season machine and IMO, for what I do, they are definetly worth the money. However, going from what I read in your posts, it sounds like you're trying to talk yourself into a CTL over a skid. Don't buy a CTL just to have one. The work great on slopes, grading, push power, machine balance, and so on... The biggest advantage compared to a skid IMO is working in mud. Like anything else, they will bogg down when you get in the nasty sh!t, but I can work in many more conditions that a wheeled skid cannot.

As far as working in snow, do you mean in dirt or plowing on pavement? Digdeep made some good points, but I have to disagree on the snow plowing aspect. I haven't tried my Deere for plowing, but my Bobcat was horrible! CTL's don't bite down, they float. So if you're trying to push snow where underneath is either icy or packed down after it's been driven on, you can't get traction at all. If you were to plow right after it snowed, and the pavement hadn't been driven on or before anything freezes, you might be O.K. However, I'm sure you know if you plow snow that's not the case most of the time. If you did have a dry/unfrozen surface under the snow, that probably wouldn't be great on track wear either. Along the same lines, CTL's do not do well on frost. Same concept.

Planet- I would recommend that you check into a wheeled skid with aftermarket steel tracks. That might be a better all around machine for your needs, and you could take off the tracks for plowing snow, or whenever you worked on pavement. Just my $.02!:drinkup:

Dirty Water
10-01-2006, 01:43 PM
As far as working in snow, do you mean in dirt or plowing on pavement? Digdeep made some good points, but I have to disagree on the snow plowing aspect. I haven't tried my Deere for plowing, but my Bobcat was horrible! CTL's don't bite down, they float. So if you're trying to push snow where underneath is either icy or packed down after it's been driven on, you can't get traction at all.

Thats the difference between the solid undercarriage on the Deere and BobCat CTL's and the suspended undercarriage on the ASV and Cats.

Planet Landscaping
10-01-2006, 02:49 PM
The Xteme jobs it could do that no other machine could pull off would pay for the tracks and more @ repair time is my feeling. How about prepping new lawns (One of my main planned uses)??????? Gotta be AWESOME. No more hand rakeing steep banks,No tire tracks,No compaction,Am I missing the boat here.
SNOW??? STUD, 11'' pieces of Chains between cogs I hear too. Most say Cat ASV tracks are good in snow from what I read. HELPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPP*trucewhiteflag* What to add to the fleet?:hammerhead: *trucewhiteflag*

Scag48
10-01-2006, 03:32 PM
A hydroseeder out here uses Cat MTL's exclusively to prep. He likes the fact that you get maximum traction with low impact, espcially for slopes. Tracks might work well for you, but for general landscaping I think they'd be a waste of time. If you prep a lot of lawns, you won't be in "extreme" conditions and the tacks should hold up.

Planet Landscaping
10-01-2006, 03:54 PM
Scag,What is the company name?. I would like his first hand opinion,It could be invaluble info to me(Before sale on mon.). Please@@@@@@@@@@@@

2004F550
10-01-2006, 04:31 PM
planet im awesomeing this is throught ho penn? whos your salesman?

ksss
10-01-2006, 04:42 PM
I think the question to ask is, is there enough profit in lawn prep to justify the added upfront costs, and the increase maintainance costs, not to mention a resale value that will not help recoup your investment. This machine will have to more than earn its keep. Your competition using wheeled machines do not have the investment that you will have. Your advantage will be in softer conditions and working slopes. If your work involves a lot of that ( I would say better than 50% of your work) than it may pencil out. If not, no one is going to give you more money to prep a lawn with a tracked machine if there is no benifit to them. Whatever lawn prep goes for in your area is the price you'll get. If the advatages of running the 247 will allow you to do more work, than your making money in theory. However, remember you not only have to make enough money to cover your additional investment (over your wheeled competetion) but put more money in your pocket, after all thats why we are here. That advantage certainly is not in this area. However we are rocky and dry where I am at. Your mileage may vary, but it is something to look into. Talking to someone in Wa. may not provide the information you need as I doubt the conditions both economic and ground are the same. You would be better to find someone that will talk to you in your area that is running a tracked machine. Also talking to someone with 300 hours on a machine is not going to give you enough information. Talk to someone that has put 1500 or more on a tracked machine. That will tell you whether a tracked machine is the way to go in your application.

Planet Landscaping
10-01-2006, 05:15 PM
Ksss, Please reccomend a 2 speed,5-6000 lb for snow,and landscape/install work. (I respect your opinion)*trucewhiteflag*

dozerman21
10-01-2006, 05:19 PM
Dirty Water- I didn't think of the suspended undercarriage. I still don't see how that would help on pushing snow on pavement since it's flat?:confused: I would think that the low PSI of the tracks would not bite for traction. Cat's and ASV's tracks are also wider than the Bobcat and Deere.

Scag48
10-01-2006, 06:22 PM
Dozerman, since the suspended undercarriages "conform" to the pavement when you curl out the bucket and use it for downforce a larger percentage of the track is still on the ground. Suspended undercarriages flex, so when you push up the front and transfer the the weight to the back, the undercarriages flexes with the move, therefore it keeps the tracks on the ground. With a rigid undercarriage, the rear idler acts as pivot point which in turn lifts the front of the undercarriage off the ground.

Plus Cat and ASV have wider tracks with lower PSI which is helpful in snow. When travelling over snow and ice, think of it like truck tires. Would you rather have a skinny rail tire or a wider, flotation tire? The choice is easily made. Traction is achieved over slippery surfaces through ground contact area and Cat undercarriages would clearly have the advantage over non-suspended carriages in snow.

Planet Landscaping
10-01-2006, 06:25 PM
Ho penn Jeff

ksss
10-01-2006, 06:44 PM
I appreciate the confidence. I think that a ROC of 1,700 to 2,000 pounds is a nice sized machine for your application. Your weight restriction of 6K is tough to met. However going to 7K allows for more options. What I like about this size machine is the 12X16.5 tires, good power and still keep the ability to keep the machine narrow. The CASE machine can go to 66" in width. That is very important I think in lawn prep. I would try to stay with a radial lift as your visiblity is better. Since lawn prep requires going backward more than going forward a lot of times that is also important.

I would try the following machines

CASE 430 It has a 2000 ROC and a net of 74 hp very good breakout force. I really, really like the control system on these 400 series machines. This would allow for enough capacity to move topsoil with good production rates and will handle oversized snow buckets. Also impressive is the aux. flow of 21 gpm one of the highest in its class. This will make for performance running rock hound type attachments.

Bobcat 205 This is a vertical lift machine. I like this size of machine my only issues with it is its dismal performance specs. 16 gpm at the aux. hyd. The breakout is only 3800 pounds and its hp is around 61. If you don't mind going over 7K the Bobcat 220 is a better specing machine but is larger. I demoed a 220 and I liked it.

CAT 246B This machine specs very close to the CASE 430-440. Actually there is almost no difference between the two spec wise.

http://comparison.casece.com/choose_product_cust.php?step=1&brand=Case&product=Skid%20Steer%20Loaders&product_family=1&compare=skid_steers


If you go to this web site they have an excellent web site to compare skid steers. Pick a couple of machines and met the salesman and decide who will be there when you need them. Then the fun part, start setting up the demos.

dozerman21
10-01-2006, 07:46 PM
Scag- I see what you're saying about the undercarriage conforming to the pavement. Good point and well said. I can see how an ASV or Cat could get better traction in snow due to the undercarriage, but as far as the wider tracks giving more traction, I disagree. The Cat/ASV tracks are wider and do have a lower PSI which makes them float better, like you said. But, that causes them not to bite down to the pavement. When you plow, the skinnier tire/track will dig down farther and not float as easy, giving you traction. I understand that the contact area is better with a wider track/tire, but the higher PSI, the better it will dig. Granted, we're only talking about a couple inches and 1 or so PSI, it's more of the concept that I'm trying to explain. When I plow snow with my pickup truck, I take off my aftermarket wider wheels and tires and put I my skinnier factory wheels back on. They get much better traction.

cddva
10-02-2006, 10:32 PM
So PLanet, are you wearing a new Cat ball cap today??

Planet Landscaping
10-03-2006, 01:31 AM
Not me:nono: , My guys look like they work for CAT Though LMFAO:cool2: :cool2:

jazak
10-03-2006, 11:03 AM
Get some pics up:clapping: :clapping:

Fordsuvparts
10-09-2006, 10:22 PM
I guess that you ended up with the Cat 247B, If you did congrats they are a great machine, the suspension is a lot easier on the operator than a lot of the other machines out there. We had a 2004 247B and traded it in on 2006 Bobcat T190. It was a really good machine when it was not in the shop. machine. We loved the power and the ride of the cat, but our dealer screwed us over on repairs in the first 1200 hours and the repairs ended up costing as much as the payment each month. It turns out the low hour (600) machine we bought had been run in a coal mine and every bearing and seal went out of it in very quick fashion. In the end we didn't have to pay for 90% of the repairs but all the down time killed us. We plan on going back to cat or deere when we trade in about a year or so. We have since rented long term a 277 and a 287 and they were both great machines, just ask scag he will tell you the same thing. We just happened to get a lemon, so don't think that i am bashing on the 247B.
Good luck with the new machine and make sure you keep the tracks clean because the boogies are very pricey.
Kirby

Tigerotor77W
10-09-2006, 11:45 PM
What are your impressions on the T190?

Scag48
10-10-2006, 03:20 AM
277's are awesome machines, that is of course if you NEED one. We used ours a lot the first 3 months we had it, did a few jobs that the 277 proved to be absolutely crucial in job success, yet when you don't need the extra traction you've paid a ton more money for something a wheeled machine could provide. Do I think suspended undercarriages are expensive to maintain? Not at all. There isn't anything more complicated there than any other machine other than the torsion bars and there haven't been very many, if any claims of torsion bar failure at less than 2,500 hours, more hours than a single owner would keep the machine anyway.. If anyone tries to tell me there's more to break than Bobcat's machine they are simply ignorant. There's a few more rollers but big deal, those are repairs that are done in thousand hour intervals. Truth of the matter is suspended undercarriage machine puts more power to the ground as the undercarriage contours with uneven terrain. I am absolutely confident that you can do more with a suspended carriage vs. unsuspended and if you can take advantage of the higher productivity that suspended machines provide then you shouldn't be complaing whatsoever when it comes to replacing the tracks as Cat's replacements are more expensive then unsuspended systems. Here's what it really comes down to: If you're on the fence about choosing wheeled or tracked you're better of going with an unsuspended machine. They are cheaper (as they're not built by Cat), the maintenance is a little less, and I think you can be harder on them without causing too much damage. I think unsuspended is the way to go if you're not running the machine yourself. For us, we're owner/operators, we service the machine, we do all our own maintenance so we can keep a much closer eye on our equipment. That's the difference. And when it really came to putting the hammer down on getting a job done, the 277 didn't let us down. As long as you know the machine you're operating, how to operate it correctly, you're going to get more life out of. I think most guys complaining about high undercarriage maintenance is due to misuse or abusive operation, you simply cannot run Cat/ASV machines like a skid steer at all.

This is all assuming that you actually need a tracked machine. I kinda laugh at the guys getting into the biz and thinking right off the bat they need a tracked machine when they've never run a wheeled skid. Until you try both at similar tasks you're never going to know if you can get away with a wheeled machine or not. For us, with the jobs we were doing, no way a wheeled machine would do it. The sandy terrain we work in is fine and good until you need to push heavy loads, then you're sunk. We basically replaced a dozer and backhoe with our 277 and it did a great job for us.

ksss
10-10-2006, 11:23 AM
Scag, the suspended under carriage is considerably more complicated than a nonsuspended machine and thus more expensive to maintain. That has been well established. I agree that because they contour to the ground, they may provide more traction than a nonsuspended unit in some ground conditions. However, is that added benifit and a smoother ride worth the cost? That answer is probably very individual, for some it may be others it probably isn't. If that system is say 10% more productive than a nonsuspended tracked machine does that productivity increase cover the ownership costs? I have heard of guys getting repair bills over 10K for these machines. That maybe half the remaining value of the machine in many cases. Some of the costs may be offset by a very careful operator and putting the machine only jobs where it really needs to be. We all know that is very difficult to do. Finding guys that are that careful is difficult and having the ability to pick and chose jobs sites is not often an option. It think this applys to all tracked machines not just CAT/ASV, but the abuse margin is much tighter with the CAT/ASV's. As I have said before, I think you really need to be making money with these machines, because they require more money to run than any other tracked machine. They do work better in some applications than anything else on the market. Whether that applies to the buyers application is the question that should be answered when planning a purchase.

Scag48
10-10-2006, 01:09 PM
That was my whole point, KSSS, was that if the suspended machines are more productive in a certain application vs. an unsuspended machine the cost offset would make sense. I can't stress enough that these machines require a very close analysis before their purchase as the costs of running these machines is much greater than that of a skid steer.

As for $10,000 repairs, if you're the only guy around with one of these machines working on a very exclusive project, you could cover repairs for a long time on one project alone. Something to think about when it comes to cost of ownership. While everyone tries to buy machines with the lowest operating costs per hour, I look at it this way. If I have something that someone else doesnt, if I can provide something that someone else cannot and get paid a premium price, the costs of ownership are almost negligible. Around here, niche building is key. A guy I know that used to be in the business had 2 Schaeff walking excavators (along with a couple excavators and the like). Everyone laughed at him, told him he was stupid for investing upwards of $175K a piece on them. He got the last laugh, was installing tower footings for ski lifts throughout the west. He made so much money with those things that the cost of ownership didn't even matter. He was getting general excavation business that didn't require the use of the walking excavators just because people knew him as the guy with the "spider" looking machine. I think it's different in different areas, but for us being in a town with a population of 5,000 year round residents, simply having some radical equipment can advertise for itself. When I was 16 years old I was getting new lawns every week simply because passer-bys loved to watch me fly around the lawn on my walkbehind so much they hired me every week. Nobody around here had a commercial walk behind back then, they still don't, and just by spending a little more money on a better mower paid for itself 10 times over just by having something that someone else didn't. Kinda crazy and farfetched, but I tell you that's how it worked. I know this summer when we'd haul our 277 through town and we'd stop somewhere we were always getting questions about the machine, nobody has seen one in these parts.

Back to the original thread, I think everyone, including salesman, are making dedicated track machines out to be the new "standard" of equipment. They aren't. They are highly specialized pieces that can either make or break a company. The easiest way to explain it is either you need a machine like this for a specific task or you don't need one at all. Simply running them to replace a skid steer is insane, you're going to lose your a$$.

dozerman21
10-10-2006, 08:04 PM
One more point about the suspended undercarriages that I don't think has been mentioned is track cleanout. A big advantage (To me it's the biggest) to a CTL is it's ability to work in mud. The ASV/Cat's undercarraige packs in A LOT more mud and is much harder to clean out than a non-suspended machine's tracks are. This also makes the machine bogg down quicker and effects it's performance. In winter work, they will freeze if you don't clean them out. For some of you, this may not be a big deal, or maybe you don't run yours in heavier mud. For me, this is crucial. I also don't want to spend all night cleaning out tracks. All the CTL's, like anything, have their limits, but I've seen/ran Bobcat, Deere, Case, and the Takeuchi machines all do better in the same conditions than the Cat.

cddva
10-10-2006, 09:09 PM
Just to stir the pot, *trucewhiteflag* I'll throw this out there. The big selling point I've seen and what sold me on a track machine is they "extend your work season". For some parts of the country, tracks or no tracks may not matter or you may decide that using over the tire tracks on your skid gives you everything (99%) you need. Now I'm just an amateur compared to most (all) of you guys and I've never owned a skid-steer. What prompted me to fall for that selling point was I did own a compact tractor (4x4) and on a few occasions (early Spring mostly) found myself up to the axles in mud and once having to leave the machine for two days waiting for the ground to dry up enough to get it out (unable to use the front loader bucket roll maneuver). One job, where I was doing some clearing and leveling, I had to tell the guy I'd be back in a few weeks when the ground dried out. I never got to finish that job (no payment). So looking to the future, the tracks appealed to me and so far I feel like it's been a good investment. I may change my mind when the time comes to pay for new tracks :laugh: ! Another key, and it's been mentioned here and elsewhere, is where/how they are being used. I'm doing essentially all work in the dirt not on rock/concrete/demolition debris. Also I try to utilize good practices like not spinning around in place unless really necessary, power washing when I've been in the mud and being the owner/operator I realize I'm the guy that's going to have to pay for any abuse to the tracks so I keep that in mind when operating. If I had a crew running the machine I'm guessing I'd rather give them a skid-steer to operate. So, like everything else, there's pro's and con's and you make your choices and live with them. Was there a point to this, oh yeah, just stirring things up!:drinkup: (I've had enough seriousness for the day at my full time gig:dizzy: .)

Canon Landscaping
10-10-2006, 11:31 PM
Get a track machine don't buy a cat and don't look back. We bought one over a wheel machine and there is no ccomparison no flats no tracks to put on and take off and haul around with you, more traction on all surfaces, smoother ride, more lift and yes they do wear out but we run ours over everything even if we know it is damaging the tracks and our tracks are holding up great. And like Scag said they turn heads and when people see the amount of work they can do they are amazed.

ksss
10-10-2006, 11:37 PM
Scag I think were saying the same thing. I believe there is a big trend toward tracked units and the salesman are trying to sell machines and are not giving the best advice or they don't know any better themselves. My CASE dealer is taking a CAT 216 and a Deere 325 on trade toward a TK140. You want to know what this guy does? He runs a crushing operation. I mentioned to the sales guy "why does a rock crusher want a tracked skid steer"? I said the upkeep on that machine will be very high. Response "thats want he wants" He wants the ability to climb up on the pile. On a side note the 300 series Deere doesn't sound like it runs much better than the 200 series at least in this case. Deere has given him two machines (he bought the first one) to get him one that runs. He has finally had enough. Should be interesting to see what kind of life he gets out of his tracks.

Fordsuvparts
10-11-2006, 12:07 AM
Scag, just one note about the track components on the 247 and up machines, we replaced all but 2 of the boogies on the machine before it had 1000 hours on it and we got it at 600 hours, we never ran it in gravel and the boogies still chunked out rubber like mad until they lose so of the rubber on the boogies it would cause the tracks to loosen up. They also had to replace all the sprockets and large drive boogies and the track tensioners.
I personally loved to run the Cat machines because when the going got tough you just gave it more throttle and it would power right through. It would sort of hunker down and just go go go, it had the best traction I have yet to see on a tracked machine.
Once any owner gets some hours on those machines thats when the repair bills get big. That is one of the reason you see so many machines on Iron planet with 400 to 1500 hours on them. I would still recommend the cat machine to any one, We just had a lemon because of prior abuse.

Scag48
10-11-2006, 12:53 AM
You said that 247 was run in a mine or something along those lines, correct? If so, there's your answer. I read in your last post you thought that might have contributed and I'll bet you anything that it didn't help bogie longetivity. But, you probably won't get more than 2,000 hours out of bogies anyway. I'm curious as to why the bogies can't be compsosed of steel, aside from weight issues. What harm would it do? Shouldn't hurt the tracks I wouldn't think.
BTW, what did bogie replacement cost you?

KSSS, makes sense about having tracks climbing piles, but if you think about climbing up gravel, he'll probably just spin. But I'm assuming he demo'd the machine so he probably has that all figured out. Like you say, it'll be interesting to see what his track life is. For the most part, you and I are saying pretty much the same thing about these machines, just coming out a little different :D

Construct'O
10-11-2006, 12:42 PM
KSSS i was wondering why he didn't go with the Case track machine.Did you ask your saleman?Also was the TK 140 used machine on hand and does your Case dealer sell Case and TK machines both?????

Let us know how he gets along if you can get the infomation.I think i read where the tracks on the TK machines are steel rollers and idles and that they run on steel inbeded surface molted in the rubber tracks.

ksss
10-11-2006, 09:29 PM
The CASE dealer here does sell TK and CASE. They had just got a 440 tracked machine in very recently. I asked if he was going to demo the CASE along side the TK and he said he would. I think the TK is going to be too tall to get under the screener. This would be a good test for either machine. I am really curious to see how a tracked machine will hold up under those conditions. I will check with the sales guy and see if he has made a decision yet.

Digdug
10-11-2006, 09:52 PM
I have had cat 257 and recently bought a case 445. The case is a excellent workhorse. doug

ksss
10-11-2006, 10:21 PM
Welcome to the forum Doug. I have been waiting for someone who has both machines to show up here. What was the driver behind getting the CASE verse another CAT? Do you have any issues with having one machine with the CASE H pattern verse the CAT ISO pattern? Are you seeing any difference in tractive effort between the two track designs? Judging by the bucket, at least at the time the photo was taken you don't have many hours on the CASE. Are you seeing any advantages or disadvantages between the two machines? More questions to follow I am sure.

Digdug
10-11-2006, 10:50 PM
I bought the Case 445 because i wanted a little bigger machine than the Cat 257and the next bigger cat was a whole lot more undercarriage crap/parts than i needed to deal with down the road. I am also a big Case fan and they didnt have track skid steers when i purchased the 257. The 257 was a nice machine but seemed a little weak on power. We had the cat for about a year before it was stolen off the front lawn of a job we were working on. The Case i have had for approx. 6months? and it is a power house and my crew and i really like it. It is loaded with a/c , hyd. coupler, heat , cab, ride control, block heater, etc. As far as the controls i like both types. We were used of case controls , because i had a 75xt in the past. The two different track designs are up in the air right now. I cant tell a diffence in the dirt, but we do alot of snow plowing and i am skeptical if the lug/pad type track will grip as good as the cat ladder bar type track. Will know soon as its getting close to plow season here. doug

ksss
10-11-2006, 11:31 PM
Do you notice much difference in ride quality between the two machines? I am pleased to hear that owners of 445 machines are as happy as they are with them. I used to have an 85XT and of all the CASE machines I have had I was the least pleased with that machine. I was quite vocal about it and that I believe got me to Witchita in 03 which worked on the prototypes to these machines. I wish they had stayed with the 95XT style loader arms. The engineers say they have not had any problems with the "75XT" style arms, and they are better for visibility than the massive loader arms on the old 85XT and 95XT. They just look weak to me. The fact that they stayed with that design even on the tracked 445 speaks well of the design I guess. I still think that engine should be turbo charged and for whatever reason CASE refuses to do that. Its a big displacement motor but when you get up in elevation they just don't perform as well. My opinion is that when you get into a machine in that weight class it should be turboed and have a two speed (which they do have now but didn't until recently). Ride Control is the cats meow. I can't imagine having a machine without it.

TriCountyLawn
10-12-2006, 12:07 AM
Im wanting to see some pics of the CAT ..!!!!!

We rented a 257B for a month long project we were doing and I found more used for that bad boy then I would have ever thought. Clearing out wooded areas with a grapple bucket was awsome. AC and Heat in a nice cab, what more could ya ask for. The whole month we had it I ran it non stop. Night and Day.

In the end I still cant justify getting a CTL for the simple fact its not a year round machine for me IMO. A 2 speed machine with tires it hard to beat in the Snow Removal dept.

Scag48
10-12-2006, 02:24 AM
I really like the new Case track machines, really well designed. DigDug, I hear what you're saying about lack of power on the 257, I've talked to a handful of guys about 30 miles from here that bought 257's and they said they hated the lack of power. QPS, a member on here, also has complaints of a lack in power with the 257B. I can assure you the larger Cat tracked machines aren't lacking, 78 horses is just about right. They do burn quite a bit of fuel if you're on the pedal, though.

ksss
10-12-2006, 03:12 AM
I thought that compared to other machines of the same size that the big CAT tracked machines were also lacking. I think that the machine has enough power. It is middle of the road in hp spec. which should be enough. It seemed to me that it struggled when forced to dig from a dead stop. Again it seemed to be more of a hyd. issue than a power issue. But the machines certainly are not over powered. The TK has a lot of hp but it does not feel any more powerful than any of the others. You would never know it has that kind of hp. Kinda interesting how the different companies are successful in varying degrees in putting power to the ground. I have never run a 257 but it sounds like it could use more gitty up as almost everyone on this forum who has one, has cited that as an issue.

Digdug
10-12-2006, 06:52 AM
Kss, yes my Case has two speed, it is nice. The Cat definetly rode better. But in most scenarios i am in fresh dirt and the ride is not a big problem. Here is a pic of the Cat i had until someone else needed it more than me.

ksss
10-12-2006, 09:39 PM
That looks cool. Tell me you were just moving that plow and you don't actually push snow with that set up. That CAT must have went into complete torsion bar compression with that load.

Digdug
10-13-2006, 06:48 AM
haha, yeah the plows a little heavy. I was just screwing around , we dont actuallly plow with it. I have a FFC 10' power angle plow that we used on that 257.