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View Full Version : Anyone see the new Cat 297C track loader ?


Ramairfreak98ss
10-18-2007, 10:14 PM
their website says msrp of 80k with xps high flow hydrauilcs and two speeds with enclosed cab, ouch, it looks liek an awesome machine though. www.cat.com anyone here have something similar with some big pics?

Scag48
10-19-2007, 01:46 AM
Yeah if you actually paid $80K for it, you'd be overpaying. I guarantee I could get a loaded 297C with everything except XPS tomorrow for around $60K.

RockSet N' Grade
10-19-2007, 07:59 AM
Saw two of them working the same job yesterday. Large commercial landscaper had new "C's" and about 4 new backhoes running all over the place trying to get this new school/park project done before the next storm. Passed them around 4pm and then at about 7pm and the entire crew was still running around with lights on all their equipment. If they are there today, I will stop by with my camera........which I never seem to have when I need it.

Ramairfreak98ss
10-20-2007, 05:38 PM
Saw two of them working the same job yesterday. Large commercial landscaper had new "C's" and about 4 new backhoes running all over the place trying to get this new school/park project done before the next storm. Passed them around 4pm and then at about 7pm and the entire crew was still running around with lights on all their equipment. If they are there today, I will stop by with my camera........which I never seem to have when I need it.

thanks rockset.. that would be beyond awesome. The 60k range or less is much nicer than 80k, 80k id never even consider lol. Im going to get to try one out this week at the GIE in Kentucky.

Ramairfreak98ss
10-20-2007, 05:39 PM
Yeah if you actually paid $80K for it, you'd be overpaying. I guarantee I could get a loaded 297C with everything except XPS tomorrow for around $60K.

your saying the 297c with cab, ac/heat, xps high flow, tracks, 90hp engine etc, would be around 60k?

What adds the most to the cost, the cabs and tracks vs wheels on skid steers?

Scag48
10-20-2007, 06:03 PM
To be completely honest with you, if you have to even ask why these machines cost more you should probably reconsider your choice of machine. I mean this in no disrespect whatsoever, just curious to see what makes a guy with mostly lawncare equipment decides to go out and get buried in a $60K machine. Chances are, a wheeled machine would do everything you need it to do. To answer your question, the undercarriages are very advanced and add cost to the price of the machine. The cabs I'm still on the fence about, seems to me the cost of the cab negates itself by the time you add in the additional productivity. This is only in reference to excavation work, for landscape work when you're working around a crew I prefer an open cab machine for a few reasons.

And what I could get a 297C for is going to be a different number than what you can get it for. We've done almost $300K in equipment purchases through our Cat dealer in the past, it plays in our favor a little bit.

In the end, I'm just curious what you'll be needing this machine for. It's not my money, but I see a lot of guys spending way too much money trying to get into the business by purchasing a tracked machine when a wheeled machine would handle the task. I don't know your background, maybe you've done some of this stuff before, but generally speaking a 297C is the machine for somebody who's been in business for a while, knows the costs of operating a machine like this, and can justify/write down on papaer where and why this machine would suit their operation better than a comparably sized wheeled machine.

Just my .02, I'm not trying to shut you down. Maybe enlighten us a little bit as to your plans? I know in another thread you were shopping for an F550 as well.

Fieldman12
10-20-2007, 06:34 PM
Scag48, your right about these being the machine for someone with a very stable business that has evolved into I would guess several things to keep a machine this expensive around. As far as you getting the machine for $60,000.00 that sounds great if you can get one for that price. When I was looking around here a few years ago at Deere and Cat one of the things that popped up at the Deere dealer was they did not want to sell the skids because there comment was they can make $250,000.00 on just selling one big piece of equipment. I guess what I'm saying is to me, you, and probably most people on this board $300,000.00 is allot of money but to Cat that is not really a drop in the bucket to them. It's good your dealer is going to take care of you because around here $300.000.00 was pretty much just entry level money to them which in my opinion is not right. Most of us cannot afford that high dollar machinery.

Fieldman12
10-20-2007, 06:38 PM
Im glad they at least where honest to tell me the truth that I pretty much already knew. It just made me realize that much more though how so small scale I was. :)

Canon Landscaping
10-20-2007, 10:33 PM
Let him learn the hard way I know someone out there needs a slightly used 297c.

Tigerotor77W
10-21-2007, 04:57 AM
Let him learn the hard way

What do you mean?

AWJ Services
10-21-2007, 11:20 AM
I was one of those lawn guys who had no skid steer business yet went out and bought one.
Just a Little over a Grand a month too own it.No big deal.:)

Do you people really expect too have six months worth of work for a piece of equipment before you purchase it?
In reality the payment between a 60K machine and a 40k machine(tired too Tracked) is not a big deal.
If 300 dollars a month is going too bankrupt you then you need too get a job at Home Depot.
I see every dreamer get chastised on these forums usually by just a few people.
A guy only needs about 30 days a year worth of work too get too the break even point taking into consideration that this is a supplemental part of his business.

The Go Getters understand this.
It is a mindset.
Some have it and some don't.


Get a Buisness Plan in place and execute it.

Scag48
10-21-2007, 12:15 PM
It can totally be done, I will not disagree, but it's like that song by Tim Mcgraw...how bad do you want it? :drinkup:

qzilla
10-21-2007, 02:26 PM
To be completely honest with you, if you have to even ask why these machines cost more you should probably reconsider your choice of machine. I mean this in no disrespect whatsoever, just curious to see what makes a guy with mostly lawncare equipment decides to go out and get buried in a $60K machine. Chances are, a wheeled machine would do everything you need it to do. To answer your question, the undercarriages are very advanced and add cost to the price of the machine. The cabs I'm still on the fence about, seems to me the cost of the cab negates itself by the time you add in the additional productivity. This is only in reference to excavation work, for landscape work when you're working around a crew I prefer an open cab machine for a few reasons.

And what I could get a 297C for is going to be a different number than what you can get it for. We've done almost $300K in equipment purchases through our Cat dealer in the past, it plays in our favor a little bit.

In the end, I'm just curious what you'll be needing this machine for. It's not my money, but I see a lot of guys spending way too much money trying to get into the business by purchasing a tracked machine when a wheeled machine would handle the task. I don't know your background, maybe you've done some of this stuff before, but generally speaking a 297C is the machine for somebody who's been in business for a while, knows the costs of operating a machine like this, and can justify/write down on papaer where and why this machine would suit their operation better than a comparably sized wheeled machine.

Just my .02, I'm not trying to shut you down. Maybe enlighten us a little bit as to your plans? I know in another thread you were shopping for an F550 as well.

I don't see because you spent $300k in he past that you are going to get that good of a deal on a 297C. Heck $300K is less than a single D6R or D6T as they call them now.

They can be had for less than $80K but I seriously doubt a lodaed one will go for less than 70K.

Lawnworks
10-21-2007, 02:27 PM
I think Scag is right on the money. There is no way in hell I would go 60k in debt and not know if the work was coming. They do make used skid steers! Dreams are great, but reality is a b!tch.

Fieldman12
10-21-2007, 02:31 PM
I will agree that it only takes a certain amount of time per year to break even but there is more to it than just buy a $60,000.00 dollar machine. Your talking a good bit of different equipment to go from lawn mowing to pulling a skid steer. Some alreay have a trailer that can haul the load, have a truck that can tow it and have the cash for the Insurance to run the machine. You also need something to fuel the machine up with, bigger tools and most important experience. Besides that I have seen guys buy new stuff like that and bust there butt trying to pay the payments on it to only go broke a few months later because they have a high dollar house and car payment also. A guy has to have cash flow before he can just go out and do that. Like the old saying it takes money to make money. You better expect to barely break even the first coupld of years, and if you get rich that is great. You dont have to take my figures you can look them up yourself. You also have to take into acount if that work is needed in your area. I know a guy that is worth billions that lives in my home town and is always trying new things to make more cash. Some work but allot fail. Yeah, each time I hear that Tim McGraw song it makes me think allot about things like that. That song is the pure truth I just dont think you can start out with the biggest and baddest out there.

Lawnworks
10-21-2007, 02:41 PM
To really make the machine pencil out... don't you think that the machine would really need to working everyday?

I also think evaluating whether you NEED a tracked machine is also essential. From researching posts on here, I have made wheel machine work for me. You really have to be able to justify the added initial cost of tracks and their maintenance.

RockSet N' Grade
10-21-2007, 03:17 PM
AWJ.......dreams, goals, aspirations are an essential part of my being. I would hope that I never squash anyone's dreams, it would never be my intent. I would like to see everyone successful. I have learned a whole bunch from this little forum (in spite of myself) and getting feedback, even when I initially considered it a personal affront has helped me insurmountably. If I had been a little less stubborn and a wee bit more open-minded, I could have saved thousands of dollars by listening instead of forging ahead bull-headed as I am.For instance: I needed a wider bucket for my skid, I found one for a little less on the net, and bought it inspite of advise to the contrary. Well, its been just about 3 weeks and this bucket is crap......Once again, I should have taken a closer look.......I think the intent of most here is a "move forward" mindset although it may be expressed in sometimes misconstrued ways. PS.....if you like the bigger wurds I be using, I took KSSS recommendation and am now using hooked-on-phonics :)

CarterKraft
10-21-2007, 03:51 PM
one thing about the issue of price per machine comparisons.

Sure the D6? is +$300K but the salesman and sales manager that sells those tractors cannot sell a CCE product to a customer he doesn't already support.

Vice versa a CCE salesman cannot sell a D6? so his income and that depts income comes from selling the machines in there department.

Having said that there are cross sells all the time as customers grow etc machines are sold from differant classes but generally that persons business grows and there equipment needs do aswell then there primary salesman shifts to a different division.

What does this mean, the customer looking for a skid doesn't get walked on by the customer looking for a 100 ton dumptruck.

if you have bought a several machines from a CCE salesman you become a top customer of that dept and it didn't take $300K

Now that is how our company works, maybe not all CAT dealers or others but it is very fair and gives all the customers a equal playing field.

AWJ Services
10-21-2007, 04:26 PM
I think my post was mis interpreted.

We no nothing of this person yet we fill completely comfortable making vilified statements about his ability to financial manage his business.

To really make the machine pencil out... don't you think that the machine would really need to working everyday?

Yes in a perfect world but how the heck is someone going to arrange for business for a machine he does not own?


I would hope that I never squash anyone's dreams, it would never be my intent.

You never have that I know of,however you do give a perspective of wisdom based off age and experience that has earned merit.


A guy has to have cash flow before he can just go out and do that. Like the old saying it takes money to make money.

Thats the "Gravel Rat" mentality.

You never use your own money.
You always use other peoples.


I started my first business with 800 dollars ,a hard head and a dream.
I turned it into a 5 employee business and a reputation as being the best at what I did in town.

This business was not much different.
After closing my first business due to new born twins Health problems we were financially drained by the time I started this business.
I started mowing lawns my first year and gave that up and purchased the skid steer my second.
It sat for a month with no work after it's first job.
Before the naysayers come out of the wood work without that machine I would have missed 10k worth of work that first year.
Much more this year.
For what I do a wheeled machine would have probally led too me closing my business by this summer.
They are just not capable of doing what I need done.

You really have to be able to justify the added initial cost of tracks and their maintenance.

No one really knows whether this is true.
The added efficiency of my CTL more than makes up for any added maint.

Lawnworks
10-21-2007, 04:41 PM
So you would reccomend someone going into debt 70k w/ no workload?? Would not even consider a nice used machine? I think before I spent 70k... I would make sure I had the work.

Fieldman12
10-21-2007, 04:49 PM
I started out with basically nothing also and have aquired a descent amount for my age of 31. The first bit of money I had $500.00 came from a cow my parents and grandparents raised for me and sold. I always liked investing so at the young age of 9 I started playing in the stock market. My dad would do the trading for me. I also started working at not much older than that. For the most part I had to work for what I got meaining I had to have something to buy what I got. For the most part you have to have something. A good way to prove that is this. Take any high school kid and let him go to any Cat, Deere, Chevrolet, Case, or any other place around and him tell them he wants to borrow lets say $40,000.00.. They are going to say fine lets take a look at your credit. Well, you dont have any we need a consigner for you. Now yes if a guy just starts out with a push mower and maybe a $500 dollar riding mower then yes you started out with basically nothing. Most things are not that way though. Another for instance a mechanic could work his way up from nothing with just his tools. I think you can see though your very limited on what you can do with nothing.

Fieldman12
10-21-2007, 04:53 PM
The only way the actual statement of using someone elses money holds true is if your borrowing it interest free. If your not than you are paying for it no matter if you like it or not.

AWJ Services
10-21-2007, 05:30 PM
The only way the actual statement of using someone elses money holds true is if your borrowing it interest free. If your not than you are paying for it no matter if you like it or not.

You are splitting hairs.
Even if they charge you interest it is no different than the original money you borrowed.


So you would reccomend someone going into debt 70k w/ no workload?? Would not even consider a nice used machine? I think before I spent 70k... I would make sure I had the work.

If you have no tools too landscape with you cannot have the buisness.
At some point you have too put yourself out on a limb.
What are you going too do advertise the buisness and then once you have enough contracts purchase a machine?
It is called "STARTING" a buisness.

You obvisouly have little experience with purchasing equipment,financing charges and equipment break downs.Even if it saves him half a payment(500.00) a month do you think that will make or break a buisness?
The only thing worse than having an equpment payment is having a payment on a piece of equipment that is broke.

After all the man asked about a 297C not if he could afford it.:rolleyes:

Lawnworks
10-21-2007, 05:51 PM
You are splitting hairs.
Even if they charge you interest it is no different than the original money you borrowed.




If you have no tools too landscape with you cannot have the buisness.
At some point you have too put yourself out on a limb.
What are you going too do advertise the buisness and then once you have enough contracts purchase a machine?
It is called "STARTING" a buisness.

You obvisouly have little experience with purchasing equipment,financing charges and equipment break downs.Even if it saves him half a payment(500.00) a month do you think that will make or break a buisness?
The only thing worse than having an equpment payment is having a payment on a piece of equipment that is broke.

After all the man asked about a 297C not if he could afford it.:rolleyes:

Your right, I don't have experience financing equipment, because I pay cash for used machines. Buying a used skid that is going to sit several days a week is not a bad idea. I would think repairs would not be an issue... since the machine is not in use everyday and you didn't spend the extra 30k in the first place. I don't see how you can endorse 70k in debt w/ no work lined up! I don't give a damn what the payment is... that is alot of debt.

Fieldman12
10-21-2007, 05:53 PM
I think the point that everyone is trying to make is there will be a time you have to pay back the money no matter if your machine was used every day or not even once. Yes, $500.00 especially around here could end a business real quick especially if you have other bills on top of it and you are barely making ends meet as it is. Allot of times the only thing that motivates someone besides wanting to work for there self is they need more money. There is guys I know that I work with that dont have $20.00 bucks left to there name let alone $500.00 a month. It also depends on what your cost of living is and the amount of money coming in. If your making $30,000.00 to $40,000.00 a year before taxes than the $500.00 is a major chunk of money to be throwing out with no return at all.

YardPro
10-21-2007, 06:51 PM
this is going to come off like i am bashing the thread starter, but i am not....

look at some of the guy's other posts..
he has a $50K truck with every option for pulling a mowing trailer.
he started a thread stating that he cannot understand why people are using a $30K NPR instead of a truck like his...
he is in another thread looking for a crew cab f550 with the full options package, power everything, heated mirrors, etc...

i think this is another case of him wanting a skid and not setteling for anthing less that the best one with every option...

i think this is all for flash.

either this guy has money to burn, or he is headed to financial ruin..
either way, he is compensating for something.

Lawnworks
10-21-2007, 06:55 PM
this is going to come off like i am bashing the thread starter, but i am not....

look at some of the guy's other posts..
he has a $50K truck with every option for pulling a mowing trailer.
he started a thread stating that he cannot understand why people are using a $30K NPR instead of a truck like his...
he is in another thread looking for a crew cab f550 with the full options package, power everything, heated mirrors, etc...

i think this is another case of him wanting a skid and not setteling for anthing less that the best one with every option...

i think this is all for flash.

either this guy has money to burn, or he is headed to financial ruin..
either way, he is compensating for something.


lol... damn... no need to let 'em off easy!

Construct'O
10-21-2007, 08:36 PM
I think every once in a while people go out on a limb,but looking back what did i have to loose.

I told the story about buying my first dozer,saleman gave me the money for the first month rent (which i was buying on rent to own plan)which by the way i think is a great way to go if your thinking of filling your dream!!

I'm with Scag on the song thing!!!How bad do you want it.For me it's more like my next thirty years.

On with the story the first hard time was when my Cat dealer sold my contract(note) after buying my dozer the first year i had it.They sold it to CIT .It was a year of rains and having work ,but not being able to perfrom.

The reason Cat sold may note was they was hurting(Gibbs/Cooke)which is no longer.I asked them why i had made the payment early or always on time.They said that was the reason they sold mine because their other notes they didn't want.

That was back when i was paying 4% over prime and interest rose to 21%.So 25% of all the profit ( i said profit went for interest) Plus CIt could hardly wait for me to default and take my machine.I finally got going again with a break of better weather and got a loan through the bank.Luckly the inerest figured out for the year around 18% still high to today interest.

So just keep that in mind it can still happen today.Fuel is the biggest problem on down the road.Plus weather is one factory that you have no control over,ever!!!!!

Years later here came along the BIG "D" and i don't mean Dallas!!!! Long story,but that was number two.Tied up all my asset,plus it was an emotional and mental time.This was the hardest time even for me!It has taken me all of eight years to get back to close to where i once was,plus having to give away or sell to hold on.So i say"How hard do you want it"

I do think everyone that has a dream should do all that he can to make it come true.How he does it well only be done by making right decision,and i'm a beleiver in LUCK!!!!! Best of luck to all you new comer,for who knows ,you just might be the next potenial buyer for my equipment when i quit or pass on.:usflag:

Fieldman12
10-21-2007, 08:47 PM
Good post Construct'O and I have had to take a few chances over the years to get the small amount of stuff I have. Just like I said before some times you have to be willing to loose in order to gain. You always just have to ask your self how much are you willing to loose. Some times it works great for me and other times not so well. A dozer is no cheap piece of equipment to buy no matter how you slice it. Lessons are often expensive. :)

RockSet N' Grade
10-21-2007, 09:23 PM
Constructo.......I too have been through those two phases of the industry. I was in California at the time and can remember 18-21% rates and no work. I mean no work.......The second go around made me a believer: Two brothers were lighting the construction industry on fire (they built a $10,000,000 home for Oprah in Telluride) and were flying around in lear jets and all that you can imagine........the bottom fell out. I can remember seeing one of the partners driving a beat up red datsun pick-up truck painting bathrooms at industrial buildings. From Lear Jets to beat up Datsun.......long way to fall. Debt is a double edged sword, be careful with the tool and do not take it lightly.

Lawnworks
10-21-2007, 09:31 PM
Debt just scares the bejeezes out of me. I know there is good debt, but I would rather have used equipment and trucks that are paid off. I always find great deals on equipment paying in cash anyway. I would rather grow slowly w/ no debt then not be able to sleep at night. I may not be the "flashiest" landscaper, but I will be around to buy joe blows equipment and accounts when he can't make the payments.

Fieldman12
10-21-2007, 09:40 PM
Im kinda like you Lawnworks, I hate to finance something if I dont have too. I try to pay for it up front if I can.

Scag48
10-22-2007, 12:43 AM
We signed a $65K contract for a job before we bought our 312 and I was still leary of buying a new machine. We lucked out, kept it busy and could still be running that show right now had I my dad wanted to hire another guy to run that business while I was at college or do it himself. He opted for neither option.

Needless to say, we stuck it out with that purchase, but it worked out. My plan for my OWN money and my own purchases are to buy stuff cash, or mostly cash and finance very little. I just bought 3.5 acres back home and I'm now paying a mortgage payment that is scaring the hell out of me. I hope that in 10 years I'll sell the piece for 3 times what I paid for it, buy myself a used KW T800, Cat 315, and a D5 and go to town. That's the plan anyway.

AWJ Services
10-22-2007, 07:02 AM
Im kinda like you Lawnworks, I hate to finance something if I dont have too. I try to pay for it up front if I can.

There is nothing wrong with this.


If you decide too go the finace route however you have too use common sense.
This is not a knock on Cat but paying 70k+ for a skid steer that has so far shown has a very poor resale is why people get into trouble.
You have too buy smart .
The first year with any new equipment is the year that can be the most damaging.
If you have too sale there will be some negative equity.
If you buy smart after that things even out.
Takeuchi is a major player here in Atlanta ,but in a different part of the country they will not hold there value like they do here.
With 3 attachments tax and everything I was at 54k.
The same as a wheeled machine it's size.
Thats 20k for essentially the same thing as Cat machine without the expensive too maintain undercarriage.

On finacing a new piece of equipment compared too a used piece I priced many used less than 1000 hour machines and the payment always seemed too be so close too new it did not make sense too me.
The interest rates play a big part in this.
If I went out of buisness tomorrow I could sell out and put money in my pocket.
Part of this line of thinking is if I never purchased equipment thinking I needeed too save and pay cash how long would take too get a skid steer?
At some point you have too make the Leap.

I have the same mentality too a point ,but I am not scared too pull the trigger on a purchase.

I am faced with a dismal economic forecast going into the winter.
We are a complete water ban and losses state wide in the industry have passed 1 billion dollars because of it.
However I have found a cherry 2000 F550 4x4 crew cab diesel with removable stake body and hide away goose kneck.
Only 105k miles.
It is an awesome price.
The economy is forcing more people too dump there equipment just as this truck is for sell.
Do I pick up that 5 ton excavator as well used with a 30% savings and hope too weather the storm?
By spring I could be sitting well equiped by taking advantage of the economies down swing.


The choices we have too make.:)

mrusk
10-22-2007, 07:11 AM
There is nothnig wrong with financing equipment! Lets say the original poster does not have enough work to keep the machine busy 40 hours a week. Lets say he only needs it 1 day a week. He'd proably still have a lower monthly payment if hee bought it, vs rented it 4 times a month.


The thing with debt is to manage it correctly. I'd rather have 3k a month in equipment payments with a 100k in the bank, vs having no payments and no money in the bankl.


When ever i buy anything i always like to make sure i have enough $ in reserve to cover payments for a year if i could not work or something.

Lawnworks
10-22-2007, 08:14 AM
I like to pay cash for equipment AND have 100k in the bank. If the machine is going out 1 day a week, I don't need shiny paint. My thinking is, if it isn't being used 40 hours a week... I don't need a brand new one. If it is being used 40 hours a week, I think I could justify a large purchase.

AWJ,
How many hours do you use your machine a week?

AWJ Services
10-22-2007, 09:09 AM
AWJ,
How many hours do you use your machine a week?

Up until a month ago 10 too 20 hours a week.

I do very little new construction.
Most of my work is strictly grading ,land clearing and I sub for several contractors.The rest is doing improvements for Homeowners.
Most jobs I average 100+ $ an hour for machine time.
I am a small operation and I let my machine sit rather than work for a machine payment.
My thinking is too have a running machine when it is payed off.:)
Doing my type of work I will be 30 too 40 percent faster than a large tired machine so my hours are somewhat misleading.
I also support the skid with a Tractor so many hours are saved on it.
I cannot see running a Harley rake with my skid burning 2 plus gallons of fuel an hour when my tractor can be operated on 4 too 5 gallons a day.
I also use the tractor for support on underbrush clearing as well.
So 100 or so hours a year go on my tractor instead of my skid.
I also do paver's and walls so those weeks the equipment gets little usage as well as when doing irrigation.

I like to pay cash for equipment AND have 100k in the bank.

I envy you for sure.
Sounds like you are a smart business man.
One day I hope too be in that position as well.

Fieldman12
10-22-2007, 04:57 PM
I try to keep as much as I can in reserve. You never know when a motor or something will blow up or I could loose my other job. I always try to prepare for the worst and save as much as I can and then try to make that money work the best it can for me.

Fieldman12
10-22-2007, 05:00 PM
I have looked at allot of skid steer before I bought my Deere and I agree allot of them cost as much as a new one with no warranty. I almost bought a new Deere but held off. A few weeks later I found a 2004 250 II that had been taken great care of. The dealer that had it even let me use it for a week to decide if I wanted it for free. That really helped me decide it was the machine for me.

Fieldman12
10-22-2007, 05:02 PM
The thing with debt is to manage it correctly. I'd rather have 3k a month in equipment payments with a 100k in the bank, vs having no payments and no money in the bankl

I never buy anything unless I have plenty to back me up if something is to go wrong.

Ramairfreak98ss
10-23-2007, 12:56 AM
I don't see because you spent $300k in he past that you are going to get that good of a deal on a 297C. Heck $300K is less than a single D6R or D6T as they call them now.

They can be had for less than $80K but I seriously doubt a lodaed one will go for less than 70K.

Well i looked at a JD 332 CT today, when i see these larger models in person theyre pretty dam big compared to the little things ive used or rented in the past. And yeah, 60k would probably be way too much, let alone 70k or 80k. Ideally id be looking in the 50k~ range, the low end anyway, since id have a specific trailer for this and all which would work up the price anyway with 1-2 attachments.

Thanks for a lot of the comments, yes i am a lawn company, but i do a lot of landscape work usually and my father is also going to get back into construction of homes sometime next year so it will have plenty of uses even if my business itself has no jobs lined up. Theres been a handfull of times already this year that ive been doing work with my little machine, taking many hours which could have been done in say an hour with just a nice steer with a box rake or 36" auger would do wonders for plant and tree installs.

Locally, the smaller machines are $300ish per day plus attachments, and these arnt fancy huge ones, they're small new hollands, JD etc, and all tires.

I mainly want tracks because i dont like how the skid steers are rough on the ground. Thats why i mainly use my little tractor on turf because its so soft and doesn't usually leave ruts or indentations. The track steers ive heard are supposed to be superior to all else when it comes to traction, stability and ground pressure. Granted for my own property, this thing will be on dirt 90% of the time, and maybe some mud, but on customers properties say putting in large trees or digging holes, the last thing i need is another 10hrs of lawn repair because of an angry customer, trust me it happens frequently with other Landscape companies around here once theyre finished a job.

Ramairfreak98ss
10-23-2007, 01:06 AM
After all the man asked about a 297C not if he could afford it.:rolleyes:

thanks awj... i think i opened a can of worms here. maybe a lot of us dream of this 70k+ track steer:usflag:

I couldnt afford a loan on something that much unless i had mucho work that i could keep busy many days per month 12 months per year.

I really like the Deere 332 CT, but i know theyre in the 50k range too. The 322 CT weights a lot less and it feels normal sized like others ive been in, i really want the tracks though.

I would consider used too, ive bought ALL of my vehicles used, lots of them and still have almost all of them. My truck was an 06 but had 2k on it already :p

With autos at least, people that HAVE to have new just shoot them selves in the foot, thats why cars depreciate so fast the first year though for the population like us:) Ive seen some "horrible" looking used machines, maybe running good, but mentally i couldnt fork out say 30k for a machine that looks like its been to hell and back and fallen down a cliff a few times even if it was a 50k machine. Now if i hop in and it reads out 900 hrs and i cant tell it left JD or CATs lot yet, then certainly yes, thats something i would buy.

I maintain my equipment and dont abuse it, although i may work it all day, my equipment with 500hrs looks new still, this isnt nearly always the case.

Ramairfreak98ss
10-23-2007, 01:18 AM
this is going to come off like i am bashing the thread starter, but i am not....

look at some of the guy's other posts..
he has a $50K truck with every option for pulling a mowing trailer.
he started a thread stating that he cannot understand why people are using a $30K NPR instead of a truck like his...
he is in another thread looking for a crew cab f550 with the full options package, power everything, heated mirrors, etc...

i think this is another case of him wanting a skid and not setteling for anthing less that the best one with every option...

i think this is all for flash.

either this guy has money to burn, or he is headed to financial ruin..
either way, he is compensating for something.

lol thanks yardpro . I have some money to burn, or invest, you pick the argument there. I could go to AC and gamble to "win" a 70k skid right ?

I DO want to be the flashy one around. There are TONS of local companies around my area in central jersey, joe smoes with old junk, big LCOs with new stuff but all bobcats. Theres companies with fancy F550s all decked out with chrome pieces, F750 dumps with Cat Diesels and shiny wheels, other companies with multiple 24' enclosed trailers. Some are tree companies too with multiple chipper shredder/F650 or GM trucks... How am i so different than them?

Honestly my truck isnt out of the norm but, is it clean, new and pretty? yeah.
Im not out in the field or on here to say lookie what i got. I probably drive my 91 F150 around the most out of the trucks. If i wanted to show off, id drive the F350 to the frekkin wawa and back and to the grocery store but i have plenty of cars id rather be driving around than the trucks.

but you are right. When i look into buying something, new or used, i buy exactly what i want, always. Am i flexible in what im looking for sometimes? yeah, but i wont deviate off of that if im not originally interested in doing so.

I wanted a new 06 F350, all ones on ford lots were tons of leftovers they wanted sticker price for, didnt have the nice two tone paint, wheel options etc. By the time it came down to it, i found mine barely used, much much cheaper and exactly what i wanted the entire time searching for this truck.

Why is it that theres so much hostility for asking questions? Did i say "hey guys, how much can i get a brand new F550, trailer and a Cat 297c steer" for this month? No one knows my time span, hell the 297c could be for 2010.

Chances are, ill not find the used 05-07 F550 until mid to late next year when some more 08/09s are bought up, or this is just a easy time frame for leasurely looking for this next truck.

The skid steer/track steer probably wont evolve. Financially it would be MUCH cheaper financing any amount to look at stuff with low or zero interest such as JDs compact tractors. That could easily fill the void of the larger piece of equipment without spending 50-60k on a skid steer machine. That is a big possibility for this coming spring.

Don't they always say not to buy when you NEED it? Buy when you can afford it? A lot of what i have i dont NEED, but i get it when its not much out of my pocket or i can use that piece of machinery.

Scag48
10-23-2007, 02:39 AM
Just so it's known, there's a lot of misconception about tracked machines being the best machines for grass. They are better than wheeled counterparts only if you NEVER turn on the grass. If you spin a tracked machine on grass, you just multiplied the contract area of a skidded turn by a large margin. Truth is, a wheeled machine leaves less of an impact if you're turning on grass. The only way to leave absolutely no impact is to throw down plywood or duramats on the areas where you turn. However, I still believe tracked machines have a market, but I think tractors with turf tires are better suited to this type of work as they are lighter in weight and leave no impact without any hassles.

RockSet N' Grade
10-23-2007, 08:13 AM
RamAir.......sometimes having "flash" creates more perceived value and that's what is required to compete. We keep our equipment as clean and spotless as we can and it is my thinking that this translates into more customer confidence and more work. Everyones pocket book and perceptions are different, if its your style to have the "nice" equipment, I believe it is a necessary component to take into consideration when doing residential work. Scag has got some good points about equipment on the more technical side, keep sorting and good luck to ya....

Digdeep
10-23-2007, 09:05 AM
It is true that rubber tracked machines will tear up the surface of grass just like a skid steer, but they don't compact the grass like a wheeled machine does. Go look at a lawn a year after a skid steer has been operating on it and you can still see the ruts where the grass doesn't grow as well. I can turn my RC50 on grass and tear the surface, but not pack the soil so that it doesn't grow back normally. The rigid mounted machines tear it up worse than the ASV undercarriage. That is one of the big reasons I bought the RC50, even after selling Bobcats for over 8 years. There is no comparison. In any case, it is better to make gradual turns when possible to minimize damage to the grass.

Dirt Digger2
10-23-2007, 11:28 AM
you don't get jobs based on "flash"...you get jobs based on your quality. We run "older" equipment. The newest being 2003 Case backhoes, 2004 Takeuchi, 2003 F550, 2007 Peterbilt, 2000 Volvo Trackhoe. Everything else we own is early 90's late 80's equipment, loaders, dozers, trucks, etc... People dont hire use because we have the newest equipment, we have equipment that does a good job, is properly maintained so it doesnt break down and has good operators. We developed a reputation for quality work and it doent matter how old the equipment is.

I would rather buy anything used that has documentation of everytime a wrench touched it rather then buy something new. Because essentially they are the same thing minus a little wear and tear.

CarterKraft
10-24-2007, 08:55 PM
just my .02 here but...

Buying a hydrostatic machine (any size brand etc) is a calculated risk.

Example, I have seen repair bills for large frame Skid Steers in the near $10K range, granted these were run to destruction cases at a recycling plant with more than abusive operators but it happens. The down time is also a week or better for this type of repair.

The 3 year unlimited warranty that is offered by CAT is probably no more than two months payments, for 3 years piece of mind it is hard to wrong IMO.

Fieldman12
10-24-2007, 09:16 PM
A three you warranty sounds pretty good. Who makes the longest warranty? Im thinking Deere is 2 years but I would have to check to make sure. Im sure JD knows what it is. How about all the other brands out there. That is one thing I have not liked about skid steers. Been a while since I was looking to buy but seems like most where not over a couple years. I know they get allot of abuse and Im sure you could get an extended warranty but I think they should come with more than this. What is your guys thoughts?