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Johnson LCO
12-31-2007, 08:53 PM
I have the opportunity to purchase a 2003 thomas 153 with a 46 HP diesel engine with 600 hours for $10k. I have never heard of thomas before and this is my first skid so I am asking your opinion. I will be using it to load mulch and dirt into my truck and dump trailer and using a harley rake. Is this a reliable skid steer? Is this a good machine for my intended uses? Does it use the standar bobcat attachments and are they easy to attach and remove? I have not seen a deal on any other skid close to this good so I am a little weary. Thanks in advance.

cat2
12-31-2007, 10:05 PM
that skid will be fine for you. i think bobcat attachments will work on it, but i'm not sure. most are the same

Johnson LCO
12-31-2007, 10:08 PM
Does anyone else know about the attachments? Is this a good price or should I offer less?

ksss
12-31-2007, 10:10 PM
The status of Thomas as legitimate company is in question. The one thing about Thomas is most all of the components are off the shelf. Sundstrand is who makes their hydrualic components, Kubota makes their engines. They are probably reliable, I have never owned one. Even when the company was not in bankruptcy, their product did not have any value on the open market.

My suggestion would be to take your ten grand and buy a used 1845C or 1840. The machines will be older than 2003 but you will have something that has value and proven dependability and when it comes time to trade up you will have something that someone else will want. Nobody is going to knock your door down to buy a Thomas no matter how they run. That is not typically a good business decision, unless you plan on running the wheels off of it and then dump it.

cat2
12-31-2007, 10:13 PM
yea that isn't a very popular brand. the resale vaule isn't going to be good. i would get an older case 1845c or a 753 bobcat.

bobcat_ron
12-31-2007, 10:14 PM
Thomas is the only company who is smart enough to use a open loop hydraulic system, meaning all the oil goes straight to the tank after it comes out of any cylinder or attachment, excavator style, they operate very cool in the summer and they are very quiet, Thomas scores very high in my books for that set up, I wish everyone else would do the same.

Johnson LCO
12-31-2007, 10:50 PM
I am not really interested in resale value because I plan on running this into the ground. I may upgrade later but I plan on keeping this for smaller jobs and snow. I just need to know if I should offer less and if it uses the standard attachments that bobcats use. I know that bobcats have a quick attach plate and i was wondering if this would have a similar setup.

cat2
12-31-2007, 10:56 PM
the price seems fair. it only has 600 hours. talk him down as much as you can

ksss
01-01-2008, 12:31 AM
Here is the difference. If you pay 10K for a Thomas you will not have an option but to run it into the ground. Buy an older Bobcat or CASE and you will not lose anything as these machines are about depreciated out. An 1845C in good shape with 5K hours will bring 10K and next year it will bring the same 10K. Why throw your money away on a machine that has low value with a low hours and will have no value with higher hours, especially if Thomas hits the dirt.. I watched these things go brand new at RB sales when Thomas was marketing their machines through the auction system for 10-12K. If you are set on owning one don't pay one dollar more than absolutely necessary. The fact is you cant get one cheap enough to make it pencil out (except free). The coupler is universal, it'll work on any attachment.

tallrick
01-01-2008, 12:48 AM
Generally I compare the Thomas to an older Bobcat, with improvements. The ones I have worked on had a Kubota engine, strong hydraulics a simple, no nonsense controls. If I was going to get a used loader for personal use, the Thomas would be my choice. The loader frame is tougher than Bobcat, and serviceability is easier than other loaders. If you get the price as LOW as possible you can't go wrong. Many rental yards around here used Thomas loaders, and they seem to hold up just fine. Don't fear the big T.

If you know of anyone selling a Thomas cheap, let me know.

ksss
01-01-2008, 01:17 AM
Its not to say they don't run. I just don't think buying one is a good business decision. If was personal that would be one thing. It sounds to me like this is for a business.

Johnson LCO
01-01-2008, 01:49 AM
Funny that you asked that because there is a 153 at $5,000 with a $7,000 buy it now in florida on ebay. I think it has 1400 hours.

Lawnworks
01-01-2008, 09:34 AM
I would just be worried about parts and service.

tallrick
01-01-2008, 11:19 AM
Funny that you asked that because there is a 153 at $5,000 with a $7,000 buy it now in florida on ebay. I think it has 1400 hours.

That is a mighty tempting sale, but it's from a rental yard, so it could be risky. I tend to look at equipment from a different angle as I have no need for service and the more standard the parts the better. The advice given by others makes a lot of sense, if you do not do your own maintenance and repairs, a Bobcat, Cat or Case is a better choice unless you have a good mechanic you can deal with. Realistically there's not much that can go wrong with a Thomas loader, they have less proprietary stuff than a Bocat and just seem better built. Your disadvantage would be having it break down and not being able to complete a job, but I guess you could always rent a skid steer till yours is fixed. In the past I have been asked to evaluate machinery before purchase, and so far I have been able to seperate the lemons from lemonade. One oddball machine, a Scat Trak loader that a friend purchased for around 4,000.00 got him started in business and despite looking beat up was in good mechanical condition and still runs to this day! Eventually he purchased newer Bobcats and the business grew but still owns that Scat Trak and his son uses it around the farm.

bobcat_ron
01-01-2008, 11:47 AM
eeeee-yuck, Scat track.

ksss
01-01-2008, 12:52 PM
That Scat Trac is largely unchanged as a Volvo. They have given it pilots and I think a Volvo engine. Other than that it is still a Scat Trac in Volvo colors. Which may explain why Volvo has a near zero penetration into the skid steer market.

bobcat_ron
01-01-2008, 02:14 PM
You know they suck when even my local Volvo dealer say they are the worst.

Johnson LCO
01-02-2008, 03:12 PM
I offered him $8k even thoguh he asked 10k, and he refused. I was not really suprised but I decided I will not pay over $9k. So i offered 9k and he has not responded. Been looking at other brands but they have WAY too many hours and are too old. If anyone sees a good deal for 10k or less let me know.

Scag48
01-02-2008, 05:07 PM
FWIW, you can buy a high hour Bobcat 751 for $10K and still get parts for it. That's what I'd buy, but what do I know?

ksss
01-02-2008, 09:12 PM
Go to IronPlanet.com then go to auction results on the lower left side of the home page. You should be able to navigate from there. 10K will buy you a semi decent machine if you look.

zedosix
01-03-2008, 01:30 AM
I offered him $8k even thoguh he asked 10k, and he refused. I was not really suprised but I decided I will not pay over $9k. So i offered 9k and he has not responded. Been looking at other brands but they have WAY too many hours and are too old. If anyone sees a good deal for 10k or less let me know.

In my book they are truly an excellent product, I have owned 4 thomas skidsteers thru the years and have yet to do put any serious money in any of them other than an expensive sandblasting and paint job on an older 133. I personally would of bought another one this past spring but was unsure when they had financial trouble, I ended up purchasing a gehl instead. Anyone here who bad mouths them have not the experience to do so. My 153 has 1900 brutal hours on it, and have not touched the motor at all. Just a new muffler and some minor up keep items. You will not be dissapointed. Make sure your dealer can get parts and your good to go.

westcoh
01-03-2008, 01:54 AM
I'll second the idea of buying a 751 or similar Bobcat. I'm 23 now and a few years ago when I was starting out I purchased a 753 Bobcat and it's yet to give me any major problems. It was the perfect machine for me to start out with and I should be able to sell it now for not much less than I payed.

bobbyg18
01-03-2008, 02:29 PM
i had a thomas 153 and had no problems w/ it...steady and sturdy and perfomed well...but i dont work on the machine myself and when i went to get it serviced, two different mechanics said it is harder to work on then a bobcat...also it was hard for them to track down basic filters

i decided to sell it and buy a bobcat before it needed any major parts and i had to wait weeks as this is my only machine...

also the attachments should fit fine, i used a landscape rake on my thomas no problems other than the pressure buildup on the aux hydraulic lines...

good luck

ksss
01-03-2008, 09:19 PM
By law Thomas will have to provide parts for five years after they go under. You will pay a premium for them you can be assured of that. I don't think anyone is down playing the performance of a Thomas machine. The only issue I have is they are a bad investment right now. Maybe someone will save them but I would not wage a skid steer on that.

Johnson LCO
01-03-2008, 09:25 PM
I am still looking around for deals. The guy got back to me and said he would not go below $9450. If I cannot find something else I will get back to him in 1-2 months when he is more willing to negotiate. I found some good deals on bobcats but they are always already sold. Thanks for the inputs guys.

Johnson LCO
01-03-2008, 11:00 PM
I found a couple of skids but cant decide on which one to make an offer on both are asking 9500:

1999 bobcat 763 with 46 hp kubota diesel 1600 hours, good condition, but looks repainted

The second one is a new holland LX665. I like this one better because it is in my state which is very rare because DE is so small. The only problem is that they dont list the year. It is in great shape and only has 552 hours. The price seems to good because it is from a dealer. It looks to be in great shape but I really want to know the year. I know the serial number is 64217, is there anyway to find the year?

Are either of these really worth the money or should I keep looking?

zedosix
01-03-2008, 11:19 PM
What year is that Thomas 153?

Johnson LCO
01-03-2008, 11:21 PM
Its a 2003.

zedosix
01-04-2008, 12:05 AM
Its a 2003.

Ok, thanks. You are passing up a great machine.

Johnson LCO
01-04-2008, 12:19 AM
Believe me, I want to consider the thomas skid steer but the guy is just not willing to work with me. He says he want 9800, I lowball him with 8K just to feel him out. He says no. I ask him a bunch of questions along with an offer of $9k if everything is ok with the machine. He replies after a couple days saying he will only take 9450, without answering any questions. My nearest thomas dealer is an hour away, so I would consider paying $9k but the guy is just interested in getting the money, not answering my questions. I dont want to drive 5 hours to find that the machine is a POS.

zedosix
01-04-2008, 12:44 AM
Put yourself in his shoes, you are 5 hours away, you haven't even seen the machine and you are trying to lowball him already. How many questions is he supposed to answer to someone who only suggests he's asking too much. Get the funds together and take a drive out to see it. Ask for service records but really, 600 hours?, its just broken in.

Johnson LCO
01-04-2008, 01:27 AM
I see what you are saying but I want to establish a price before I waste a lot of my time. When you put an add out you should be expecting someone to haggle with you unless you write that the price is firm. Right now I am just going to let him hang for a little while I pursue other options. From what people are saying I dont think this will sell real quick for the price he wants. If I cant find a half descent machine, I will go see it and see what can be done with the price.
Zedosix- How are the controls on these machines? What machine are they simialr to? I couldnt find this info anywhere because these machines are not very popular.

ksss
01-04-2008, 01:48 AM
They are similar to a Bobcat style hand/foot controls. I don't think they ever came out with hands only.

zedosix
01-04-2008, 10:16 AM
Something you need to ask the man. They are either the foot-hand controls or just hand. They made both styles. Find out also if the machine has a cab, that would be a bonus if it did.

dbear
01-04-2008, 11:03 AM
...two different mechanics said it is harder to work on then a bobcat...also it was hard for them to track down basic filters...

Sounds to me like your mechanics were in a Bobcat house - aka blatantly biased against all things not Bob. Most Bobcat die-hards (dealers) see skids as either those that are Bob, or those wanting-to-be-Bob.

As far as not finding filters, the last I knew Thomas uses the same darn engines (Kubota) and hydraulic components that Bobcat, and most other manufacturers for that matter, do. Your guys were just being lazy.

Don't have any personal experience with Thomas, but do have a lot of seat time on a pair of Bob 743's. Bottomline: not overly impressed. While I have to admit they did all I asked of them, and the only semi-major problem was the u-joint between the engine and pump crapped out on one unit, I thought the engine itself had absolutely no lugging ability. It took no effort at all to stall either machine out just by dropping the rpms by maybe 500. You could almost accomplish this simply by doing a hard turn from a standstill.

Also, I found that Bob's attachment system (the one that they forced the rest of skid manufacturers to adopt by refusing to entertain the possibility that their's wasn't the best) becomes sloppy after a couple of years allowing attachments to "chuck" around increasing component wear.

In comparison, I also have some experience (approx 40 hours) with a Gehl 4635(?). Liked the performance of this machine better. I don't remember which engine it had, but I don't recall it having the lugging issue the Bobs did. It also had Gehl's attachment system, I think. No input on it though as I wasn't around it long enough to develop a history.

zedosix
01-04-2008, 11:08 AM
Your gehl likely had the deutz oil cooled motor. I have a gehl 5640e turbo and it walks over any bobcat of comparable size. I don't want to bash bobcat but pound for pound against any thomas they don't have what it takes.

KTM
01-04-2008, 11:33 AM
I agree with dbear, the mechanics are full of it if they said they had a hard time finding filters, There are alot of companys (i.e. Bobcat) that dont make most of there componets, there just subed out. I have talked to many mechanics that say Bobcats are a pain to work on. Not knocking them I own one too.

Johnson LCO
01-04-2008, 10:17 PM
I called about the New Holland and the guy said he doubted that it had 500 original hours. At least he was honest. The good thing I found out is that he services thomas machines and he said that everyone he knows likes them because they are easy to work on and dont break down often. He is less than ten minutes from me so the thomas is looking better.

Scag48
01-05-2008, 06:12 AM
Your gehl likely had the deutz oil cooled motor. I have a gehl 5640e turbo and it walks over any bobcat of comparable size. I don't want to bash bobcat but pound for pound against any thomas they don't have what it takes.

How is your Gehl working out for you? I spent quite a bit of time in my buddy's 5640 turbo, his isn't the E series though. While I'd rather have pilots, the hand controls weren't bad and that machine has some balls on it for sure, I was getting myself in to places I definately shouldn't have been with a skid steer. Load up the bucket with dirt for some front end weight and go, I was backing up 1.5:1 slopes with a bucket of dirt to give the machine a little bite with the front tires, I couldn't get the back end off the ground if I tried, that machine will stick to any slope.

Scag48
01-05-2008, 06:14 AM
Your gehl likely had the deutz oil cooled motor. I have a gehl 5640e turbo and it walks over any bobcat of comparable size. I don't want to bash bobcat but pound for pound against any thomas they don't have what it takes.

How is your Gehl working out for you? I spent quite a bit of time in my buddy's 5640 turbo, his isn't the E series though. While I'd rather have pilots, the hand controls weren't bad and that machine has some balls on it for sure, I was getting myself in to places I definately shouldn't have been with a skid steer. Load up the bucket with dirt for some front end weight and go, I was backing up 1.5:1 slopes with a bucket of dirt to give the machine a little bite with the front tires, I couldn't get the back end off the ground if I tried, that machine will stick to any slope. That 85hp Deutz has power all day, I'd run out of traction before I'd run out of power. My buddy has a set of steel tracks for it. I wish we had a job that we could have used them on, I bet that machine is completely savage with a set of steel tracks.

zedosix
01-05-2008, 10:17 AM
It will be on my fleet for a long time. Doesn't the e have 82 horse and the non e has like 60 or something. Either way I love the machine, it takes a bit getting used to the pilots since I've been used to hand foot controls for so long, its quite sensitive to the slightest hand movement. You simply cannot give the machine to much work, it drives right thru clay, crushed stone, nothing seems to get in its way. I really have to be careful around curbs, my old thomas would have to run full tilt into them to do damage, with the weight and power of this thing you just touch them slightly and it wants to tear them off!

Fieldman12
01-05-2008, 10:20 AM
Im not going to knock Thomas in any way other than well they are basically bankrupt. Sooner or later that machine will break. Do you really want to be messing around on the phone all day trying to find a part to match up? Go with a New Holland, Bobcat, Case, Deere, Gehl or New Holland that you can get parts for. Yes allot of the parts are off the shelf but there is many different sizes and so on. Trust me it will be worth the extra money especially if you have jobs to do but your broke down trying to get parts. Heck it can be bad enough sometimes getting parts from even a good dealer.

zedosix
01-05-2008, 10:49 AM
Im not going to knock Thomas in any way other than well they are basically bankrupt. Sooner or later that machine will break. Do you really want to be messing around on the phone all day trying to find a part to match up? Go with a New Holland, Bobcat, Case, Deere, Gehl or New Holland that you can get parts for. Yes allot of the parts are off the shelf but there is many different sizes and so on. Trust me it will be worth the extra money especially if you have jobs to do but your broke down trying to get parts. Heck it can be bad enough sometimes getting parts from even a good dealer.

I guess I should sell the vette and my gmc, aren't they basically bankrupt. Thomas has a kubota motor, last I heard they were doing pretty darn good, if and its a big if, the loading arms crack its a simple welding job, what parts do you think he is going to need that he may have a hard time to get. Sometimes these sites do more harm than good with all the rubbish floating around.

ksss
01-05-2008, 02:15 PM
I guess I should sell the vette and my gmc, aren't they basically bankrupt. Thomas has a kubota motor, last I heard they were doing pretty darn good, if and its a big if, the loading arms crack its a simple welding job, what parts do you think he is going to need that he may have a hard time to get. Sometimes these sites do more harm than good with all the rubbish floating around.

Your comparing GM to Thomas ya thats an equal comparison. You bought a Gehl instead of a Thomas for your last machine based by your post because of the economic condition of Thomas. Obviously when it is your money your a little more careful. Fieldmans points are valid. If your in business it is simply not a good decision to buy a principle piece of equipment from an OEM who's stock is been downgraded to junk. Obviously you agree based on your buying decisions. The majority of parts are probably available. Certainly some components are proprietary and will be more difficult to get. When Thomas does officially go under the dealer network will shrink even smaller. When time is money why would anyone want to take on that kind of risk when you can buy someone elses machine and not have that issue. A Thomas is certainly no better than anything else out there, if they were they would likely not be in the spot there in.

zedosix
01-05-2008, 02:31 PM
Your comparing GM to Thomas ya thats an equal comparison. You bought a Gehl instead of a Thomas for your last machine based by your post because of the economic condition of Thomas. Obviously when it is your money your a little more careful. Fieldmans points are valid. If your in business it is simply not a good decision to buy a principle piece of equipment from an OEM who's stock is been downgraded to junk. Obviously you agree based on your buying decisions. The majority of parts are probably available. Certainly some components are proprietary and will be more difficult to get. When Thomas does officially go under the dealer network will shrink even smaller. When time is money why would anyone want to take on that kind of risk when you can buy someone elses machine and not have that issue. A Thomas is certainly no better than anything else out there, if they were they would likely not be in the spot there in.

Do me a favour and don't assume you know anything about my purchase decision. I bought a gehl instead of a thomas because thomas did not make one the size that I required, width and power. It had nothing to do with their current state of affairs.

Johnson LCO
01-05-2008, 02:49 PM
The only alternative I can find that actually is true to what the ad says is an asv md2810. It is a 1999 with 3000 hours for $6000. I am weary of this because of the high hours and I really dont want to mess with the undercarrige because I dont know anything about them. Also, even though the tracks are like new, I dont want to replace them every 500 hours if the machine even lasts that long. The only pluses to this are the price, the added traction and the additional hp. I still think the thomas is the better deal, but I amy offer the guy with the ASV 5k and evaluate it from there.

ksss
01-05-2008, 03:10 PM
In my book they are truly an excellent product, I have owned 4 thomas skidsteers thru the years and have yet to do put any serious money in any of them other than an expensive sandblasting and paint job on an older 133. I personally would of bought another one this past spring but was unsure when they had financial trouble, I ended up purchasing a gehl instead. Anyone here who bad mouths them have not the experience to do so. My 153 has 1900 brutal hours on it, and have not touched the motor at all. Just a new muffler and some minor up keep items. You will not be dissapointed. Make sure your dealer can get parts and your good to go.



You mentioned you were unsure about their financial trouble as a reason not to buy one. I guess I miss understood.

Scag48
01-05-2008, 03:36 PM
FWIW, those ASV MD's weren't bad machines, actually. However, I don't know too much about them and their issues, 3,000 hours is a bit of a stretch. What concerns me more is that you started looking at a 40 horse skid steer, now you're looking at 70+ horse track machines? What kind of work will you be doing?

Johnson LCO
01-05-2008, 06:14 PM
I plan on using mostly to load dirt and mulch into trucks and a dump trailer. Other than that it is going to be used for grading and installing new lawns along with planting trees with an auger. In the winter it may be used for snow but we never seem to get that much. I was looking for something with at least 40+ hp to run thing like a harley rake and because they have a half decent lift capacity.

Fieldman12
01-05-2008, 06:19 PM
Last I looked GM is still number one in the US as far as sales. They are a far cry from going broke. I never said anything bad about Thomas. As a matter of fact I have said many good things about them on this site. Just sometimes just because a machine is good does not mean it is good for your business.

zedosix
01-05-2008, 06:35 PM
Last I looked GM is still number one in the US as far as sales. They are a far cry from going broke. I never said anything bad about Thomas. As a matter of fact I have said many good things about them on this site. Just sometimes just because a machine is good does not mean it is good for your business.

Must of been a while ago, just google "gm going bankrupt"

Fieldman12
01-05-2008, 06:49 PM
They have had downward sales but have done allot of things in the past year to turn that around. They have 26.38 billion dollars in cash. Even if they was they are too much of a image in America. It would be in the governments best interest to bail them out. There is still way too many things tied to the big three.

http://finance.yahoo.com/q/ks?s=GM

dozerman21
01-06-2008, 01:23 AM
I wouldn't buy a Thomas for what you want to do. Unless a farmer or homeowner just wanted a machine to tinker around with, and it was a crazy deal, I'd look for something else. With the company's future in doubt, why buy one when there is a plethora of used skids on the market? If you had a major repair, it could be hard as hell to get some of the not so common parts, not to mention finding someone to work on it (unless TallRick is your neighbor).:laugh:

None of this has anything to do with the ability of the machine. I'm sure it's very capable of doing what you need. To me, it would be like a high school kid who buys a Yugo or Merkur to deliver pizzas (I'm not comparing the quality of the Thomas to the cars... just the possible parts and service unavailability).:usflag:

GradeMan
01-08-2008, 02:20 PM
Tought machine, Farmers here bet the living crap out of them and they still keep going! They are a lower brand machine but they will get your money back for you. All the attachments work with them aswell.

zedosix
01-09-2008, 10:25 PM
http://www.thomasloaders.com/

To whom it may concern

bobcat_ron
01-10-2008, 10:39 AM
Did they discontinue their tracked skid steer?

KTM
01-10-2008, 02:52 PM
I want to know if they make the track machine anymore too. I was also looking at the specs on the big machine, it says it does 20mph, that true?

Scag48
01-10-2008, 04:10 PM
20 MPH is basically useless. Standard 2 speed travel, which is around 12 MPH, is fast enough and that can only be used on paved surfaces unless you like banging your head on the underside of the cab. Even if you were to road a skid steer, those components aren't built to stand up to the high revolutions and heat that would result from travelling at 20 MPH, let alone the machine might buck very badly.

Tigerotor77W
01-10-2008, 05:05 PM
I was also looking at the specs on the big machine, it says it does 20mph, that true?

Nope. They switched the kph and mph -- 20 kph is 12.5 mph, which is what the machine's actual high-speed.

Scag48
01-10-2008, 07:52 PM
That makes more sense, 20MPH would be absolutely ridiculous for a skid steer.

zedosix
01-10-2008, 11:59 PM
Did they discontinue their tracked skid steer?

No, I saw one at a trade show today in Toronto. What a huge machine, the bucket had to hold 2 y3 of material!!!