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View Full Version : Cat 236B opinions?


EliteGroundworks
01-30-2008, 10:25 AM
Hey, I'm buying a new skid steer and am considering both John Deere and Cat. I demo'd a few and have narrowed it down to the Cat 236B series 2 and the JD 320. I like the idea of the vertical lift on the JD but I'm not a huge fan of the controls; the Cat is so nice to operate with the pilot controls. Just wondering if anyone has comments about either machine, any help would be appreciated.

Thanks,
Matt

zedosix
01-30-2008, 11:03 AM
I've a feeling your about to get more help than you need. Just demo the two of them and try to get an overall feeling which one you are more comfortable with. Both are great machines and would be backed by a good warranty.

BIGBEN2004
01-30-2008, 11:23 AM
Cat 236B all the way. You cant beat the agility with the controls and not to mention the Deere has horrible visibility. The loader booms are so over sized you cant see anything. Just because they make large loader arms doesn't mean they are stronger than their competitors either. The controls are so out of date on the Deere. I also like on their web page how they can only bad mouth the Takeuchi on the fact that it runs Pilot controls when Deere is getting ready to introduce a optional Pilot controls on their skid steers. They better come up with a better reason to bad mouth the competition with then just the pilot controls. They must not know much about Pilot controls. They are the only type of controls one would want to run after you get used to them.

bobcat_ron
01-30-2008, 11:26 AM
You'll find the Cat is actually better balanced than the Deere in softer material like sand, Deere can claim they got the best weight distribution all around, but when your ass end keeps digging down to the belly pan, Cat runs circles around them.
Also, Cat's cabs are 10 times better and really suits the needs of bigger operators.

The last thing I'd like to bring up is servicing, Deere needs the loader raised up to work on it, just yesterday in my area, some operator was killed by his own loader of his NH/Deere (not sure) because he had to perform a critical repair and the safety lock out failed, crushing him. Cat's don't need the loaders raised.

RockSet N' Grade
01-30-2008, 11:29 AM
I am a little older than alot of folks here. When I chose my machine, a top consideration for me was pilots. My arms get tired faster, I have tennis elbow in the right arm.....I run the machine myself, so I didn't want to be completely exhausted at the end of the day. The equation is different for everyone, but comfort rated high on my list. Balance out your needs and also factor in dealer support........as far as preferences and spec's, machine plus/minus attributes I will leave that to you.....

BIGBEN2004
01-30-2008, 11:32 AM
New Holland is a ancient design and Deere just followed like a lost puppy when it came time for them to build their own. Eventually that design will be opsolite and for good reason. It is so sloppy and bangs into the cab all day. Any manufacture that purposely puts pads on the sides of the cab for the loader arms to rub on is making a junk set up.

bobcat_ron
01-30-2008, 12:30 PM
Here's one that I keep forgetting to mention: Everyone except Deere and the older Case skids, their windows are on the OUTSIDE of the FOPS, I could just imagine myself with a brand new Deere CTL, waking up the next morning and seeing that some little punk decided to smash the side windows, Deere's are on the outside where they are easily smashed and scraped by branches and Cat has them (and others) in the inside of the cab.

BIGBEN2004
01-30-2008, 03:46 PM
Yea you are wright. Also it is hard to clean them that way. The normal way you can wipe down the inside with a towel and some glass cleaner, and for the outside just pressure wash and scrub with a brush. I noticed the new cats you can take the windows out to clean them, very smart CAT.

bobcat_ron
01-30-2008, 04:29 PM
I did however have to glue in the lower portion of the 3 piece window system, there is a good seal there, but if it rains real hard, it'll drip right there inside.

BIGBEN2004
01-30-2008, 04:31 PM
I always had problems with the top window on the cats leaking, has yours ever done that? It can be a little annoying when it comes in like a waterfall.

bobcat_ron
01-30-2008, 04:33 PM
No, I haven't checked that yet, there is a lot of condensation drops there, but I'll check it out when it thaws out.

YellowDogSVC
01-30-2008, 04:57 PM
I did however have to glue in the lower portion of the 3 piece window system, there is a good seal there, but if it rains real hard, it'll drip right there inside.

do you have the sealed and pressurized cab?

iron peddler
01-30-2008, 05:17 PM
top window used to be able to take it out and clean....new window is sealed so you can clean it from the outside and not worry about taking it out, plus it is a much better seal from water and such.

bobcat_ron
01-30-2008, 06:16 PM
do you have the sealed and pressurized cab?


Yes I do, but I only noticed it after the first heavy rain fall, there is no where for the water to drain off, so I just sits there, and if the cab rattles a bit, drip, drip, drip, drip, like a leaky tap. :dizzy:

Fieldman12
01-30-2008, 07:22 PM
I have a Deere skid steer and the boom is yet to even come close to the cab. You are talking about the old New Holland design. Yes they do have some boom sway but I bet it is not any more than an inch of sway and you got to have it way up in the air to get that. The booms are not bad to see around because I run mine most of the time with the bucket curled up some and the booms up maybe six inches from the stops. I try to always keep my bucket low no matter if i have a load or not . I have had it in mud a bunch of times and have yet to drag the ground. Both make good machines. The Cat is the cadillac machine and the Deere is the (get her done machine). You are going to pay a good bit more most likely for the Cat. As far as lifting power hands down the Deere will out lift the Cat and as for power the Deere has plenty. The Deere will most likely have more pushing power also. You dont have to take my word for it but the Deere is just a good all around machine. The door that varies from person to person what they like. Personalyl I like the slide up door because lets face it I dont have to worry what position my booms are in. That Cat will probably have better resale but then again your gonna pay more for it so in the end there may not be that much difference.

BIGBEN2004
01-30-2008, 07:37 PM
I agree 100% on the roll up door. My Takeuchi has a roll up door and I love it. I can run it with the door up if I am going to have to keep getting out to pick stuff up in a yard. Also I am never trapped in the machine if something happens and the loader boom is up. I have had one time where a guy I was working with was on a Bobcat and got out and shut the door, what the problem was is that he set the bucket down on a small pile of dirt and had to raise the front of the machine up a couple of inches. When he went to get back in the Hydraulics had leaked off and the loader was in front of the door disabling him from access to the cab. Long story short we had to take the door off so he could get in.

Scag48
01-30-2008, 10:10 PM
To answer the original question to the original poster, try both out and see what you like. I'm partial to Cat, but your Deere dealer may offer you better service and you might like the Deere better. To me, Deere's are loud, the cabs leave a little to be desired, and the control system has absolutely nothing on Cat. And to top it all off, Cat gives us the best service, it's a no-brainer for us.

ksss
01-30-2008, 10:28 PM
Honestly I don't see those two machines as being anywhere similiar. It much depends on what you want to do with it. Demo them both doing the type of work you intend to do with the one you buy. That is very important. Spinning circles in the dealers lot wont tell you what you need to know. Stick them both in the dirt and see what you think. Then demo a CASE 440 which will out perform both of them in any excavating type demo. But in a lift and carry type operation the Deere would likely perform better than the CAT or CASE due to its lift path.

pcs
01-30-2008, 11:44 PM
Is there some sort of override on the Cat so when the door is off you can still use the machine?

Scag48
01-31-2008, 12:35 AM
Is there some sort of override on the Cat so when the door is off you can still use the machine?

I honestly can't tell you how it's done because I've never done it, but I know it can be done. There are quite a few rental machines in the fleet that are equipped with cabs but they take the doors off so people don't munch them.

iron peddler
01-31-2008, 09:50 AM
Is there some sort of override on the Cat so when the door is off you can still use the machine?

yes there is a connection you make after the you take off the door that will enable the controls.

pcs
01-31-2008, 10:34 AM
What connection is that?

bobcat_ron
01-31-2008, 11:13 AM
What connection is that?

On the wiring harness that goes to the door is a grey plug with a white wire that just connects the circut, after you got the door off, just plug that connector back into the male end. Done.