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RockSet N' Grade
08-28-2008, 06:35 PM
Looking to buy a laser grader...It's $20k. Set up demo for today. We started work at 5am and prepped the area so it would be ready for the laser which was schedualed for 10am. 4pm rolls around, CAT guy calls says he's at the job site with the laser grader where am I? We drive over.......they did not bring a dual slope laser, they did not bring a tri-pod with a mast and said just put it on the back of my pick-up - that should be good enough. Wrong again turbo! I told the inattentive youth to go back to the shop, get the proper equipment so I can demo this little item properly.......and don'tcha think I would want to have it set up so there are no blind spots so make sure to bring back the correct mast. I have been working on this demo set up for two weeks, have been very specific and detailed in what I want, need, have and am going. The guy treated me like I was an inconvenience. I must say, the Cat machine with laser box sitting on site does make a fine piece of yard art. The actual service I have received from CAT to date is marginal with a distinct tone of arrogance and piss poor performance.......I know I am not a big operator.....I am only $250-$500k range of ownership of equipment, so I am small potatoes but if you say you are gonna do it......do it and do it on time or don't do it at all. They ( CAT ) cost me a day of work, screwed the pooch for tomorrow's jobs and Sat's job's and that's where I sit right now.......there is still day light, so they may show back up with the proper components.......anyone care to take a hard money wager on them showing up tonight with the rest of the components.......come on CAT boys show that loyalty and take the other side of this bet!

Dirt Digger2
08-28-2008, 07:14 PM
sounds like you get the same type of service out west as we get here in the east

bobcat_ron
08-28-2008, 08:19 PM
Sounds like the CAT dealership needs some heads busted and some serious pep-talks.

ccstrebe
08-28-2008, 08:48 PM
What brand of laser box?

ksss
08-28-2008, 08:59 PM
My turn.

Cat technology guy calls after I inquire on Trimbles website about laser graders and the differences and similiarities of the Apache components. We correspond over email and then met for lunch and he gives me a quote. I agree and they start the install end of May begining of June. They are still working on the system. Having some tech. difficulties. Tommorrow they are coming out with lead tech. to troubleshoot before calling Apache. Come to find out they are not really familiar with this system and need some training. Don't recall that part over the burger I had, maybe I need to close my mouth when I chew and drink less beer.

I will say there is zero arrogance and I seem to get along good with the sales tech guy and the guys who have been out to work on my stuff. I think he would really like a check for what they have done, but he acknowledges that it aint working right and there is a .5 inch difference in the system and they cant seem to understand why. I will not pay a dime until it is perfect. I have one chance to hit this market and the machine will be perfect. I also think they have already adjusted the bill to try and reduce their lose in time on this deal. I will address that later.

What bothers me is that it is practically Sept. and I still am not operational. I never harrassed them over the Summer to get out here, they came out as they could except for 1 week in July I was out of the area.

They are good guys and not like what you have run into Rock but the obviously delivering as promised and in a timely manner seems to be a problem. For the record Rocks dealer and mine are not the same.

stuvecorp
08-28-2008, 09:01 PM
Kinda sounds like dealing with my Case dealer...

But the service guys are awesome.

jefftb
08-28-2008, 09:08 PM
you need to be cat like when dancing around the hard questions. Like:

1) why is your price 20% higher than the competition for this machine or item?
2) why do you act like you are bothered I have called to do business with you?
3) why do some of your machines that cost more, do less?

Cats are quick on their feet, always land all four down, and have 9 lives. Cats are aloof and act as if they could care less about you and your life or business just as long as you feed them. They do not come when called.

Now you know why CAT is named after cats.:rolleyes::laugh:

stuvecorp
08-28-2008, 09:09 PM
My turn.

Cat technology guy calls after I inquire on Trimbles website about laser graders and the differences and similiarities of the Apache components. We correspond over email and then met for lunch and he gives me a quote. I agree and they start the install end of May begining of June. They are still working on the system. Having some tech. difficulties. Tommorrow they are coming out with lead tech. to troubleshoot before calling Apache. Come to find out they are not really familiar with this system and need some training. Don't recall that part over the burger I had, maybe I need to close my mouth when I chew and drink less beer.

I will say there is zero arrogance and I seem to get along good with the sales tech guy and the guys who have been out to work on my stuff. I think he would really like a check for what they have done, but he acknowledges that it aint working right and there is a .5 inch difference in the system and they cant seem to understand why. I will not pay a dime until it is perfect. I have one chance to hit this market and the machine will be perfect. I also think they have already adjusted the bill to try and reduce their lose in time on this deal. I will address that later.

What bothers me is that it is practically Sept. and I still am not operational. I never harrassed them over the Summer to get out here, they came out as they could except for 1 week in July I was out of the area.

They are good guys and not like what you have run into Rock but the obviously delivering as promised and in a timely manner seems to be a problem. For the record Rocks dealer and mine are not the same.

Ouch, that's like having Christmas delayed every day. I do rent stuff from Cat and they have always been great, I just don't like having that color equipment on the job site (we do put a sheet over it and park it behind the house).

Scag48
08-28-2008, 09:10 PM
I dunno what's with Cat in some places. I guess my company doesn't get along with Cat all too well, we run practically everything Komatsu. Funny thing is, we have a brand new 938H on another site that I've been working on the last couple days. Can't quite figure that one out, Komatsu builds a decent loader, not sure why management sprung for a Cat. Haven't had a chance to run it yet, but the operator says it's nice.

Bummer Cat has to be stupid and blow off customers regardless of their size of operation. Eventually it's going to catch up with Cat, how long it's going to take is hard to say.

jmf
08-28-2008, 09:36 PM
We recently visited my wife's cousin in Indiana. Her husband had a D6 with laser control and I gave it try. It has an automatic mode but it assumes the machine can push whatever the blade is pushing. So I went to just operated and watched the level. I've never spent the time to master the dozer and the laser didn't help that much. I think I could have done a better job with my 4n1 on the ASV. I would guess that an good dozer operator would be using to confirm what he knows.

jmf

Scag48
08-28-2008, 09:43 PM
Was it a dual plane laser on that D6? I like the laser systems, but all they do is speed the process of grade checking by allowing the operator to not have to get off the dozer, that's about it. GPS, on the other hand, is an incredible tool to have on a dozer. While I haven't tried fully automatic grading, the standard setup of just following the display in the cab is good enough for me. Shows you where existing grade is, where you are at that moment in time, and where things need to be. GPS is awesome, but incredibly pricey.

RockSet N' Grade
08-28-2008, 09:52 PM
Update: Just got back from setting up the laser on the rental CAT. The guy who is an expert did not know how to calculate percentages.......after we fingered that out, it was time to run the machine. Opppsss! Both quick disconnect pins on the tracked skid are broken and will not hold an implement on the front of the skid. Phone calls of frustration from my poor CAT rep.......and although it is still sunny out here, I think he was more red out of embarassement.......Suppose to deliever a machine to me bright and early tomorrow.......at about 10am, so I can get to work. Hell man, we start at 6am.....it is not go to church day, what's the deal? Can't someone answer the phone now and bring me a machine tonight.......nope........So, do I look like a hero or a zero to my client who is paying big bucks for this high performance on time service?

RockSet N' Grade
08-28-2008, 09:56 PM
Scag.......almost got it right with laser vs. gps. Both have their place. The market I am after is perfect for laser, and prohibitive for gps....Highways, big govt. jobs where you have the manpower to program the software and develop and support gps is where that is good........but that is not me......Give me inside building slabs, baseball fields, parks, upper end home yards of an acre or more, parking lots, sports courts, etc.......there is the partial list of the niche this is made for....

Scag48
08-28-2008, 09:58 PM
I'd tell them to get their act together or you'll find someone else. Buying equipment is much like buying insurance, cars, etc.. Always good to have another option in case one just doesn't work out, don't keep all your eggs in one basket kind of deal. I'd tell them to get it figured out or pound sand. That stuff just irritates the hell out of me. If it makes you feel any better, my crew needed a 580 today and we didn't get one, we got crapped on a little. Apparently the underground crew was more important than us. Haha

You're right about GPS, doesn't make sense unless you're a big dirt contractor. It takes a small army of dudes in job shacks to keep the models running and at least one guy running around with a rover and making sure everything is working like it's supposed to. Laser works just fine for large, single or double plane grading. The jobs we're on though, grade changes so much, that's the biggest advantage of GPS. We know where we are, all the time, anywhere on the site. On the job I'm on now though, we don't have any machines with GPS on them, just a dude running around with the rover. But if you're running a D8 or excavator with GPS, man, that really takes some guesswork out of things especially if you're on a huge job where grade changes so much. Like I said, that's the real advantages of GPS, you know where grade is all the time. No re-setting up the laser or reciever on the rod, nothing, simply walk the GPS reciever over, shoot, and go. Great tool.

ksss
08-28-2008, 10:01 PM
I dunno what's with Cat in some places. I guess my company doesn't get along with Cat all too well, we run practically everything Komatsu. Funny thing is, we have a brand new 938H on another site that I've been working on the last couple days. Can't quite figure that one out, Komatsu builds a decent loader, not sure why management sprung for a Cat. Haven't had a chance to run it yet, but the operator says it's nice.

Bummer Cat has to be stupid and blow off customers regardless of their size of operation. Eventually it's going to catch up with Cat, how long it's going to take is hard to say.


They probably bought the CAT to keep the Komatsu guy honest. Just a reminder that just because we are mostly Komatsu don't think we wont go anywhere else.

I see that here all the time.

I large underground company has mostly all CASE machines minus 1 Hitachi 200, they have a 210 CASE and a 330 CASE . They have two three CASE loaders and 1 Volva. All their backhoes are now CASE.

My excavator buddy has all CAT minus 1 465 and 1 Hitachi 200, he has 2-430s, a 160H, 950 loader, and a 315C excavator. The Hitachi was due to a pissin match he was having with CAT. The skid steer is just him, he never liked CATs skid steer, has always bought CASE. I think it works. Althought I have never had a reason to try it. I get taken care of pretty well.

I asked them why the change up. Answer don't want to have all one color, keeps everyone honest was the answer.

RockSet N' Grade
08-28-2008, 10:02 PM
I still think, as the sun is setting, that the laser device and broken CAT are nice yard art......only cost me, hmmmmm, ALOT!!!

RockSet N' Grade
08-28-2008, 10:06 PM
And just for the record: My CAT rep thinks I am a little abrasive and quite demanding. I told him, how would you like to be me and live with me because he is absolutely right and I have a hard time living with my self alot of the time too!!!

Scag48
08-28-2008, 10:08 PM
[QUOTE=ksss;2488676]They probably bought the CAT to keep the Komatsu guy honest. Just a reminder that just because we are mostly Komatsu don't think we wont go anywhere else.



[QUOTE]

That's kinda what I was thinking. Or Cat is trying to get into our company, one of the two was the way I figured. We have a lot of equipment, at least 80 pieces I'd bet. I know that even right now when times are slow, the fueler said he fueled up 65 pieces one day last week when I asked him. So, we're definately a contender for Cat's business here.

Junior M
08-28-2008, 10:10 PM
this is goin to be way off topic and is goin to be a huge thread hi jack but i have always wondered this. scag how do you get to the job? do you drive straight to the job or do you go to a shop and ride in a company truck to the job? just wondering how little stuff like that works in a huge company like that..

jefftb
08-28-2008, 10:12 PM
Just an aside (or hijack if you like that better), GPS machine control is probably not suited for most owner/operators here. You better be a large firm with a dedicated person(s) for the GPS control and models required to get the most out of the GPS infrastructure.

We are talking large earthwork jobs where they measure productivity in 1000's of cubic yards/hour.

The models, computers, equipment and personnel required to produce/service around this equipment is significant.

iron peddler
08-28-2008, 10:13 PM
i am a Cat guy and have some Accugrade experience....i will say that you have to be a specialist to sell laser grade anymore....it is a tough slice of business, i will admit that is a confusing part of the business and i only try to help with what i can, we have 3 grade specialists, and i only ask then questions when in dire need....it is not as easy as we think it should be....i guess that is why trimble only sells grade systems.

Scag48
08-28-2008, 10:25 PM
this is goin to be way off topic and is goin to be a huge thread hi jack but i have always wondered this. scag how do you get to the job? do you drive straight to the job or do you go to a shop and ride in a company truck to the job? just wondering how little stuff like that works in a huge company like that..

We drive to the job in the mornings in our own cars. We fire up at 7, I'm usually on site at 6. Traffic in Seattle sucks, I'm only about 22 miles from the big job I'm working on, but I'm up at 4:45 to make it there in the morning. There is talk of work about 70 miles away this winter, if that happens, I haven't decided how I want to go about that. May get a hotel room down there with some other guys on the crew, may just carpool it with another guy who lives further away from that area than I do, not sure. The company definately screwed us when it comes to riding in company trucks. My super lives about 15 miles from my house, I'd totally just meet him at his house in the morning and ride to the job with him in the mornings but the company decided to buy standard cab pickups instead of extended cabs. So, with all the crap in the truck, it's doubtful that's a possibility. That's the only bad thing about the union route, the possibility for travel is pretty good.

Junior M
08-28-2008, 10:28 PM
We drive to the job in the mornings in our own cars. We fire up at 7, I'm usually on site at 6. Traffic in Seattle sucks, I'm only about 22 miles from the big job I'm working on, but I'm up at 4:45 to make it there in the morning. There is talk of work about 70 miles away this winter, if that happens, I haven't decided how I want to go about that. May get a hotel room down there with some other guys on the crew, may just carpool it with another guy who lives further away from that area than I do, not sure. The company definately screwed us when it comes to riding in company trucks. My super lives about 15 miles from my house, I'd totally just meet him at his house in the morning and ride to the job with him in the mornings but the company decided to buy standard cab pickups instead of extended cabs. So, with all the crap in the truck, it's doubtful that's a possibility. That's the only bad thing about the union route, the possibility for travel is pretty good.
wow that is goin to suck driving that far.. but do they have like a shop where the equipment goes if not being used or is it always on the job? thanks for the help just always wanted to know how large operations operated.

Scag48
08-28-2008, 10:34 PM
I haven't been to the shop yet, but we have one. Don't know if it's big enough to store a large amount of equipment, but I'm not sure, haven't been there. I would imagine we have a decent sized shop for repairs and the like, we have 5 or 6 service trucks that I know of, so I would imagine we have at least 1 or 2 full time mechanics at the shop wrenching all the time. We also have a huge dump site out in the middle of nowhere I imagine some equipment could be sent to for storage. Doubtful all the equipment ever makes it back to the shop or off a job. The underground crew stays busy all winter and the dirt boys get laid off, so most of the underground stuff probably never makes it back to the shop or needs storage. All I know is that the underground crew screwed us for sure today, we needed a backhoe so bad and didn't have one. Tomorrow, tomorrow...

Junior M
08-28-2008, 10:36 PM
oh.. wow.. that would be fun work with yall.. all that huge iron! ok thanks for the answers..

Construct'O
08-28-2008, 10:43 PM
We recently visited my wife's cousin in Indiana. Her husband had a D6 with laser control and I gave it try. It has an automatic mode but it assumes the machine can push whatever the blade is pushing. So I went to just operated and watched the level. I've never spent the time to master the dozer and the laser didn't help that much. I think I could have done a better job with my 4n1 on the ASV. I would guess that an good dozer operator would be using to confirm what he knows.

jmf

Without knowing how the laser system was setup and what you was trying to do it is a guess but ?

With mine you have a control box in the cab that you switch to manual until you get the pad or area your working on close to grade.Just use the lights on the reciever until you get down to within at less 6/10th or even a ft. of grade.

Then you can flip it to auto to cut it down to grade.It doesn't work running it on auto with 2ft. cut or more lift to get to grade.The laser is telling the machine blade to go down when the machine can only cut until the blade gets full then the front of the machine comes up and will start to spin out because it will only cut so much..

If your getting close to grade in an area work that area on auto until you can't cut anymore then just flip it to manual to keep your machine from spinning out,until you get an area big enough to finish grade it .:usflag:

minimax
08-28-2008, 11:09 PM
It sounds like alot of CAT dealers SUCK!!!! I know are CAT dealer SUCKS big time,I have a buddy who knows of a cat salesmen that was escorted of a job by the sheriff:laugh::laugh::nono:.I when it are CAT dealer to as about a new mini-x on the lot and the salesmen came out and said he was going to lunch and left without ask what he could do for me he said come back in 2 hrs.:dizzy:

minimax

CarterKraft
08-28-2008, 11:16 PM
Yall sure do throw the CAT word around allot.

But you realize the problem is the dealer and not "CAT". Bad dealers suck period.

Holt CAT recently aquired the Link-Belt Crane dealer ship for Texas anyone want to know why?

While there are probablly a bunch of CAT dealers you don't like I would venture to say there are allot more CAT dealers than the others to be unhappy with. I know the dealership that was here in North TX wasn't liked very well we did our best to get them back when Holt took over.

Just my .02 but "CAT" doesn't always know there dealers are ****** bags. Maybe you should tell them.

Scag48
08-28-2008, 11:23 PM
Good point, it's not Cat, it's the dealers. I've had to go talk to a general manager or sales manager a time or two regarding vehicles, not equipment, to cut through the BS. I feel with equipment, there are far less consumers of their product when compared to cars, you'd think they'd be willing to deal with anyone who walks in the door. I suppose the problem with the small time guys is that everyone wants to "cut a deal" on some iron and that's why some dealers give them the shoulder. It's not like it's a car, it generates revenue, I suppose I don't see the reason in trying to haggle a price on iron. I believe maybe that's why some dealers blow off the little guy. They're a small consumer, have lots of little issues, spend little money, and on top of all that, want to bicker about the price. Boy, sounds a lot like the landscaping clientele I'm used to.

ksss
08-28-2008, 11:31 PM
I would not do that, especially at this point. I would not tell CAT corporate anything that I did not tell those in between. I don't want to burn bridges with CAT even though I don't do much with them, you never know when you may want to. The other thing is I would not back door anyone like that. I would not want someone contacting Corporate without giving me (dealership management) a chance to get it right. Until Rocks post I have not said much about my ordeal. I cut CAT no slack usually, although I am waiting until the story is complete on this one. I will be expecting a comp of some sort and I don't think that I am being unrealistic. If I am not happy with this system they can have it back. I don't think 100% accuracy is asking too much.

ksss
08-28-2008, 11:45 PM
Yall sure do throw the CAT word around allot.

But you realize the problem is the dealer and not "CAT". Bad dealers suck period.

Holt CAT recently aquired the Link-Belt Crane dealer ship for Texas anyone want to know why?

While there are probablly a bunch of CAT dealers you don't like I would venture to say there are allot more CAT dealers than the others to be unhappy with. I know the dealership that was here in North TX wasn't liked very well we did our best to get them back when Holt took over.

Just my .02 but "CAT" doesn't always know there dealers are ****** bags. Maybe you should tell them.



OK but it also cuts both ways. When you hear about legendary CAT service, know that the local dealer will either continue that legacy or fall down on the job. I have said this years ago and probably only Scag has been on here long enough to remember. Putting CAT on the service truck is not proof positive that you will get great service. It comes down to the individual dealership getting it done. That is no different than Deere or CASE or Volvo. The quality of service is very local both good and bad. CAT service is only as good as your neighborhood CAT dealer.

ksss
08-28-2008, 11:56 PM
Good point, it's not Cat, it's the dealers. I've had to go talk to a general manager or sales manager a time or two regarding vehicles, not equipment, to cut through the BS. I feel with equipment, there are far less consumers of their product when compared to cars, you'd think they'd be willing to deal with anyone who walks in the door. I suppose the problem with the small time guys is that everyone wants to "cut a deal" on some iron and that's why some dealers give them the shoulder. It's not like it's a car, it generates revenue, I suppose I don't see the reason in trying to haggle a price on iron. I believe maybe that's why some dealers blow off the little guy. They're a small consumer, have lots of little issues, spend little money, and on top of all that, want to bicker about the price. Boy, sounds a lot like the landscaping clientele I'm used to.


I wish I had the orginal quote that CAT gave me before I sent him another quote from Florida on this Apache system. You would have sh!t. I will not throw money away. When I buy iron I tell the salesman to give me your best price as I will not go back and forth. They do that. Cat did that on the 256C quote. CASE certainly knows that. I also check the numbers. CAT may think I am undesirable to work with, honestly I don't know. I know the rental side wants to work with me. However seeing my CASE equipment all over town sure doesn't make them happy either. I cant believe guys would just pay the first number given to them. UNLESS you have a real strong relationship with that dealer and feel your getting the best number upfront.

Construct'O
08-29-2008, 12:07 AM
KSSS when it comes to perfect or 100% sometime thats easier said then done no matter how good a person is??????

Are you using your laser with your system? When was the last time you had it check out and calibrated?

.5 isn't that within spec or reason on most jobs.Perfects a big word is all i'm tring to say.

I'm a believer in there is only one perfect and hes up above:weightlifter:.

If i could make every job i do be perfect that is the way i would do it ,but just can't be done.Sorry !

Rock hope they get things fixed and up and running tomorrow.Time lost today might be gained tomorrow hopefully when the yardart gets grading and everything turns out perfect!!!!!!!:):usflag:

Scag48
08-29-2008, 12:07 AM
I never said don't do your homework a little and have a couple other numbers floating around. Obviously, don't run into buying a machine unprepared and try to make the numbers work at the expense of your dealer. But if I was a salesman and some bonehead landscaper who I've never done business with came in to buy a skid steer or mini and was trying to get me to drop another 5-8% beyond given best price, I'd be less than willing to even bother. You've built a relationship with Case, they know you're not going to screw around with the numbers, but those boys have to eat, too. I think first time buyers with a certain dealership are less than able to deal, I can't blame the dealership for that. I can tell you that we absolutely never had to haggle with Cat on the last 2 pieces my dad bought from them. Asked for the best possible price and low and behold, it was only another $5-6K above Deere on a $135K+ machine, plus we recieved better service.

ksss
08-29-2008, 12:19 AM
KSSS when it comes to perfect or 100% sometime thats easier said then done no matter how good a person is??????

Are you using your laser with your system? When was the last time you had it check out and calibrated?

.5 isn't that within spec or reason on most jobs.Perfects a big word is all i'm tring to say.

I'm a believer in there is only one perfect and hes up above:weightlifter:.

If i could make every job i do be perfect that is the way i would do it ,but just can't be done.Sorry !

Rock hope they get things fixed and up and running tomorrow.Time lost today might be gained tomorrow hopefully when the yardart gets grading and everything turns out perfect!!!!!!!:):usflag:


I guess I should go into some detail. I agree that nothing is perfect and I guess I should back off that statement some.

We checked the cal. on the dual plane laser. It is slightly off when running dual plane but dead on on single plane. The attachment should be equal side to side on a 7' blade. They cant get both sides to equal out. The laser is fine at least on single plane. The Apache components or their calibration is the issue. Also when plugging in 2% slope into the laser is not what we are seeing on the ground. Its off by about .75 Some could be the laser but It was only millimeters off. I am getting it calibrated as soon as my single plane gets out of the doctors office.

When I run this attachment I realize there is a .25" varience, however it should be dead on leveling its self in a static positioin. It cant do that. I don't dare release this thing for prime time and be off .50 before I even start pushing material.

Does that make more sense?

ksss
08-29-2008, 12:24 AM
I never said don't do your homework a little and have a couple other numbers floating around. Obviously, don't run into buying a machine unprepared and try to make the numbers work at the expense of your dealer. But if I was a salesman and some bonehead landscaper who I've never done business with came in to buy a skid steer or mini and was trying to get me to drop another 5-8% beyond given best price, I'd be less than willing to even bother. You've built a relationship with Case, they know you're not going to screw around with the numbers, but those boys have to eat, too. I think first time buyers with a certain dealership are less than able to deal, I can't blame the dealership for that. I can tell you that we absolutely never had to haggle with Cat on the last 2 pieces my dad bought from them. Asked for the best possible price and low and behold, it was only another $5-6K above Deere on a $135K+ machine, plus we recieved better service.


I agree that everyone has to eat. I don't expect anyone to sell me something below cost. I just ask for a fair deal, don't break it off in my arse, and you will have a customer for life.

stuvecorp
08-29-2008, 12:30 AM
And just for the record: My CAT rep thinks I am a little abrasive and quite demanding. I told him, how would you like to be me and live with me because he is absolutely right and I have a hard time living with my self alot of the time too!!!

I wonder sometimes if the salesmen would prefer you to believe everything they say and come back in five years to do it all over again. I get the feeling that most salesmen don't like me asking so many questions and I like to take my time when signing on the line. It is frustrating when you are trying to do something or get something set up and the wheels are not staying on the wagon.

Rock, repeat after me, Goosefrabba, Goosefrabba...

Hope it gets straightened out.

Scag48
08-29-2008, 12:37 AM
Hey just think Kaiser, if this laser deal doesn't go through, you'll have $20K to play with at Richie Bros. next month when you come out. :drinkup:

ksss
08-29-2008, 12:40 AM
Hey just think Kaiser, if this laser deal doesn't go through, you'll have $20K to play with at Richie Bros. next month when you come out. :drinkup:


Well 13.5K anyway. The laser box is already paid for and will not have much use without a control system on it.

Construct'O
08-29-2008, 12:49 AM
I guess I should go into some detail. I agree that nothing is perfect and I guess I should back off that statement some.

We checked the cal. on the dual plane laser. It is slightly off when running dual plane but dead on on single plane. The attachment should be equal side to side on a 7' blade. They cant get both sides to equal out. The laser is fine at least on single plane. The Apache components or their calibration is the issue. Also when plugging in 2% slope into the laser is not what we are seeing on the ground. Its off by about .75 Some could be the laser but It was only millimeters off. I am getting it calibrated as soon as my single plane gets out of the doctors office.

When I run this attachment I realize there is a .25" varience, however it should be dead on leveling its self in a static positioin. It cant do that. I don't dare release this thing for prime time and be off .50 before I even start pushing material.

Does that make more sense?

Are you working in a straight line,because if your trying to travel in an area where you have a curve to the project your going to have troubles.Laser has a pointer on top that need turned in the direction that you are working.

Maybe if you can get your laser cal then see how things goes.It doesn't take much to be off especially when your using the dual grade.

So does your laser use percents to set it.Mine goes like this A.000 to like B.200( is 2/10 every hundred).So you need to measure the distance that your working to get the percent grade down.So if the distance it is 450" i might have to go like .225 to get my 2/10 every hundred.

Are you talking to Apache or are you just leaving it all up to Cat.Talk to your laser repairman and see if he could answer some of your guestion.I'm sure your busy ,but you might have to get a little more involved my doing some out sourcing with others?Just something to think about.

Well good luck to both you and Rock:usflag:

Construct'O
08-29-2008, 01:01 AM
Any chance you can get a loaner laser to check to see if it is your laser or you might even need to see if Cat has one or maybe you could try different receivers.

What's the control box like that your using? Are you missing something like in the leveler itself is off because of adjustments there.Just fishing!:usflag:

jmf
08-29-2008, 09:40 AM
This is helpful. Although my operating experience is limited my plumbing eye is good, so I would probably use if for reference only. Then, after I roughed it in, I would use automatic for the money pass.

jmf

With mine you have a control box in the cab that you switch to manual until you get the pad or area your working on close to grade.Just use the lights on the reciever until you get down to within at less 6/10th or even a ft. of grade.

Then you can flip it to auto to cut it down to grade.It doesn't work running it on auto with 2ft. cut or more lift to get to grade.The laser is telling the machine blade to go down when the machine can only cut until the blade gets full then the front of the machine comes up and will start to spin out because it will only cut so much..

If your getting close to grade in an area work that area on auto until you can't cut anymore then just flip it to manual to keep your machine from spinning out,until you get an area big enough to finish grade it .:usflag:

qps
08-29-2008, 06:25 PM
Looking to buy a laser grader...It's $20k. Set up demo for today. We started work at 5am and prepped the area so it would be ready for the laser which was schedualed for 10am. 4pm rolls around, CAT guy calls says he's at the job site with the laser grader where am I? We drive over.......they did not bring a dual slope laser, they did not bring a tri-pod with a mast and said just put it on the back of my pick-up - that should be good enough. Wrong again turbo! I told the inattentive youth to go back to the shop, get the proper equipment so I can demo this little item properly.......and don'tcha think I would want to have it set up so there are no blind spots so make sure to bring back the correct mast. I have been working on this demo set up for two weeks, have been very specific and detailed in what I want, need, have and am going. The guy treated me like I was an inconvenience. I must say, the Cat machine with laser box sitting on site does make a fine piece of yard art. The actual service I have received from CAT to date is marginal with a distinct tone of arrogance and piss poor performance.......I know I am not a big operator.....I am only $250-$500k range of ownership of equipment, so I am small potatoes but if you say you are gonna do it......do it and do it on time or don't do it at all. They ( CAT ) cost me a day of work, screwed the pooch for tomorrow's jobs and Sat's job's and that's where I sit right now.......there is still day light, so they may show back up with the proper components.......anyone care to take a hard money wager on them showing up tonight with the rest of the components.......come on CAT boys show that loyalty and take the other side of this bet!


You and KSSS should start your own club...sit in a circle and chant " we hate CAT.....we hate CAT"....with all the bad support and there junky equipment it amaze's me that anyone still picks up the phone to call them, you refer to the dealer as CAT...I guess maybe since they are the local representation I can see that, much like the salemen reloving door, stick in your bunghole on quotes CASE dealership we have here..if you guys want lazer equipment why not buy it from your salesman you deal with all the time...???? Talk about stirring the pot:rolleyes:............spend your money where the service is....if you don't like how your treated......don't deal with them....

qps
08-29-2008, 06:32 PM
Oh no...KSSS just logged on...I'm in for it now:waving:

ksss
08-29-2008, 06:49 PM
Oh no...KSSS just logged on...I'm in for it now:waving:


Ha thats funny. Well you as usual make a couple valid points. The reason I don't go to CASE is because CAT is the Trimble/Apache rep for this area. Just as my luck would have it. I could have bought all the components myself and did the install. The error on my part was thinking since I had never done it before it would more likely to get done right by CAT since you know they are the dealer. I made an assumption that they had done a few. Well me and CAT have done the same number of installs on this Apache system ZERO.

If I hated CAT I wouldn't have had them do the install. Like I posted earlier in this thread, I rather like everyone who has been involved in this "operation". I also could have been much harder on them, after all it is now labor day weekend and this was started just after Memorial day. Especially considering the concrete pouring season will be over in another month maybe two. I think I have been rather gentle all things considered. They called me today to say that it works. I could not spend my third day helping troubleshoot. I need to make money to pay them as this system certainly hasn't started to pay its way yet.

Curt could not go to Gehl for his system since Wheeler CAT is the sole dealer for Dual Dozer in Utah. Just his luck. Wait till he posts. I spoke with him earlier today and his "luck" had not improved.

ksss
08-29-2008, 06:52 PM
Tim whats a "bunghole" and why would you have CASE stick something in it? Just curious.:laugh:


This Jr. from SC and I approved this post.

dozerman21
08-29-2008, 07:43 PM
You and KSSS should start your own club...sit in a circle and chant " we hate CAT.....we hate CAT"....with all the bad support and there junky equipment it amaze's me that anyone still picks up the phone to call them, you refer to the dealer as CAT...I guess maybe since they are the local representation I can see that, much like the salemen reloving door, stick in your bunghole on quotes CASE dealership we have here..if you guys want lazer equipment why not buy it from your salesman you deal with all the time...???? Talk about stirring the pot:rolleyes:............spend your money where the service is....if you don't like how your treated......don't deal with them....

Cat's compact equipment dealer that QPS deals with I've heard pretty good things about. You go to the big iron... different story unless you buy a new piece every month. I would have strongly considered a K Series dozer if that price wasn't so jacked up. I had 5 different price quotes, each came out to the same bottom line just different trade in value, interest rate, etc... :rolleyes: This was after the "talk to the manager and get a better deal" It didn't get better, just worded different. Too much "Cat usually sells itself" (actual quote). It wasn't even worth the time doing a demo. Since we're talking lasers, we couldn't even get a straight answer on an AccuGrade sytem. How it worked, what it cost, what you need, etc... Even QPS will agree with that. I don't hold it against Cat, but the dealership is a reflection of them at some point. Case, Cat, Deere, whatever... they all have good and bad dealers and salesman. We've hashed it out before...

RockSet N' Grade
08-29-2008, 08:50 PM
643pm on friday night........I have been at this again from 6am till now. The first 257 was broke from the get go. This one is not much better and a necessary component on the machine (the float function) is broke. I battled all day and had 3 Cat guys there helping me figure this out. Brought out different lasers, recalibrated, wrenched on the machine and finally about an hour ago, I was able to make several passes with the laser grader. I am beat to a pulp, yet have learned alot and must say in all fairness these guys that came out stuck with me all the way to my quitting time, gave me their home numbers and offered to come out tomorrow at my start time...which is 6am. These guys showed some salt and I do believe whoever is in charge of rental equipment and lining me up with these lemons, is going to get an ass chewing at the least. I will be back at it tomorrow. I must say, this little device (the hitch-doc laser level) may have some real world applications where a guy could develop a real service. Will know tomorrow.......shower and food time, I am truely beat.

ccstrebe
08-29-2008, 09:01 PM
643pm on friday night........I have been at this again from 6am till now. The first 257 was broke from the get go. This one is not much better and a necessary component on the machine (the float function) is broke. I battled all day and had 3 Cat guys there helping me figure this out. Brought out different lasers, recalibrated, wrenched on the machine and finally about an hour ago, I was able to make several passes with the laser grader. I am beat to a pulp, yet have learned alot and must say in all fairness these guys that came out stuck with me all the way to my quitting time, gave me their home numbers and offered to come out tomorrow at my start time...which is 6am. These guys showed some salt and I do believe whoever is in charge of rental equipment and lining me up with these lemons, is going to get an ass chewing at the least. I will be back at it tomorrow. I must say, this little device (the hitch-doc laser level) may have some real world applications where a guy could develop a real service. Will know tomorrow.......shower and food time, I am truely beat.

Sorry to hear about your problems. I have owned two (2) Level Best laser graders with Leica (Laser Alignment) reciever/control boxes and it was virtually an attach to the skid steer and start working proposition. No techs, nothing. I Picked it up at the Case dealer (Gearmore wouldn't sell direct) and went to work.

stuvecorp
08-29-2008, 09:14 PM
Knock on wood, sounds like tomorrow may be better for you Rock. When do the classes start for Laser School?

RockSet N' Grade
08-29-2008, 09:29 PM
CCS........it is just the way of my entire year, it has been one that I have had to muscle through with grit and determination.......nothing has come easy this year for me....
And yea Stuve......I knocked on my head, tomorrow should be better......I sure know alot about proportional valves, bang-bang valves, different types of lasers and receivers.....It has been a junior college experience for sure - hope to graduate to college tomorrow and put down a fine grade in 3-4 hrs.

qps
09-01-2008, 12:17 AM
Ha thats funny. Well you as usual make a couple valid points. The reason I don't go to CASE is because CAT is the Trimble/Apache rep for this area. Just as my luck would have it. I could have bought all the components myself and did the install. The error on my part was thinking since I had never done it before it would more likely to get done right by CAT since you know they are the dealer. I made an assumption that they had done a few. Well me and CAT have done the same number of installs on this Apache system ZERO.

If I hated CAT I wouldn't have had them do the install. Like I posted earlier in this thread, I rather like everyone who has been involved in this "operation". I also could have been much harder on them, after all it is now labor day weekend and this was started just after Memorial day. Especially considering the concrete pouring season will be over in another month maybe two. I think I have been rather gentle all things considered. They called me today to say that it works. I could not spend my third day helping troubleshoot. I need to make money to pay them as this system certainly hasn't started to pay its way yet.

Curt could not go to Gehl for his system since Wheeler CAT is the sole dealer for Dual Dozer in Utah. Just his luck. Wait till he posts. I spoke with him earlier today and his "luck" had not improved.

A couple???? well that's one more than usual....the CAT heavy guys are a strange breed for sure..and haven't heard alot of nice things about them....lucky for me I'll never have to deal with them as dozereman has the market tied up in all of Indy. I can't believe they would send Curt a 257 out to demo...I'm surprised it would start...or did it???....do I sound alittle bitter still:laugh:

RockSet N' Grade
09-01-2008, 10:59 AM
Both 257's were a piece of work. The second one sent you had to push the front door loose with your foot to open it. The float is a necessary component on this particular attachment is most necessary........wouldn't you know it, the float did NOT work on the second magic machine. I had to hold the unit in float mode the entire time. Air conditioner in cab blew air, but nothing short of hot..........at least it moved the dust around in the cab. I came home and my wife started laughing cause the only thing you could see that was skin, was my two big lips.....

qps
09-01-2008, 11:54 AM
Nice...nothing like trying to impress a potenial customer with a POS machine:rolleyes:...I'm surprised it had the power to push a box...I'm serious, mine wouldn't't want to turn after about an hour of use:dizzy:..they should have bought back every one of these,,,shouldn't't have released them to the public at all....

YellowDogSVC
09-01-2008, 12:12 PM
I really think you should send a link of this topic and an explanation of your experiences up the ladder to people at CAT. My gripes about CAT got me some attention once the right people found out..
I personally wouldn't do business with these jokers if they can't even have enough competence to set up a decent demo. I feel your pain!