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View Full Version : Track or Wheeled Skid Steer for Digging


4 seasons lawn&land
11-02-2009, 10:08 PM
I thought Id ask here if anyone digs for patios and sidewalks or driveways with a wheeled skid steer or if a tracked machine is really a must.

zedosix
11-02-2009, 10:43 PM
Your best bet is an excavator, by far. Next best choice would be a tracked skidsteer. Skidsteer on tires will disrupt your base and create unwanted rutting. We use an excavator and tracked skidsteer together.:)

DVS Hardscaper
11-02-2009, 11:12 PM
SOIL TYPE


Here in what they consider "western MD", we have mostly sand / silt soil. Some areas here also have clay. Because of the soil structure here, in most cases - a rubber tire machine works beautifully 95% of the time. And when we have a job that looks like it may get hairy - we factor in renting a CTL.

Go a little south into northern virginia where TTHOMASS is, and the soil I've seen is mostly 100% clay. Every contractor with a skid machine has a skid steer with tracks.


A CTL will certainly perform beautifully. And a 9,000 SF home would be nice too. But do your soil conditions and work site conditions warrant the need to spend all that extra money??? If so, then a CTL is the way to go.



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tthomass
11-02-2009, 11:16 PM
Yup.........for me its like this: Would you go to a drag strip with street tires or race slicks if you want best performance?

4 seasons lawn&land
11-03-2009, 06:30 PM
I know for these specific jobs an excavator is the best bet. But for a machine purchase for me at this point I need something more versatile and have dug for sidewalks with walk behind track loaders but not sure how a wheeled machine with over tire tracks would perform for digging out a foot down. Ive never tried it with a wheeled machine.

STL Ponds and Waterfalls
11-03-2009, 07:05 PM
Yup.........for me its like this: Would you go to a drag strip with street tires or race slicks if you want best performance?

Drag radials:cool2:

I'm with Zedo we use a mini x and a trackloader, but I sub my excavation to my buddy.

DVS Hardscaper
11-03-2009, 07:34 PM
a rubber tire machine will dig however deep you want. wanna dig 12-feet deep - than you can.

A tracked machine is not intended to to out-dig. It's intended to out-traverse. Infact we used a CAT CTL that had FAR less breaking force than our rubber tire CAT. The reason is the pumps for the tracks rob hydraulic flow and guzzle horsepower.

Ya know, it also boils down to operater skill. Back in June we had steady rain for most of the month. So we had this retaining wall we were building. The ground was sopping wet. To give an idea of the steepness of the hill - well, it was steep enough that the skid steer would have rolled over if we tried to go across the hill sideways. So all it took to get our rubber tire machine up and down the hill about 50 times was 1 bucket of gravel and an operator comfortable and skilled with the machine.



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etwman
11-03-2009, 07:53 PM
There's alot of things to factor in. Soil types, site disruption, costs, etc. Track machines are more expensive to operate, few will argue that. I have personally sat down and figured out the days we would have lost with having a wheeled machine versus a track machine. It pours rain all night long, we have a patio prepped in, and we need to move on. The track machine, hands down, will save us alot of days.

Another example. Tree installation, especially in a wet fall, you can run accross lawns with a track machine and an auger long before you could with a wheeled machine.

I'm a huge track advocate, but that's me. My theory is once you go tracks you won't go back. No tracks, no flats, no lost production time, greater lift capacity, and the list goes on. Once again, just my opinion.

Buy at Loegering VTS, slap it on a wheeled machine, you'll have the best of both worlds.

4 seasons lawn&land
11-03-2009, 10:45 PM
wow. I didnt know about those vts things. those are awesome. How much do they run? Do you have them?


thanks for all the great info.

etwman
11-03-2009, 10:51 PM
Here. This should answer some of your questions.

http://www.lawnsite.com/showthread.php?t=37810&page=178

stuvecorp
11-03-2009, 11:31 PM
There's alot of things to factor in. Soil types, site disruption, costs, etc. Track machines are more expensive to operate, few will argue that. I have personally sat down and figured out the days we would have lost with having a wheeled machine versus a track machine. It pours rain all night long, we have a patio prepped in, and we need to move on. The track machine, hands down, will save us alot of days.

Another example. Tree installation, especially in a wet fall, you can run accross lawns with a track machine and an auger long before you could with a wheeled machine.

I'm a huge track advocate, but that's me. My theory is once you go tracks you won't go back. No tracks, no flats, no lost production time, greater lift capacity, and the list goes on. Once again, just my opinion.

Buy at Loegering VTS, slap it on a wheeled machine, you'll have the best of both worlds.

I am a big fan of the VTS, they have worked great for me. They have some 'float' so it rides much like the Cat/ASV track machines. They are heavy, kinda wide and the track pattern is too aggressive which can tear up turf but the stability and extra lifting are well worth it. I like them also for plowing you can switch back to tires so you are not putting unnecessary hours and wear on the tracks.

There are some used sets out there, new price is crazy spendy.

4 seasons lawn&land
11-04-2009, 12:44 PM
what is the new price like?

bluegranite
11-04-2009, 05:06 PM
Check out this listing coming up tomorrow-

http://www.ironplanet.com/jsp/s/item/234983?h=405,3487

Stillwater
11-04-2009, 06:30 PM
I thought Id ask here if anyone digs for patios and sidewalks or driveways with a wheeled skid steer or if a tracked machine is really a must.

yes I do since 1978 I have put in more than you would believe ignore the BS about the wheels creating issues with the sub-base sub-base gets compacted with a plate anyway weather tracked or wheeled. Tracked is nice but a must? your kidding right..

Caterkillar
11-04-2009, 10:43 PM
a rubber tire machine will dig however deep you want. wanna dig 12-feet deep - than you can.

A tracked machine is not intended to to out-dig. It's intended to out-traverse. Infact we used a CAT CTL that had FAR less breaking force than our rubber tire CAT. The reason is the pumps for the tracks rob hydraulic flow and guzzle horsepower.

Ya know, it also boils down to operater skill. Back in June we had steady rain for most of the month. So we had this retaining wall we were building. The ground was sopping wet. To give an idea of the steepness of the hill - well, it was steep enough that the skid steer would have rolled over if we tried to go across the hill sideways. So all it took to get our rubber tire machine up and down the hill about 50 times was 1 bucket of gravel and an operator comfortable and skilled with the machine.



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One bucket of gravel? How long was the hill... 4 ft? When I had a wheeled skid, it would be slipping and sliding after 1/2" of rain. I would prefer a rubber tire machine, but if you cannot work on rain days or after rain days... you are losing money.

DVS Hardscaper
11-05-2009, 08:18 AM
it was about 35-40 feet long. one bucket goes a long way. just need something for the wheels to bite into (with correct soil type), not a road bed.

Just like a backhoe. A good operator can make a 2wd drive backhoe go anywhere a 4wd will go....

soopa
11-12-2009, 07:12 PM
that skid must have a big bucket

vtscaper
11-18-2009, 07:14 PM
We own a 257b and do a ton of excavating with it. You said you are looking for versatility, a track machine is by far more versatile. You will work more days, make less of a mess and have more precision when digging.

Someone mentioned the loegering sp? system and we looked into this as well as an option. But after much research came to the conclusion that they are simply too expensive and dont perform the same.

There is a reason that people say once you go tracks you'll never go back.

etwman
11-18-2009, 10:04 PM
You should try a VTS system. We had a CAT 257B on rental the other month. I've run both and will guarantee you a CAT with a VTS will outperform any fully dedicated CAT track machine hands down. I'll bet you my machine on it. It will out climb, out lift, and out dig because of the way the VTS track system is engineered.

Yes they are expensive but they are used everywhere, are extremely easy to clean out, and are maintenace free with the exception of adjusting the track.

stuvecorp
11-18-2009, 10:55 PM
You should try a VTS system. We had a CAT 257B on rental the other month. I've run both and will guarantee you a CAT with a VTS will outperform any fully dedicated CAT track machine hands down. I'll bet you my machine on it. It will out climb, out lift, and out dig because of the way the VTS track system is engineered.

Yes they are expensive but they are used everywhere, are extremely easy to clean out, and are maintenace free with the exception of adjusting the track.

I am constantly amazed what the VTS does for a skid, no matter what the brand.

DVS Hardscaper
11-19-2009, 09:20 AM
I always read where people mention "missing days of work".

We've had a rather wet year, here in 2009. And other than not working due to rain actually taking place - I don't remember missing and days of work due to wet ground.

Rain doesn't just arrive unannounced. If they're calling for rain tomorrow - we'll work longer the day before. And we'll get the job to a point where we can perform other tasks if it's too muddy. Now, for guys that do a lot of grading for builders - then I could see their point.

Like I keep saying - "To each his own".

But sometimes don't we humans get just a little carried away with JUSTIFICATIONS? "I need a new $30k car because the one I currently have uses 1 quart of oil every 3,000 miles........"

"We need that $1200 front load, pedistal clothes dryer, regardless of the fact that the $1200 dryer has the EXACT same internal components (motor, heating element, etc) as the $500, old fashioned, top load dryer........"



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Caterkillar
11-19-2009, 09:33 AM
We have had a wet year as well. So much so, I sold my Cat 262 and bought a track machine. That 262 would get stuck in wet grass. I now have a 267 that I paid 10k for. Now is an excellent time to get a tracked machine because they are essentially worthless right now. The tracked machine has definately allowed us to work in wet conditions. I would have to sub the work out or wait. When you already work 50-60 hours a week... working longer the day before isn't really an option.

etwman
11-19-2009, 09:34 AM
They are valid points and I do see your take on this.

My definition Andrew on the "missing days" usually falls on the days after heavy rains. Remember that site we went to look at last fall when we got together, where the pool was? We call that the clay farm. We've attempted to take wheeled machines in there and its a mess. We get rain on that site and track machines are our only saving grace until it dries out. A couple of my guys say don't even think about taking a wheeled machine into that development. So my definition of "days lost" usually occurs on days after it rains. How soon we can be back up and running, getting pavers to critical areas to lay on prepped bases, etc.

I think once on that site we actually got a track skid loader stuck. That's how soft the clay is.

But no, i do see your rationale on spending money where its not needed.

tturbonegro
11-19-2009, 03:28 PM
been using wheels for a long time...tracks help in muddy conditions tho