View Full Version : Bobcat experiences

03-13-2010, 12:49 PM
I am looking for your experiences with Bobcats. I use a Kubota tractor now but too tough to move around. What do you think about..tires/tracks..lift needed to get into a triaxle?...HP and FLow? Just looking for your experiences good and bad would help.

03-13-2010, 01:07 PM
I run a T190 and T250.

T190 = 1,400 hrs
Burns a little oil, have replaced 3 of 4 idle wheels (nothing against Bobcat, its a wearable part on all machines). Power is good, its a 190, not a 250 but I can give someone a run for their money in a 250.

T250 = 650 hrs
Joy stick machine and the machine has a lot of balls behind it. Drive into a pile and it just digs in and will lift more than it can handle.

Buy used, forget new. I picked up a $55k T250 with 530hrs on it for $23k, private sale. I've run a lot of different machines and I'm not bias. The TL-150 and its sisters are good machines, Case I don't like, New Holland is okay and CAT has a solid machine. Bobcat has given me great service and made me a lot of money. There's a reason why most all skid loaders are referred to as "Bobcats".

I assume you're playing in the dirt and if you do what most of us do......you'd be a fool not to get a track machine.

03-13-2010, 01:46 PM
Thanks for the advice. How tough are tracks on lawns?

03-13-2010, 02:20 PM
Thanks for the advice. How tough are tracks on lawns?

Better than tires...way less ground pressure. Wheeled machines can really do damage on lawn areas depending on how moist they are.

03-13-2010, 02:41 PM
I only have wheeled machines, other than our mini skid. For what we do, wheeled machines are much more suited. We drive 40% on pavement or concrete 60% dirt. So for us wheeled works out better. And I believe the purchase cost is less with wheeled machines.

03-13-2010, 03:23 PM
Skid steers, wheel or track, and damages to a lawn.......they're both going to destroy if you make more than a few careful passes.

Used market, I saw little difference in wheel vs track machines. I wanted an S300 to equip with VTS.

DVS Hardscaper
03-13-2010, 04:10 PM
If you're talking BOBCAT brand - here's my 2 cents :)

And I know my buddy TThomass likes his Bobcats :) So no disrespect intended for MR TTHomass :)

Everyone I know that has BOBCAT brand skid loaders - have all had SOME sort of problem with them. Every Single person I know with BOBCAT brand skid steers have had their machine(s) in the shop at least once.

OurCat - never any problems.

Our Gehl - NOT a problem. In my opinion, Gehl is the best wheeled skid steer you can buy for your money. Well built. Well engineered. Very Simple. best visibility on the market. Workin on residential properties?? Visibility is crucial. You want a beefy skid steer, that'll last forever and all you need to do is change the fluids, for a decent price? get a Gehl. You will NOT regret it.

Tractors have their place in the industry as well. They're nice for small jobs where with a skid steer you'd end up spending more time repairing the damages then you would actually doing the work.

Wheeled Skid steers vs tracked?? The intent of a tracked machine is traction, not to minimize property damage. The area where we primarily work has somewhat rocky soil. With our type of soil, I'd guess that 97% of the time we operate just fine with wheeled skid steers. If we go further south (alexandria va, etc) the soil is heavy clay. When it's wet - no 2 ways about it - you need a tracked machine. We've had 3-4 feet of snow on the ground here this winter, followed by mucho rains. We just finished a job, a backyard pure mud, about 12" deep. But because the soil has rock in it - our wheeled skid steer performed without a hick-up. So thats really the biggest factor you need to weigh. Or, you can get a wheeled machine and buy steel add on tracks, this way you use the tracks only when you need 'em.

If you're doing hardscapes and want a sid steer - you'll need a machine that can lift a 3000# pallet off a tractor trailer. The reason I say "tractor trailer" is because you NEVER know when you might land a gig that enables you to have the materials direct shipped, and when they're direct shipped - they come on a tractor trailer.


03-13-2010, 04:35 PM
What about HP? Have you ever had a machine that would not do the job? Are tracked machines more stable that wheeled in your opinion? Thanks in advance

03-13-2010, 04:42 PM
Stable, yes. Wheeled machines bounce. I wouldn't mind just a little more power in the T190 but I run it hard and have to remember its a 190, not a 250.

The 250 has good power, good lift.

03-13-2010, 07:16 PM
The first machine I ever bought that got me started in business was a 1996 753, it has around 3,500 hrs on it now and I've never had to bring it in to the dealer for repairs. It's had small issues, but nothing I couldn't have fixed and be up and running by the next day. Also have an s205 now with about 300hrs which I'm happy with so far, had some minor repairs done under warranty.

The s205 will lift a pallet of blocks off a tractor trailer but it's right at the limit. If your going to be routinely using the machine for loading/unloading pallets and loading tri-axle dumps I'd definitely go with a large frame machine.

As far as tires verse tracks, all depends what your going to be using the machine for and what type of conditions you'll be working in.

DVS Hardscaper
03-13-2010, 08:35 PM
Are tracked machines more stable that wheeled in your opinion? Thanks in advance

Thats a broad question. broad because there are a million variables that effect stability.

Our Cat has a wide stance. At the time is was manufactured it had one of the widest footprints on the market. Makes all the difference going across slopes and hills.

As far as a bumpy ride.....maybe I'm used to it, but I don't think it's bouncy.

We used a tracked machine last June for a week. A Tackeuchi. (Tackeuchi also makes Gehl's tracked machines) The tackeuchi could not climb a curb very well, and climbing the curb was necessary for the job at hand.

One aspect I like about our CAT is it has an anti-stall feature. You can be busting into the hardest soil and that 80 hp engine will not stall. Where as with our Gehl, it's 70 hp well built German engine does. No biggie, but its hard to go from one machine that doesn't stall to using another where you need to remember to take it easy!

As far as tractors, I have a nice, 35 hp New Holland tractor. I use it at my home. Think the model is 1510. Very basic. 9 speed gear drive. With the bucket, industrial tires, and tax, it cost $18k new. For a 35 hp tractor thats very inexpensive. I love it. Such a tractor is perfect for small landscape and hardscape jobs.

03-15-2010, 03:51 AM
Thanks for you imput. I will take these ideas to the dealer with me.

03-15-2010, 10:38 AM
For what it's worth if it's not too late. I love my Bobcat S175. It is a little on the smaller side for heavy loads, but it makes most of it's money moving topsoil and mulch so it works fine 90% of the time. Most of our work is renovation type work anyways. Besides at the time i bought it I got about 25% off. Of course now you can probably get more machine for the same $.

Here is what I do not like about them. Dealer support. The day I purchased I was their best friend. Every day after that I was treated like i was nobody because I only have 1 machine. When I need maintenance items I get attitude. On 3 occasions I needed an attachment to purchase not rent (IE: I have $$$ lets talk) and they were too busy to help so I went elsewhere. Last but not least I recently ordered a replacement part, got a quote, paid for the item, and a month later got a bank statement that did not match. Turns out that they decided to charge me an additional $40 handling after the fact for a wiring harness that they never actually touched. Upon questioning and filing a bank complaint the stealer was "in the right". Suck my ...

I currently try to get my related supplies elsewhere, but next time I need dealer specific parts I will go elsewhere. Too bad dealer support is everything.

EcoGreen Services
03-15-2010, 10:42 AM
Thanks for the info DVS.
I'm in the same boat. I use a 50hp Utility tractor with a 3500lb loader
We started doing smaller properties last year that the tractor wouldn't fit in.

Needed mostly for excavating and moving skids of pavers and Sod as well as placing boulders. Don't need to lift them off the truck as the supplies drops them. Just lift them a couple of inches to move them.
Width is also a issue getting access to some properties.

My AG dealer is also a Gehl dealer and is turning over a lot of their rental fleet.
Most have 1200-1600 hours on them and come with a 1000 hour 2 year warranty. A few have track kits and most look in very good shape.

With your experience with the Gehls , would this concern you buying used ?

There's also a LOT of the smaller 200 series CATs on the market right now as well.

DVS Hardscaper
03-15-2010, 10:42 PM
a 2 yr/1000 hr warranty on a used machine is pretty damn good!

Inspect the lift arms and cyliners for cracks, broken welds, etc. Not that Gehl has problems with this, but because they are rental machines and rental customers can be hard on stuff. Make sure the bucket's lift cylinders are not leaking and make sure the cylinders are NOT scratched, as the scratch(es) will rub the seals which in turn will leak.

Also ask them to change the drive chains oil and adjust the chains accordingly, as well as change the hydro fluid, the engine oil and replace filters.