View Full Version : Bobcat this bobcat that....

10-28-2004, 01:23 AM
What is it that people are so attracted to skidsteers for? Seems like 98% of the threads on here are regarding skidsteers....which one to buy, which one is good for what, this and that....I'm not trying to disrespect people, just curious what everyone finds so nice about them. I HATE skidsteers :p I think they are too rocky, uncomfortable, hard to see what you're doing and they tear the place up. Just seems there are so many other good machines out there to do the job. Is it the fact that there are so many different implements out there and their ability to go in tight places? I'm just curious that's all. I don't see a lot of people talking about other machines, backhoes (large and small), excavators (same as backhoes, large and small), dozers etc. etc.

We carry bobcat and gehl, and we're starting to buy gehl now because apparently they're cheaper. But gehls for one SUCK more than bobcat, you cannot see what-so-ever...you can't get in or out without snagging the damn controls (at least for my 6' 2'' frame) and the auger attachment is a joke. Takes a ridiculous amount of time to change a heavy ass 24'' bit with an extension on. Bobcat is a little better than gehl but skidsteers in general are NOT my favorite....Sorry if anyone took this the wrong way....later guys. :cool2:


TerraFirma Excavating
10-28-2004, 01:59 AM
http://www.gifs.net/animate/musicnotes.gif Here a Bobcat, there a Bobcat, everwhere a Bobcat http://www.gifs.net/animate/musicnotes.gif :)

http://www.socaps.com/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/yay.gif http://www.socaps.com/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/yay.gif http://www.socaps.com/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/yay.gif http://www.socaps.com/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/yay.gif

My father used to have an small excavating company and I grew up using equipment. We had a 690B John Deere excavator, Cat D4H dozer, and a Case 580D backhoe loader. We would lease other equipment (ie.: loaders, rollers, etc...) as needed. Got to the point where we had multiple large jobs and needed more and more employees, especially for labor work. I had always thought skidsteers were toys until we bought a Bobcat 763. That little machine saved so much labor and actually did so much work, it soon became the most wanted piece of machinery on any of our jobs. The large equipment is necessary, but usually for the initial part of the job which is completed relatively quickly. The skidsteer is used in tight areas or inaccessable areas (ie.: bottom of an excavation for a 10,000 fuel tank or utilidoor trench) and in almost all aspects of finish work.

When I started my own little excavating/landscaping business, I thought hard about my first piece of equipment. I wanted a backhoe/loader, but price, size (larger truck and trailer), and versatility lead me to a skidsteer. I have a machine which makes nearly the same amount per hour as a backhoe/loader, but cost less than one half of a new backhoe loader. The number of attachments is awesome, so my services available for hire is greater than with just a backhoe loader. Right now, I am as busy as I want to be with just the skidsteer. In fact I am moving away from the excavating end (was going to buy a compact excavator) and will now specialize in landclearing and landscaping. I will probably buy a T300 next summer.

I also believe that MOST people that own the larger machines don't actually run them anymore, but have employees which do. I know when I was running some of my father's jobs, I was only on the equipment when we were short handed. Most of my time was spent supervising, coordinating materials, layout, etc... I also think most skidsteer owners are from smaller, owner/operator business and operate them everyday. A little more intimate relationship. The realize how great of a machine they have and like to tell everyone else.

10-28-2004, 03:28 AM
I started our business with snowplowing so the bobcat was a natural choice. needed a backhoe so I got a 14' backhoe atachment for the bobcat, then forks, smaller tooth bucket, trencher, plow, and broom. I havn't found a more versitable piece of equipment out there. I also use the bobcat for a hydrolic power supply for my trenchless pipe pusher. I now own 3 skidsteers. A few years ago I bought a TB070 18000lb excavator and find it will do a few things the bobcat wont. There is a place for each type of equipment and the skidsteer showes its place in versitillity.
as for the jerkey actions, the bigger they are the less the effect. mine are 12000 lb each.

Grn Mtn
10-28-2004, 08:26 AM
skid-steers definitely are useful, but I find the new compact utility loaders like the Toro Dingo have a place. They are great for replacing employee's that don't like working so hard, don't rip up the yard as much, have 30+ attachments, cost a hell of a lot less, and fit thru fences. The picture I attached(hopefully) was taken on a rainy day, all of my "help" didn't want to work, so me and the dingo moved 12 yards of soil and built the burm with minimal damage to the lawn. The reason the treads are mud soaked is there used to be a major puddle in the fence opening, that is till I was leaving than I back filled it in.

10-28-2004, 03:04 PM
Hehe, I'm going to start suggesting that people search the forums first. Save some of the clutter. (I'll admit -- I make up quite a few posts on skids...)

Skid steers: I honestly can't tell you why I'm infactuated with them. I know Cat's product line about the same as I do skid steers, but I guess I focus on the SSL market more. I think they're amazing machines capable of tremendous production given their size. A Cat D3G, for example, even with a 70 hp engine, can't do half the things a Cat 236B can. No, they're not the same product, but if you ask me which is more technologically inspiring? For me, without a doubt it would be the SSL.

Ah well. Just goes to show the popularity of skid steers. Very few people ever ask about full-size construction equipment, but I'm sure this board would generate the same response if there threads on other CE.

10-28-2004, 03:51 PM
Well interesting. It really depends on the type of work I guess. Whether you want to mix in small compact jobs with larger jobs. Anyway, I was just curious just because of the large volume of skidsteer threads. I'm sure eventually when I start my own side business in excavation, I'll have to use one of those damn small things. ;) LOL


TerraFirma Excavating
10-28-2004, 04:10 PM
That's not your Deere excavator in your avatar? Sorry, I thought maybe you had lots of large equipment, but none in the compact size.

Not all people you have larger equipment are not owner/operators, but it seems like the majority hardly run them any more. I know of some guys who own large equipment and need to do work for their friends. They say something like, "I'll have my crew bring over my Hitachi 450 and the Cat D8 and we'll have your land cleared in no time." I saw a 400 class machine being hauled down the road and it is just huge!!!

10-28-2004, 06:17 PM
You should run a Gehl 7810 for size... :D

10-28-2004, 07:55 PM
No that's not my 120. Wish it was, I love those machines. I work for a rental company, that's theirs. Anyway, well I'm going to be a deputy with my local sheriff's department so I won't have a ton of time on my hands, espcially when I get into specialty units and move up in rank. That being said, I won't need anyone else to do my work. Not sure what exactly I'm going to do or better, how I'm going to go about it but I probably will own one machine. Don't need tons of them and all sizes, it's just going to be a side job. But, right now my focus is on law enforcement, I'll worry about owning a business when I'm old enough to worry about it. I'm only 19 :-D


10-28-2004, 08:24 PM

I would love to have an articulating loader instead of a Bobcat. They are a lot more expensive and generally larger to haul around than a Bobcat. However as a landscaper I need a Bobcat because it is shorter and easier to haul. By quickly unsnapping two hydraulic lines and two handle I can change Bobcat tools and have a totally different Bobcat. Because Bobcats have been around so long there are many Bobcat tool that have been designed to do different Bobcat jobs. Yes Bobcats are a very versal machine and no landscaper should be with out a bobcat.

BTW my Bobcat is a New Holland

10-28-2004, 10:37 PM
How is the NH holding up for you?

10-28-2004, 11:11 PM
How is the NH holding up for you?


My NH ls 180 w/ high flow is only less than 60 days old and has just past the 100 hr mark. I would hope it is holding up real well:D

So far I have Root Rake type Grapple, Tree Boom, 72"Bucket and Forks. I would like to get a 84" bucket also. However My wish list goes on from there. I am presently looking into Rubber Tracks over wheels. Our Sandy soil is really compacted by the 7,500 lb weight of this machine. This is my only complaint about it so far. Of course I am open to any suggestion on this matter.

It is a real trip for me to grab up a 30 ft palm tree off the truck and drive it to the back yard where I plant it. :D I realize I am Driving it and not operating it. But I get better each time.

My post was meant Tongue in Cheek. Bobcat Bobcat Bobcat my Bobcat is a NH. :D Please forgive the new guy he will be reading and looking for advise.

10-29-2004, 10:16 AM
You'll be operating it in no time... no worries.

Tracks? I believe there is a company that builds a tracked system for NH machines. I saw it on an NH on a jobsite but was driving by so couldn't see what the company was or even what the tracks looked like.

10-29-2004, 10:43 AM
You'll be operating it in no time... no worries.

Tracks? I believe there is a company that builds a tracked system for NH machines. I saw it on an NH on a jobsite but was driving by so couldn't see what the company was or even what the tracks looked like.


Like anything is takes some time to be an expert operator. I think Dirt work is a real skill that many people don't realize.

Buddy of mine was in Georgia last week to a very large equipment show that ran several days. He test drove a NH with a after market track system and claimed it was like nite and day in handling. He however did not pick up any literature for me because he figured the price was out of sight. He did bring me literature on a Rubber tracks over wheels for $3,500.

Can anyone advise me on tracks?? I know they will cause less compaction. My biggest use is planting and tearing out trees. Therefore I must cross lawns that I wish not to tear up. Yes I am using 3 and even 9 point turns, but it is the weight that is causing my problems.

10-29-2004, 12:24 PM
[QUOTE]Like anything is takes some time to be an expert operator. I think Dirt work is a real skill that many people don't realize.[QUOTE/]

Absolutely. I tried to run a 236 and anyone watching me should have been laughing...

I will let others answer your question, too, Ric, but just wanted to throw in my two cents. If you are worried about sinking into the ground and cannot turn, you will have to place boards down to get the job done. Tracked machines will tear up the ground as they turn. If you look at photos of a track machine turning on regular dirt, they scarify the dirt in a 360 arc that is the length of their track. The Bobcat A300 is the only machine you can get that does not affec the ground while turning. For that reason, I would suggest that rather than going with tracks. (You would need turf tires as well.) Because your machine is still new and the A300 very expensive, you may need to put boards down to prevent sinking down. If you buy tracks, you'll have to dig up an area where you don't mind spinning around in. Let me try this a different want.

You will be working on finished surfaces most of the time (if I read correctly... correct me if I'm wrong). Accordingly, you would want rubber tracks. McLaren makes a very good product (www.mclarenrubber.com). New Holland also sells tracks so stopping by your dealer would be a good idea to try them out. Keep in mind that even with tracks, turning on grass will not be completely pretty. Someone has yet to introduce a A300 with tracks... until then, we're all pretty limited to how we turn.

10-29-2004, 09:39 PM
Track over wheel applications work best in muck, an still cannot out perform a dedicated track machine. For what you are trying to acheive, you need a dedicated track machine, not an add on. The reason is weight distribution over the length of the machine and center of gavity. The add on tracks will help somewhat, but you are not going to see much of a difference in the areas you are working in.

You might be just as well off to get several sheets of 1.25" T&G roofing plywood and work on that around the trees, of buy some of the new rubber landing mat advertised in several of our trade rags. That will stretch the load out better than trying to add on tracks.

10-30-2004, 12:03 AM
Skidsteers have their place but for landscaping a utlity or compact tractor is the best bang for the buck IMO. Much more versitile.

10-30-2004, 09:50 AM
Ric - I run Grouser hard shoe tracks on my SSL and I definitely do not take it over improved surfaces or finished lawns without boards. If this is a new landscape prior to finish, can't you back rake or use a soil conditioner to break up the compaction and smooth out the site? If not, I'd agree that an AWS or TLB with turf tires would be the way to go as long as they satisfied your lift requirements.
Sounds like your friend attended the Sunbelt Ag Expo in Moultrie. I went also and really enjoyed it. The vendor displays were excellent.

10-31-2004, 09:58 AM

Thanks, But I am not concerned with the added traction that the steel track will provide. My main concern is tracts in the turf after I am finished with planting or tearing out a tree. This time of year as the dry season hits Florida, I find my Machine doesn't leave as bad of a tract. Also Bahia turf which grows more like northern grass is also better about tracting.

D Felix
11-02-2004, 12:35 PM
Now that we are WAY off of the original topic::D

I believe ASV (and thus probably Cat too) offers smooth rubber tracks as an option on their machines. I seem to remember an article in a trade rag sometime ago that detailed the tracks; they came about because a company needed to renovate a water hazard on a golf course and didn't want to tear up the bentgrass fairways each time they crossed them.

It'd be another dedicated use machine, but would save the hassle of plywood.

I'd also check into the "Alturnamats" or whatever they are called; anything that doesn't soak up water has be better than plywood!
Do you usually have mostly straight shots to where you are planting the trees? Could you accomplish the tree planting (getting the tree there too) with a mini-ex? Sling the tree off of the bucket and drive on in, dig the hole, pick up the tree and set it in.... With a 360 swing radius, that would eliminate a lot of turning....


11-02-2004, 02:42 PM
Turf Edition (TE) ASV products. Absolutely. I have doubts regarding the strength and reliability of those tracks, especially over non-grass surfaces.