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mbella
12-13-2004, 06:28 PM
I am looking at a Bobcat S185 and am looking for others' opinions. After searching this forum I didn't find anything. The model I am looking at is actually a leftover from 2003. I'm a little curious as to why it's still there. It has approx. 20 hours on it.

I'm not a diehard bobcat fan or diehard fan of any manufacturer, but I have a Kubota L-35 and figured after the warranty runs out on the skidsteer, I could have them serviced at the same place. Also, it is competetively priced for the options it has.

It will mainly be used to plant trees (typically 2-2.5" or 2.5-3" caliper), seed prep (rockhound), move pavers and wall stone (not full pallets), and snow removal.

Any imput would be greatly appreciated

p7m8
12-13-2004, 06:36 PM
How much does it cost?

mbella
12-13-2004, 06:38 PM
$26,000 with tax

Tigerotor77W
12-13-2004, 07:13 PM
Not familiar with the nature of trees... about how much would a typical tree weigh? Do you operate on hilly terrain? What are underfoot conditions? What's the weather itself like?

p7m8
12-13-2004, 07:33 PM
I'm no expert but I think the machine is too small for what you do. I think it will handle lifting the trees but I don't think it will handle the wall stone and pavers very well. What's the use of having a loader if you have to break down your pallets by half? However, you are just starting your business so I know money is tight.

If you are not averse to other brands, New Holland is a good deal. For the same money I just bought a new LS180, two speed, cab, heat, root grapple, and low profile bucket. It lifts a lot more and is good for snow removal. A lot of people here hate NH but I can't figure out why. Perhaps I don't know any better. Maybe there is a difference when running it for really long periods which I do not do. Good luck in whatever you decide.

mbella
12-13-2004, 09:03 PM
Not familiar with the nature of trees... about how much would a typical tree weigh? Do you operate on hilly terrain? What are underfoot conditions? What's the weather itself like?
As far as the trees, I know it will handle them without a problem. I used to run a Bobcat 763 years ago. The S185 has a little better lifting capacity. As far as hilly terrain, it's not an issue on the two jobsites that I will be working for the next year, but after that you never know. What do you mean by underfoot conditions? What's the weather like when?

By "not full pallets" I mean, we don't typically have a need to move a full pallet. They are generally placed where we need them.

Tigerotor77W
12-13-2004, 09:27 PM
Okay, glad the tree question worked out. Underfoot conditions -- this was mainly to get at whether your ground conditions warranted the use of a tracked machine -- for example, buying the T190 instead of the S185. If you work in mud a lot, or plant trees in grassy areas were extra flotation (without boards) is important, you may want to look into a track machine rather than a regular skid steer. Hilly terrain is best tackled by tracked machines as well; but UNLESS you work in some serious mud, track machines may not always be more cost-effective. Tracks are more expensive and the original machine cost is higher as well. Just some thoughts.

p7m8's post was to refer you to some other machines out there. NH machines are known to lift very well (although Deere makes the claim that they outlift NH), so if you'll be doing a lot of lifting, NH may be the way to go. (Try it out -- and then decide. Don't jump on any bandwagon quite yet.)

I recommend that you take out a few machines. Judging from the looks, the S185 *may* be too small in the future. Right now, it looks all right and capable in size, but it seems you may have occasional lifting chores that requires some mix of more flotation or more lifting capability. I'd suggest looking at potentially the S205 or S220 from Bobcat, or any of the machines below. ROC are without counterweights.

Cat 242B, 246B (2000 ROC); 252B (2500 ROC)
Case 70XT (2000 ROC); 75XT (2200 ROC); 85XT (2450 ROC)
Deere 317 (1750 ROC); 320 (2000 ROC)
Komatsu 820-5 (eh, still haven't learned their nomenclature yet hehe)
NH Ls170 (~1700 ROC); Ls185.B (2500 ROC) (Not quite sure if Ls180 is being replaced by 185.B or if 185.B is just an addition to the line)

Oh. Why the S185 is still there. Well... tough to say. I'm shouldn't make too many general comments, but I understand that *some* Bobcats have more oil leaks around the cylinders especially than others. This isn't a widespread problem, apparently, but there are quite a few instances of such. :shrugs: Happens with the best of 'em... that machine could have some misfunction or might be a demo unit from the proving grounds. Who knows. If you've seen it there for two years, that's kinda weird, but if it was made in 2003, no biggie unless the dealer cut the price a TON. I wouldn't worry too much about it, but maybe take a look yourself and see if you're missing something.

In any case, were you looking to buy IT or any machine that might do the job?

mbella
12-13-2004, 09:37 PM
Any machine that would do the job. I do realize that track machines are better in wet or hilly conditions. However, this machine will be used for snow removal, in parking lots, and that is why I was going with a tire machine.

Green Pastures
12-14-2004, 12:54 AM
After talking with several guy's here locally who do snow removal they are really pleased with the tracked machines in snowy conditions.

mbella
12-14-2004, 08:20 AM
What about wearing the tracks on asphalt?

Green Pastures
12-14-2004, 11:06 AM
What about wearing the tracks on asphalt?


Whenever I've done snow removal there has always been a 1/2" - 1" layer of snow left on the asphalt.

So you're not actually driving on asphalt.

I think we are splitting hairs here.

Sure the tracks wear, but so do tires. Just include in your fees enough to cover track maintenance and replacement......

mbella
12-14-2004, 11:13 AM
Scott, actually where I plow they have what they call a 0 tolerance snow policy. Believe me, when we leave, we are on asphalt. Also, often times, the machines are going back for another day to clean up corners.

My reasoning for tires vs. tracks was that the tires are much cheaper to replace.

Lawnchoice
12-14-2004, 11:28 AM
Whenever I've done snow removal there has always been a 1/2" - 1" layer of snow left on the asphalt.

So you're not actually driving on asphalt.

I think we are splitting hairs here.

Sure the tracks wear, but so do tires. Just include in your fees enough to cover track maintenance and replacement......

If I left an inch of snow on the property I would loose the contract !

A bucket, pusher, or plow on a skid steer always gets it down to the pavement.

I wouldn't see the reason in even doing the property if you were leaving snow on the ground.

Green Pastures
12-14-2004, 12:08 PM
My statement still stands.

You will eventually have to replace tires and you will eventually have to replace tracks.

Maintenance and replacement cost's should be figured into jobs.

For me the tracked machine makes the most sense.

Tigerotor77W
12-14-2004, 03:43 PM
If you're getting a tracked machine, the Cat 257B or T190 will be sufficient in size for what you need. Wheeled machines... I'd go with at least 2200 ROC if possible. If not, ~1900 ROC with counterweights.

ksss
12-15-2004, 12:00 AM
This goes to a point I made on another thread on tracked machines. Why push snow with a tracked machine if there is no significant advantage to do so. Green Pastures, you mention you have to charge more to cover the costs. Maybe on bid job that requires the special abilities of a tracked machine that would work (wet land mitigation for example). NO ONE is going to allow you to charge more to push snow because YOU chose to use a tracked machine. It doesn't work like that. Charge too much and you'll lose the job. The point I made earlier on this topic was with the track craze that is occuring, guys are running tracked machines (snow removal is a prime example) were they don't need them. Why incur the added upkeep if your not utilizing the tracked advantage. Those tracks will need to be replaced at some point. When these tracked machines are 3-5 years old I can see guys spending 1/2 to 3/4 of the machines value on tracks and undercarraige components. Their resale will be done just as they are for dozers and excavators which is by percentage of wear remaining on the undercarriage. Once guys have gone through this cycle they will be more carefull on how they use their tracked machines. IMHO

Scag48
12-15-2004, 01:48 AM
I don't know anything about pushing snow with skid steers, but it seems to me that a good sized wheel machine with chains or good tires is all you need. You can't charge extra for using a tracked machine to plow a lot when a wheeled machine will just as good a job for LESS. And if you charge the same for using a tracked machine to do the same job as a wheeled machine, you're going to lose your ass.

Green Pastures
12-15-2004, 01:56 AM
Green Pastures, you mention you have to charge more to cover the costs.


I don't think I mentioned that I charge more............as I don't even have a tracked machine yet.

I said, you need to figure track maintenance and add it into what you charge the customer for the job. That does not necessarily mean it will be more, nor did I say it would be more. If you're on dirt less wear less of a fee for maintenance of the machine. If you're on 3" rough gravel or rip rap every day you might want to consider another machine.

I also think that people are making way to big a deal over the cost of these tracks. I met a guy at the dealer this past weekend when I went to do some pricing of impliments. He has a Caterpillar 277 with over 2300 hours on the original tracks. They were in good shape, and appeared to have quite some time left on them.

His words of wisdom were, keep them clean and under proper tension.


I think the real problem here is what you allluded to in the last line of your post.

Guy's are buying these tracked machines and using then improperly and in severe conditions and then raising a fuss when the tracks show some wear.

Tracks are best in dirt, for finish grading applications, where they operator can take full advantage of the light footprint these machines have.

I may use mine for snow, but we get 1' a year around here MAX.

I still don't think the tracks will wear as fast as people are afraid they will, if run on asphalt all the time. Think about the ground pressure and how much track is on the ground at all times. It's MUCH harder to spin with all that track on the ground. Just learn how to make turns that don't scuff the tracks and I think you'll be fine. I imagine most of the wheel wear is from "skid" steering.

We'll see.......


I'm going to shut up now as I don't even own a machine yet, I've been renting and demoing like crazy though.

kris
12-15-2004, 07:26 AM
S185 --- I like ours. We stick with Bobcat mainly because of the dealer support we get. It will do all the things you have asked it to do.
Only tracked one we own is the little MT50. and I have 0 experience with full sized tracked skidsteers.

Why is it still stitting.... I couldnt answer that.

I have never seen a tracked machine used for snow clearing on parking lots here. I cant imagine that it would be efficient in parking lots when your going back and forth.... spinning around etc. Like I said ... I havent tried it.

mbella
12-15-2004, 08:30 AM
Thanks Kris. I knew that the machine would do everything that we do. I was putting it out there in case anyone had experience with similar work and similar machines and thought another was a better option. As for a tracked machine doing parking lot snow removal, I've never seen it.

cajensen
12-15-2004, 02:41 PM
I thought you could get a new S185 with the Gold package for a similar price ?

mbella
12-15-2004, 02:49 PM
I thought you could get a new S185 with the Gold package for a similar price ?

funny you mention this. I talked to another dealer last night and you're right. He will sell the S185 with the Gold package for the same price.

kris
12-15-2004, 05:07 PM
Mike ... you didn't ask but If I had to pick I would go with a bigger machine.

We have an S220 that can lift full pallets. S185 is a good machine though and I would prefer it now over our 863 0r 853. 863 can almost lift a pallet ..in fact it can skid them around if they are already on the ground.

mbella
12-15-2004, 05:29 PM
Mike ... you didn't ask but If I had to pick I would go with a bigger machine.

We have an S220 that can lift full pallets. S185 is a good machine though and I would prefer it now over our 863 0r 853. 863 can almost lift a pallet ..in fact it can skid them around if they are already on the ground.

Kris, how much of a pallet have you been able to lift with the S185? There is about a 1600# weight difference between the S185 and the S220. I was trying not to go too heavy, because we do a lot of work on finished lawns. We do a lot of builder work and a lot of times the street trees go in after the lawns (not ideal, but reality). I'm trying to get everything in one machine (I know it's impossibe, but can't afford two) as far as something that can be used for planting, hardscape and snow removal. Generally, our pallets are dropped near the work area, so we aren't faced with the need to move a full pallet very often.

kris
12-15-2004, 05:37 PM
Mike ... I honestly can't tell you. We picked it up only a few months ago when we retired an 843. Guys Always grab the S220 when needed for pallets.

I'll go up to our bone yard tomorrow and see what I can lift.

mbella
12-15-2004, 05:40 PM
Kris, thanks. I appreciate your time and imput.

Tigerotor77W
12-15-2004, 06:09 PM
Don't forget about the S205 if you're worried about weight. About 6300 pounds; ROC is 2050.

mbella
12-15-2004, 08:27 PM
Bobcat, what is the biggest difference between the 205 and the 185?

TerraFirma Excavating
12-16-2004, 01:31 AM
mbella,

I have a 2001 773T (same as a S185) and really like it. I does everything I expected it to do and then some. I find myself even utilizing it in situations where a bigger machine would be more advantagous, but I already have this machine. I probably push it to the limit and then try squeeze a little more out of it. My machine is a 500K anniversary model, which is the Gold Package with the counterweight (1950# ROC) and floatation tires (31.5x13x16.5). The machine new with 74" low profile bucket and a set of pallet forks was $28,300 new.

I have moved 2,200# pallets of crushed rubber without difficulty. I even lifted the 2,200# bags about 5-6' off the ground when we were spreading the rubber in an indoor riding arena.

It looks like the S205 is the S185 with a different engine. More displacement with about 5 HP more (61 vs. 56). About 440# heavier in machine weight also. Looks like the hyraulic flow is a little lower for the S205, 0.5 gallon/min on standard flow and 1.5 gal./min. on high flow. I'm not sure, but the lower hydraulic flow may be because the larger displacement engine could make its power at a lower RPM, thus the hydraulic pump turning slower.

As much as I like my machine, I would go with at least a S220 on another skid steer purchase. The bigger machines have more HP (75 for the S220&S250 and 81 for the S300) and more hydraulic flow for attachments. With more machine weight and power, they are able to use large attachments such as bigger buckets and wider dozer blades and snow plows. The larger framed machines have a longer wheelbase (over 8" longer) and ride smoother in the rough terrain. I also like the fact that the larger machines can run the 12x16.5 tires. They offer about the same footprint as my 31.5x13x16.5 floatation tires, but the 12x16.5 tires cost about $200 less per tire. Sure the heavier machine will have a greater ground pressure vs. a S185 with the same footprint, but you could get the 33x15.5x16.5 floation tires if necessary.

I personally like the vertical lift machines and would go with a S250 or a S300 before the S220 radial lift machine. If you don't have the need for a larger bucket (80" or greater) or 8' wide blade or higher auxiliary hydraulic flow, a S185 will work great for you. If you plan on taking on larger excavating jobs, have the need for bigger buckets, or want high flow attachments, go with a S220 or larger machine.

Note: I know the S185 and S205 are available with the high flow option, but I was told that the machine would be very noticable underpowered when using high flow attachments.

TerraFirma Excavating
12-16-2004, 01:48 AM
I use tire chains on all 4 tires while plowing snow. Some of the areas I plow require me to move the snow at least 300' to the storage area. Even with only a 74" low profile bucket, I could encounter enough resistance (snow piling up in front of me) to cause my tires to spin on the icy pavement without tire chains. I would like to utilize a 7' wide blade with wings to plow with, a chore I know I could not do without chains.

I know Bobcat does not recommend using their tracked machines on snow and ice, but our state maintenance department utilizes a T200 all winter long to clear sidewalks and bike trails. They utilize a 8' 6-way dozer blade and seem to have no difficulty at all. Given this is on flat ground, I don't know if they would have problems on inclined, icy surfaces, especially sliding sideways off of the sidewalks or trails.

I think using either tires or tracks for snow plowing has very little wear compared to summer time uses. First of all, the surface is very slippery, with a very low friction coefficent, and will not wear the rubber surfaces very much. Also, when it is colder, the rubber should be harder and less susceptible to wear. True, it could get cold enough to get brittle and crack, but should see very little friction wear.

Overall, I think the tracks would have a disadvantage on snow and ice for plowing operations. More ground contact equals less ground pressure. On icy surfaces, greater ground pressure allows for more traction. Wide mud tires on trucks don't perform as well as a narrow tire for the same reason.

Green Pastures
12-16-2004, 09:54 AM
Great post Terra Firma.........

Tigerotor77W
12-16-2004, 10:32 AM
Yup! He covered all the bases.

mbella
12-16-2004, 12:40 PM
Terra, thank you. Your imput really helped. I appreciate everyone's imput on this thread.

kris
12-16-2004, 05:59 PM
Mike ...I checked it out today (and meant to take some pics, but forgot my cam at home)

Very amateur test ..... I find it is really similar to the 863. There is no way it would lift a full pallet of pavers off the truck but i was able to lift it a few inches and move it around. Id say like the 863 you would have to take a few rows off.

mbella
12-16-2004, 10:29 PM
Kris, sounds good. Again, I really appreciate your imput on this.

TerraFirma Excavating
12-16-2004, 11:18 PM
Last week I had some LVL beams delivered. They were 12 total 16"X1.75" beams 32' long each. They weighed 7# per linear foot for a total of 2688#. The truck driver didn't believe that my 773T could pick them up. He actually thought they were in the 3000-4000# range, but I knew the actual weight because I spec'ed them out for my project. I went ahead and let him slide them off his dumping flatbed.

All 12 beams were banded together. After he offloaded them, I simple found the center of the load and was able to move them to the area I wanted to store them in. I kept the load low to the ground, but did have to lift it up about 3-4' to clear some obstacles. It was a pretty heavy load and I wouldn't want to go over very rough terrain with it or downhill load first, but felt comfortable moving them. I was more worried that the 32' wide load was going to slide sideways on my 48" wide forks.

Remember, I do have the optional counterweight, over-sized floatation tires, and the wheel spacers which all increase my counterweight. I bet with foam or calcium chloride filled rear tires, you could lift at least 3000# without difficulty.

cajensen
12-17-2004, 01:55 PM
If I were to by another skidsteer today, I would want 2 speeds.

kris
12-17-2004, 04:21 PM
Today when I got to work there was a message waiting .... there is a recall on the S185

Called for info ....

2 things :

1. A spacer for the alternator .... guess it could possibly rub on a hose

2. Case drain hose will be enlarged

Nothing to do with safety ...they said they are ordering in the parts and will come to our shop to do the work.

mbella
12-17-2004, 08:40 PM
Kris, or anyone, have you loaded a tri-axle with soil/rock using the S185?

Tigerotor77W
12-18-2004, 12:35 AM
The larger machines will be a bit faster cycling than the S185. (Just a comment, not a "DON'T BUY S185" statement.)

kris
12-18-2004, 09:52 AM
Kris, or anyone, have you loaded a tri-axle with soil/rock using the S185?

No Mike ....what kind of info are you looking for?

I believe it will load to a height of around 10'.

Do any of you have the POWER BOB-TACH ?
We have it on two of our machines now ....can change those attachments with the flip of a switch... love it!

UNISCAPER
12-18-2004, 10:10 AM
Cat has that option on thier equipment. We it on our 257B, the 246 and it will be on the 301.8 as well. For the $1,000.00 it costs, the labor it saves pays for it in a few months. The technology came from the IT series Cat loaders just downsized a bit. No matter whose brand you use, if this option is available, it is well worth the money it costs if you switch tools alot.

TerraFirma Excavating
12-18-2004, 12:18 PM
I wouldn't own a machine without the Power Bobtach. It allows me to change attachments easily and very fast, expecially with an enclosed cab. Makes it fast and easy to grab the right attachment to do a small chore, rather than fight it with the wrong attachment because you think it would take too long to manually change attachments.

Isn't it part of the Gold Package?

mbella
12-18-2004, 06:31 PM
yeah, it is part of the gold package.

Tigerotor77W
12-18-2004, 07:04 PM
No Mike ....what kind of info are you looking for?

I believe it will load to a height of around 10'.

Do any of you have the POWER BOB-TACH ?
We have it on two of our machines now ....can change those attachments with the flip of a switch... love it!

Yes, 118.2" to be exact.

Anthony Orlando
02-07-2005, 06:36 PM
Hey i seen that you were looking at a S185 Bobcat. I am looking at trading mine and wondered if you have any interest in mine. It has 350 hours, hand and foot controls, suspension seat front tires are foam filed, strobe package. cxab and heat.My sister lives in Maryland so I could possibly deliver it to you. This is a clean machine and i could e- mail you some pics. It is used for snow removal. 68 inch bucket.
Torlando@new.rr.com

D Felix
02-08-2005, 08:51 PM
I missed this thread the first time around....

Did you buy the S185, Mike?

If/when we get to the point of buying a larger machine (probably 1-2 years from now), we will probably look into/compare traditional skidsteers with articulated loaders like Kubota has out. The articulated loaders cost a little more, but do a LOT less turf damage. I'm not sure how they compare pricewise to the all-wheel steer Bobcat's though. I think the new Kubotas have the "standard" skidsteer attachment plates.

Just a thought if you haven't bought one. But I've got a feeling you have.:)


Dan

mbella
02-08-2005, 09:04 PM
Dan, I bought the S185 back in December. I have a Kubota that is a couple of years old and it has the quick tach kit. However, it wasn't factory installed. As much as I like the A300, I don't have that kind of dough yet. I think it's a little too heavy for what I wanted anyway.

D Felix
02-08-2005, 09:08 PM
Is it one of the articulated loaders though? That's what I was talking about.

Kubota has two sizes of them, I can't remember what the model numbers are.... There's a used one at a dealer here, the larger of the two, ~425 hours on it. Quoted ~$35k for it, which is what a new smaller one would run. Either size will pick up a full pallet of block/pavers without trouble, according to specs. You can also get a backhoe attachment for them (~$10k). From what I can tell, they are a pretty versatile machine.

How has the skid worked out for you? Did you get the older one or a newer one?


Dan

mbella
02-08-2005, 10:10 PM
Dan, my Kubota is an L-35 and no it is not an articulating loader. I bought a new S185. So far, we've used it for one grading job and snow removal. I was happy with the way it performed on the grading job. We were in deep mud and I couldn't get it stuck. It does have the flotation tires which help. As far as performance during snow removal, it has been fine.

YardPro
02-09-2005, 09:42 PM
When these tracked machines are 3-5 years old I can see guys spending 1/2 to 3/4 of the machines value on tracks and undercarraige components. . IMHO


this is blowing things a bit out of proportion.

tracks are not much more than 2X the price of tires.

1/2 the value would be $10K ... Bulldozer tracks for a 30 ton dozer are only $5K...

TerraFirma Excavating
02-10-2005, 02:35 AM
I believe the rubber tracks are $1800-$2000 per track, so about $3600-$4000 if replacing the set. Idler rollers are $300-$400 each. I'm not sure on the price of sprockets, but you may also have to replace those too. Could easily add up to $6,000.

New standard sized tires for a skidsteer are about $800. The floatation sized tires for my machine are $1400. The cost of track replacement is considerably more than tire replacement, but this also reflects upon the additional cost at purchase. A new track machine costs $12,000 - $18,000 more than a similar sized tire equipped machine. The owner will also charge more per hour for the tracked machine, which will help offset the cost of track replacement down the road. The track machine will also be able to perform in conditions which a tire equipped machine cannot, so the operating season may be extended, thus offering more income.

The life of tracks or tires is going to depend upon what type of surface they are used on. A tracked machine and a rubber tire machine should get about the same life out of their rubber if running in the same conditions. From my own research, it seems like 1,200 - 1,800 hours would be a fairly average useful life of either.