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View Full Version : Cat 232b vs. Bobcat s185


daltongeb
02-22-2005, 09:50 PM
Wondering if anyone had any opion on which is the better machine. I know they aren't exactly the same on specs but very similar. I can trade to the bobcat for slightly less money, but cat has good interest rates right now, 0.0%-2yrs, 2.05%-3yrs, 3.53%-4yrs. Which makes them nearly the same price, I think $250 more for the Cat. Both spec'd nearly the same cab/heat, suspension seat, block htr., hyd. self leveling, 66" bucket, pallet forks, the only real difference is the Cat has a counter wt. package which makes it nearly the same rated cappacity. I will be using it on a farm/ranch opperation, so it will need to do a fair amount of pallet lifting, and post hole auger work (mcmillan x1975) but will mostly be used for cleaning barns and corrals. I need to stay in this size range to fit into barns. And have plenty of larger loaders for heavier lifting. I have experience with the bobcats, but i haven't had any real time in a Cat machine this small. But have had good luck with larger cat machines.

Thank you
Dalton

Anthony Orlando
02-23-2005, 12:59 AM
I had a S185 and have absolutely nothing but good luck with it. I have traded for the new S205. You might check that out because you are getting a good lift rating and more power for a little more money. As far as the Cat I do not have any experience with those.I am sure someone will have an answer for you.

mbella
02-23-2005, 01:56 AM
Anthony, do you really notice a difference between the 185 and the 205?

Caribbean Breeze
02-23-2005, 07:29 AM
Dalton,

I am new to this forum, I will tell you that you should consider buying the machine that is built better, this shows up over the long term. In the short term, any machine will perform well. Look at operating costs, resale value etc. and you will find that the Bobcat is ahead.

Don't get me wrong, the Cat machine is good, I just think you will be happier with Bobcat. PS. I recently sold my 246 for a New S185.

Caribbean Breeze
02-23-2005, 08:55 AM
Dalton,

Just remembered another very good option, Gehl SSL's. I know of these machines with 6,000hrs plus and still working well in recycling operations in the UK & Europe.
In my opinion, Gehl machines perform consistanly and is worth looking at.
They have good support in many areas and they are in the top 5 manufacturers, consider that they are a specialized manufacturer and have been in the business long enough to know the Skid Steers.

Go to Outback for Steak & Ribs, go to Red Lobster for Seafood. This applies to Equipment, some manufacturers I will prefer not to buy the SSL's from. Gehl is a smaller but very good option for the SSL, some will not agree and say that you should buy from the big guys like Cat & Deere. Consider where you get better serivce and support and make your decision..

Good Luck

Tigerotor77W
02-23-2005, 12:33 PM
The Gehl machines are built very well and it wouldn't hurt to consider them. They are generally regarded as excellent dirt-moving machines, but if you have to lift a LOT, you might want to consider a vertical lift-path machine. (Gehl is still a viable option -- just fit it with counterweights.)

If you are looking at the 1750 pound, vertical-lift market, don't exclude NH or Deere. While I think NH's design is a bit antiquidated, it's proven itself to be an excellent performer and won't have difficulty doing your jobs. Deere has an excellent machine (317) on the market that will step up to your challenges.

If you have narrowed it down to the Cat and the Bobcat, take a look at a few of the other threads regarding the S185 and Cat line. To experience the two, you'll really need to take a test drive of each one and see how you like them. You may find the Cat to have a smoother ride but you may find the Bobcat's hydraulics to be smoother. You may find you need the visibility of the Bobcat to the rear wheels but that the sound levels in the Cat appear to be lower. As great as numbers are, the best (and usually final) way to determine the preferred machine is to get in it and test it out a bit.

daltongeb
02-24-2005, 10:41 AM
I have looked at the gehl machines and think they are a real good machine, plus they are built less than 400 miles from here. But the closest dealer is 250 miles away so I've been real hesitant to get to serious about one. I drove a used one with the gehl T bar controls, not impressed. But I've broke my left wrist twice so it dosen't flex like it should. My local john deere dealer told me that he still would be a little shy of buying a deere skid loader, and he only sells them on special order. They sell bobcat instead, claims they're a better machine. So for dealers left in a 200 mile radius I left with cat, case and bobcat. Love the case machines, they're built like a brick shithouse, but for my use I cant afford to spend that kind of money, plus I really want to trade in a used disc mower and the local CIH dealer who sell bobcat, and cat are the only ones real interested. By the way deal location isn't a real big deal, its 125 miles to the bobcat dealer, and 175 to the cat dealer once your going that far its not really any difference.

Anthony Orlando
02-24-2005, 11:06 AM
I cant answer your question about the S205 being better than the S185. My new one isnt in yet! :) But I will say that the extra lift and more horse will come in handy. I also like the increased tipping weight and the bigger float tires will make a difference on a variety of surfaces. I had a mishap this winter while loading my dump truck with salt. I had my snow bucket on and was in a hurry. I scooped a bucket of salt and went to load the truck but the snow bucket capacity was too great and I tipped the machine into the side of the truck. My fault of course and no real damage was done but if I would have had the S205 that would not have happened. Oh well, thats my .02 cents!

Caribbean Breeze
02-24-2005, 02:13 PM
Dalton,

If I were you, I would buy the Bobcat Machine.

Buy Bobcat because you can get more $$ for it when you are ready to sell, you can access more attachments from the dealer and overall the Bobcat Dealers have better service and treat you better because they know the products.

Cat might treat you right, sometimes they will treat you right only if you buy a 777 Dump Truck.

Good Luck,

StoneStacker
02-24-2005, 03:30 PM
Cat might treat you right, sometimes they will treat you right only if you buy a 777 Dump Truck.

That is a pretty blanket statement that may not be true of daltongeb's local CAT dealer. I know a couple CAT skid steer owners that do business with the local CAT dealer in OR. The compact specialists that the dealer employs seem knowledgeable about the product, and the skid steer owners definitely don't own any 777s. I have heard of many dealers that sell many different brands of equipment that didn't provide good service or support. I don't think the brand has much to do with it. The atmosphere at the dealership drives customer support.

Caribbean Breeze
02-24-2005, 04:36 PM
Stonestacker,

You are right somewhat, it really depends on the people you are dealing with.
I can tell you that I have business associates that own large Cat machines, consequentially they bought Cat SSL's and stopped using Bobcat.
I can say that their feedback about shop and field service times and costs were higher with Caterpillar.
These guys are located in Florida, Mexico, Atlanta and the UK. I have learned that 3 out of 4 of them have made decisions to stay with Bobcat SSL's and Mini Ex's.

Of course this is my opinion and are the views of a group of my friends.
I am sure that you will understand that while Cat promotes the SSL, if Bobcat does not build a good machine, they will not be able to eat dinner.
Looking forward to you response.

Tigerotor77W
02-24-2005, 04:41 PM
Stonestacker makes a good point. While I am sometimes inclined to ask why Cat has a few "troublemaking" dealerships, they surely aren't the only company that is affected by this sort of plague. Their name is just so popular that when one dealership goes sour on a customer, people seem to hear about it far quicker than they would if the rotten dealer were instead a, say, Terex dealership.

While my personal opinion favors one of the machines, I still believe the OP should run one if there is a chance for that. If the distance is too great, well, I stand corrected, but if you were planning on visiting the dealership anyhow, running one for a bit will be the only way to tell for sure which is best.

As a last note, if you plan to compare the 205B with a comparable Cat, you'd have to compare a 242B, not a 232B. :)

I'm typing in chunks here (not good), but if you have more Cat machines, it might be easier for you to buy from ONE distributor than to go to two... might make your life a bit easier. Just a thought.

ksss
02-24-2005, 05:25 PM
Dalton, I hate to see a guy pass on getting a CASE skid steer because he couldn't get a trade for his disc mower. If you want to make a call to the CIH dealer in Jamestown, ND (and don't mind the windshield time) they could help you out. I (Shane Kaiser) went to school with Doug Etter who sells red iron and skid steers at the dealership. I am sure he would be happy to take your disc mower and give you a good deal on a new skid steer. Doug is a good guy and a good friend of mine. If your interested let me know and I would do what I could to help. I also have some connections with Kridder in Bismark and Western Plains equip. in Billings. Buying skid steers is like buying pickups. Buy the heaviest duty one you can justify and you will never regret it. The CASE machines do cost more, but their resale is high and especially being as far from anywhere as you are being overbuilt wouldn't be a bad thing.

Scag48
02-24-2005, 07:13 PM
Our Cat dealer employs compact equipment specialists that take care of our specific needs no matter how small our purchase from them was. Our sales rep was great, he delivered our machine on a trailer from 40 miles away, and all of the attachments we purchased from them straight to our jobsite. We've had a great experience with Cat. If we needed a mechanic, no problem, they fixed a fitting on our machine and a couple of our attachments the next day. Cat is a much larger company that serves a larger market than just compact equipment, so they employ a larger amount of field service mechanics than most Bobcat dealers. Up here, our Bobcat dealer is pretty lame. They are now part of a larger company that sells Hyster Forklifts, Deere, Hitachi, Timberjack, Ditch Witch, and commercial aircraft. I just can't get myself to get involved with a company that sells more forklifts than skid steers, not my gig. When we were shopping for a skid steer, I first thought of Bobcat and them being the industry leader. In the end, I found out that the Bobcat dealer didn't want bother with us as a customer and that Cat had a better machine for our neeeds.

vntgrcr
02-24-2005, 07:29 PM
Our Cat dealer employs compact equipment specialists that take care of our specific needs no matter how small our purchase from them was. Our sales rep was great, he delivered our machine on a trailer from 40 miles away, and all of the attachments we purchased from them straight to our jobsite. We've had a great experience with Cat. If we needed a mechanic, no problem, they fixed a fitting on our machine and a couple of our attachments the next day. Cat is a much larger company that serves a larger market than just compact equipment, so they employ a larger amount of field service mechanics than most Bobcat dealers. Up here, our Bobcat dealer is pretty lame. They are now part of a larger company that sells Hyster Forklifts, Deere, Hitachi, Timberjack, Ditch Witch, and commercial aircraft. I just can't get myself to get involved with a company that sells more forklifts than skid steers, not my gig. When we were shopping for a skid steer, I first thought of Bobcat and them being the industry leader. In the end, I found out that the Bobcat dealer didn't want bother with us as a customer and that Cat had a better machine for our neeeds.
Funny you bring the dealer service up. I am in the midst of trying to give my local Cat dealer, Southworth Milton, $32K of my hard earned money for a 257MTL, and the salesman can't seem to remember to call me back as he says he will, slow on information, just not very communicative which bugs the hell out of me. If you say to someone you will call them back, DO IT! Even if you don't have any info, follow up. Just very frustrating. I am hoping that this is not an indicator of what I have to look forward to come service time. Thanks for letting me vent. By the way, what Cat machine did you buy. My Bobcat dealer is the same as yours, doesn't seem to take business very seriously.
David

Scag48
02-24-2005, 08:17 PM
We bought a 2003 216 and our dealer worked with us every step of the way to insure that we got the machine that suited our needs. Our sales rep researched attachments for us and out here, Harley Rakes are VERY tough to find. We found a new one that was located at one of the Cat dealers down in Oregon and that saved us quite a bit of money. It seems to me that Cat dealers network a little more than a Bobcat dealer would, because like I mentioned, a Cat dealer is serving a much larger customer base, not just compact equipment, and this requires them to work with other dealers to suit customer needs in every aspect of their sales, from compact equipment all the way up to heavy construction. Also, I don't have numbers to back this up, but I believe there are far more Cat dealers across the nation than Bobcat and that reassures the fact that we have something solid that is standing behind us. At the other end of the spectrum, a Bobcat dealer might work harder to please the needs of a landscaper because compact equipment is what we buy and it is also a market that Bobcat is 100% involved with. So it might be safe to say that you could get awesome dealer support from Bobcat being a consumer of compact equipment, which Bobcat heavily relies on as their main source of sales. But like I said, my Bobcat dealer experience has been poor, dissapointing in fact. It all depends on what kind of service you've recieved in the past and who you would like to do business with.

daltongeb
02-24-2005, 08:55 PM
Kss, thank you for the offer, I too have good conections at Krider in Bismarck, and the bobcat dealer I'm working with is West Plains in Bowman ND, we purchased a new 2160 fwd versatile tractor and a new new holland 1475 mowco just last spring so they are more than willing to deal. And my girlfriend graduated form high school with the cat salesman, so he has been excellent to deal with. Cat will trade for $16500 with 3.35% financing for 4 years, the disc mower is worth about $8k, Bobcat will trade for $15500, with financing thru farm credit @ 6.3%. I think both dealers are giving very good prices, both machines have 66" bucket, pallet forks, cab/heat, suspension seat, hyd. self leveling, block htr., side sliding windows, etc. let me know if you think I should be able to better.

Thank you everone for the responses, you have all been helpful.

Thanks again
Dalton

Tigerotor77W
02-24-2005, 09:10 PM
Let us know how it goes and best of luck.

StoneStacker
02-25-2005, 08:52 AM
It is safe to say that everyone seems to have had experiences with their local dealers that run the gamut. When it comes down to the nuts and bolts of it, people end up buying from someone they trust. If the salesman does not call back or return messages, would you trust him? Conversely, if the salesman goes above and beyond the call of duty, seems genuinely concerned with your success in the business, and shares his knowledge, I would feel good dealing with him. The same holds true for the dealership itself, regardless of brand.

Anthony Orlando
02-25-2005, 04:09 PM
I know one thing for sure here in Green Bay. That is that the Bobcat dealer thinks that his machines are gold and the trades are of no value. That is until he has it. I went to trade my 2002 ( 350 hours )S185 here in town and he offered me 10,500 on a trade. Then he had the guts to tell me he might go another grand if it was in good shape. I laughed at him. He has the identical machine for sale with 295 hours(2002) for 20000. What a jerk. Then they have the goofy territory laws where you cant shop around for a better price. The nearest dealer has the right to sell you machine and thats it. Well i got around that with a dealer 50 miles from town but it was worth it. I am so sick of the dealers that think your trade is worthless. My machine was like new!OH WELL! :angry:

ksss
02-25-2005, 04:28 PM
Dalton,
If both dealers are within a grand I would say your about there on price. On the option list given that you have a cab I would consider a hydraulic coupler. With the swing out doors on the cabs of the CAT and BobCat, coupling the quick coupler is a pain especially in the cold when the throw levers are froze. As far as chosing between the two, I would spend time in each before purchasing. They accomplish the same thing in the end but take a different path getting there. Another tactic I will use when buying a new machine is negotiate an attachment that you want at cost. The tactic works well and is a good deal closer.

daltongeb
03-02-2005, 03:48 PM
Thank you everyone for the help, had a chance to demo the cat machine, loved it and I'm going with the Cat. Hopefully this is right, only time will tell.
Again Thank you
Dalton