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View Full Version : Can't sleep! I'm demoing a Cat 257B......


Green Pastures
03-04-2005, 01:47 AM
I meet my salesman onsite tomorrow (Friday) morning and I get to use the unit till Tuesday morning!

I can hardly wait. Feeling like a kid in a candy store, except the candy is REAL expensive.

vntgrcr
03-04-2005, 05:22 AM
Scott, please post your take on the machine. I am also waiting on my machine to show up from Buffalo. It has been almost 2weeks since we agreed to buy the machine and Southworth is being too cheap to put the machine on a truck by itself and ship it 500 miles. Getting very frustrated with the Cat salesman. Will not return phone calls,emails and I have to call him! :blob3:Unfortunately, I guess somebody spending $125K for an excavator is more important. I am buying a 2003 w/480 hrs for $32K. Thats a lot of dirt to move. Luckily, I bought a 1986 Bobcat 843 4 years ago for $8500. Sold it 2 days ago for $7K. Not bad for 4 yrs of service and only needed basic maint. Since Cat is taking over 2 weeks to get me the machine they have loaned me first a 242 that is a beast of a machine, but it will not run for more than 30 min and starts to cough and gag. Already changed the fuel filter, conditioner, antiice, now have a 226 that is a piece of s---! It is bouncy as all hell, on snow it gets stuck just sitting on a thin layer of ice/snow. I would be very disappointed with that machine if I were to buy one. I hope I am making the right decision going with a Cat. The bobcat had been a money making machine, but the hand controls and the ride of the Cat is what is selling me. I just hope I see it soon.

Caribbean Breeze
03-04-2005, 08:10 AM
Caption,

' It has been almost 2weeks since we agreed to buy the machine and Southworth is being too cheap to put the machine on a truck by itself and ship it 500 miles. Getting very frustrated with the Cat salesman. Will not return phone calls,emails and I have to call him! Unfortunately, I guess somebody spending $125K for an excavator is more important. I am buying a 2003 w/480 hrs for $32K'.

I brought this to the forum last week, the fact is, unless Cat has someone dedicated to the compact machines (as most of them don't), the smaller machine customers will be treated after the deal on big machines are complete.

It is unfortunate that Cat spends money to advertise on Discovery channel and then the salesmen (not only in this case, but in many) do not care. What a waste when the customer get a raw deal before, during and after buying from CAT.

This is a strategy that has enabled outside companies such as Komatsu, Hitachi, Volvo etc. to get strong response from the North America market. I will say no more but will tell you that Bobcat has the Selectable Joystick option which is very good, Bobcat Tracks last longer (my boss has one Cat 257 and a Bobcat T190 working on the same jobsite, same type of work, with the same hours and the original Cat Tracks are not standing up in terms of wear compared to Bobcat). They are also 35% more expensive than original Bobcat Tracks.....Ouch!

Both machines have approx. 2,000 hrs. I believe the Bobcat tracks has steel cords to prevent stretching, I was told by the Cat salesman that Cat does not have this.....I could be wrong as the Cta guy does not know enough on compact machines - but is good at selling a 330C.

Anyway, the undercarriage of the Cat is not rigid mounted like the Bobcat and be aware that in future, this is another costly maintenance item like in some snowmobiles...

I know a guy down my street who demoed ASV , Cat and Bobcat - he choose Bobcat because he got better treatment AND PROJECTED LOWER OPERATING COSTS over the time he will keep the machine.

Green Pastures & vntgrcr, consider everything and don't forget to pay attention to you operating costs - this DIGS INTO POCKETS.

All the BEST!

vntgrcr
03-04-2005, 08:45 AM
Carribean,
Now that is what I have been looking for, a side to side comparison and actual working condition reports. I am seriously considering looking elsewhere for maybe another brand. But actually I have only heard good things about the CAT and the Bobcat. It seems to turn into a Ford vs Chevy vs Dodge thing though. For instance, I have read a few reports of the joysticks on Bobcats not being reliable and actually saw one being replaced at the local dealer. Then we get into the track discussion. To say the least I am confused and to comment on one of your items about CAT having dedicated reps for compact equip., this guy is just that which makes me even more frustrated! I am seriously considering calling his supervisor but I don't like to make waves since I may need this guy in the future. But if I am not getting any kind of service before the sale, what does it look like down the road............. Just venting.
Thanks
david

Tigerotor77W
03-04-2005, 02:30 PM
vntgrcr, do keep a few things in mind as you are looking.

NOT all Cat dealers have service for compant equipment owners like that mentioned. What may be true with a certain dealer location may not be true at another location of the same dealer chain.

The steel imbeds found on just about all non-Cat/ASV machines are claimed to rust and corrode (by Cat), which does bear weight.

Rigid-mounted undercarriages may be more sturdy and cheaper to maintain (hence the many, many companies offering rigid mounted ones), but do keep in mind that they are far less comfortable to operate than a suspended one. If you won't be using your machine too much or keep very close tabs on your machines, the Cat may be cheaper in certain ways.

The main point here is to keep an open mind. Don't let the glitzy talk of dealers (or me, heh) get to you. What's right for YOU is what is important. Others' experiences may give you some background, but do be sure that you don't base your entire 40k decision only on what others say.

AL Inc
03-04-2005, 02:36 PM
Sorry to hear you guys are getting lousy service from Cat. That sucks and I know is very frustrating. But in Cat's defense I have to say the dealer service I have gotten has been awesome (HO Penn). I'm a small operation and this was my first machine, and the rep was terrific in getting me the demo I wanted, then when I bought the machine, brought it right to my jobsite within a few days. He even has called to follow up and see how I liked the machine after a few months.
So not all Cat dealers are to big to service the small guys.

Scag48
03-05-2005, 12:01 AM
In my eyes, I can just see an unsuspended machine, such as Bobcat, being rougher than hell to ride on. If you think a 226 rides rough, put a much larger contact surface on the ground (tracks) and you will feel every single bump you drive over. I will agree that this rigid design will last longer, be less maintenance prone, and be cheaper in the long run, but what is your comfort worth? I think lowering fatigue and operator comfort is one of the keys to keep your machines running all day long. In my opinion, I would rather have a little more expensive setup that will keep me comfortable all day.

Green Pastures
03-05-2005, 01:28 AM
I disagree that a rigid machine will be less expensive to operate.

Did anybody see the comparison?

A Bobcat and a Cat or ASV were driven over staggered 2x4's in an effort to test durability under stress. The Bobcat simply died with numerous problems after 78 hours of constant running. The test was suspended after it was thought pointless when the Cat or ASV had gone almost 800 hours free from any breakage. I'll look for this on the net and post a link. Still looking.....

Check out the videos on this link. What do you honestly think all that violent bouncing around is doing to components?http://www.nebraskarents.com/default-multiterrainloader.asp

BTW I ran the Cat almost 2 hours today and it is SWEET. It's going to really get run tomorrow (Saturday).

rob1325
03-05-2005, 02:14 AM
Wow, that was a awesome site. You can really see the difference between the two. I have cat 262 and love it.

vntgrcr
03-05-2005, 06:49 AM
I disagree that a rigid machine will be less expensive to operate.

Did anybody see the comparison?

A Bobcat and a Cat or ASV were driven over staggered 2x4's in an effort to test durability under stress. The Bobcat simply died with numerous problems after 78 hours of constant running. The test was suspended after it was thought pointless when the Cat or ASV had gone almost 800 hours free from any breakage. I'll look for this on the net and post a link. Still looking.....

Check out the videos on this link. What do you honestly think all that violent bouncing around is doing to components?http://www.nebraskarents.com/default-multiterrainloader.asp

BTW I ran the Cat almost 2 hours today and it is SWEET. It's going to really get run tomorrow (Saturday).
Well, finally talked to the salesman yesterday and TOLD him that we really needed to communicate better or I was going somewhere else. This is after him promising to call me by noon, that passed, went to his office, out to lunch, left a written message, still nothing and by 3 I called and had our chat. He copped a little bit of an attitude, but as usual appologized and I had a call at 4:30 saying it was going on a truck Mon AM and would be to my site by Tue AM. We will see. Please keep posting your thoughts on your saturdays work. Plus, I think the nebraskarents video says it all!
David

Caribbean Breeze
03-05-2005, 10:45 AM
In response to the Bobcat costing less to maintain.

How often would you drive over 2X 4's lined up like that?

If thats what you will be doing then go right ahead and buy Cat but expect to repair its suspension and expect to pay top $$$ for the parts & LABOUR

The process of replacing a track on a Cat machine needs special tools......

Compare this because you will have to do this to upkeep the machine and if your dealer is going to do it - compare the price.

I accept that the Bobcat's ride is harder. I do also appreciate that you must be crazy to buy a machine to drive over 2X4's all day.

That comparison not for real world applications.

I know for a fact that the steel cords outlast the track even after the machine is stored and hardly ever used. The cords may GET a little rust but act as a chain similar to what dozers have.

This chain or cord once used for a few mins. the little rust comes off.

I would go with the rigid type track because where I live, we do not drive over 2 X4'S and large rocks with our track units repeatedly like what Cat does in its comparison.

I also recommend to anyone that:

Don't just buy the nice machine that feels good

Look deeper into economic & finance costs over the working life of the unit.

Then decide - if you want a rugged machine that will last very long - buy Bobcat, if you want a pleasant ride Bobcat can give this to you most of the time.

Its your decision - I can tell you that if $$ and competitiveness is a factor in your business - Cat leads the way buy eating into your pocket.....

Lower Operating costs = Better Profits = Rigid mounted Tracks

Tigerotor77W
03-05-2005, 12:50 PM
Its your decision - I can tell you that if $$ and competitiveness is a factor in your business - Cat leads the way buy eating into your pocket.....



I hope I'm not turning this into a flame war, but I certainly don't believe Cat has the highest maintenance costs all the time. If I'm a new operator or an operator who has back problems, there's no doubt I'd take the Cat MTLs... it depends on the user and his or her applications. If a little more comfort is warranted, it might be worth the sacrifice.

Green Pastures
03-06-2005, 02:07 AM
In response to the Bobcat costing less to maintain.

How often would you drive over 2X 4's lined up like that?

Never, that's not the point. Look at the position of the two drivers in the video. When you take a bump in a Bobcat the energy from that bump is transfered to the entire machine including the operator. You cannot tell me that is not somehow detremental to both machine and operator.

If thats what you will be doing then go right ahead and buy Cat but expect to repair its suspension and expect to pay top $$$ for the parts & LABOUR

I checked, my local Bobcat dealer actually has higher per hour labor rate than my local Cat dealer.

The process of replacing a track on a Cat machine needs special tools......

Sure if you consider an air powered ratchet and some sockets a specialized tool. ;)

I'm pretty sure there are no "special tools" needed to do any repair on any other brand either, it's only the Cat that requires "special tools". You can fix everything on a Bobcat with a Swiss Army Knife.

You got any proof of any of this or are you just making rash judgements?

Compare this because you will have to do this to upkeep the machine and if your dealer is going to do it - compare the price.

I'll be doing most of the maintenance regardless, I'm quite capable, so what's the difference?

I accept that the Bobcat's ride is harder. I do also appreciate that you must be crazy to buy a machine to drive over 2X4's all day.

Somebody needs a bottle and a nap. You just don't get it do you. Look at the driver of that Bobcat once more. Now look at the driver of the Cat. Which machine would you rather drive in the real world? The real world I drive in is bumpy, I'll take any cushion I can get.

That comparison not for real world applications.

Ya think? Take a look at the driver in the Bobcat again. While the world might not be paved with 2 x 4's, I ran that Cat 257B today for 6.2 hours and there was not one square yard of dirt out there that was flat and level.

I would go with the rigid type track because where I live, we do not drive over 2 X4'S and large rocks with our track units repeatedly like what Cat does in its comparison.

So, who's stopping ya? Get what you like.

I also recommend to anyone that:

Don't just buy the nice machine that feels good

Look deeper into economic & finance costs over the working life of the unit.

Thanks for the purchasing advice partner. :rolleyes:

When I'm getting ready to spend $40-50K I usually just buy the first thing that gives me a hard on, why bother to think for myself or do any research you have all the answers.

Why even bother to demo any other brand after all Bobcat has been around for a few dozen years, they must have all the right moves, right?

Then decide - if you want a rugged machine that will last very long - buy Bobcat, if you want a pleasant ride Bobcat can give this to you most of the time.

I bow down to the almighty Bobcat! http://www.ar15.com/images/smilies/anim_hail.gif

Hail Bobcat. http://www.ar15.com/images/smilies/anim_hail2.gif

Its your decision - I can tell you that if $$ and competitiveness is a factor in your business - Cat leads the way buy eating into your pocket.....

Just wondering......Have you owned both brands? Both Bobcat and Caterpillar? You seem to know an awful lot about the costs, but aren't providing any hard data really.

Lower Operating costs = Better Profits = Rigid mounted Tracks

Got any hard data to back this up? Any repair/replacement bills we can take a look at? I mean really, I'd be interested to see if you can actually back up your statements.

I'm getting ready to spend $40K on a Cat 257B, please if you have hard data that backs up what rash statements you've made here, PLEASE show me.




















http://www.ar15.com/images/smilies/anim_peep.gif

Sorry guy's I just couldn't resist.

I'm so sick of all the diehard Bobcat worshippers raggin on Cat. I wish Caribbean Breeze would take his own advice and go out and demo something other than a Bobcat.

Screw the tracks, forget about rigid or floating.

I've demo'd the Bobcat T-190 and now the Cat 257B. I'm not talking driving around the dealers lot either. I'm talking about driving on a real job site, doing real work. In my real world experience the Cat is the machine to purchase for my business for many reasons other than just the superior track system.

Let's talk about engine mounting. Cat mounts their engines in line with the drive components rather than sideways. There is more room in the engine compartment to mount things where you can get to them. There is more room to work on the engine should it need to be worked on. More room to do PM's.

Radiator construction is all aluminum, it will NEVER rust. There is no belt driving the fan. If you're idiling or at full throttle the hydro driven fan is pushing the same amount of air through the radiator. It's also pulling it out of the engine compartment and up and away from the machine, rather than pulling dust down into the engine compartment.

Let's talk about anti - stall technology that works. I could not stall that Cat. The other brands I demo'd all stalled when pushed.

Let's talk about 100% joystick controls. No coordinating your feet and arms shoulders, pushing and pulling all day long. I taught a 5 year old boy to drive the Cat today in about 10 minutes.

jt5019
03-06-2005, 02:56 AM
Im not gonna bash any brand .. by the amount of bobcats i see around here they must be doing something right.Personaly i like the cat it is an awsome machine that would be my top choice. I drove a asv which is similar to a cat for mowing along power lines and recently plowing it was one of the most comfertable machines ive been in.

Green Pastures
03-06-2005, 07:16 PM
I'm not bashing brands either, I am however bashing brand bashers.

I get a little tired of every time I start a Cat thread, some Bobcat freak comes in telling me what a POJ Cat is.

Using your analogy, with the numbers of Cat MTL's being sold they too must be doing something right.

Scag48
03-06-2005, 08:11 PM
Amen to that, Green Pastures. I'm not going to bash brands, but I will say this. I think Bobcat has produced quality equipment for many years with THEM setting the standards. Now that other companies such as Cat are in the picture more so than ever before, Bobcat looks to be stretching thin on improvements to their lineup. I'm not going to say Bobcat makes a bad machine by any means, I just think that Cat makes a better one. For all you Bobcat fans out there, buy what you want and what makes you feel best, I cannot change that, but know this: There's a better way to go and it's spelled C-A-T.

vntgrcr
03-07-2005, 06:52 PM
Alright guys, no more bickering or feuding. I received the call this afternoon, my new 257 will arrive on the site tomorrow morning. And boy do I need it, 6-10" of mud. So this will be a real test to see if this thing does what they claim it to do. I can't wait to get rid of the loaner 226. I will report tomorrow night with pictures and my analysis. Stay tuned.........................
David

Green Pastures
03-07-2005, 09:00 PM
Well, I pulled the trigger today.

Ordered a Cat 257B, 66" 4 in 1 bucket, fully enclosed cab polycarbonate door and sliding side windows, AC, defrost and heat, Hydraulic quick coupler, self leveling bucket, tool electrical connect, lights front and rear, radio and headphones :cool2:

Going for a 72" Harley rake and one of Cat's augers with a couple of bits.

16' Towmaster trailer with 12K capacity.

vntgrcr
03-07-2005, 09:29 PM
Congradulations Scott,
That set up is basically what I am receiving tomorrow, less the rake. I am very curious how the 4-1 bucket will work. I have read all of the rave reviews, so figure even my thick head can use it. Do you need high flow for the Harley Rake? Plus the B is the turbo motor as well isn't it? How long before you get yours? My "wonderful" local dealer is just now getting machines in that guys ordered last fall. I really think they are the wave of the future. Of course now I am looking at what I do with a wheeled machine on pavement, etc and wondering if I will be able to do the same maneuvers with the tracks. And of course calculating the $ for every time I have to turn on the hard stuff. Plus it looks like we are getting another snow storm this weekend, so will be able to test it under those conditions as well.
David

rob1325
03-07-2005, 11:20 PM
Congradulations Scott,
That set up is basically what I am receiving tomorrow, less the rake. I am very curious how the 4-1 bucket will work. I have read all of the rave reviews, so figure even my thick head can use it. Do you need high flow for the Harley Rake? Plus the B is the turbo motor as well isn't it? How long before you get yours? My "wonderful" local dealer is just now getting machines in that guys ordered last fall. I really think they are the wave of the future. Of course now I am looking at what I do with a wheeled machine on pavement, etc and wondering if I will be able to do the same maneuvers with the tracks. And of course calculating the $ for every time I have to turn on the hard stuff. Plus it looks like we are getting another snow storm this weekend, so will be able to test it under those conditions as well.
David

Can you let us know how it handles in the snow, I am very curious.

Thanks,
Rob

Green Pastures
03-08-2005, 09:32 AM
Congradulations Scott,
That set up is basically what I am receiving tomorrow, less the rake. I am very curious how the 4-1 bucket will work. I have read all of the rave reviews, so figure even my thick head can use it. Do you need high flow for the Harley Rake? Plus the B is the turbo motor as well isn't it? How long before you get yours? My "wonderful" local dealer is just now getting machines in that guys ordered last fall. I really think they are the wave of the future. Of course now I am looking at what I do with a wheeled machine on pavement, etc and wondering if I will be able to do the same maneuvers with the tracks. And of course calculating the $ for every time I have to turn on the hard stuff. Plus it looks like we are getting another snow storm this weekend, so will be able to test it under those conditions as well.
David

David,

Yes it's a turbo motor. I've never run a 4+1 bucket so I can't comment on one yet. I got it because of the grappling ability. My dealer say's it'll be here within a week, it's a very slightly used unit. Guy bought it and put 130 hours on it and traded it in on the 287. He takes the depreciation hit I get a sweet deal.

I don't think we'll see any more snow here in Tidewater Virginia, so I'll have to wait till next year to answer that question.

My 257 does not have high flow, but I am seriously looking into having it installed. It is an option so there is a "kit" to install it at either the manufacturing facility or the dealer, same "kit". I'm more worried about needing high flow for the auger and the eventual tiller and stump grinder than the rake. I suppose you're right though, I'll be getting the 7 foot wide rake, there will be sometimes when I'll need power to get throught the thick stuff with that. I cannot find anything online right now telling how much flow is required by the MX7H rake. The M6H requites 13 gpm flow which is not really alot. Pretty sure I'm going to get the high flow option installed.....

vntgrcr
03-08-2005, 05:50 PM
Alright guys, my 257 showed up this morning, and what a great machine. Take a look at the pictures I have attached and look at the mud. The 226, 242 would go 2ft into this stuff and die, this MTL gets on top of it and just goes! And talk about climbing hills, going anywhere you want. I ran out of work for it to do on this jobsite, mainly because it started raining too hard anyway. Now I don't want to start another pissing contest between Bobcat and CAT, I have not worked a Bobcat on a job so no real comparison, but this CAT is going to make my life a lot easier. But a new problem has arisen which I will start another thread on. The work now gets done so much quicker! Just had to share my excitement, until the first payment is due :cry: Luckily I was able to put a chunk down and keep it realistic. Tomorrow we work with the 4-1 bucket.
David

Tigerotor77W
03-08-2005, 06:55 PM
Wow! Looks nice! (I miss muddy jobsites... I haven't biked through one in a long, long time.) Also looks like that 242 (it is a 242, right?) in the background got a good workout, too, judging from the mud build up!

vntgrcr
03-08-2005, 07:15 PM
Wow! Looks nice! (I miss muddy jobsites... I haven't biked through one in a long, long time.) Also looks like that 242 (it is a 242, right?) in the background got a good workout, too, judging from the mud build up!
S250, Yes that is a 242, it was the loaner that they gave me until the 257 showed up. It was a very nice machine, but it had some kind of fueling problem. Would barely move under it's own power. I would seriously consider one of those if I was in the market for a tire machine. Will post more pics tomorrow with the 4-1.
David

vntgrcr
03-08-2005, 07:17 PM
David,

Yes it's a turbo motor. I've never run a 4+1 bucket so I can't comment on one yet. I got it because of the grappling ability. My dealer say's it'll be here within a week, it's a very slightly used unit. Guy bought it and put 130 hours on it and traded it in on the 287. He takes the depreciation hit I get a sweet deal.

I don't think we'll see any more snow here in Tidewater Virginia, so I'll have to wait till next year to answer that question.

My 257 does not have high flow, but I am seriously looking into having it installed. It is an option so there is a "kit" to install it at either the manufacturing facility or the dealer, same "kit". I'm more worried about needing high flow for the auger and the eventual tiller and stump grinder than the rake. I suppose you're right though, I'll be getting the 7 foot wide rake, there will be sometimes when I'll need power to get throught the thick stuff with that. I cannot find anything online right now telling how much flow is required by the MX7H rake. The M6H requites 13 gpm flow which is not really alot. Pretty sure I'm going to get the high flow option installed.....
Scott, would you mind sharing what you spent for just the machine? If not, no problem. I paid $32K, and they added the 4-1 for $2K more. It is a 2003 with 477hrs, hyd. quick couplers, AC, Heat, etc.

Green Pastures
03-08-2005, 08:45 PM
http://catused.cat.com/equipment/view-equipment-detail.html.arg=equipmentPK%3DEq1.54A594U

I paid the price listed, which BTW is an incredible price for that machine. There are 2004 257B's listed on CatUsed.com with more hours and in worse shape for more $$. I got a sweet deal. The three things that were broken on it have been fixed under warranty. Fuel gauge, back up alarm and the window wiper all work now. The machine is in perfect shape.

I ended up getting a Towmaster 18' trailer with quite a few upgrades, a Mx7H Harley Rake and the 257B for $48K out the door.

I really feel blessed, I got everything I listed above for what that same exact machine I'm buying cost the previous owner just 130 hours ago when he bought it brand new in December of 2004. He traded up to a 287B.

I've been checking CatUsed.com almost every day since the end of October 2004, when a deal like this comes up you have to jump and jump fast. This one got posted on Thursday 3-1-05 I put a hold on it Friday morning 3-2-05 and after asking a million questions and getting every question I could think of answered I pulled the trigger this afternoon.

I pick it up later this week once my dealer gets delivery of the Towmaster trailers.

:blob3:

Green Pastures
03-15-2005, 09:14 PM
Well, I pulled the trigger on a Cat 257B. I'm driving to pick it up in the morning.

Absolutely cannot wait to put that sucker to work.

Will post some pics when I get back and have it all together.

Thanks to everyone for the input. I really feel like I've made the best decision I could make for my business needs.

The Cat 257B is a monster worker in a comfortable operator friendly package.

vntgrcr
03-16-2005, 06:36 AM
Well, I pulled the trigger on a Cat 257B. I'm driving to pick it up in the morning.

Absolutely cannot wait to put that sucker to work.

Will post some pics when I get back and have it all together.

Thanks to everyone for the input. I really feel like I've made the best decision I could make for my business needs.

The Cat 257B is a monster worker in a comfortable operator friendly package.
Good Luck,
I have had mine for a week and love it. Have had everything from snow, mud, sand and it just goes. I am a little concerned with the lifting capacity. When I go to lift the arms I see the right hand one move first, and when I go into a pile it seems as though I don't have the lift that my old 843 had. Then again it may just me needing to adjust to a different style of lifting. Please post pics when you get it. You did get a sweet deal onthat machine. Can't believe they had it listed for $35K!
David

Green Pastures
03-19-2005, 01:49 PM
Good Luck,
Can't believe they had it listed for $35K!
David

Believe me I had to pinch myself several times when I saw the listed price.

I can't stress enough that God was looking out for me once again.

$35K for the machine I got is a fantastic price.

It's up at the shop as we speak getting the electrical put on for the Harley rake and getting checked out by my Cat dealer before I run it. I pick it up probably Monday afternoon. Will post pics then....