That was my whole point, KSSS, was that if the suspended machines are more productive in a certain application vs. an unsuspended machine the cost offset would make sense. I can't stress enough that these machines require a very close analysis before their purchase as the costs of running these machines is much greater than that of a skid steer.
As for $10,000 repairs, if you're the only guy around with one of these machines working on a very exclusive project, you could cover repairs for a long time on one project alone. Something to think about when it comes to cost of ownership. While everyone tries to buy machines with the lowest operating costs per hour, I look at it this way. If I have something that someone else doesnt, if I can provide something that someone else cannot and get paid a premium price, the costs of ownership are almost negligible. Around here, niche building is key. A guy I know that used to be in the business had 2 Schaeff walking excavators (along with a couple excavators and the like). Everyone laughed at him, told him he was stupid for investing upwards of $175K a piece on them. He got the last laugh, was installing tower footings for ski lifts throughout the west. He made so much money with those things that the cost of ownership didn't even matter. He was getting general excavation business that didn't require the use of the walking excavators just because people knew him as the guy with the "spider" looking machine. I think it's different in different areas, but for us being in a town with a population of 5,000 year round residents, simply having some radical equipment can advertise for itself. When I was 16 years old I was getting new lawns every week simply because passer-bys loved to watch me fly around the lawn on my walkbehind so much they hired me every week. Nobody around here had a commercial walk behind back then, they still don't, and just by spending a little more money on a better mower paid for itself 10 times over just by having something that someone else didn't. Kinda crazy and farfetched, but I tell you that's how it worked. I know this summer when we'd haul our 277 through town and we'd stop somewhere we were always getting questions about the machine, nobody has seen one in these parts.
Back to the original thread, I think everyone, including salesman, are making dedicated track machines out to be the new "standard" of equipment. They aren't. They are highly specialized pieces that can either make or break a company. The easiest way to explain it is either you need a machine like this for a specific task or you don't need one at all. Simply running them to replace a skid steer is insane, you're going to lose your a$$.
Go hard, go fast, or go home