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  #11  
Old 10-18-2013, 10:25 PM
AfterhoursVT AfterhoursVT is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by treemover View Post
I would look at a different machine. I ran a 257 18 months put 1000 hrs on it, had 600 when I got it. The undercarriage was loaded with aftermarket parts, and still was not reliable. It was costing me an average of 375 per month just on parts for undercarriage. It was used for dirt work and landscaping , it ate tracks and everything else in the undercarriage. I bought the 257 for the same reason you are, wanted option to run it in the winter. I think ctls do just fine in the snow, we had one of snowiest winters and my ctls did just fine. I have seen a lot of ctls pushing snow while on trips. U will be fine with a ctl, while the base cat machine was ok, the hvac sucked and undercarriage damn near broke me. I went with a 319d and 329d deeres love them zero problems in 1000+ hours. I think you could find a better machine than the 247 in the same money.
What was burning up in your undercarriage? What kind of day to day maintenance did you do to your undercarriage?

I have a Cat 257 that I bought last December. Most of the hours I have logged on it have been snow removal hours. I love the machine in the snow. Pushes everything I ask of it, pushes up hill, and rarely slips. Plus it is easy on the lawn when I am pushing piles over.

I have talked to a lot of CAT MTL owners in the area and no one seems to have major track issues. The undercarriage is complicated but a simple cleaning after every use will save you $$ in the long run. Keep the tracks cleaned, don't allow for stuff to build up and allow for a little extra care/caution when operating in conditions that might chew up the tracks.
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  #12  
Old 10-19-2013, 06:02 PM
swanny swanny is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AfterhoursVT View Post
The undercarriage is complicated but a simple cleaning after every use will save you $$ in the long run. Keep the tracks cleaned, don't allow for stuff to build up and allow for a little extra care/caution when operating in conditions that might chew up the tracks.
I agree with keeping it clean...just keep the pressure washer wand a good distance away from the bearing caps.
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  #13  
Old 10-20-2013, 01:53 PM
treemover treemover is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AfterhoursVT View Post
What was burning up in your undercarriage? What kind of day to day maintenance did you do to your undercarriage?

I have a Cat 257 that I bought last December. Most of the hours I have logged on it have been snow removal hours. I love the machine in the snow. Pushes everything I ask of it, pushes up hill, and rarely slips. Plus it is easy on the lawn when I am pushing piles over.

I have talked to a lot of CAT MTL owners in the area and no one seems to have major track issues. The undercarriage is complicated but a simple cleaning after every use will save you $$ in the long run. Keep the tracks cleaned, don't allow for stuff to build up and allow for a little extra care/caution when operating in conditions that might chew up the tracks.
What's major? My problems could have been considered not major, but just excessive. My undercarriages were cleaned daily, I don't like working in mud, we little if any rocks in our soils. Idler bearings, I had grease able bair aluminum idlers, bogie wheels and bearings, idler axles(broke off), drive carriages, drive and side lugs, replaced with Larry lugs, then had problems with pulling Larry lugs thru tracks, tracks were going 400-500 hrs less if they tore, our tracks always wore heavy where the rollers ran(almost seem like tracks were not firm enough to spread the weight out.

All of these are problems that plagued these machines, I ignored all of this when I bought mine because I got a good deal. This is what I experienced and is similar to a lot of others. If u don't use the machine on a daily basis or lite use I am sure if would do okay
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  #14  
Old 10-20-2013, 07:47 PM
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nedly05 nedly05 is offline
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Thanks for all of this info guys. Lots of pros and cons with this undercarriage I guess.
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  #15  
Old 10-21-2013, 12:07 AM
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ksss ksss is offline
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There are some advantages to that undercarriage, but I have never thought that they outweighed the drawbacks, at least for most applications. There is a guy on HEF, that has 1600 hours on his 297C and is looking to rebuild the undercarriage, including tracks it looks to me to be around 10K. That seems like a lot of money for the amount of hours on it. If the money holds at 10K that's a little over $6.00 an hour. The question to me is does the work the machine performed worth the money laid out in repairs, could it have been performed by a regular CTL equally as well?
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  #16  
Old 10-21-2013, 08:33 AM
Digdeep Digdeep is offline
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He hasn't mentioned that his undercarriage is shredded or needs replacement because it's worn out. His post centrered on having to thaw out his u/c in the mornings and the impact of the torch on the rubber bogies.

According to his own words, "Our original tracks have a few small cuts and rips, but are still very functional and the tread depth for 1600 hours is excellent." This is in a stream channel restoration application. I'm not sure how much he actually really needs to replace.
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  #17  
Old 10-22-2013, 12:17 AM
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ksss ksss is offline
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I am only referring to what he said which included track replacement. Your right maybe he doesn't need to replace all that he thinks he does,however there are many that do have to go through the entire undercarriage at around 1500 hours. There is no getting around the cost of the undercarriage is high, my point being that if your taking advantage of the benefits of the undercarriage its probably worth the expense. However if your not, and any CTL could do the very same thing, I fail to see why anyone would expose themselves to costs of the MTL simply for an exceptional ride.
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  #18  
Old 10-22-2013, 10:45 PM
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Construct'O Construct'O is online now
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My CTL machine is 8 years old now bought it new and had 2100 hour on my oringinal track which i replaced with Bridgestone Polor Track,don't do snow ,but do work in a lot of muddy conditions.Spring and fall the machine is used alot in not so good of condtions.At least it is dirt ony most of the time.Altho dirt is like concrete now because of the drought here.The Polor Tracks are holding up good tho and plus i like the tread design for the mud better traction.

As to cost of owning a CTL trck machine for me i feel lucky,but also take care of the machine and use it hard when we use it ,but not abuse it and it shows and pays.

I have a little over 3000 hours and the new tracks is all that i have replaced in that amount of time,which was $3800 at the time i bought them.Still running the same rollers and sprockets and they haven't bee flipped from side to side.I used 2000 hours and divided it into the $3800 cost of the Polor Tracks and the cost was $1.9 dollars per hours.So i think the CTL machine for me has been a great investment.

I'm probably the exception to the rule I'm sure,but not ever one has high cost of owning a track machine.It pays to take care of your machine, who, and how it is run.Plus because of what i use the machine for i can't do with out the CTL track machine.
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  #19  
Old 10-23-2013, 06:55 AM
mathews mathews is offline
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All of these are interesting things to think about... My deal breaker on the cat would be "who will operate it most times?" Me or one of the guys? If its you go for it. If after the new wears off your gonna pass it to the crew get one with cheaper cost per hour. just my .02
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  #20  
Old 10-27-2013, 03:22 PM
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MackCat MackCat is offline
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Location: North Carolina
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ksss View Post
I am only referring to what he said which included track replacement. Your right maybe he doesn't need to replace all that he thinks he does,however there are many that do have to go through the entire undercarriage at around 1500 hours. There is no getting around the cost of the undercarriage is high, my point being that if your taking advantage of the benefits of the undercarriage its probably worth the expense. However if your not, and any CTL could do the very same thing, I fail to see why anyone would expose themselves to costs of the MTL simply for an exceptional ride.
I have a CAT 297C 2,600 Hours and all original undercarriage used for brushcutting and dirt work.

Last edited by MackCat; 10-27-2013 at 03:25 PM. Reason: spelling
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