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  #1  
Old 06-17-2008, 01:01 AM
Summit L & D Summit L & D is offline
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Location: South Texas
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Dingo 525 vs. Bobcat MT55

...So this is where the last few weeks of machine demos leaves me. I feel like these machines are a great fit for what we do, and have decided to take the plunge.

What I am looking to find out from you guys are things like maintenance costs and personal likes and dislikes.

Here is a brief run down of the machines I've run:

Boxer (diesel) - This thing was a joke (IMO). The hand controls were TERRIBLE and I didn't much care for the platform and the digging capability seemed rather lacking.

Vermeer (diesel) - Nice machine. The operation was pretty smooth and the platform was better than the Boxer. I just took this machine for a spin in their yard without a bucket...so no digging or job impressions on this one. The comparison I feel is like that of a Suburban ( dingo, bobcat, boxer) to an Escalade (vermeer). Nothing really jumped out to me to make me think that I HAD to have this machine.

Toro 525 (diesel, narrow track) - This was the first machine that I actually took to a job site and put through it's paces. I felt the machine performed wonderfully. It operated the soil cultivator and trencher with no problems.

Toro 420 (gas, narrow track) - Again, I had this machine out on some projects for real world use. It is nothing like the 525 in terms of performance. I was unable to secure the soil cultivator for this demo, so instead the dealer sent me out with the Harley Rake and trencher. The trencher performed about the same as on the 525, but the Harley Rake was CONSTANTLY getting bogged down. I thought that in terms of use the soil cultivator and Harley Rake would put about the same load on the machine. If that is the case, the 420 fell down on the job. I also thought that the controls were far more sensitive and harder to operate than the 525. It also sucked down a whole lot more gas than the 525 did diesel. Final thought, I hated the machine.

Bobcat MT55 - This is the unit that I am currently demoing. I like the hand controls on this one better than the dingo's. They seem to take less force to operate and help to contribute to less operator fatigue. I have not run the tiller attachment with it yet, but that will happen tomorrow. I also like how the operator platform hinges. You don't feel like you are about to get bucked off constantly (ie: boxer and vermeer), it seems to float with the terrain. Overall it seems like a heavier duty machine than the others, but I really would like some more user experiences.

As a second question, how big of a difference is there going to be between the MT55 and the MT52?

Right now I am leaning toward the Bobcat, unless someone gives me a good reason not to.

The place that I would buy the Dingo from is a rental yard, not really a full service dealer. One thing that I am concerned about is their ability to really fix complex issues...although they say they can.

The Bobcat dealer is a full service shop with multiple locations. They have been in business for a LONG time and have a pretty good track record.

Both places are about an hour from our yard, so location isn't really a deciding factor.

Any thoughts/suggestions would be great!
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Old 06-17-2008, 01:05 AM
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PlatinumLandCon PlatinumLandCon is offline
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I wouldn't get the MT just because the platform is so bad.
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Old 06-17-2008, 06:37 AM
Lawnworks Lawnworks is offline
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You probably can't wrong w/ any of them. I like my dingo 425. If you get a 525... I would definately get the widetrack.
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Old 06-17-2008, 08:56 AM
Summit L & D Summit L & D is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by musclecarboy View Post
I wouldn't get the MT just because the platform is so bad.
Which machine do you run?
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Old 06-17-2008, 08:57 AM
Summit L & D Summit L & D is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lawnworks View Post
You probably can't wrong w/ any of them. I like my dingo 425. If you get a 525... I would definately get the widetrack.
Has having the wide track decreased your ability to take on any jobs (ie: small gate openings?

I personally think I want the wide track, but that is the only sticking point.
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Old 06-17-2008, 04:46 PM
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BrandonV BrandonV is offline
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i personally don't like the bobcat's platform, it's difficult in tight situations and terrible during trenching. that being said the MTs are built very well. Is there a ditch witch dealer nearby? I personally think the DW SK650 is the best machine on the market today.
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Old 06-17-2008, 09:56 PM
Lawnworks Lawnworks is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Summit Landscape & Design View Post
Has having the wide track decreased your ability to take on any jobs (ie: small gate openings?

I personally think I want the wide track, but that is the only sticking point.
No it really hasn't affected me at all, and we do alot of work in backyards. The wide track just floats on the grass. I had to carry 3 bnbs after a hard rain on a job... and the wide tracks just float on the grass w/ absolutely no trace of a footprint.
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Old 06-18-2008, 06:42 AM
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YardPro YardPro is offline
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i have the 425 and love it.
the deal killer for me with the bobcat is a said earlier..... unique attachment plate...

also it has a higher ground psi than any other machine.

the ditchwitch are great machines..

i wrote an extensive review of the mt52, sk350, sk500, and boxer in the miniskid thread. We spent A lot of time demoing machines. At the time it came down between the sk500 and the dingo.

for us the dingo worked better as it was smaller, and the tread pattern was much less aggressive.
the ditch witch is great machine. The local rental store here that we deom'd the ditch with together bought the sk. It had had quite a few ptoblem....but it is a rental.....

the sk650 looks like a far superior machine to the 500, but at almost $30K......ouch!!!!!!!!
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Last edited by YardPro; 06-18-2008 at 06:51 AM.
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Old 06-18-2008, 04:01 PM
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SC Irrigator SC Irrigator is offline
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we run dingos and havent had the first problem out of it....it does everything that we need it to do....i do agree that your hands will get tired after a while
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Old 06-18-2008, 06:53 PM
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Grn Mtn Grn Mtn is offline
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The wider track on the Dingo gives it more tractive effort for digging and it has less of a footprint on established lawns. I ran a 425 tx wide track gasser this spring, cultivated 3/4 of an acre of (rock) field. no bogging down but had to stop and pull boulders out every once and a while. No hand fatigue, but did wish I was on a platform -that was a lot of walking backwords. Did not run out of gas. 4 hours on the meter.

The Vermeer 600tx can dump higher than the Dingo and digs great.

I have not used the Bobcat, but the whole mounting plate thing does seem annoying.
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