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Old 08-10-2014, 02:23 PM
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ksss ksss is offline
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Demoing a Deere 328E

I am looking to replace my 07 CASE 465, and for the first time in 20 years the Deere Ag dealer cold called me. Here they sell the Deere skid steers (the Deere construction dealer doesn't do much with them) and asked if I was in the market. I wanted the 332 to demo, but they did not have one just a 328E so I have spent a days on it.

Initial walk around, I found the zerks were easy to get to, daily fluid checks were also easy. I was not as big a fan of removing the side access panels but that's the way it is. The overall construction seems good, visually.

The cab: The cab is pretty nice. The seat was comfortable, vision was good, although somewhat detracted on the sides, I cant see as much of the wheels as I like to, but overall I though the vision was good. The HVAC system was effective, and the cab sealed well, I was working in real dirty conditions and the cab stayed clean. A couple issues I would need fixed. The lab bar does not provide enough material for my elbows. The machine was rough riding, if Deere provides Ride Control this machine did not have it. My elbows kept sliding off the lab bar hitting the sides of the cab. My elbows hurt so bad, I swore if it happened one more time, I was parking it.
Ingress and Egress was a multistep process but overall not bad, especially compared to the 200 series.

I thought the information center was good. If the machine would not move, you looked up at the info center and it told you what to do, IE Cycle lap bar, release this or that button. CNH lets you figure that out for yourself.

The engine power was decent, it comes on different than I am used to but once I became used to the way the Deere ran it provided enough engine power for a machine this size. However, the wheel torque was lower than I think it should be. The machine was equipped with 14's so it will absolutely hook up in the dirt. I was working in a dry loamy soil and so I was getting great traction and I could and would stall the tires out from moving in hard pushes. It is a thirsty beast when working it hard. The lack of a foot throttle would nearly be a show stopper for me. This machine had foot controls as well, don't know if that deletes the foot throttle or perhaps they don't offer one at all. The throttle dial on the post was a bit of a pain, I liked the auto idle, very nice, but you can have the electronic throttle dial. Skid steer operation is much different than an excavator from which I think that idea was taken.

The EH control system leaves much to be desired, mostly due to the delay the machine has when your changing directions. It was a production stopper for me, I just could not get used to it. The lag is way to long and the machine slowly ramps to full speed (which might be a good thing I guess) but I have been in no other machine that is this bad in this regard. The response in the bucket controls was fine and it was a little hard to control at times but acceptable I thought. It is user adjustable from inside the cab. You have a couple presets to chose from.

Lift capacity was not nearly as good as I thought it would be from a machine that is design to lift. It felt like it was electronically restricted from greater lift. I had my large 84" bucket with back splash (1 yard heaped bucket) and the Deere would not break the bucket out of a pile. I lifted a couple large basalt boulders and the machine either would not lift or you to really work it to lift it. The bucket breakout is really good as the specs would suggest. I learned something I did not know (never having spent this much time in a Deere skid steer). The breakout power is exceptional however it possess zero power when back dragging with the bucket cutting edge. Actually you can without much effort make the bucket cylinders go over relief when back dragging. The bucket dump angle is horrible, while I did not do any truck loading, I can say that dumping a bucket clean would be a challenge.

The machine is setting off service codes and I am returning it after I get done today with it.

There are certainly some good ideas in the machine. It is designed to do some applications very well. The tilt cylinders being laid nearly flat give great breakout and good vision to the cutting edge. However there are some distinct and to me major disadvantages to this layout as discussed.

I will not be requesting a quote from Deere. Also, the salesman who was in constant contact to get me in the machine, provided zero instruction on the machine (I think I figured most out on the fly, he was at lunch when I picked it up) but as technical as these machines have become, it would be nice to have tutorial on what all the button do. They gave me a 76" bucket to run on it. The machine has to be at least 78" with the big tires, although I am sure that it makes the machine feel a lot stronger, it was really silly to do that.

I will be getting the 272D shortly. I also have an SV300 in my yard, but I have not run it much yet to compare.
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Old 08-10-2014, 02:50 PM
Cornell Cornell is offline
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IIRC you don't have a reliable Bobcat dealer near you? That's a shame.

Not too many people around here run Deere skids or CTL's. I have a Deere mechanic buddy that dreads service calls on the previous 2 generations. I get to hear about it quite a bit.
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Old 08-10-2014, 02:53 PM
whiffyspark whiffyspark is offline
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The black ones are a lot better than last generation. Friend has a 332 he brought with 400 and sold at 600 lol
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Old 08-10-2014, 03:14 PM
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I have a 332 with almost 3,000 hours. I'm looking into a 333D next but will look at some other machines as well. I will say though that the reason i like the 332 so much is the loader arm break out force and bucket curl force. I want a machine that gives it everything it has and not give up because of a pre set psi. I want the tail end to come up in the air before the machine gives up.
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Old 08-10-2014, 08:04 PM
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AEL AEL is offline
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May as well tell your dealer to just leave that sv300 at your place lol . We only have around 300 hours on ours yet , and besides a few electrical glitches ( dealer fixed them immediately ) and taking some time to dial in the eh controls , it has been awesome . Bobcat s770 would be a close second...
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Old 08-10-2014, 09:22 PM
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ksss ksss is offline
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I just got done dropping it off. I am totally happy to be out of it. I discovered that in some situations if you started lifting the loader arms it cancelled out the bucket tilt. Must be some kind of EH ghost issue. I continued to smash my elbows against the steel rail in the cab (and it F'in hurts).

I can not imagine anyone could be happy with the delay in the controls. It absolutely is a deal breaker aside from some other things.

BC is simply not an option here. To bad because I would like to demo one.

Just the little I have run the SV300 I already like how nimble it is. It has the big tire option like the Deere did, but it is so much quicker.

P: this is the dealer that sold you your 50D. I can see where if you really desire what this machine excels at it could be just the ticket. However there are some serious trade offs. I got hung up today building a berm. Typically you stick the bucket in the dirt and push yourself off, well when the bucket cant articulate very far back it doesn't work nearly as well. That and it has little push power extending the bucket tilt cylinders so going the other way wasn't an option either, lucky I had an excavator sitting on the job or I would have had to pull the machine off the berm with my 5500.

I don't think you would want an E model if you don't like electronic nannies. It is evident that the machine is computer regulated.
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Old 08-10-2014, 10:02 PM
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That's good to know. I will plan to demo a 333 before I buy.
I do plan to run the 380 case and a 289/299.
If the 333 doesn't have brute and unregulated lift power it will be a no go.
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Old 08-11-2014, 12:15 AM
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coopers coopers is offline
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Shane, do you guys have Terex over there? I haven't tried their wheeled skids but I liked their tracked units although I'd like to use one a little bit more to see if I actually do like it or if it was just "being in a new machine" honeymoon phase. I've got quite a few options to chose from here, Cat, Deere, Terex, Bobcat, Case, Gehl.
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Old 08-11-2014, 01:26 AM
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ksss ksss is offline
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No we don't have a Terex dealer anywhere close. I don't think that machine is an option for me.
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Old 08-11-2014, 08:20 AM
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bobcat_ron bobcat_ron is offline
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I'll bet if you put 100 hrs on it, you might be saying different about the hydraulic power and lag times. When I used our 289 for the first 5 hrs, I hated it, I had to have it almost at full throttle to keep the engine from bogging and the delay time from forward to reverse was bad. 600 hrs later and it's a hot rod now and better on fuel.
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