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256C demo

Discussion in 'Heavy Equipment & Pavement' started by ksss, Mar 16, 2008.

  1. ksss

    ksss LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 7,129

    Ok I picked the machine up the day I was leaving for ConExpo. I spent about 5 hours in it.

    The task was moving the mountain of pitrun as shown in the pictures I posted earlier of the hole we dug for commercial dance studio. This machine was not loaded like was promised. No ride control no Amics it was a level 3 machine.

    The Good. Visibility was good. I liked that I could see my tires as they hit the ground. Ergonomically the cab good, the controls are adjustable in length. The plastic was a little cheap I thought. You could see the seam in the plastic were expanded. Not a big issue just a little cheap looking. I liked the handles. Very purpose built and once you ran the machine the design of the handles was evident. Noise levels were acceptable, a hyd. drone was evident at full throttle but not bad overall I was happy with quietness of the cab. I can not speak for the ability to keep the cab clean as it was wet and cold out. Heater works good. I like the split windows. Good idea. Bucket breaout was very good. Although the material was stacked and so we were not breaking out of a virgin soil bank it broke out nicely. It had a 73" extended lip bucket. Visibility was good to the cutting edge.

    The not good or indifferent. This machine displayed an distinct inability to lift a bucket of pit run out of the pile. The lift capacity on the books is 2500 ROC with counter weights which this had. It struggled badly. If the ROC is true than it would not lift one pound more than that. You had to backout of the pile to get it to lift. Like I said the bucket breakout was very good, loader lift capacity was not good, at all.

    Now lets talk about the E/H. I liked the control feel as far as resistance in the handles. The issue was for some reason it was not the same everytime, it was not duplicatable. When lifting it would not stop immediately. There is a noticeable delay in the controls. Especially in the drive. It was like it needed to spool up before it would give full power to the wheels. This next issue was most odd. If I was lowering the loader arms and bringing the bucket back it would cancel out the bucket function and would only allow a very slow movement of the bucket. I had to release the bucket function and return to one function at a time. It would then reset itself and be fine. It was hard to duplicate but it did it 6 times to me.

    The antistall mode was an issue for me. When pushing the heavy material the wheels would stop and stall out. The machine would immediately pull down but the antistall feature saves it from killing. It does it very fast. You really cant overwork the machine it wont let you. You will only get as much out of this machine as the programing will allow. I am not used to that, I don't know whether that is good or bad, but I am used to getting more out of a machine than the CAT would let me. The lower torque ratings are evident but only briefly, the powerband drops off quick when pushed hard but the antistall keeps you from working the motor. Wheel torque was not that impressive as it would stall out in the heavy soil/rock when loading off of the pile. The machine seemed rather rough riding but it did not have ride control so I will attribute the rough ride that. The cab is tight. Dimension wise very close the CASE machines. I found that my legs were heldtight against the sides of the cab. I am not an overly large guy 6'0, 230 and it was tight but acceptable as I am used to that. If you are an overlarge guy it might be very tight. The CASE cab in the Series 3 is very similiar. My legs rested against the sides of the control furniture as well in that machine.

    I try not to confuse familiarity with comfort. So I held my opinions and as always once you get used to your surroundings it is easy to form an opinion. The CAT cab is nice. The powertrain was not what I was expecting. The E/H although very comfortable to run needs a little ironing out at least in this machine. I thought it would be more precise and more fluid. I think in someways the CAT pilots were better in that regard.

    My hired hand also liked the lower effort controls. The 465 was on that job and he has spent about 55 hours on that machine in the last 10 working days. The servo controls without question are more effort. He was still had some backfilling to do when I left. I called him from Vegas and asked how it went. I was hoping he would use the CAT to do that with. He used the 465, I asked why and he said he just wanted to get it done.

    Overall I had preceived ideas on how it would run. I was expecting a more powerful/productive machine. It is very comfortable to run hands down better than my 400 series CASE machines. The productivity however is not as good as my current machines. I will see what their numbers are. I will likely run a Series 3 machine and the CAT again, hopefully side by side. That is if CAT will let me.
  2. bobcat_ron

    bobcat_ron LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 10,101

    You have to get used to that anti-stall system, get the angle of the bucket just right so only the cutting edge is on the ground as you push is key.

    Isn't the 256C a radius path loader? Maybe that would explain why it didn't have the lifting ROC due to the placement of the lift cylinders.
  3. ksss

    ksss LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 7,129

    It is radial, did I write vertical? Jet lag. I don't know why it wouldn't lift. It just would not clear a pile using only the lift arms. Maybe that can be computer adjusted. It did not feel like it was going over relief but that the machine just would not work hard enough to lift the bucket. Wierd.
  4. Lazer_Z

    Lazer_Z LawnSite Silver Member
    from NJ
    Posts: 2,579

    Kaiser, I'm not trying to pick a fight, but you said you felt tight in the CAT cab? I'm a big guy my self and although I did not get a chance to try a wheeled machine I did get to try an MTL, a 287C to be exact I don't know if that makes it any different, but anyway I didn't feel the least bit uncomfortable in the cab. I did feel a bit squished in the cab of the T300 Bob Cat though. I'd like to take a Case machine for a spin to see if it feels similar to the CAT cab or if I would feel squished like I felt in the Bob Cat cab.

    What machine in the Case series 3 lineup are you going to try and put the Cat up against?
  5. ksss

    ksss LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 7,129

    It will be the 440. The shoulder room was fine in the CAT it was the leg room. Your legs are kinda pinned between the control levers. Again the CASE Series 3 is very similiar, it appears to be the nature of the beast in these machines. The CAT cab was not uncomfortable to me to other than having little leg room. I would not say it was uncomfortable in the time that I spent in the machine, but I found myself bracing my legs against the control furniture for stability. The seat was nice in the CAT. The cab is nice and deserves the praise that it has received.
  6. bobcat_ron

    bobcat_ron LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 10,101

    Radius paths have a habit of NOT lifting a bucket through a pile of gravel with out backing out, even my 247 won't do it, take a close look at the owner's manual on operating techniques, Cat shows you how to properly load the bucket, approach the pile with the bucket flat, and push into it but also raise the loader at the same time.
  7. bobcat_ron

    bobcat_ron LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 10,101

    I love having my legs up against the control posts like that, makes me feel more "connected" to the machine and keeps my knees from knocking around wile going over side hills and such.
    As long as I have more room to stretch my legs I'm happy, the T190 didn't allow me to do that.

    DUSTYCEDAR LawnSite Fanatic
    from PA
    Posts: 5,137

    i like extra room in any cab if possible
  9. ksss

    ksss LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 7,129

    I am sure you could develop a technique to overcome that but why? What about pallet fork work. I did not have a chance to try it with forks but it seems unnecessary. My current machines will lift right out of a pile if I care to, to the point of exceeding the ROC.
  10. bobcat_ron

    bobcat_ron LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 10,101

    Pallet forks are different, the load remains constant with forking work, but with loading gravel with a bucket, the loads increases because with a radius path loader, you are basically shoving the bucket in and up into the pile increasing the weight exponentially.

    My 247 will pick up my 10 foot ditch cleaning bucket with the forks higher than the T190 could just because of the Radius Path.

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