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A300 and over the tire tracks ?????

Discussion in 'Heavy Equipment & Pavement' started by waltero, Jan 11, 2006.

  1. waltero

    waltero LawnSite Member
    Posts: 206

    I am looking at upgrading my equipment between this year and next. Currently I have a kubota 3130 TLB that is way too small for what I am doing and moving into. I am moving into doing more hardscaping. The areas that I work in are generally rocky but can sometimes get muddy. I was considering the a300 because of the aws. I am leaning this way because it is cheaper then the Tracked machines by several thousand dollars and with the aws I think the tires will last much longer then with a skid and hopefully over the life of the machine the cost balances out.

    I am looking for a machine that is very capable, as it will be my only loader for many years to come, and versitility of the skid/aws is a plus. I want to minimize the damage that I can do to the property and I believe that will save me both time and money not having to fix the damage that a skid loader would do, and all of this will justify the increased cost. I haven't driven one yet, but from what I have read they seem to be very reliable and people that have them like them.

    The biggest difference between the T300 and the A300 is the tracks and the bobcat dealer told me that over the tire tracks won't fit the A300. Now I can understand the difficulty if someone tried to use AWS with tracks but I dont see how someone couldn't make them fit if need be(spacers???). The reason I am asking is not because I really want to do it but if I find myself needing them, it is still an option for me.

    Besides the A300 I am looking at getting the bobcat 430zhs, although not at the same time, that would be a future purcase. One at a time, and I may even get the 430zhs first. That is another ????? I don't have an mini-excavator but most people that I talk to that do own both suggest that I get the excavator first. Again I will be doing hardscaping (patios, walkways, walls, and many other things) in very rocky soil and sometime the rocks get very large.

    I am looking at taking my business to a level where I can provide more services in a much better time frame, and with the least amount of damage (ie... zero house swing on the excavator and the all wheel steer). I believe that I can complete jobs possibly days sooner by switching from the small kubota with a 9ft backhoe to a excavator that can deposit the spoils directly into my truck while touching the material once, and having a machine that can pick up the pallats of pavers and move material should also be a great time saver. I am making good money and I feel that if I can finish jobs sooner and move on to the next job, without the added labor cost will really add to the bottem line and will justify the purchases.

    Let me know if my thinking is flawed, I know there are better choices, but I these may be the best combination for me. If the tracks do in fact work maybe I can have it all??????
  2. Scag48

    Scag48 LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,067

    Spending $50K on an A300 to put tracks on is kind of backward thinking. The tracks that you could "technically" put on an A300 will not even come close to the performance of those that are on a T300 in the sense that the T300 tracks are rubber and the OTT's are steel. An A300, I'm told, is very close to $50K and a T300 is maybe only a few thousand more, you're better off buying a machine that was designed to run the tracks. What I think you should do is just buy a new S300 and when you need a piece that reduces damage to existing properties (crossing lawns, etc.) use your Kubota tractor.
  3. waltero

    waltero LawnSite Member
    Posts: 206

    Kubota tractor is going as it really isn't good for what I want to do. The A300 with cab, ac/heat and a few other thing, I forget. The quote I recieved was $39,000 and for the T300 was $47,000 so the difference is $8,000 plus the tax difference. I don't see myself getting the tracks right now but before I buy the machine I would like to know if I could if I had to. I am looking at the T300 also but the added initial cost and the extra cost with replacing the tracks vs the A300 that gets much more life out of tires compared a skid. I have only so much money so 8,000 spent here is 8,000 not spent on someting else that I need. I am still growing and I still need lots of equipment and I don't want to wait more then a year for the excavator or visa-versi. Even all the small stuff that I would like to buy adds up into many thousands of dollars. The kubota has to go so I can affort to finance the larger equipment that I really need. I also think the A300 might be better because I don't run into much mud, but if I find myself in that situation more and more, can I opt for the tracks.
  4. Scag48

    Scag48 LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,067

    Buying an A300 and putting tracks on it is a waste of time because you're paying for the AWS system when you're not going to use it. Just save yourself a few thousand and buy an S300. Sounds like if you don't have much money, I don't see why you NEED brand new equipment. Find something used for about $10K cheaper so you can afford to buy everything you need.
  5. waltero

    waltero LawnSite Member
    Posts: 206


    Your missing my point. I specifically said that I wasn't planning on getting tracks and I only wanted to know if it was possible. I wouldn't get a skid-steer so that is out of the question. I am interested in the A300 mostly because it is AWS and I anticipate using that most of the time. I would consider buying a used one but.....

    1. financing isn't always as good
    2. there are not alot around so they are hard to come by
    3. the ones that I do find aren't all that much cheaper then a new one because they haven't been out that long.

    Everybody has a different situation and must balance their fanancial decisions, I as well as many people here could probably sell the house, cars and what ever else to get enough money to buy the things that we need. I have enough money to purchase both items if that was the route I wished to take, but I don't plan on selling my house so I am working on a plan that gets me exactly what I want in a time span of 1-2 years. If you can get me a A300 with cab, heat/ac, for $29,000 plus tax along with some great fanancing terms, delivered to my door while still in good shape, I'll buy it.

    Try looking at a bigger picture here instead of focusing on the tracks. I want a machine that does a very good job at most things I plan on doing, while reducing the amount of damage that I will have to go back and fix. I believe the $$$$ spent on materials and the time spent to fix it and the inconvience of getting these material all add up to $$$$$$ spent vs profit. If I needed more traction, is this an option for me, I will probably still buy the A300 even if the answer is No, but the tracked machines are still a slight possiblity. It is just a question.
  6. ksss

    ksss LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 7,129

    You could go ahead with A300 and see how it works. If you find yourself in need of tracks perhaps renting a dedicated track machine would be better. I run steel tracks on a 95XT. I can tell you that you will not want to be switching back and forth very often. They work well in mud but tear the hell out of grass and hard surfaces. I guess you will probably find you don't need to buy the over the tire tracks for the A300. I would get the AWS first and this is why. You can rent a zero tail 7500 pound excavator anywhere, however finding an A300 for rent will be much more difficult. I would demo these machines if you have not already to be sure your getting what you expect.
  7. Chriscob

    Chriscob LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,491

    I have an A300, it's a great machine. I have turf tires for spring through fall and put on heavy lug tires for winter snow removal. The machine can run all over a yard, even with a 3,000 pallet and usually do no damage. It also has a 2 speed transmission that allows you to really get up and go. And it has the ability to switch to "skidsteer mode" with the flick of a switch, which is nice in tight spots or unloading pallets etc. off a truck.
    And, I'm sure that I'll rile up some of the mini ex guys, but I chose to buy the "good" backhoe (8811) and have found that it suits my needs fine. I can sit on the seat for the backhoe and reach back and reposition the machine using the hand control of the A300. No need to hop in and out. And the 8811 has a 135" dig depth, 166" reach, 6000# dig force and 180 degree swing angle, so you can do some serious excavation. Also, in a few seconds you can remove the backhoe and then switch back to the bucket, forks, auger, whatever. I believe the 8811 is a $9-10,000 option but it's alot cheaper than an excavator of comparable strength.
    But as I said, that's my situation. I find very little need for an excavator. It's mostly the guys who are predominently into retaining walls that REALLY need them.
    P.S.- I chose to put rubber-over-steel tracks (McLaren?) on my S250 so I could get down and dirty when necessary. They work great. I'm sure it's not quite the same as true high trac machine but even my Bobcat salesman said that for me they would work fine. And an S250 with my tracks ($4,000 option) is probably $20K less than a T3000. And I need 2 machine so my setup works for me.
  8. Tigerotor77W

    Tigerotor77W LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Germany
    Posts: 1,891

    waltero -- technically, you will not be able to use AWS with OTT tracks. It's not only the spacing that will drive the tracks into the frame; it's the fact that the tracks can't bend in that direction. It's as if your fist/hand could only move up and down (as playing a piano), but not left to right (swinging the hand from left to right). Widening the space between the track would let the wheel slip too much most likely, meaning you'd spin your wheels inside the tracks. However -- this isn't to say the A300 would be interesting with tracks. (Aside: I'm curious to see if Bobcat will develop a Quadtrack-like machine or if it will use its current track and adapt it, as you suggested, to the A300.) One thing of note: steel OTT are not meant to be gentle on surfaces, so if you're going to be using OTT anyhow, you'll probably be in skid-steer mode -- which will be fine on the A300 *so long as* you don't engage AWS mode. The tracks should fit -- the wheelbase and standard tire on the A300 is identical to that on the S220, S250, and S300. Unless there's something else I'm missing, regular S220-S300 tracks should work fine: Bobcat just won't support you if you crap up the machine.

    Personally, I wouldn't suggest getting tracks for the machine unless you're operating it (or unless you trust your operators enough to know that they won't use AWS while the tracks are on. Just because they fit doesn't mean all the same features will work properly!).
  9. waltero

    waltero LawnSite Member
    Posts: 206


    Thanks for the reply. I wouldn't use tracks in any other mode except skid steer mode, in fact I don't have plans to even get the tracks, just wondering if I purchased the A300 and wanted to, would I be able to. I was mostly wondering if there was something sized differently about the A300 that would prevent tracks.

    As everyone knows, where we see a business going isn't always the way the business goes and having a machine that is adaptable and very capable is a big plus. I really like the idea of the AWS and believe that I would use that probably 95% of the time, and as a skid 5% of the time. I live in an area that has various terrains large rocks, ledge, small rocks, clay, mud, etc.... and although I don't see myself working in much mud now, it can certainly change just by getting work in a different area. thanks again.
  10. Scag48

    Scag48 LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,067

    It would be nice if Bobcat produced a smaller AWS machine. They claim it treads light on lawns, etc, but that machine is a beast at 8600 pounds and no matter how careful you are about turning, the PSI (unless with turf tires) is enormous. And with turf tires you're a little limited as to how much heavy digging you can do. If they produced something in the range of say, an S205 or so, I think they'd sell more of this type of machine. If your business is about 85% dealing with existing landscapes, I'd say this machine is perfect for you. That's just my .02.

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