Another CTL opinion thread

Discussion in 'Heavy Equipment & Pavement' started by KPS, Jan 8, 2008.

  1. KPS

    KPS LawnSite Member
    Posts: 169

    Hey, New member, I've been looking at this site for a week or so and love all the top notch opinions and suggestions. So my problem is this... We currently own a 2002 T190,ACS controls, 1300 Hrs. kind of a love/hate relationship with it. It lifts a ton but vibrates the snot out of me and house foundations we run beside. The machine has been somewhat of a lemon, in the shop numerous times for various electric, hydraulic, track, drive motor failures. The downtime it costs us is rather expensive as we usually have two triaxles and one mini ex with the clocks running when it decides to quit. This year we decided that it was time to invest in another machine to replace it cause our warranty is done and the drive motors failed this year and was costly to repair. The only serious companies around here are Bobcat and CAT. Our needs are very specific, vertical lift to reach into tri-axles, no wider than 68" less than 12' long. Bobcat and CAT really are the only ones who make a machine in that category.We only really use it for one thing, loading trucks all day two to three times a week. The prices we've got from both dealers is comparable, i just don,t know whats a better gamble, the Bobcat has a fairly bulletproof undercarriage but the SJC controls and other electronics seem to be unreliable. The CAT on the other hand has proven electronics but a undercarriage more easily damaged by debris. I Don't want a machine in the shop all the time with SJC issues, but the CAT will cost more in undercarrige maintenance. Our current Bobcat Dealer has a great Service Dept. but i don't know if i wanna operate another "shaker" for four more years. I know also that I will be pissed if I only get 500 hours out of Cat tracks. I don't abuse the machine but it gotta work hard and i don't always have a choice as to what I run over and across. I know you've all got opinions so let me know what you would do and why.
     
  2. ksss

    ksss LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 7,128

    If your loading trucks all the time does it have to be a tracked machine? If not you would have other options.
     
  3. JDSKIDSTEER

    JDSKIDSTEER LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,163

    If you have not changed tracks on T190 it should be about time. Change to Solid Deal and that will take the vibration out.
     
  4. KPS

    KPS LawnSite Member
    Posts: 169

    We do need a track machine, we have heavy steel and wood plates we put between the houses to run across so we don't make ruts or destroy the acess way but if the ground is soft than a tire machine just sinks out of sight cause we usually have very limited space in the back yards we work in. And we have changed the tracks already, TWICE!!! we are very hard on our equipment.
     
  5. Scag48

    Scag48 LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,068

    A Cat isn't the best choice if you've gone through 2 sets of tracks on a Bobcat in 1300 hours. Cat's undercarriages are more maintenance intensive, however I feel in some applications the Cat undercarriages bring more to the table than unsuspended carriages. If this machine is operated by someone other than yourself, do not buy a Cat, the undercarriage costs will eat you up. Even then, you'll be putting twice as much into the undercarriage. I feel Cat's tracked machines are somewhat superior to the competition's in some aspects, but those luxuries come at a cost. As long as you can come to grips with the operating costs, they are great machines.
     
  6. KPS

    KPS LawnSite Member
    Posts: 169

    I just don't want to have the potential problems that Site Solutions had with his SJC equipped machine. Wear wnd maintenance we can control but with electrical issues our hands are pretty much tied.:realmad:
     
  7. Scag48

    Scag48 LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,068

    I can safely say that the new Cats are pretty well bug-free, I haven't heard of any serious issues and it's doubtful Cat will have serious issues. However, it is a new series and they haven't been out for too long, but we would have heard something by now.

    I estimated the operating costs for our 277B when we had it was somewhere around $10 an hour. That's a nice pillow to sit on, we were defiantely able to do $10 more work per hour with a tracked machine vs. a comparable wheeled machine. Half the time, a wheeled machine wouldn't even be able to get around in the sandy, loose conditions we have back home. I buried our 216 up to the belly pan trying to work in sand the 277 blew right through and across rough ground at full speed. Keep in mind that our 216 stays with our landscape crew and the 277 was basically replacing a backhoe on our excavation sites. I'd take it down nasty slopes to backfill foundations, places a wheeled machine absolutely would not make it out of.

    So, $10 an hour is a high number, I don't think that machine would have needed $10,000 worth of work at 1,000 hours, but it's nice to know you have yourself covered. And we were the only one in the valley with a tracked machine, we kept it pretty busy while we had it. Great machine to team up with 12 ton excavator, which it was doing most of the time. Between a 312CL with 3 buckets, a hydraulic thumb, plumbed for hammer/hoepack and the 277 with a combo bucket and 85" root grapple, we could do all sorts of work with the pair.
     
  8. ksss

    ksss LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 7,128

    I could not, and still keep a straight face, recommend a T190 to anyone but you have one and know the issues. I agree with Scag if you tore up the BC tracks twice in 1300 hours a suspended machine is not for you. I would probably go BC again, and in the purchase agreement get an extended warranty which includes you getting a loaner machine for when the 190 or whatever you end up with goes down at no additional cost. I would figure what your costs were on your current 190 from downtime and repairs. That would give you an idea of what the extended warranty and a loaner would be worth. I am sure it would be substantial. I would check and recheck the wording on the purchase agreement before signing and keep a laminated copy of it in your pickup (the last part was a joke...kind of). I don't see an option besides BC for what your specs are.
     
  9. KPS

    KPS LawnSite Member
    Posts: 169

    Thanks Scag and KSSS. that was kind of my gut feeling too, BC might be a little more tough to operate but is a tougher undercarriage for our kind of application. BC is giving us a good warranty and the dealer really wants us to buy from him again so maybe it is our best bet.
     
  10. Scag48

    Scag48 LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,068

    That's probably your best bet, honestly. I like Cat MTL's, but if you know you're going to be hard on a machine, maybe it's best if you stick with BC. I'm tough on equipment too, but I don't abuse them, I just run them tough.
     

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