Bobcat experiences

Discussion in 'Hardscaping' started by Gallucci, Mar 13, 2010.

  1. Gallucci

    Gallucci LawnSite Member
    from PA
    Posts: 32

    I am looking for your experiences with Bobcats. I use a Kubota tractor now but too tough to move around. What do you think about..tires/tracks..lift needed to get into a triaxle?...HP and FLow? Just looking for your experiences good and bad would help.
     
  2. tthomass

    tthomass LawnSite Gold Member
    from N. VA
    Posts: 3,497

    I run a T190 and T250.

    T190 = 1,400 hrs
    Burns a little oil, have replaced 3 of 4 idle wheels (nothing against Bobcat, its a wearable part on all machines). Power is good, its a 190, not a 250 but I can give someone a run for their money in a 250.


    T250 = 650 hrs
    Joy stick machine and the machine has a lot of balls behind it. Drive into a pile and it just digs in and will lift more than it can handle.

    Buy used, forget new. I picked up a $55k T250 with 530hrs on it for $23k, private sale. I've run a lot of different machines and I'm not bias. The TL-150 and its sisters are good machines, Case I don't like, New Holland is okay and CAT has a solid machine. Bobcat has given me great service and made me a lot of money. There's a reason why most all skid loaders are referred to as "Bobcats".

    I assume you're playing in the dirt and if you do what most of us do......you'd be a fool not to get a track machine.
     
  3. Gallucci

    Gallucci LawnSite Member
    from PA
    Posts: 32

    Thanks for the advice. How tough are tracks on lawns?
     
  4. esnipe8

    esnipe8 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 264

    Better than tires...way less ground pressure. Wheeled machines can really do damage on lawn areas depending on how moist they are.
     
  5. esnipe8

    esnipe8 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 264

    I only have wheeled machines, other than our mini skid. For what we do, wheeled machines are much more suited. We drive 40% on pavement or concrete 60% dirt. So for us wheeled works out better. And I believe the purchase cost is less with wheeled machines.
     
  6. tthomass

    tthomass LawnSite Gold Member
    from N. VA
    Posts: 3,497

    Skid steers, wheel or track, and damages to a lawn.......they're both going to destroy if you make more than a few careful passes.

    Used market, I saw little difference in wheel vs track machines. I wanted an S300 to equip with VTS.
     
  7. DVS Hardscaper

    DVS Hardscaper LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,412

    If you're talking BOBCAT brand - here's my 2 cents :)

    And I know my buddy TThomass likes his Bobcats :) So no disrespect intended for MR TTHomass :)

    Everyone I know that has BOBCAT brand skid loaders - have all had SOME sort of problem with them. Every Single person I know with BOBCAT brand skid steers have had their machine(s) in the shop at least once.

    OurCat - never any problems.

    Our Gehl - NOT a problem. In my opinion, Gehl is the best wheeled skid steer you can buy for your money. Well built. Well engineered. Very Simple. best visibility on the market. Workin on residential properties?? Visibility is crucial. You want a beefy skid steer, that'll last forever and all you need to do is change the fluids, for a decent price? get a Gehl. You will NOT regret it.


    Tractors have their place in the industry as well. They're nice for small jobs where with a skid steer you'd end up spending more time repairing the damages then you would actually doing the work.


    Wheeled Skid steers vs tracked?? The intent of a tracked machine is traction, not to minimize property damage. The area where we primarily work has somewhat rocky soil. With our type of soil, I'd guess that 97% of the time we operate just fine with wheeled skid steers. If we go further south (alexandria va, etc) the soil is heavy clay. When it's wet - no 2 ways about it - you need a tracked machine. We've had 3-4 feet of snow on the ground here this winter, followed by mucho rains. We just finished a job, a backyard pure mud, about 12" deep. But because the soil has rock in it - our wheeled skid steer performed without a hick-up. So thats really the biggest factor you need to weigh. Or, you can get a wheeled machine and buy steel add on tracks, this way you use the tracks only when you need 'em.

    If you're doing hardscapes and want a sid steer - you'll need a machine that can lift a 3000# pallet off a tractor trailer. The reason I say "tractor trailer" is because you NEVER know when you might land a gig that enables you to have the materials direct shipped, and when they're direct shipped - they come on a tractor trailer.



    ,
     
  8. Gallucci

    Gallucci LawnSite Member
    from PA
    Posts: 32

    What about HP? Have you ever had a machine that would not do the job? Are tracked machines more stable that wheeled in your opinion? Thanks in advance
     
  9. tthomass

    tthomass LawnSite Gold Member
    from N. VA
    Posts: 3,497

    Stable, yes. Wheeled machines bounce. I wouldn't mind just a little more power in the T190 but I run it hard and have to remember its a 190, not a 250.

    The 250 has good power, good lift.
     
  10. westcoh

    westcoh LawnSite Senior Member
    from Alberta
    Posts: 313

    The first machine I ever bought that got me started in business was a 1996 753, it has around 3,500 hrs on it now and I've never had to bring it in to the dealer for repairs. It's had small issues, but nothing I couldn't have fixed and be up and running by the next day. Also have an s205 now with about 300hrs which I'm happy with so far, had some minor repairs done under warranty.

    The s205 will lift a pallet of blocks off a tractor trailer but it's right at the limit. If your going to be routinely using the machine for loading/unloading pallets and loading tri-axle dumps I'd definitely go with a large frame machine.

    As far as tires verse tracks, all depends what your going to be using the machine for and what type of conditions you'll be working in.
     

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