Bobcat S185 opinions

Discussion in 'Heavy Equipment & Pavement' started by mbella, Dec 13, 2004.

  1. mbella

    mbella LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,284

    I am looking at a Bobcat S185 and am looking for others' opinions. After searching this forum I didn't find anything. The model I am looking at is actually a leftover from 2003. I'm a little curious as to why it's still there. It has approx. 20 hours on it.

    I'm not a diehard bobcat fan or diehard fan of any manufacturer, but I have a Kubota L-35 and figured after the warranty runs out on the skidsteer, I could have them serviced at the same place. Also, it is competetively priced for the options it has.

    It will mainly be used to plant trees (typically 2-2.5" or 2.5-3" caliper), seed prep (rockhound), move pavers and wall stone (not full pallets), and snow removal.

    Any imput would be greatly appreciated
     
  2. p7m8

    p7m8 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 12

    How much does it cost?
     
  3. mbella

    mbella LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,284

    $26,000 with tax
     
  4. Tigerotor77W

    Tigerotor77W LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Germany
    Posts: 1,891

    Not familiar with the nature of trees... about how much would a typical tree weigh? Do you operate on hilly terrain? What are underfoot conditions? What's the weather itself like?
     
  5. p7m8

    p7m8 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 12

    I'm no expert but I think the machine is too small for what you do. I think it will handle lifting the trees but I don't think it will handle the wall stone and pavers very well. What's the use of having a loader if you have to break down your pallets by half? However, you are just starting your business so I know money is tight.

    If you are not averse to other brands, New Holland is a good deal. For the same money I just bought a new LS180, two speed, cab, heat, root grapple, and low profile bucket. It lifts a lot more and is good for snow removal. A lot of people here hate NH but I can't figure out why. Perhaps I don't know any better. Maybe there is a difference when running it for really long periods which I do not do. Good luck in whatever you decide.
     
  6. mbella

    mbella LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,284

    As far as the trees, I know it will handle them without a problem. I used to run a Bobcat 763 years ago. The S185 has a little better lifting capacity. As far as hilly terrain, it's not an issue on the two jobsites that I will be working for the next year, but after that you never know. What do you mean by underfoot conditions? What's the weather like when?

    By "not full pallets" I mean, we don't typically have a need to move a full pallet. They are generally placed where we need them.
     
  7. Tigerotor77W

    Tigerotor77W LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Germany
    Posts: 1,891

    Okay, glad the tree question worked out. Underfoot conditions -- this was mainly to get at whether your ground conditions warranted the use of a tracked machine -- for example, buying the T190 instead of the S185. If you work in mud a lot, or plant trees in grassy areas were extra flotation (without boards) is important, you may want to look into a track machine rather than a regular skid steer. Hilly terrain is best tackled by tracked machines as well; but UNLESS you work in some serious mud, track machines may not always be more cost-effective. Tracks are more expensive and the original machine cost is higher as well. Just some thoughts.

    p7m8's post was to refer you to some other machines out there. NH machines are known to lift very well (although Deere makes the claim that they outlift NH), so if you'll be doing a lot of lifting, NH may be the way to go. (Try it out -- and then decide. Don't jump on any bandwagon quite yet.)

    I recommend that you take out a few machines. Judging from the looks, the S185 *may* be too small in the future. Right now, it looks all right and capable in size, but it seems you may have occasional lifting chores that requires some mix of more flotation or more lifting capability. I'd suggest looking at potentially the S205 or S220 from Bobcat, or any of the machines below. ROC are without counterweights.

    Cat 242B, 246B (2000 ROC); 252B (2500 ROC)
    Case 70XT (2000 ROC); 75XT (2200 ROC); 85XT (2450 ROC)
    Deere 317 (1750 ROC); 320 (2000 ROC)
    Komatsu 820-5 (eh, still haven't learned their nomenclature yet hehe)
    NH Ls170 (~1700 ROC); Ls185.B (2500 ROC) (Not quite sure if Ls180 is being replaced by 185.B or if 185.B is just an addition to the line)

    Oh. Why the S185 is still there. Well... tough to say. I'm shouldn't make too many general comments, but I understand that *some* Bobcats have more oil leaks around the cylinders especially than others. This isn't a widespread problem, apparently, but there are quite a few instances of such. :shrugs: Happens with the best of 'em... that machine could have some misfunction or might be a demo unit from the proving grounds. Who knows. If you've seen it there for two years, that's kinda weird, but if it was made in 2003, no biggie unless the dealer cut the price a TON. I wouldn't worry too much about it, but maybe take a look yourself and see if you're missing something.

    In any case, were you looking to buy IT or any machine that might do the job?
     
  8. mbella

    mbella LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,284

    Any machine that would do the job. I do realize that track machines are better in wet or hilly conditions. However, this machine will be used for snow removal, in parking lots, and that is why I was going with a tire machine.
     
  9. Green Pastures

    Green Pastures LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,457

    After talking with several guy's here locally who do snow removal they are really pleased with the tracked machines in snowy conditions.
     
  10. mbella

    mbella LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,284

    What about wearing the tracks on asphalt?
     

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