Cat 232b vs. Bobcat s185

Discussion in 'Heavy Equipment & Pavement' started by daltongeb, Feb 22, 2005.

  1. daltongeb

    daltongeb LawnSite Member
    Posts: 5

    Wondering if anyone had any opion on which is the better machine. I know they aren't exactly the same on specs but very similar. I can trade to the bobcat for slightly less money, but cat has good interest rates right now, 0.0%-2yrs, 2.05%-3yrs, 3.53%-4yrs. Which makes them nearly the same price, I think $250 more for the Cat. Both spec'd nearly the same cab/heat, suspension seat, block htr., hyd. self leveling, 66" bucket, pallet forks, the only real difference is the Cat has a counter wt. package which makes it nearly the same rated cappacity. I will be using it on a farm/ranch opperation, so it will need to do a fair amount of pallet lifting, and post hole auger work (mcmillan x1975) but will mostly be used for cleaning barns and corrals. I need to stay in this size range to fit into barns. And have plenty of larger loaders for heavier lifting. I have experience with the bobcats, but i haven't had any real time in a Cat machine this small. But have had good luck with larger cat machines.

    Thank you
    Dalton
     
  2. Anthony Orlando

    Anthony Orlando LawnSite Member
    Posts: 44

    I had a S185 and have absolutely nothing but good luck with it. I have traded for the new S205. You might check that out because you are getting a good lift rating and more power for a little more money. As far as the Cat I do not have any experience with those.I am sure someone will have an answer for you.
     
  3. mbella

    mbella LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,284

    Anthony, do you really notice a difference between the 185 and the 205?
     
  4. Caribbean Breeze

    Caribbean Breeze LawnSite Member
    Posts: 60

    Dalton,

    I am new to this forum, I will tell you that you should consider buying the machine that is built better, this shows up over the long term. In the short term, any machine will perform well. Look at operating costs, resale value etc. and you will find that the Bobcat is ahead.

    Don't get me wrong, the Cat machine is good, I just think you will be happier with Bobcat. PS. I recently sold my 246 for a New S185.
     
  5. Caribbean Breeze

    Caribbean Breeze LawnSite Member
    Posts: 60

    Dalton,

    Just remembered another very good option, Gehl SSL's. I know of these machines with 6,000hrs plus and still working well in recycling operations in the UK & Europe.
    In my opinion, Gehl machines perform consistanly and is worth looking at.
    They have good support in many areas and they are in the top 5 manufacturers, consider that they are a specialized manufacturer and have been in the business long enough to know the Skid Steers.

    Go to Outback for Steak & Ribs, go to Red Lobster for Seafood. This applies to Equipment, some manufacturers I will prefer not to buy the SSL's from. Gehl is a smaller but very good option for the SSL, some will not agree and say that you should buy from the big guys like Cat & Deere. Consider where you get better serivce and support and make your decision..

    Good Luck
     
  6. Tigerotor77W

    Tigerotor77W LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Germany
    Posts: 1,892

    The Gehl machines are built very well and it wouldn't hurt to consider them. They are generally regarded as excellent dirt-moving machines, but if you have to lift a LOT, you might want to consider a vertical lift-path machine. (Gehl is still a viable option -- just fit it with counterweights.)

    If you are looking at the 1750 pound, vertical-lift market, don't exclude NH or Deere. While I think NH's design is a bit antiquidated, it's proven itself to be an excellent performer and won't have difficulty doing your jobs. Deere has an excellent machine (317) on the market that will step up to your challenges.

    If you have narrowed it down to the Cat and the Bobcat, take a look at a few of the other threads regarding the S185 and Cat line. To experience the two, you'll really need to take a test drive of each one and see how you like them. You may find the Cat to have a smoother ride but you may find the Bobcat's hydraulics to be smoother. You may find you need the visibility of the Bobcat to the rear wheels but that the sound levels in the Cat appear to be lower. As great as numbers are, the best (and usually final) way to determine the preferred machine is to get in it and test it out a bit.
     
  7. daltongeb

    daltongeb LawnSite Member
    Posts: 5

    I have looked at the gehl machines and think they are a real good machine, plus they are built less than 400 miles from here. But the closest dealer is 250 miles away so I've been real hesitant to get to serious about one. I drove a used one with the gehl T bar controls, not impressed. But I've broke my left wrist twice so it dosen't flex like it should. My local john deere dealer told me that he still would be a little shy of buying a deere skid loader, and he only sells them on special order. They sell bobcat instead, claims they're a better machine. So for dealers left in a 200 mile radius I left with cat, case and bobcat. Love the case machines, they're built like a brick shithouse, but for my use I cant afford to spend that kind of money, plus I really want to trade in a used disc mower and the local CIH dealer who sell bobcat, and cat are the only ones real interested. By the way deal location isn't a real big deal, its 125 miles to the bobcat dealer, and 175 to the cat dealer once your going that far its not really any difference.
     
  8. Anthony Orlando

    Anthony Orlando LawnSite Member
    Posts: 44

    I cant answer your question about the S205 being better than the S185. My new one isnt in yet! :) But I will say that the extra lift and more horse will come in handy. I also like the increased tipping weight and the bigger float tires will make a difference on a variety of surfaces. I had a mishap this winter while loading my dump truck with salt. I had my snow bucket on and was in a hurry. I scooped a bucket of salt and went to load the truck but the snow bucket capacity was too great and I tipped the machine into the side of the truck. My fault of course and no real damage was done but if I would have had the S205 that would not have happened. Oh well, thats my .02 cents!
     
  9. Caribbean Breeze

    Caribbean Breeze LawnSite Member
    Posts: 60

    Dalton,

    If I were you, I would buy the Bobcat Machine.

    Buy Bobcat because you can get more $$ for it when you are ready to sell, you can access more attachments from the dealer and overall the Bobcat Dealers have better service and treat you better because they know the products.

    Cat might treat you right, sometimes they will treat you right only if you buy a 777 Dump Truck.

    Good Luck,
     
  10. StoneStacker

    StoneStacker LawnSite Member
    from OR
    Posts: 47

    Cat might treat you right, sometimes they will treat you right only if you buy a 777 Dump Truck.

    That is a pretty blanket statement that may not be true of daltongeb's local CAT dealer. I know a couple CAT skid steer owners that do business with the local CAT dealer in OR. The compact specialists that the dealer employs seem knowledgeable about the product, and the skid steer owners definitely don't own any 777s. I have heard of many dealers that sell many different brands of equipment that didn't provide good service or support. I don't think the brand has much to do with it. The atmosphere at the dealership drives customer support.
     

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