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Cat 236B opinions?

Discussion in 'Heavy Equipment & Pavement' started by EliteGroundworks, Jan 30, 2008.

  1. EliteGroundworks

    EliteGroundworks LawnSite Member
    Posts: 2

    Hey, I'm buying a new skid steer and am considering both John Deere and Cat. I demo'd a few and have narrowed it down to the Cat 236B series 2 and the JD 320. I like the idea of the vertical lift on the JD but I'm not a huge fan of the controls; the Cat is so nice to operate with the pilot controls. Just wondering if anyone has comments about either machine, any help would be appreciated.

  2. zedosix

    zedosix LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,635

    I've a feeling your about to get more help than you need. Just demo the two of them and try to get an overall feeling which one you are more comfortable with. Both are great machines and would be backed by a good warranty.
  3. BIGBEN2004

    BIGBEN2004 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 823

    Cat 236B all the way. You cant beat the agility with the controls and not to mention the Deere has horrible visibility. The loader booms are so over sized you cant see anything. Just because they make large loader arms doesn't mean they are stronger than their competitors either. The controls are so out of date on the Deere. I also like on their web page how they can only bad mouth the Takeuchi on the fact that it runs Pilot controls when Deere is getting ready to introduce a optional Pilot controls on their skid steers. They better come up with a better reason to bad mouth the competition with then just the pilot controls. They must not know much about Pilot controls. They are the only type of controls one would want to run after you get used to them.
  4. bobcat_ron

    bobcat_ron LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 10,101

    You'll find the Cat is actually better balanced than the Deere in softer material like sand, Deere can claim they got the best weight distribution all around, but when your ass end keeps digging down to the belly pan, Cat runs circles around them.
    Also, Cat's cabs are 10 times better and really suits the needs of bigger operators.

    The last thing I'd like to bring up is servicing, Deere needs the loader raised up to work on it, just yesterday in my area, some operator was killed by his own loader of his NH/Deere (not sure) because he had to perform a critical repair and the safety lock out failed, crushing him. Cat's don't need the loaders raised.
  5. RockSet N' Grade

    RockSet N' Grade LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,454

    I am a little older than alot of folks here. When I chose my machine, a top consideration for me was pilots. My arms get tired faster, I have tennis elbow in the right arm.....I run the machine myself, so I didn't want to be completely exhausted at the end of the day. The equation is different for everyone, but comfort rated high on my list. Balance out your needs and also factor in dealer support........as far as preferences and spec's, machine plus/minus attributes I will leave that to you.....
  6. BIGBEN2004

    BIGBEN2004 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 823

    New Holland is a ancient design and Deere just followed like a lost puppy when it came time for them to build their own. Eventually that design will be opsolite and for good reason. It is so sloppy and bangs into the cab all day. Any manufacture that purposely puts pads on the sides of the cab for the loader arms to rub on is making a junk set up.
  7. bobcat_ron

    bobcat_ron LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 10,101

    Here's one that I keep forgetting to mention: Everyone except Deere and the older Case skids, their windows are on the OUTSIDE of the FOPS, I could just imagine myself with a brand new Deere CTL, waking up the next morning and seeing that some little punk decided to smash the side windows, Deere's are on the outside where they are easily smashed and scraped by branches and Cat has them (and others) in the inside of the cab.
  8. BIGBEN2004

    BIGBEN2004 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 823

    Yea you are wright. Also it is hard to clean them that way. The normal way you can wipe down the inside with a towel and some glass cleaner, and for the outside just pressure wash and scrub with a brush. I noticed the new cats you can take the windows out to clean them, very smart CAT.
  9. bobcat_ron

    bobcat_ron LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 10,101

    I did however have to glue in the lower portion of the 3 piece window system, there is a good seal there, but if it rains real hard, it'll drip right there inside.
  10. BIGBEN2004

    BIGBEN2004 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 823

    I always had problems with the top window on the cats leaking, has yours ever done that? It can be a little annoying when it comes in like a waterfall.

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