Cat MTL's with steel tracks?

Discussion in 'Heavy Equipment & Pavement' started by Scag48, Oct 18, 2005.

  1. Scag48

    Scag48 LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,067

    Hey guys. Quick question, I thought I heard a while back that Cat was going to start producing the MTL's with the option of steel tracks in addition to the standard rubber, is this true? I can't remember if it was Bobcat or Cat or both. Definately would be an AWESOME machine. No stretching, alot less wear, less worries. Xing, you know anything about this?
     
  2. Scag48

    Scag48 LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,067

    Oh come on, someone's gotta know something! Xing where you at?! I know you want to put in your .02 :)
     
  3. Tigerotor77W

    Tigerotor77W LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Germany
    Posts: 1,891

    Hey scag,

    Sorry, taking advantage of free laundry day and also went to practice the trumpet... but unfortunately, I have to disappoint here in that I really have no idea what Cat plans to do with the C-series. As far as I know, there hasn't been any serious mention of putting a steel undercarriage on an MTL -- for a few reasons. First, there would be a significant cost to develop with little payback. CTL/MTL machines are typically advertised as "turf-friendly," or at least "soft on grass when used the right way," and steel tracks can't uphold that image. Therefore, Cat would have to market a machine that's buth rugged (steel tracks) and sensitive-surface friendly (rubber tracks), and I'm not sure they'd be interested in spending money developing maybe 2% of the market -- even if it's for themselves. (Again, that's my opinion on the cost issue.) Another reason is the development of the track system. Believe it or not, dozer undercarriages are big headaches for the designers. Minimizing vibration, loads, and now, noise are difficult; it'd be a big financial and effort drain for the engineers to have to simulate an MTL steel UC, guaranteed to be different in size and intent than a D3 undercarriage. Although Cat could buy, say, Rayco's UC and place it on their machine, again, there may not be enough market interest to interest Cat.

    Finally, what's most important is this. While I'm speaking here for myself and not on behalf of Cat's BCP (Building Construction Products) group, which designs and manufactures the SSL/MTL, I'm not by any means saying your idea isn't feasible whatsoever. I'm sure there are some people -- such as yourself and Kaiser -- who are vocal about machines that need to stand up in tough/rocky situations, situations that the current MTL line wouldn't be able to handle well (or inexpensively). This isn't to say that Cat or the industry thinks it's a stupid idea, because it certainly isn't -- my thoughts follow. However, if Cat were to abandon the idea, I would tend to think the above reasons would be why. Given the right circumstances, however, such a machine (a machine with ~90HP in the ~12,000 lb range with rubber tracks) might be able to replace the D3 in certain circumstances, and if a steel-tracked skid-steer-type machine can do it, we may see some changes to the small dozers. After all, small dozers (under 23,000 lbs, let's say) are reserved for finish dozing, backfilling, light grading, site prep or clean-up, and spreading material -- something skid steers do every day. Therefore, given enough industry interest, which may be developing (I don't work marketing, so I don't know), there may be a trend toward steel UC loader-type machines -- significantly smaller than a 953 or 622 (Liebherr's Deere-branded loader), but still enough of a machine to replace a D3 or D4.

    Just some thoughts. At the moment, Cat's development team is focusing on the ASV undercarriage, of which the partnership, as I posted in some link, is still going. But who knows... they may introduct such an idea. Either way, it's beyond my knowledge.
     
  4. UNISCAPER

    UNISCAPER LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,426

    After reading about any test Cat has performed on it's MTL's and spoken to an engineer down at the plant, I would doubt very seriuously if they will ever incorporate the use of steel and rubber, or steel alone on an MTL. The reason Cat tracks will outlast most of the steel belted tracks is just that. The nylon helps prolong the life of the track, where steel heats up and becomes an implosion beofre 1000 hours from all the heat generated from the gears.
     
  5. Scag48

    Scag48 LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,067

    I see your point Xing, well put as always. My biggest theory with the steel tracks is that it allows alot more traction! We work in sand, basalt rock and just nasty, low traction conditions. Now with our landscaping division, climbing a sandy slope isn't required, so steel tracks wouldn't serve a large role. However, I'm thinking about my future ahead of me in the next couple of years and would LOVE to see an MTL with steel tracks that will go anywhere. I'm pondering where I want to go with an excavation business. Do I want an MTL and a small excavator or just a larger excavator (312)? The thing is, I can have 2 smaller machines for the price of the larger excavator, which allows me to be a little more versatile in a market that is already being fulfilled, and I won't have to buy an 80,000# GVWR truck to tow it, I could get away with a 33,000 GVWR single axle with an MTL and say a 307. Having a smaller operation always makes things easier to start out and I can always grow into it later.

    So really I wanted to know if Cat was going to produce something a little more rugged than the rubber tracks for their MTL's, I find myself wishing I had more traction sometimes with our 303CR when working on a slope, which is a rare occasion for us in the landscaping business, but I could see myself working in those conditions everyday with an MTL and I think I would become aggrevated with rubber tracks.
     
  6. Caribbean Breeze

    Caribbean Breeze LawnSite Member
    Posts: 60

    Bobcat will begin offereing this in 2006 on the T300 to start. The machine will be more better for small contractors than a D3 Dozer. Can't say mush more about this,

    All the best,
    Caribbean Breeze
     
  7. Caribbean Breeze

    Caribbean Breeze LawnSite Member
    Posts: 60

    Bobcat will begin offereing this in 2006 on the T300 to start. The machine will be more better for small contractors than a D3 Dozer. Can't say mush more about this,

    All the best,
    Caribbean Breeze
     
  8. Scag48

    Scag48 LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,067

    Hmmm, I would think that if Bobcat was doing it Cat would jump on the bandwagon as well. It's probably less expensive and more feasible for Bobcat because their undercarriage design does not have torsion bars and Cat would have to eliminate their (ASV's) design if steel tracks were to be used on select machines. Of course, the only way to go with rubber tracks is the torsion bar suspension, but I just don't think that would work with steel tracks.
     
  9. Tigerotor77W

    Tigerotor77W LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Germany
    Posts: 1,891

    Good, good... I can't wait to see the new Bobcat models, then. *rubs hands* At least, that's how i'm interpreting Caribbean's posts (both of them haha, jk) -- new Bobcat large-frame models. Mmm... yum.
     
  10. iowacatman

    iowacatman LawnSite Member
    Posts: 93

    Seems to me it would be easier to take a 939 and design down than it would be to take a MTL and design up.

    [​IMG]
     

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