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CAT vs Bobcat

Discussion in 'Heavy Equipment & Pavement' started by vntgrcr, Sep 27, 2006.

  1. vntgrcr

    vntgrcr LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 282

    Ok, I will try and make this as short as possible.
    I have a 2003 CAT 257 that has been a good machine. This past spring it started ot tear the drive lugs off of one track. I replaced the track about a month ago to only have it start again after only 30 hours. I tried to negotiate with CAT and they wouldn't do a thing about it. So I started the process of trading it in on a new 257 and dealing with the pain in the ass salesman that I bought the 257 from, tried to buy a 305 and now the new machine. I constantly have to call him, there are constant unfulfilled promises and the straw that broke "my" back was that for the 3rd time in a week he had promised me the new machine for delivery on 9/28, would call me in the afternoon of the 27th. I waited until 3:30PM with no calls and I went to the Bobcat dealer,who is local, very helpful and wants Bobcat's market share back. He said he would match any deal CAT was offering and he did on a 190 track machine. The CAT was very basic, no AC, no "Bob-Tach", basically a bare bones machine with the very vulnerable undercarriage. I like the Bobcat set up and it does have the pilot controls which I have to have. I am going to pick up "a" machine tomorrow. I want to know what you guys think of the 190, 250 or the 300. Obviously very different machines, just trying to figure out if the extra $ is worth the jump in productivity. I am done with CAT. To much BS and not enough concern with the end user who is the backbone of the industry. Thanks for everyones opinions.
  2. Canon Landscaping

    Canon Landscaping LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 259

    Bobcat is a great machine but if you are looking for a track machine take a look at the Deere ct 322
  3. RockSet N' Grade

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

    You ask a loaded question about the "best machine". I can't help you with that, there are guys here that have more knowledge than I ever will on machine stats and performance, and I would defer to them.
    What I do know, and what you are experiencing, is that if you do not have the support from service/sales, the best machine in the world will fail for you. Balance the equation by talking with guys that own bobcat,case, gehl, and others in your area and see what their experience has been when they have been in need.....and then start demo-ing different machines before you pull the trigger....you will find out alot about support and the staff at a company just through the demo process, plus it will give you exposure to different equipment to help you in your decision.
  4. ksss

    ksss LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 7,129

    I really have nothing positive to say about the T190. I have rented them and demoed them and I think they are under powered, hydrualic noise is terrible, they are loud, and with the AHC controls they are fatiguing to run do to the feedback in the sticks. I ran a T-250 at a customer clinic this winter in AZ for CASE. The 250 is twice the machine the 190 is. I have not run a 300. There has been talk about the durability of the bobcat drive motors and whether or not that has been corrected. Given the choice among the Bobcat line I think the 250 strikes a nice balance between size and hp. You may want to demo as many tracked machines as you have dealers for in your area. I know speaking for myself I would like to hear what you think of the various machines coming from a CAT. Anyone looking at a CAT tracked machine should go to Iron Planet and look at what some of those tracked machines look like after running less than or right at 1000 hours. I realize we don't know what they did for a living, but I think it continues to demonstrate that the CAT undercarriage does not take abuse very well. Some guys may argue they flat don't wear well in any environment. The next kicker is high depreciation rate of those machines. They are expensive to buy, expensive to run and not worth much at trade in. They do things that the nonsuspended units don't do well (nice ride, quiet running) but man you better be making money with them because they are going to cost you to run them.
  5. Scag48

    Scag48 LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,067

    T190 does not have actual pilots that I know of unless they finally released them. The system is electric over hydraulic. I ran a K series S300 with hand controls set up the same way as Cat skid controls on it and I hated them, no feedback in the sticks whatsoever.
  6. vntgrcr

    vntgrcr LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 282

    The Bobcat does use the electric over hydraulic hand controls which I am a little concerned with. I do love the CAT style ones. I am seriously going to see what it will take to get into the 300 as opposed to the 190. I am in a bind due to the fact that I can't use the CAT with the track going south, and I have work to do. I appreciate the comment about the support you get from the dealer. There is a lot of yellow machinery around here, but I have not heard many good things about support on any level. Bobcat is the best supported in this area. I will keep you guys posted, since what ever I decide I will be working with some kind of machine today!
  7. dozerman21

    dozerman21 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,170

    Like the guys were saying, dealer support makes a huge difference. It sounds like your Cat dealer won't give you the time of the day. The local Cat dealer around here seems to be pretty good to work with, from what I've heard/read. I personally don't like Cat's undercarriage, AT ALL. It's way too expensive to replace and I don't think they generally lasts as long as the rigid tracks. I would go with Bobcat between the two. I had a T-300 that I traded in for a Deere CT 332 this spring. The Bobcat overall is a good machine, but I never cared for the electric over hydraulic controls. I think they have good power and the tracks can usually go for 1200 hours if you take care of them. I got rid of mine mostly due to poor dealer support (salesman and service), parts breaking too soon (one of the lift/tilt motors went out at 500 hours), and IMO the Deere is just hands down a much stronger, better engineered machine. The Deere dealer here is also great to work with.

    If I were you, I would demo several machines to see which one best fits your needs. Figure out which ones you like the best and add in which dealer you think will work with you the best, and go from there. Good Luck!:drinkup:
  8. Scag48

    Scag48 LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,067

    I honestly think tracked machines are overrated unless you're doing a lot of pushing and grading or work a lot in soft or sandy soils. Other than that, you're paying $15-20K more for a machine that does the same thing as a wheeled machine. You have to make up that cost difference in productivity and in "standard" soils or ideal conditions track loaders just don't produce much more per hour than a wheeled machine.
  9. Fordsuvparts

    Fordsuvparts LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 517

    We changed over from a 2004 Cat 247B to a 2006 Bobcat T190 gold package and am very happy with the machine. We did like the controls on the Cat better but the tracks are terribly hard to keep in good shape and they are very very hard on the wallet.
    Our service was terrible with cat and has been very good with bobcat over the last year. We bought in late oct. last year. We also traded our 302.5 mini in for a Bobcat 430 mini exc at the same time so we got a very good deal and got a great trade on the cat equipment. Yellow steel and white steel work hard around here to get you in to there machine. we got several free demo's from bobcat (week long demo a couple of times)and cat wanted us to pay to rent it instead.
  10. ksss

    ksss LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 7,129

    It will be interesting to see what happens if CAT fulfills the rumors of going to E/H in their C series. It surprises me to hear that many are not happy with the Bobcat E/H system. I think compared to the Bobcat AHC system it is hands down better. I spent about 16 hours in a 220 with E/H last fall before buying a 440. Once I got used to it I kinda liked it. Like Scag said there is no feel to it, but I don't think you get much feel from anyones pilot system. Certainly not the level I am used to in the CASE machines, but the trade off is more effort in the controls. I am not sure E/H is quite ready for prime time. It will be interesting to see if CAT releases new technology that will make their system superior to the Bobcat E/H system. Should they be only able to duplicate the Bobcat system, they might make more people unhappy than happy.

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