Compact Track Loader's tracks

Discussion in 'Heavy Equipment & Pavement' started by YellowDogSVC, Jan 20, 2007.

  1. YellowDogSVC

    YellowDogSVC LawnSite Gold Member
    from TX
    Posts: 3,759

    Here's a bit of background. I have ran large frame Bobcats (863's, s250, 300's) for over 10 years. I have had some with steel tracks and some without. Recently I stopped running metal tracks because I was spending a lot of time fixing disturbed ground and couldn't traverse paved surfaces.
    I have always run solid hulk tires (at least since they were available) and have had success racking up the hours on them thus justifying the purchase price.
    Recently thought hard about switching to a CTL to get in more work days when it is wet or I need to work on steeper locations. I mostly do brush mowing, some tree shearing, and other tree related jobs. Occasional road work and digging helps round me out but we mostly do tree and lot clearing. Like I said, i get many hours out of my Hulks so I guess I am a cautious driver even though most of the area I work in is limestone rocks, cedar stumps, and some clay or sand.
    Does anyone have good feedback on how CTL's will hold up with this type of work and in rockier terrain? Any experience working with brush mowers and around stumps? Thanks for the feedback!
     
  2. dozerman21

    dozerman21 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,170

    I don't do the same kind of work that you do, most of my work involves moving/grading dirt. I can tell you that you would be wise to stay away from a CTL, considering the surfaces you'd be running on. I know several guys on here do what you do and use ASV's, but just be prepared to have a shorter than average life span on your tracks. The rocky terrain and "stubby" stumps and branches will chew the hell out of them. I think you're better off staying with the set-up that you've been running, even if it might be a PITA taking the tracks off when you need to work on pavement.
     
  3. YellowDogSVC

    YellowDogSVC LawnSite Gold Member
    from TX
    Posts: 3,759

    its not just metal tracks I am trying to get away from. It's the pain of having spacers and a wider bucket that I don't need to cover my tracks.
    tracks take too long to take on and off as they get older and add extra weight to the machine in my opinion. I ran tracks for a long time and like the stability. I wish they had some rubber that was as tough as a Kong Dog chew!
     
  4. Kepple Services

    Kepple Services LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 374

    I do similar work but also concrete removal.. the stumps are hard ont he tracks if they are not completely flush with the ground. They do wear out at about 800 hours or less... I can get after market tracks here that are about half as much as the factory FROM the local bobcat dealer, I run a T300, so it costs about $3-$4 a hour just for tracks and sprockets.
     
  5. ksss

    ksss LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 7,131

    I really doubt anyone would say that is an ideal application for a CTL. It sounds to me like maybe looking into a set of tracks with the poly inserts. I have seen sometracks made entirely out of poly. The key maybe to have a set of standard tracks and one set of the poly or poly inserts. Use the surface friendly tracks only when you need to and the straight steel in the tough conditions. I think you would have to really get a lot more productivity out of a CTL to cover the additional operating costs.
     
  6. YellowDogSVC

    YellowDogSVC LawnSite Gold Member
    from TX
    Posts: 3,759

    Yes, conditions here can be harsh. Unfortunately, as this area grows, more and more rough areas are being developed. Because of the sheer number of cedar trees, this area has long been a cedar post choppers environment. I often come across stumps that are 30-40 years old, hard, and very sharp. With Hulk tires I can run over them or crush them with metal tracks. Do the CTL tracks get torn? I imagine track costs will come down as more and more machines are put to use but $3k a year is tough to swallow. That's almost an attachment but if I could get 1000 hrs out of a set, I could probably swing the extra cost. Lots to think about and maybe start thinking about working further out in the sandy areas where the traction sucks for skids steers.
     
  7. YellowDogSVC

    YellowDogSVC LawnSite Gold Member
    from TX
    Posts: 3,759


    How do you like the T300? I like the 300 body but I also like the t250 radial lift body. Are you running a high flow or k series machine?
     
  8. ksss

    ksss LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 7,131

    I doubt you would see 1000 hours on a set that would have to be pretty friendly conditions to see that kind of life. The tracks definetly tear. Does anyone else who runs in your conditions run a CTL? You may not get an owner to tell you the truth about wear but if you can find out what machine your competition runs the service department or salesman of that machine may. If you think it might work you may lease a machine for a year (of course you may still have to buy a set of tracks after the year is up to comply with the lease terms) and try it out. Atleast you would not have the machine depreciation to deal with as you would if you bought one. If it worked out and the wear was acceptable, roll the lease over to a purchase.
     
  9. YellowDogSVC

    YellowDogSVC LawnSite Gold Member
    from TX
    Posts: 3,759


    Unfortunately or fortunately depending on how you look at it, I am one of the few companies that does anything cutting edge around here. There is still too many doze and burn guys around using dozers or old backhoes to clear land. I started brush mowing a few years ago and I'm still trying to educate people. The fact that I like to remain trendy and increase production every chance I get leads me down these quests for knowledge on products. The only product I have seen that I think would immediately fit my bill would be a rubber pad over steel track over-the-tire track but it adds significant weight at about 1400 extra pounds. That's too much weight extra weight. I think the CTL is more efficient given its weight than an over the tire tracked skidsteer with filled tires. Thought about going air but changing a tire in the field on a large framed loader is the pits especially if there are tracks involved.
     
  10. dozerman21

    dozerman21 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,170

    You won't get 1000 hours out of rubber tracks in harsh conditions. 1000 hours is about the average life span for the tracks if you're running in dirt 95% of the time. You won't wear the pads down all the way, but you'll have cuts and tears, and they will eventually give. There is no warranty on the tracks due to tears or "operator abuse". Not at all saying you'd abuse it, but using a CTL for those surfaces isn't ideal. I've heard other guys on here who do brushcutting that use them. Maybe they just deal with the shortened life span of the tracks, or that they're not running over sharp objects as much.
     

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