John Deere 322 CTL

Discussion in 'Heavy Equipment & Pavement' started by thepawnshop, Sep 18, 2005.

  1. thepawnshop

    thepawnshop LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 387

    Demoing a JD 322. Put in about an hour today and I must say that I am impressed. PLenty of power and on a slope that would typically make me QUITE nervous I never once felt uncomfortable. I will put about 8-10 hours total on the machine so I will share more specific observations then.

    Stat-wise, the JD numbers are almost unbelievable. According to the stats for the 322, it outguns everyone in its class, and a few next size up. That said, specs can be manipulated and I don't think any two manufacturers spec their machines the same way....they always make them a bit "inflated" .

    Anyone else try out the new JD CTL's?
     
  2. Tigerotor77W

    Tigerotor77W LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Germany
    Posts: 1,892

    I obviously haven't yet, haha probably never will :(, but keep us posted. I can't say I'm impressed with the way Deere bashes every one out there to make them seem like the best, but I think Bobcat, especially, could learn some lessons from Deere on how to make a solid skid steer. And those CTLs... probably would outwork a D3 or D4 in the right conditions.
     
  3. thepawnshop

    thepawnshop LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 387

    What do you mean by "bash"? I would love an example or two. My sales rep has never said anything deragatory about the competition. Thus far, the actual demo's have always made up my mind.

    I sincerely believe that stat numbers are always great, but actual seat time determines where my money goes. That said, I REALLY want to like the CAT. I have yet to demo one of their CTL's. Anyone have a recommendation for a solid CAT CTL? I will be trading my skid steer in on it and it will be used for everything from digging foundations to backfilling and yard installation to snow removal.

    Thanks in advance for any advice or opinions!
     
  4. Scag48

    Scag48 LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,067

    The Cat 257 I think would be the best comparable model to the 322 CTL. The 257 has 62 gross hp and the 322 has 66 gross hp, so they're both pretty close. I think you'll like the Cat, the controls are extremely nice. Don't buy until you try the Cat.
     
  5. Tigerotor77W

    Tigerotor77W LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Germany
    Posts: 1,892

    You're right; bash is too strong a word. In their marketing, Deere is one of the only companies that will, however, use specific references to competitive products. In their Construction Equipment Review (http://www.deere.com/en_US/cfd/construction/deere_const/info_center/index.html), they routinely use other manufacturers names -- not just "I switched to Deere after an unsatisfactory experience with a competitive make," but "I switched to Deere after an unsatisfactory experience with Bobcat." You are right, however, that bash is too strong. I take that back.

    Granted all companies will make their product look best, but Deere is especially effective at it. I'll leave it at that, and that's what I meant to say at the beginning. The "I can't say I'm impressed with..." part... I don't think it's a fair playing field if Deere *publicly* announces its products' superiority, whether it's accurate or not. If the public sees documents like the above and http://www.deere.com/en_US/cfd/digdeeper/heavyweight_champion.html, they'll think Deere is automatically better -- and I feel that other companies should have a say in how their own machines are better. Bah, I'm getting into shoulds, and I need to stop doing that.

    I think scag's recommendation is pretty close. The difficulty here is that there is no direct correspondence between Deere's SSLs and their CTLs -- the 322 is based on the 320, but has about 200 pounds more ROC at 35%. Therefore, in this case, the 257B is far smaller than the 322, even though their SSL partners (242B and 320, respectively) are the same sized-machines.

    The other choice from Cat is a 267B or 277B, both of which are still smaller in ROC than the Deere, or a 287B, which will probably cost 1.5x what the Deere will.

    I guess you could look at a Lt185.B from New Holland, but other than that and a Gehl/Mustang/Takeuchi model, I think you're pretty much out of direct choices.
     
  6. thepawnshop

    thepawnshop LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 387

    Bobcat, for a non owner/operator, you sure do your research! I am truly impressed.

    The ROC numbers you are referring to is exactly what I am talking about. I don't see how in the world the Deere can be that much more powerful. IF the stats are true, at 35k the 322 is a pretty good deal. I just can't see how that little thing can lift that much weight!

    I will definately give the 257 a shot. I think my CAT dealer is getting frustrated...my last two buys I demoed his equipment and ended up going JD. I swear I'm not a Deere "fan-boy", though it may seem that way! Thus far I have just felt more comfortable in their equipment.
     
  7. Squizzy246B

    Squizzy246B LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 837

    The manufacturer's ratings (particularly ROC) are affected by different factors...one of these being lawyers. I'd take rated ROC as a rough guide. Cat is quite conservative. My rated ROC is 2000lbs whereas I regularly lift 2900lb pallets of blocks onto our dump truck. If the C of G is close to the fork frame its no problem. Put the blocks further out on the pallet and the back wheels are off the ground.

    The manufacturer has to protect his backside and take into account variable terrain, inexperienced operator etc. I'd be more concerned with maintainability and overall ease of use. If you wanted to get techo then comparing the machines shipping C of G (ie. front to rear weight distribution, and height) plus the location of the pivot and fulcrum (being the boom) will tell you wether the specs are reasonable...assuming a constant C of G of the attachment and its load... :dizzy: whatever turns your crank really:rolleyes:

    The demo is the way to go. :)
     
  8. Tigerotor77W

    Tigerotor77W LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Germany
    Posts: 1,892

    Haha, Doug, I think we all do our research. I'm no different from the resta y'all. (Except I don't make that kind of money...)

    Squizzy is right. Manufacturers really do alter how they rate their machines. His example of the 2900 pound load isn't perfect, because the 246B's tipping load is 4000 pounds, but the point is, you *can* lift a load that's heavier than your ROC. As far as machine CG goes, it's going to be very difficult to figure that one out. Most manufacturers won't ever release the exact location of their CG. The boom path is also a big factor in how the ROC relates to maximum lift capacity, but in general, yes, you will find that Deere's machines can lift a ton (figuratively).

    As for being a Deere fanboy? Hey, most of us buy the best equipment out there for the best price given to us... you're the one who determines what the best equipment is, so if the Cat dealer doesn't quite have the specs and machine you're looking for, I can only hope that Cat's BCP engineers will correct the ROC disparity on the C-series. /shrugs I'm a Cat fanboy, now, well, that and a Bobcat one. I would recommend you try out the T250, but it may be a bit more expensive than the 322. Deere is trying to get back some market share, and lower costs are the easiest way to do that initially. After that, it's a solid product -- and Deere's seen to that.
     
  9. thepawnshop

    thepawnshop LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 387

    Spent about 4 hours in the 322 today and I am REALLY impressed! I am clearing a wooded lot that is sloped and that machine took all that I gave it. I still plan on trying out a CAT and probably a Gehl, but as far as Bobcat goes, I'm not really interested. I don't care too much for the dealer and their finance options aren't as good as the other guys.

    Wednesday I plan on hooking my root grapple up to it and finish clearing the lot but I do know my skid steer couldn't handle the soft soil I was in today. We haven't had rain in so long and the ground is so dry it is like operating in pure dust! Im hoping for some rain so I can see how she handles in that mess!
     
  10. Scag48

    Scag48 LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,067

    I want to hear details about your experience with Cat when you get a demo. I think you'll find the smooth ride very enjoyable. I'm not sure what the new Deere controls are like, but I don't think they're pilots like Cat's, so you'll get a feel of the Cat joystick controls when you demo.
     

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