My VTS experience

Discussion in 'Heavy Equipment & Pavement' started by ksss, Jun 13, 2007.

  1. ksss

    ksss LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 7,129

    A landscape friend of mine needed to borrow my 465 so he gave me his 70XT with VTS track system to run for a couple of days.

    Day 1 I mainly used the 70XT to move rocks around during a rock retaining wall job. The VTS without a doubt adds to lift capacity. By hw much I would only be guessing but safe to say it is substantial. It seems that the travel speed was reduced from a wheeled machine (this 70 was a trade in of mine so I was familiar with this particular machine).

    Day 2 was most telling. I had to remove about 12" of material over 15000 sf for a retention pond. The ground conditions were mostly hard loamy/clay type material. The tractive effort of the machine is incredible. The VTS adds 3200 pounds to the machine. The 70XT had around 85 hp. The machine had an 83" bucket and the material would boil over the bucket. I spent about 4 hours hogging out the retention pond. I was very impressed with the power of this combination. I pushed the spoil piles about 15' in the air and it powered right up. The Cummins motor is a hoss.

    I came away tonight very impressed with this system. I could only imagine what a VTS system on a 465 sized machine would be like. However, even on the 440 sized machine adding the VTS will give you a substantial boost in productivity, both in lift capacity and excavation type productivity. It is tempting.

    The only downside is I can see is the VTS will wring out everything a machine has. The 70 was lifting loads well beyond the spec sheet. Its ability to push material is certainly well beyond what the machine was built to perform. You would want a good operator in the seat. I think abuse would start to show itself after sometime.
     
  2. Dirty Water

    Dirty Water LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,799

    KSSS, This wasn't your first time running a CTL/MTL right? Its the actual VTS system that impressed you, not just the added traction from the tracks?
     
  3. ksss

    ksss LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 7,129

    I have run tracked machines before but not to say I run one all the time. My last CASE protype session they had a CAT customer who runs CAT skid steers with the VTS system. He said that his machines with the VTS were more powerful than the MTL/CTLs that we were running. After running this VTS system I would tend to agree. However not having them side by side it would be difficult to compare exactly. I will say your certainly not losing anything with the VTS.
     
  4. Tigerotor77W

    Tigerotor77W LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Germany
    Posts: 1,891

    Here's the $15,000 question: is it worth the steep price? (Other than "it depends on the situation"... that is, will the average contractor recoup it?)
     
  5. ksss

    ksss LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 7,129

    This guy found these off E-Bay for like 4K and then he had to buy new rubber which was another 2200.

    Generally speaking much like a CTL if you need that kind of performance than it would be. If your doing jobs that don't require a tracked machines capabilities than it would not pay for itself.

    I am still hung up on the method in which the VTS puts power to the ground. All the power is driven off the back sproket. That was designed on a skid steer to share duties with a set of front tires as well. The VTS like a CTL negates the front drives. Are there any issues with powering a skid steer only off of the rear set of tires? There is no doubt it puts power to the ground. There was a video floating around of a bobcat VTS pulling a tracked Bobcat around.

    Regardless of the mechanics of it, the system sure is effective.

    15K sure is a lot of money but so is CTL I guess.
     
  6. Canon Landscaping

    Canon Landscaping LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 259

    There is a local Volvo rental store and they have the vts on all of their machines and if you walk through their service area you will see at least one skid tore down getting a new drive motor or chain they said they can't keep them together running the vts system but they are rental machines.
     
  7. dozerman21

    dozerman21 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,170

    I haven't been a big fan of the VTS system. I can see how it's has it's place, but the cost is the biggest factor. I would rather have a dedicated track machine for the same price. I know the VTS system lets you go back to a wheeled skid which is sweet, but I'd be willing to bet that most of the guys who buy them don't, at least not very often and enough to not use a CTL instead. If the price was cut in half I could justify it better.

    I would not put the added stress on a smaller machine like a 70XT. Too much extra weight and traction IMO. I don't think he'll get near the life span out of that machine running the VTS frequently. They definetly add performance, but I'd only use them on something similar to a 95XT.
     
  8. Fieldman12

    Fieldman12 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,504

    That is the thing I see also. They cost waaaaayyyyy to much and way to much added stress to the machine. I do think that over the wheel tracks have there place and are handy ( I would like a pair sometimes) but this VTS setup looks like it is going to cost you allot more ways than one. To me if I needed tracks all the time I would buy a track machine because it cost around the same price and the machine should be beefed up a little in the wear areas.
     
  9. CarterKraft

    CarterKraft LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 290

    While I can't quote sales numbers we sell a fair share of VTS equipped tractors. We have very few failures of the CAT portion of the drive train, i.e. hubs, chains, drive motors. We have more VTS bearing hub failures than CAT failures by far, but only on select customers units. This like the ASV issues only seem to occur on the same Customers machines not all the machines.
     
  10. P.Services

    P.Services LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,322



    i ran a 90xt with vts i was thinking about buying for 2 days, impressive yes. then i ran a deere ct332 and it made that 90xt look like a school girl. if you want tracktive effort give the deere a try you will LOVE it
     

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