Well my dad called me today freaking out because he has two large retaining walls to do with a long run from the unload spot. We've been working on landscaping my parent's new house the last couple weeks (see my other thread) and we installed 15 pallets of pavers. We borrowed/rented our builder's Gehl 5640 to move the pallets of pavers around. This house is 160 miles from "home", it's my parent's summer house, so my dad hauled the 303 over but couldn't bring the 216 without having to make 2 trips. So, we rented the Gehl from the guy who built the house, he wasn't using it. Anyway, long story short, we found the Gehl to be very capable of handling pavers. I've never operated a large capacity skid, the only thing that we've had that handled this kind of weight was our 277B that we sold, that machine saved us on a large retaining wall job last summer that we probably wouldn't have gotten a wheeled machine down the slope to the wall. Okay, to the point here. My dad sold our Harley rake a couple days ago, he didn't use it at all last year, and we sold it for a pretty decent price, so no loss. The guy he sold it to has 2 or 3 MTL's and does a ton of grading and hydroseeding in another town 30 miles away. He told my dad he was bailing out of his 257B and tried to sell it to my old man. So, dad calls me asking if we should buy it. I said absolutely not, we've already had a tracked machine that we didn't really need to own, and the 257 is a dog of a machine as it is (this is all after he listened to the guy tell him how much he disliked the 257B). So, he's looking for a machine that will tote upwards of 2500 pounds, which the 257 wouldn't do anyway, but he was thinking of options. We've noticed a trend in the last 2 years, we're doing more and more modular retaining walls as we're about the only contractor in town that really does them. We're damn good at them as well, our crew foreman is super fast and extremely detail oriented when it comes to the walls, we throw them up fast and they always look great, I think our reputation for this type of work is spreading. With all that said, kind of a mouthful, I'm shopping for something used, no more buying new. While we could afford new, we just don't put that many hours on our skids and after our last episode with our 312 and 277 I think my dad is scared sh!tless of buying new. I've almost outruled Cat entirely, I do not want a vertical lift machine as visibility is terrible and they grade like hell, especially Cat's vertical lift machines, and the 248 only lifts 2200 pounds. Cat is out, sadly. Thinking maybe a Case 95XT or 85XT, don't want an 80XT or 90XT unless KSSS can convince me the Case vertical lift machines are a little better. Bobcat is pretty much out as well, they don't have anything that is radial lift in the 2500 ROC range. I will give Deere a chance even though I absolutely hate the local dealer and I've given those a-holes enough chances to make a sale. I also don't think I will be impressed with Deere at all, but I'll try them out anyway. The front runner is probably Gehl at this point, I was impressed with the 5640 I ran even with the T-bar controls, dad said he could get used to running them if need be. The only kicker in this plan is if Cat releases a C series skid with radial lift in the 2500 ROC range, then we might wait a year to pick up something used. I would love to buy Cat again, but I absolutely hate Cat's vertical lift machines, they are designed horribly.