I just got back from Phoenix at the CASE proving grounds prototyping the new track machines and the pilot controls. I can't discuss the pilots but I am free to discuss the track machines. The CASE had their 445 track machine (prototype pilots) and also present was a Bobcat T250, and a CAT 277. We were given certain tasks to accomplish and then evaluate the performance of the machines. The next class (which is what I can discuss the most) was the new CASE 440 tracked machine (with servos) compared to the CAT 277 and the Takeuchi 140. There were 6 guys from around the country including a CAT owner, Bobcat owner, an operator with Komatsu and CASE and three CASE owners (of which I was one). I will say that the 440 tracked is an incredible machine. The 277 was completely ineffective when forced to work. Universally it was the lowest scored machine on the digging, and power related excercises. It was the highest scored machine in the comfort area. The CASE was loud and had hydraulic noise issues. The machine was a prototype and still has some refining to do hopefully they will address those areas before it hits production. The work end of it however was amazing. I really have never been a big fan of tracked machines, but that machine impressed me. The Takeuchi was in the middle on the power and breakout ability. It had a great seat. It is a very large machine especially compared to the CASE, some felt it was too big and clumsy. I did like the pilots in that machine, but some did not. Perhaps because I am used to the feel after having a Takeuchi excavator. If anyone is in the market for a midsized track machine (I don't know what the ROC is on the 440CT, I do know it has about 85 hp) it would for sure be worth a demo. The 440CT should be released in the 2nd quarter I was told. I may hold off on my wheeled 440 and make it tracks.