track loaders

Discussion in 'Heavy Equipment & Pavement' started by bobcatboy, May 19, 2005.

  1. bobcatboy

    bobcatboy LawnSite Member
    Posts: 115

    just wondering what you guys think about these machines? I have been thinking a long time about getting one, just wondering if they are worth the money. Most of my work is all general and would like to know if one of these machines would be something for me.
     
  2. Green Pastures

    Green Pastures LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,457

  3. Caribbean Breeze

    Caribbean Breeze LawnSite Member
    Posts: 60

    Bobcatboy,

    My experience as follows in brief,

    Track Machines have better traction & flotation than wheel units. The tracks are more expensive to replace so you must consider the surfaces you are working on. With respect to Brand - We have a 257 CAT that we bought new and it now has over 4,000 hrs on it- the process to remove the track is a big pain for us compared to the T190 Bobcat. The Bobcat machine has had fewer maintenance issues and it has 5,255 hrs on it right now. We will stick with Bobcat or Takeuchi because we do not want a machine with a suspension in the undercarriage. when the suspension is worn out, the machine bounces like a car with dead shocks. A T190 with suspension seat is a great machine to own & operate and it will not break your pocket. Grading with a rigid mounted undercarriage is easier as I have spent at least 400 hrs doing grading for this year and I prefer the Bobcat machine.
    I think that the torsion suspension is not for Track Loaders or any construction machine - maybe for snowmobiles >
    Keep in mind that it (Cat & ASV) compresses under load and on slopes.
    We experience a ROOSTER TAIL on our Cat machine when working in dust, the Bobcat is better because it pulls clean air from above the engine - Cat pulls air from a few inches above the tracks on each side....remember there are other workers on a jobsite right!
    So make an INFORMED DECISION.
    Maybe I am biased, but everyone in my crew feels the same way,
    Track Machines are great once you pay attention to maintenance & track tension, all brands are good, Cat, Takeuchi, Case but I feel confident that Bobcat makes more money for us.
    Goodluck,
     
  4. bobcatboy

    bobcatboy LawnSite Member
    Posts: 115

    I have been looking at bobcat and takeuchi. I like the bobcat but not enough power, so that leaves the takeuchi. I am wondering what you guys think of those machines. Give me some input
     
  5. Caribbean Breeze

    Caribbean Breeze LawnSite Member
    Posts: 60

    Bobcat Boy,

    Takeuchi makes very good machines, I have found that vertical lift Takeuchi does not have. If you are loading trucks, you should consider vertical lift.

    On paper Takeuchi has more Hp. We have found that although Bobcat has lower published Hp, the machines work very well (especially when looking at fuel cost). Remember Bobcat uses a belt drive system, which enables its machines to run on a lower RPM.

    Gehl has an agreement with Takeuchi so if you have a Gehl dealer around, make sure to get a machine that has support close,
    Bobcat is going to lauch it T300 with steel tracks later this year, ' lookout D3's & D4's .

    Both Takeuchi & Bobcat are very good machines, you will not be disappointed & pocket drained with a suspended undercarriage.

    PS; Get a machine with a suspension seat for driving on hard rough surfaces... Monitor tension of track closely everyday so you do not slip the track off...


    Good Luck
    CB
     
  6. ksss

    ksss LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 7,131

    CB,
    Your experience validates what I have learned from the few in this area about the suspended undercarriage of the CAT/ASV machines. The application of these machines would have to specialized enough (by that I mean your able to charge/bid more into a job) to offset the added costs of purchase and operation. I don't see many guys in that senerio. Must are running them as they did their prior wheeled machines, which will prove costly over the life of the machine. I wouldn't be surprised if CAT/ASV move away from the suspended machines to a rigid suspension or a vastly redesigned suspended system from the one they have now. The cost of maintaining that system can overshadow the benfits very easily.

    As a note on the Takeuchi, I think their suspended seat is an industry best.
     
  7. Caribbean Breeze

    Caribbean Breeze LawnSite Member
    Posts: 60

    ksss,

    The concept of a suspended undercarriage is a good one,for construction equipment - I don't think so, for a snowmobile YES.
    As equipment users, the operating costs and wear & tear scenarios affect our pockets directly.

    In our company, we want to maximize profits that filter into the staff and our customers also win because of our efficiency of fleet.
    We feel that it is importnat to buy the right machine, not because of the brand, but becuase it will earn us the money.
    Clearly, Cat is a great manufacturer of CE, there are some brands that beat them in Skid Steers, Mini Ex's and Track Loaders.
    In worldwide production stats, Komatsu produces more excavators than CAT, one could say that Komatsu makes a better machine when considering that Cat has joint ventured the production (say that Cat just cannot handle themselves) - Cat has the marketing & finance, but side by side, Cat is totally freaked about the performance of some Japanese units such as Komatsu & Hitachi. I know that CAT has Komatsu & Hitachi machines in pieces at the factories to better understand the Japanese design & componontry.

    Caterpillar is #1 in CE, they do not produce some models themselves such as some excavators, Forklifts & Telehandlers, isn't this a statement about their ability to produce ( we are not talking about design) - production.....
    Cat - Excellent Marketing & Finance Institution....
    Other companies lead in production & design.

    Case & Bobcat have a far better experience & know how on skid Steers than Cat.
    As for the cost, there may be no company that has higher labour and parts costs than Caterpillar - YOU WILL BE AMAZED OF THE PROCESS TO REMOVE & INSTALL A TRACK ON A CAT OR ASV MACHINE!!!!!
    IT MAY TAKE 3 TIMES MORE THAN BOBCAT & TAKEUCHI
    IT TAKES TOOLS BABY!!!
    In short ksss, all machines can work well including CAT / ASV, some will work better than others, it is a decision that you must live with once you buy one or the other.
    In closing - THE RACE IS NOT FOR THE SWIFT - BUT FOR THOSE WHO CAN ENDURE!

    All the best,
    CB
     

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