247b rubber track CAT (cats a@@)

Discussion in 'Heavy Equipment & Pavement' started by Planet Landscaping, Sep 29, 2006.

  1. ksss

    ksss LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,168

    I appreciate the confidence. I think that a ROC of 1,700 to 2,000 pounds is a nice sized machine for your application. Your weight restriction of 6K is tough to met. However going to 7K allows for more options. What I like about this size machine is the 12X16.5 tires, good power and still keep the ability to keep the machine narrow. The CASE machine can go to 66" in width. That is very important I think in lawn prep. I would try to stay with a radial lift as your visiblity is better. Since lawn prep requires going backward more than going forward a lot of times that is also important.

    I would try the following machines

    CASE 430 It has a 2000 ROC and a net of 74 hp very good breakout force. I really, really like the control system on these 400 series machines. This would allow for enough capacity to move topsoil with good production rates and will handle oversized snow buckets. Also impressive is the aux. flow of 21 gpm one of the highest in its class. This will make for performance running rock hound type attachments.

    Bobcat 205 This is a vertical lift machine. I like this size of machine my only issues with it is its dismal performance specs. 16 gpm at the aux. hyd. The breakout is only 3800 pounds and its hp is around 61. If you don't mind going over 7K the Bobcat 220 is a better specing machine but is larger. I demoed a 220 and I liked it.

    CAT 246B This machine specs very close to the CASE 430-440. Actually there is almost no difference between the two spec wise.

    http://comparison.casece.com/choose... Loaders&product_family=1&compare=skid_steers

    If you go to this web site they have an excellent web site to compare skid steers. Pick a couple of machines and met the salesman and decide who will be there when you need them. Then the fun part, start setting up the demos.
  2. dozerman21

    dozerman21 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,171

    Scag- I see what you're saying about the undercarriage conforming to the pavement. Good point and well said. I can see how an ASV or Cat could get better traction in snow due to the undercarriage, but as far as the wider tracks giving more traction, I disagree. The Cat/ASV tracks are wider and do have a lower PSI which makes them float better, like you said. But, that causes them not to bite down to the pavement. When you plow, the skinnier tire/track will dig down farther and not float as easy, giving you traction. I understand that the contact area is better with a wider track/tire, but the higher PSI, the better it will dig. Granted, we're only talking about a couple inches and 1 or so PSI, it's more of the concept that I'm trying to explain. When I plow snow with my pickup truck, I take off my aftermarket wider wheels and tires and put I my skinnier factory wheels back on. They get much better traction.
  3. cddva

    cddva LawnSite Member
    Messages: 189

    So PLanet, are you wearing a new Cat ball cap today??
  4. Planet Landscaping

    Planet Landscaping LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 607

    Not me:nono: , My guys look like they work for CAT Though LMFAO:cool2: :cool2:
  5. jazak

    jazak LawnSite Senior Member
    from NJ
    Messages: 843

    Get some pics up:clapping: :clapping:
  6. Fordsuvparts

    Fordsuvparts LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 517

    I guess that you ended up with the Cat 247B, If you did congrats they are a great machine, the suspension is a lot easier on the operator than a lot of the other machines out there. We had a 2004 247B and traded it in on 2006 Bobcat T190. It was a really good machine when it was not in the shop. machine. We loved the power and the ride of the cat, but our dealer screwed us over on repairs in the first 1200 hours and the repairs ended up costing as much as the payment each month. It turns out the low hour (600) machine we bought had been run in a coal mine and every bearing and seal went out of it in very quick fashion. In the end we didn't have to pay for 90% of the repairs but all the down time killed us. We plan on going back to cat or deere when we trade in about a year or so. We have since rented long term a 277 and a 287 and they were both great machines, just ask scag he will tell you the same thing. We just happened to get a lemon, so don't think that i am bashing on the 247B.
    Good luck with the new machine and make sure you keep the tracks clean because the boogies are very pricey.
  7. Tigerotor77W

    Tigerotor77W LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Germany
    Messages: 1,892

    What are your impressions on the T190?
  8. Scag48

    Scag48 LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,067

    277's are awesome machines, that is of course if you NEED one. We used ours a lot the first 3 months we had it, did a few jobs that the 277 proved to be absolutely crucial in job success, yet when you don't need the extra traction you've paid a ton more money for something a wheeled machine could provide. Do I think suspended undercarriages are expensive to maintain? Not at all. There isn't anything more complicated there than any other machine other than the torsion bars and there haven't been very many, if any claims of torsion bar failure at less than 2,500 hours, more hours than a single owner would keep the machine anyway.. If anyone tries to tell me there's more to break than Bobcat's machine they are simply ignorant. There's a few more rollers but big deal, those are repairs that are done in thousand hour intervals. Truth of the matter is suspended undercarriage machine puts more power to the ground as the undercarriage contours with uneven terrain. I am absolutely confident that you can do more with a suspended carriage vs. unsuspended and if you can take advantage of the higher productivity that suspended machines provide then you shouldn't be complaing whatsoever when it comes to replacing the tracks as Cat's replacements are more expensive then unsuspended systems. Here's what it really comes down to: If you're on the fence about choosing wheeled or tracked you're better of going with an unsuspended machine. They are cheaper (as they're not built by Cat), the maintenance is a little less, and I think you can be harder on them without causing too much damage. I think unsuspended is the way to go if you're not running the machine yourself. For us, we're owner/operators, we service the machine, we do all our own maintenance so we can keep a much closer eye on our equipment. That's the difference. And when it really came to putting the hammer down on getting a job done, the 277 didn't let us down. As long as you know the machine you're operating, how to operate it correctly, you're going to get more life out of. I think most guys complaining about high undercarriage maintenance is due to misuse or abusive operation, you simply cannot run Cat/ASV machines like a skid steer at all.

    This is all assuming that you actually need a tracked machine. I kinda laugh at the guys getting into the biz and thinking right off the bat they need a tracked machine when they've never run a wheeled skid. Until you try both at similar tasks you're never going to know if you can get away with a wheeled machine or not. For us, with the jobs we were doing, no way a wheeled machine would do it. The sandy terrain we work in is fine and good until you need to push heavy loads, then you're sunk. We basically replaced a dozer and backhoe with our 277 and it did a great job for us.
  9. ksss

    ksss LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,168

    Scag, the suspended under carriage is considerably more complicated than a nonsuspended machine and thus more expensive to maintain. That has been well established. I agree that because they contour to the ground, they may provide more traction than a nonsuspended unit in some ground conditions. However, is that added benifit and a smoother ride worth the cost? That answer is probably very individual, for some it may be others it probably isn't. If that system is say 10% more productive than a nonsuspended tracked machine does that productivity increase cover the ownership costs? I have heard of guys getting repair bills over 10K for these machines. That maybe half the remaining value of the machine in many cases. Some of the costs may be offset by a very careful operator and putting the machine only jobs where it really needs to be. We all know that is very difficult to do. Finding guys that are that careful is difficult and having the ability to pick and chose jobs sites is not often an option. It think this applys to all tracked machines not just CAT/ASV, but the abuse margin is much tighter with the CAT/ASV's. As I have said before, I think you really need to be making money with these machines, because they require more money to run than any other tracked machine. They do work better in some applications than anything else on the market. Whether that applies to the buyers application is the question that should be answered when planning a purchase.
  10. Scag48

    Scag48 LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,067

    That was my whole point, KSSS, was that if the suspended machines are more productive in a certain application vs. an unsuspended machine the cost offset would make sense. I can't stress enough that these machines require a very close analysis before their purchase as the costs of running these machines is much greater than that of a skid steer.

    As for $10,000 repairs, if you're the only guy around with one of these machines working on a very exclusive project, you could cover repairs for a long time on one project alone. Something to think about when it comes to cost of ownership. While everyone tries to buy machines with the lowest operating costs per hour, I look at it this way. If I have something that someone else doesnt, if I can provide something that someone else cannot and get paid a premium price, the costs of ownership are almost negligible. Around here, niche building is key. A guy I know that used to be in the business had 2 Schaeff walking excavators (along with a couple excavators and the like). Everyone laughed at him, told him he was stupid for investing upwards of $175K a piece on them. He got the last laugh, was installing tower footings for ski lifts throughout the west. He made so much money with those things that the cost of ownership didn't even matter. He was getting general excavation business that didn't require the use of the walking excavators just because people knew him as the guy with the "spider" looking machine. I think it's different in different areas, but for us being in a town with a population of 5,000 year round residents, simply having some radical equipment can advertise for itself. When I was 16 years old I was getting new lawns every week simply because passer-bys loved to watch me fly around the lawn on my walkbehind so much they hired me every week. Nobody around here had a commercial walk behind back then, they still don't, and just by spending a little more money on a better mower paid for itself 10 times over just by having something that someone else didn't. Kinda crazy and farfetched, but I tell you that's how it worked. I know this summer when we'd haul our 277 through town and we'd stop somewhere we were always getting questions about the machine, nobody has seen one in these parts.

    Back to the original thread, I think everyone, including salesman, are making dedicated track machines out to be the new "standard" of equipment. They aren't. They are highly specialized pieces that can either make or break a company. The easiest way to explain it is either you need a machine like this for a specific task or you don't need one at all. Simply running them to replace a skid steer is insane, you're going to lose your a$$.

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