Advice on a Cat 305CR Mini Excavator

Discussion in 'Heavy Equipment & Pavement' started by ProLandscapes, Mar 7, 2007.

  1. ProLandscapes

    ProLandscapes LawnSite Member
    Messages: 185

    We do all types of landscaping and this machine is probably the biggest we can get on our 14k equipment trailer. I believe the machine weighs 11,800lbs with the cab and bucket. Would this be a good all around excavator for all types of landscaping/clearing? I am just wondering if it will be to big for residential jobs or tight areas. Also, it doesn't have a boom that is ofset or that side shifts. Will I regret not buying a machine with that option or will it be fine. I think this machine will allow me to do allot more work and make more money.

    Also what should a used one with around 1k hours, cab, heat and ac run?

  2. thebobcatkid86

    thebobcatkid86 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 100

    I am no expert. I dont know what your budget is. I dont know a whole lot about CAT compact equipment. I think that without a boom with independent swing its going to be difficult if not impossible to do close-quarter residential work. I dont know how much work you do in close proximity to / up against structures/foundations but I certainly wouldnt do anything with existing foundations/structures without and off-setable boom. My suggestion would be to at least investigate Bobcats ZHS series. More specifically the 435 with the long arm option. Weighs about a 1000lbs. less, but it does have an off-setable boom. Look at the websites and compare but I think the 435 specs out pretty close to the CAT 305 CR. I dont know about pricing on the CAT but the Bobcat 435 new is around $54k. While the 305 probably has more overall power, the 435 is more manuverable. So it all depends on what your major applications plan to be. That is just my $0.02.
  3. Scag48

    Scag48 LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,067

    A 305CR with cab and 1,000 hours should be right around $48-51K used.
  4. ksss

    ksss LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,157

    I have researched the 305C-CR at length. The Bobcat 435 does not spec anywhere close to this machine in digging performance. I found in comparing bucket breakout, crowd force that the CAT is at the top or very near it. The Takeuchi TB153 is very close within a couple hundred pound on the bucket breakout as I recall. The CAT cab on this machine is very nice, probably the nicest in this class that I saw (that is subjective of course). The servicablity also seemed very good. It can also be had with an angle blade if you wish (I would not). The bid I got on the machine was around 67K (I cant recall exactly) new with coupler, thumb, cab, 12", 24", 50" clean out bucket. I never demoed the machine so I can't speak of its actual performance. The resale is nothing stellar. I compared the latest 305 CR machines I could find and your not getting any more back than with other brands in that class.

    I purchased another TK TB153FR, trading in my TB53FR. Both machines will be very suitable for confined excavation. The CAT has the standard swing boom and the TK has the side to side boom. The STS boom is simply awesome. Had the price been closer it would have still been difficult to give up that boom system. The TK weighs about 12.5K and its boom length is only matched by the long armed version of the 305. I put 1400 hours on my last TK and had 2 warranty issues (both engine issues) arise and none after the warranty was done. I have taken on some pretty incredible jobs with the TK and it does perform well beyond a typical machine of its size. The TK is not only zero tail but also near zero swing (over hang is a couple of inches). That means you can bring the boom up, spin all the way around and not exceed the tracks (minus the two inches or so). Very handy for tight spots. Loading trucks is much easier as well. You can position the machine up tight against the truck and dump into it. The boom on this machine can be brought up next to the cab like a conventional excavator.

    The Kubota also specs very well. I did not spend much time looking into them. The new C series CAT excavator is nice, but it was not nice enough to justify the additional money and losing the STS boom from the TK. Here is a thread on the topic from several months ago.

    also here is a thread of a job we dug with the TK (previously posted)

    I would demo both of these machines if you have an opportunity to.
  5. AWJ Services

    AWJ Services LawnSite Platinum Member
    from Ga
    Messages: 4,281

    The local cat dealer has a couple used less than 1000 hour machines with Cabs for sell.
    Both units are trade ins and both are around 38k.
    I think they are 2005 models.

    One will be in my possesion at the end of the week for demo.

    They are 65k new.
  6. haybaler

    haybaler LawnSite Senior Member
    from ma
    Messages: 511

    Buy the 304 CR. awsome machine. there's a local guy here that rents cat, so I've tried the 302.5 303, 304, 305. The 304 does have the offset boom, so nice for digging a ditch along side a road or getting close to foundations. The 305 sucks a ton more fuel for not really being able to do anything more.
  7. 2004F550

    2004F550 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 270

    If you want a Cat get the 304CR, or a Bobcat 435, leave the 305CR.....its not anything to pay more for, breakout was not impressive on our demo.
  8. dirthog

    dirthog LawnSite Member
    Messages: 18

    The other thing you better look at is you is the machine weight is 11800 till you have a full tank of fuel and some dirt on the machine you are going to be over 12,000lbs that only gives you 2000lbs for trailer weight your trailer will weigh more than that then if you add a exter bucket and possible a quick coupler you will add close to another 1000lb you will be way over weight
  9. Dirty Water

    Dirty Water LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,794

    My personal opinion is that a general all around landscape machine should be no larger than a 9k machine.

    That will do 95% of all landscape work with less damage than a larger machine, and should you need larger for the 5% rent and run the hours up on someone else's machine.
  10. ksss

    ksss LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,157

    CAT worked hard at steering me away from the 304. If I recall it must not be turboed I am not sure. That machine was too small anyway for what I do with it. The local Bobcat dealer is not impressed with the Bobcat excavators. When I went there to talk about excavators, they were quick to give me numbers on the Hitachi/Deere machines. They would not spec a Bobcat. They do not have a lot of confidence in that machine. For what that might be worth. They certainly don't spec very well, although their aux. hyd flow is better than most.

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