Aftermarket comes through for CAT/ASV MTL customers

Discussion in 'Heavy Equipment & Pavement' started by ksss, Apr 2, 2007.

  1. ksss

    ksss LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,170

    I was looking through one of my favorite Dirt Porn mags and came across this

    This is in part the Larry Lug that Uniscaper mentioned. They also build a hydraulic tensioner that uses grease to adjust tension on the tracks (is not that how the antiquated and inferior nonsuspended tracked machines do it?) as well as aluminum bogey wheels (who would have thought that plastic would not hold up very well).

    What I find so interesting is that the aftermarket has no problem stepping up to the plate and offering fixes for an inferior product design (and make good money doing it I am sure). While CAT who is the name behind the product, has kept their hands in their pockets. Cat has no problems apparently charging customers for undercarriage parts and denying warranty claims instead of making product improvements. The aftermarket certainly was able to figure out a fix for atleast some of the issues. CAT should have been releasing upgrades at least after the initial series, but no they would rather show of that "world class" service and support.

    If your an owner of one of these machines you may want to bookmark the website or stick it on your fridge. They will certainly save you money.
  2. Scag48

    Scag48 LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,067

    I'm still waiting for the C series. The undercarriage issues need to be resolved or I see a dark future for Cat running the ASV undercarriage. Thing is, guys are still buying Cat MTL's despite the issues.
  3. Digdeep

    Digdeep LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,840

    Maybe people are still buying MTLs because everyone isn't having problems with them.

    I enjoy this website for the wealth of information and the ideas that everyone shares, but it seems that a few folks are annointing themselves as engineers and equipment designers. I agree with many of the posts about the MTLs, especially regarding the weight to horsepower ratios of the 257 and 287, however, I also see many people up here in Wisconsin running them in what appear to be profitable and productive manners. I'm sure that there are others out there that are very happy with their MTLs. Afterall, I'm sure that CAT has sold thousands of them. If the machines were a "inferior product" I don't think they would still have willing customers. Point is, we all know that nobody makes a perfect machine, yet we still buy the brand that we feel most comfortable with, and tout that machine the best we can on this forum. Happy Easter.
  4. ksss

    ksss LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,170

    I am certainly no engineer of any sort and never anointed myself as one. I don't need to be an engineer to see that the Aftermarket industry is stepping up where CAT has failed to. If there were no issue with the product on a large scale there would be no market for their product improvements. I am also not an accountant, but no private company is going to spend money in R&D, manufacturing, and marketing to build products for which there is not a market and a large one at that. The products offered by the company I posted are product issues that even the most dedicated CAT customers realize are shortfalls in the production machine. My point is why have they not been addressed up to now (assuming that the C series will correct them).

    As far as who is buying them, I have no idea what the current sales numbers are for CAT/ASV. I also recognize that CAT has brand recognition that is unmatched in the industry. Had anyone else released this machine, I doubt things would be this "good". A good example is looking at where ASV was prior to CATs involvement on a large scale. ( realizing that CAT has had interest in ASV for sometime) What I can see is that the market for the used machines is not very strong (rather poor actually). That tells me several things; one is that the market for these machines has reached near capacity and /or Two the reputation of the machine is negatively influencing the used market or maybe a combination of these regardless both of these hurt the customer.

    I have never portrayed myself as something I am not. Most posts regarding this and other topics are followed by IMHO.

    I have always made the point that these machines can do things that others cannot, and for those customers operating the machine in the proper environment and in the proper manner, I am sure they work well and the owners are very happy. I have never said that everyone is having problems. However, the weaknesses of this system has always been known. They were evident on the ASV 4800 series and they are evident now on the current machines. No machine is perfect, to that I absolutely agree, but certainly the product should be properly backed by the OEM. I think that is where CAT has failed its MTL customers.

    These aftermarket repairs are not rocket science. The Larry Lug would have been an easy fix for CAT to offer, it certainly has to be better than junking a track because the lugs are ripped off. The aluminum bogie wheels is much the same, that one seemed like a no brainer to me. The tracks on these machines would last longer I would think if it was not such a PITA to adjust the tension; hence the grease tensioner. The biggest thing is that many customers would be happier if these improvements would have been offered/made much earlier in the production cycle.

    Happy Easter.
  5. Digdeep

    Digdeep LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,840

    I agree that the larry lug may provide an option for someone that still has good track life left, less lug damage. I also agree with you that someone was reacting to a need in his/her marketplace.

    That being said, on the topic of OEM support, I sold Bobcat for a reasonable time, and still have close contacts in the industry, and my question centers around the Bridgestone track life. Knowing what know about average track life for Bridgestone (on Bobcat,Tak, CASE/NH, etc.), why hasn't someone else come-up with tracks that last longer than Bridgestone? I wouldn't say that Bridgestone is abandoning their customers, yet, from my experience selling Bobcat, selling against CAT/ASV, and now owning a tracked unit, they sure haven't been able to produce new tracks that live longer (not counting the very old bar tread-864).

    By the way, I do find your posts interesting, and in no way was my previous post intended to be personal. Just my opinion.
  6. freddyc

    freddyc LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 578

    And why didn't Ford put a different tire on the explorers??????????????????
    Or why didn't they address it when it first surfaced??

    Because the squeaky wheel gets the grease. How many explorers rolled over before Ford blamed the tire company? How does the accountants books look on a recall? How many substandard products can you sell on a brand name?

    Take a look at the Mercedes 320 suv---plastic piece of crap but people think it's a Mercedes. SOLD!

    I have a better question for you..... knowing what they know about track life with the Bridgestones.........why doesn't Bobcat and the rest do something about it rather than putting something on their product that is plainly marginal?? The answer is always the same---money. If I was Mr Bridgestone, I'd rather sell a few replacements before dumping money in R&D. They make the majority of their revenue from this stage in the product cycle---and until enough people complain, they will keep firing up the production line. And...if it were your business, so would you.
    Find a product that can't be improved...let us know when you have it.
  7. ksss

    ksss LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,170

    I don't know why the Bridgestone type track does not last longer. I understand that heat buildup is an issue. The difference is there are many different companies making replacement tracks for those systems. I recently heard of one company that will warranty their track to 1500 hours (I have not read the fine print). I don't believe that it is a matter of selling more tracks that holds better track composite technology back. The first track company that can field a long life track will see a huge sales benefit well beyond that of selling replacement tracks of the current design. Apparently the technology does not exist or at least isn't cost effective for prime time I would assume. The solid suspension track market is very competetive, much more so than the CAT/ASV track. If no one can make these tracks hold up better than they do, they are obviously held back by the same issues or we would have had a break through by now.
  8. AWJ Services

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

    They claim too have an improvment over the factory track.

    Heat build up is mentioned alot .
    I however have never had my tracks feel hot or build heat so I am not sure about this.
    I also hear of this imploding problem?
    Not sure about this either.

    I am quite content with paying for tracks every 1000 hours.
    Too me it is worth it.
  9. dozerman21

    dozerman21 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,171

    I can also live with replacing the tracks every 1,000 hours. I have to use mine in ALL conditions, but 95% is off the streets. I'm figuring that anything over 1,000 hours is a bonus. I just try to include that in my bids. I know several guys who got around 1,300+ hours on their tracks, but they didn't use theirs in the same conditions that I do. There are several aftermarket companies who make tracks for CTL'S now. I'm sure I can install them myself, and it shouldn't be too expensive. Someone in another post said that a Deere dealer quoted him $3,000 for a set, installed.

    As far as the heat build-up, I haven't noticed it on my Deere, but I did on my T-300. It didn't feel hot around the rollers, but it would where mud would pack between the back of the tracks and the machine. You could actually smell burnt rubber, but this only happened in extreme mud. This could be unrelated to any premature wear issues.

    JDSKIDSTEER LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,164

    I am replacing Bridgestone with solid deal tracks in CT332's. My customers like them. They seem to be a better quality rubber where the rollers run on the track. Smoother ride also.

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