Can't sleep! I'm demoing a Cat 257B......

Discussion in 'Heavy Equipment & Pavement' started by Green Pastures, Mar 4, 2005.

  1. Green Pastures

    Green Pastures LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,457

    I meet my salesman onsite tomorrow (Friday) morning and I get to use the unit till Tuesday morning!

    I can hardly wait. Feeling like a kid in a candy store, except the candy is REAL expensive.
  2. vntgrcr

    vntgrcr LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 282

    Scott, please post your take on the machine. I am also waiting on my machine to show up from Buffalo. It has been almost 2weeks since we agreed to buy the machine and Southworth is being too cheap to put the machine on a truck by itself and ship it 500 miles. Getting very frustrated with the Cat salesman. Will not return phone calls,emails and I have to call him! :blob3:Unfortunately, I guess somebody spending $125K for an excavator is more important. I am buying a 2003 w/480 hrs for $32K. Thats a lot of dirt to move. Luckily, I bought a 1986 Bobcat 843 4 years ago for $8500. Sold it 2 days ago for $7K. Not bad for 4 yrs of service and only needed basic maint. Since Cat is taking over 2 weeks to get me the machine they have loaned me first a 242 that is a beast of a machine, but it will not run for more than 30 min and starts to cough and gag. Already changed the fuel filter, conditioner, antiice, now have a 226 that is a piece of s---! It is bouncy as all hell, on snow it gets stuck just sitting on a thin layer of ice/snow. I would be very disappointed with that machine if I were to buy one. I hope I am making the right decision going with a Cat. The bobcat had been a money making machine, but the hand controls and the ride of the Cat is what is selling me. I just hope I see it soon.
  3. Caribbean Breeze

    Caribbean Breeze LawnSite Member
    Messages: 60


    ' It has been almost 2weeks since we agreed to buy the machine and Southworth is being too cheap to put the machine on a truck by itself and ship it 500 miles. Getting very frustrated with the Cat salesman. Will not return phone calls,emails and I have to call him! Unfortunately, I guess somebody spending $125K for an excavator is more important. I am buying a 2003 w/480 hrs for $32K'.

    I brought this to the forum last week, the fact is, unless Cat has someone dedicated to the compact machines (as most of them don't), the smaller machine customers will be treated after the deal on big machines are complete.

    It is unfortunate that Cat spends money to advertise on Discovery channel and then the salesmen (not only in this case, but in many) do not care. What a waste when the customer get a raw deal before, during and after buying from CAT.

    This is a strategy that has enabled outside companies such as Komatsu, Hitachi, Volvo etc. to get strong response from the North America market. I will say no more but will tell you that Bobcat has the Selectable Joystick option which is very good, Bobcat Tracks last longer (my boss has one Cat 257 and a Bobcat T190 working on the same jobsite, same type of work, with the same hours and the original Cat Tracks are not standing up in terms of wear compared to Bobcat). They are also 35% more expensive than original Bobcat Tracks.....Ouch!

    Both machines have approx. 2,000 hrs. I believe the Bobcat tracks has steel cords to prevent stretching, I was told by the Cat salesman that Cat does not have this.....I could be wrong as the Cta guy does not know enough on compact machines - but is good at selling a 330C.

    Anyway, the undercarriage of the Cat is not rigid mounted like the Bobcat and be aware that in future, this is another costly maintenance item like in some snowmobiles...

    I know a guy down my street who demoed ASV , Cat and Bobcat - he choose Bobcat because he got better treatment AND PROJECTED LOWER OPERATING COSTS over the time he will keep the machine.

    Green Pastures & vntgrcr, consider everything and don't forget to pay attention to you operating costs - this DIGS INTO POCKETS.

    All the BEST!
  4. vntgrcr

    vntgrcr LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 282

    Now that is what I have been looking for, a side to side comparison and actual working condition reports. I am seriously considering looking elsewhere for maybe another brand. But actually I have only heard good things about the CAT and the Bobcat. It seems to turn into a Ford vs Chevy vs Dodge thing though. For instance, I have read a few reports of the joysticks on Bobcats not being reliable and actually saw one being replaced at the local dealer. Then we get into the track discussion. To say the least I am confused and to comment on one of your items about CAT having dedicated reps for compact equip., this guy is just that which makes me even more frustrated! I am seriously considering calling his supervisor but I don't like to make waves since I may need this guy in the future. But if I am not getting any kind of service before the sale, what does it look like down the road............. Just venting.
  5. Tigerotor77W

    Tigerotor77W LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Germany
    Messages: 1,892

    vntgrcr, do keep a few things in mind as you are looking.

    NOT all Cat dealers have service for compant equipment owners like that mentioned. What may be true with a certain dealer location may not be true at another location of the same dealer chain.

    The steel imbeds found on just about all non-Cat/ASV machines are claimed to rust and corrode (by Cat), which does bear weight.

    Rigid-mounted undercarriages may be more sturdy and cheaper to maintain (hence the many, many companies offering rigid mounted ones), but do keep in mind that they are far less comfortable to operate than a suspended one. If you won't be using your machine too much or keep very close tabs on your machines, the Cat may be cheaper in certain ways.

    The main point here is to keep an open mind. Don't let the glitzy talk of dealers (or me, heh) get to you. What's right for YOU is what is important. Others' experiences may give you some background, but do be sure that you don't base your entire 40k decision only on what others say.
  6. AL Inc

    AL Inc LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,209

    Sorry to hear you guys are getting lousy service from Cat. That sucks and I know is very frustrating. But in Cat's defense I have to say the dealer service I have gotten has been awesome (HO Penn). I'm a small operation and this was my first machine, and the rep was terrific in getting me the demo I wanted, then when I bought the machine, brought it right to my jobsite within a few days. He even has called to follow up and see how I liked the machine after a few months.
    So not all Cat dealers are to big to service the small guys.
  7. Scag48

    Scag48 LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,067

    In my eyes, I can just see an unsuspended machine, such as Bobcat, being rougher than hell to ride on. If you think a 226 rides rough, put a much larger contact surface on the ground (tracks) and you will feel every single bump you drive over. I will agree that this rigid design will last longer, be less maintenance prone, and be cheaper in the long run, but what is your comfort worth? I think lowering fatigue and operator comfort is one of the keys to keep your machines running all day long. In my opinion, I would rather have a little more expensive setup that will keep me comfortable all day.
  8. Green Pastures

    Green Pastures LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,457

    I disagree that a rigid machine will be less expensive to operate.

    Did anybody see the comparison?

    A Bobcat and a Cat or ASV were driven over staggered 2x4's in an effort to test durability under stress. The Bobcat simply died with numerous problems after 78 hours of constant running. The test was suspended after it was thought pointless when the Cat or ASV had gone almost 800 hours free from any breakage. I'll look for this on the net and post a link. Still looking.....

    Check out the videos on this link. What do you honestly think all that violent bouncing around is doing to components?

    BTW I ran the Cat almost 2 hours today and it is SWEET. It's going to really get run tomorrow (Saturday).
  9. rob1325

    rob1325 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 698

    Wow, that was a awesome site. You can really see the difference between the two. I have cat 262 and love it.
  10. vntgrcr

    vntgrcr LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 282

    Well, finally talked to the salesman yesterday and TOLD him that we really needed to communicate better or I was going somewhere else. This is after him promising to call me by noon, that passed, went to his office, out to lunch, left a written message, still nothing and by 3 I called and had our chat. He copped a little bit of an attitude, but as usual appologized and I had a call at 4:30 saying it was going on a truck Mon AM and would be to my site by Tue AM. We will see. Please keep posting your thoughts on your saturdays work. Plus, I think the nebraskarents video says it all!

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