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CAT 257B opinions?

Discussion in 'Heavy Equipment & Pavement' started by SHF315, Feb 21, 2008.

  1. SHF315

    SHF315 LawnSite Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 7

    Hello All - New to the forum and new to skid steers as well. Looking at an 04 Cat 257B with a newer
    clam shell bucket 1700 hrs. U/C looks about 80%. Price 23000.00 Will be using it for site work on my own home building project in the rocky soil of southern Maine
    Lots of rock, dirt and gravel to move as well as brush and cut trees to move.
    Little pavement use but would be using for snow pushing on gravel roads in winter. I think it is the right size machine for what I need but have heard both good and bad about the 257B Any opinions or advice is appreciated thanks
  2. Tigerotor77W

    Tigerotor77W LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Germany
    Messages: 1,892

    I might say first that it's going to depend highly on how you operate the machine. If you plan to use it in gravel as you would use a SSL in gravel, you're going to pay out of every money source you have to keep the UC working.

    If you use it gently and, well, slightly slower, it'll be okay for gravel.

    I wanted to get that first statement out before people start ripping on the 257 and Cat's UC.
  3. SHF315

    SHF315 LawnSite Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 7

    Thanks I guess initially the 1st year anyway. its going to be used on mostly raw land with lots of rock ,tree limbs and small stumps. Gravel roads consist of a couple of long driveways.
  4. Scag48

    Scag48 LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,067

    First of all, $23K is overpriced for that machine. Well, I guess it's not too bad, but my dad was offered an '04 257B with a cab and A/C with 500 hours on it for $22K last year.

    The Cat undercarriage, I feel, is a good unit in certain applications. Rock, however, is not an application that favors the Cat undercarriages. Sand and loamy dirt is about the only application I would suggest Cat MTL's to be used in. If used in heavy rock, I'd wager your UC will be shot at 800 hours or less. Depending on parts and labor, you're staring down $7-8K worth of repairs.
  5. bobcat_ron

    bobcat_ron LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,137

    Any blasted, crushed or shot rock over 3" in size will chew up the tracks fast, and getting the rock into and around the rollers will eat them even faster, I can drive over any crushed stone that is no bigger than our imfamous British Columbia 3" minus Sumas Mountain gravel, but I can't drive through it, big difference, take care to avoid getting the U/C buried in gravel, but soil and mud they just love it.
  6. SHF315

    SHF315 LawnSite Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 7

    Thanks Guys
    .I anticipate all sizes of broken ledge and field stones mixed in with sandy forest dirt. also will be running over exposed surface ledge at times. I wont be in a hurry Because its my own project. So that sould help keep the tracks alive for a while.
  7. dozerman21

    dozerman21 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,171

    Do you really need a tracked machine? By the sound of what you'll be doing, I'd go with a wheeled machine with a 2-speed for plowing snow. I think no matter which CTL/MTL you go with, any kind of sharp object will eat those tracks up.

    As far as the 257B, I too think it's overpriced. I've never ran that model, but several guys on here have and they don't get very good feedback.

    I would take your time and shop around for a better deal. If you're not sure that you need a CTL, you can always add OTT tracks to a wheeled machine, or go with a VTS system. I'd be afraid of running any kind of rubber tracks though if you'll be in rocky, sharp areas. Just my $.02. Good luck.
  8. qps

    qps LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Indy
    Messages: 1,484

    Unless there giving to you I would run the other way as fast as possilbe, I bought a 05 257B (new) and it was a underperforming machine..(I'm being nice ) maybe I just had a "bad one"...but it was a POS....since I have a new CASE hat now I'm pro CASE...you should buy a CASE product....
  9. Fordsuvparts

    Fordsuvparts LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 517

    I would stay away from the 03 and 04 cat machines, they have changed the undercarriage since then and the machine you are looking at was one of the bad years. We had a 2003 247b and it spent more time in the shop and on the job because of the track problems, and you should learn to say bogie because they go bad more often than you put fuel in it.
  10. BIGBEN2004

    BIGBEN2004 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 823

    Your not the only one. My buddy's 257B is the same way. It feels very underpowered for it's size. The hydraulics are weak and the engine grunt is minimal.

    I also agree with some on here that the kind of work you will be doing would be just fine for a wheeled machine at a fraction of the price. Now if you said heavy dirt pushing, and allot of grading in dry and muddy conditions then I would say a CTL/MTL would be a great choice.

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