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CAT 277/287 or BOBCAT T250/300

Discussion in 'Heavy Equipment & Pavement' started by bowerj, Jan 27, 2006.

  1. bowerj

    bowerj LawnSite Member
    from OH
    Messages: 42

    im looking at buying a new CTL but i dont have much expirience with the pilot controlled machines. My pick is between a CAT 277/287 or BOBCAT T250/300 with pilot controls. It will be used for grading, brush cutting and lawn installs. Ive only run a CAT 257 for about 20 minutes and really liked it but you cant tell much about a machine in that time. For those of you with expirence with both machines which do you recommend? Im not intersted in any other machines.
  2. toy1

    toy1 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 7

    I have a cat 257 and I love the machine, I hate the dealership so much I would not buy another machine from them! With that said I have just purchased a ASV rc100. this model has a perkins Diesel it is a supper machine and has excellant aux. hyg. flow it comes standard with high flow. My point in this message the machine you buy once but the dealer you must deal with for a long time, make sure you like the dealer either the cat or the ASV are super machines
  3. Tigerotor77W

    Tigerotor77W LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Germany
    Messages: 1,892

    Would you be buying both machines or just one of those? (That is, one radial and one vertical? Or simply ONE machine?) For the situations you've mentioned, it's hard to tell. The 277B and T250 will be the best grading machines, but there is no doubt that the 287B with XPS high-flow system will out-perform any other CTL's high-flow system (maybe except what ASV cooks up to replace the RC-100).

    If you're going with two machines, I think the Cat lineup is better overall (because of the XPS system, mainly, but also because the suspension should be a plus in OH). However, if you have to choose one machine... the T300 may come out to be slightly cheaper.

    The most important aspect has already been covered by toy1 -- no matter what the technical superiority of the machines, the dealer is the ultimate decider. If one is bad, that brand is really quite useless in your fleet.
  4. bowerj

    bowerj LawnSite Member
    from OH
    Messages: 42

    i will only be buying one machine. both dealers should be about equal as far as service. i dont care about price as long as theres not a huge difference. also i guess i have to rule out the CAT 277 machine because i need the XPS on the 287 to run the mulcher i will be using, im not sure about the BOBCATS as far as that goes.
  5. Tigerotor77W

    Tigerotor77W LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Germany
    Messages: 1,892

    At this point, I'd say the 287B will come out on top due to its XPS system. There's little doubt that the system will help you mulch faster than you would with the T300 HF.

    However, I wouldn't take this for certain until you've demoed both machines -- equipped similarly. That is, don't get a T300 with foot pedals and standard flow to compare to an 287B with XPS and advanced joysticks. The 287B will likely come out a little more expensive, but it really depends on the dealer to set the low bid. So demo them, see how you like each, and then get a bid on the price.

    UNISCAPER LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,426

    If you plan on doing much side sloping, don't get the 277. Go with the 287.
  7. Digdeep

    Digdeep LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,840


    I understand that you're only looking at the CAT 287B and the T300, but I think it would be wise to look at the ASV RC100 as well. It has the same undercarriage that the 287B has, the same controls, and some other benefits that the CAT and T300 don't have:

    1. Superior highflow- I've demoed all of them and the RC100 is easily more productive with a mulcher than the 287B. It has 38gpm vs 33gpm with the CAT and a 4.4L engine that has the extra hp to mulch, turn the machine, raise the loader, etc. All of these functions tax the engine, and there was a noticable reduction in mulching performance on the 287 when I demoed it. I'm convinced that it is because it uses a 3.3L engine that is at the edge of it's limits when multi tasking the hysdraulic systems. The CAT was good when it was going in a straight line and I didn't have to raise or lower the boom. Mulchers throw a lot of crap into the air and the CAT machines also draws the debris in right behind the cab directly into the engine compartment. the tracks carry it up just like a conveyor belt and this could be a fire hazard. The T300 uses a 3.3L engine as well and a belt driven pump that isn't as productive as either the ASV or the CAT.
    2. two speed- The RC100 is the only machine that has two speed-11.5mph.
    3. ground clearance- The RC100 has much more ground clearance than the other two machines. This isn't a factor when grading, but it does come into play when mulching in unimproved areas.
    4. machine width- the RC100 is narrower than the other two machines. This is a factor when mulching because the mulcher only cuts so wide and any uncut brush can damage the edge of your tracks. The less track extending out from the sides of the mulcher the better. Take this from someone who sold the equipment for a living. Uncut brush damages the edge of tracks.

    All of this is only food for thought and you'll have to make you own decision, but I sold Bobcat machines for years, tried all of them with mulching heads (Fecon, Timberaxe, and FAE). If I was going to go into mulching I would at least consider the ASV machine. It will be just fine in grading and lawn installs too.
  8. Squizzy246B

    Squizzy246B LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 837

    I would say that Dig Deep has about nailed it.
  9. Tigerotor77W

    Tigerotor77W LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Germany
    Messages: 1,892

    And of the two machines, I would still suggest that the 287B is, at this point, a better buy than the T300. Throw in the ASV, and we may have another situation entirely.

    Digdeep, I have a question for you. I should have asked this when I went to Holt Cat but... forgot. The method (general) method for calculating hydraulic horsepower is to take the pressure in psi, multiply it by the flow in gpm, and divide by 1704. (We've discussed this one another thread... somewhere...) In the case of the Cat (33GPM, 4050 line pressure), that amounts to about 78 horsepower, two horsepower more than the 268B can produce. In this assumption, we take the efficiency to be 100%, so the extra horsepower can simply be line losses and pump inefficiencies. In the case of ASV, or Bobcat, which both have 37 GPM but 3,300 psi, that horsepower comes out to be around 72 (71.7 for the Bobcat, 73.6 for the ASV). Given that both of these are lower than the specified engine horsepower for the models they are on (either 75 or 81), why can Caterpillar say that its machines are the most productive high-flow units available? (Where the ASV, Case, Bobcat... have power to spare, the Cat is running on the edge.)

    My overall question, then, is if I were a customer coming to you with this information and wanted to buy a Bobcat SSL, how would you rebuff this? (And applied to this situation, is there numerical evidence that the ASV's lower theoretical horsepower is more productive given the machine's excess power capacity?)

    UNISCAPER LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,426

    Given that both of these are lower than the specified engine horsepower for the models they are on (either 75 or 81), why can Caterpillar say that its machines are the most productive high-flow units available? (Where the ASV, Case, Bobcat... have power to spare, the Cat is running on the edge.)

    Because the pumps on the other machines require more power to equal the same amount of hyrdaulic horsepower as the pump Cat makes. The Cat pump is more efficient, does not have any slippage built in and uses a limiting valve to regulate flow as needed to the work tool.

    But, then beware. Each manufacturuers output numbers are taken using their formulas and manipulated until they get the results they need to see for the sales departments to take charge of the situation.

    The same holds true with break out force, and lift tipping capacities. The only way to really put them to a test is take every machine to the spot where they are going to work, and with the same operator do the exact same work. Since all dirt is inconsistent, and all dirt consolidates over time, it is impossible to get an exact test becase the scoop you grabbed one second is not the same as the next.

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