Cat 302??

Discussion in 'Heavy Equipment & Pavement' started by Dirty Water, Dec 12, 2005.

  1. Dirty Water

    Dirty Water LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,794

    We would like to demo a Cat 302 or a 301 for irrigation install work on the next big job we do. We usually trench, but sometimes in real rocky soil using a mini is much better.

    I've finally talked my boss into trying a demo unit out :) We've never done a demo before though, whats the usual proccess?

    Also, the majority of the work will be trenching with a 12" bucket about 14" down. Perhaps a 18" bucket when working with real large pipe (3"-4").

    I'd also like to perhaps attach a trencher or vibratory plow to the boom, is this easily done?

    What size Cat would you reccomend?
  2. Tigerotor77W

    Tigerotor77W LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Germany
    Messages: 1,892

    I think the 302.5-size machine may be a bit small in really rocky soil -- not small in the sense of small buckets, but I feel its hydraulic power may be a bit lacking. I'm not sure how a Bobcat 430 compares to a 331 in pure digging and setting pipe, but I would think that if you could, look into a non-ZTS machine unless you need the feature. Unfortunately, this does rule out Cat.
  3. Dirty Water

    Dirty Water LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,794

    I'd like a ZTS machine because we do a lot of work in small yards.

    I also would prefer either Cat or Kubota because they have the nearest dealer 30 minutes for CAT, 1 hr for Kubota.
  4. Gravel Rat

    Gravel Rat LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,544

    Go with Kubota you may figure a 161 would be overkill but techincally its not we have got a 161 into some tight spaces. The machine has dug kilometers worth of trenching for water lines and septic fields. The last job I was on working with the 161 was putting in a huge septic field for 22 residential houses. I forgot how many feet of trench was dug but the total cost for the system was close to 100,000 dollars or so.

    Ask Squizzy he has a 161 the contractor I worked for is on his second 161 the machine works almost every day its paid for itself.

    The 161 is only 6.5 feet wide its zero tail swing it does weigh 11,000lbs but thats nothing. I have seen a 161 lift decent sized rocks you put a 12" trenching bucket on it you will dig through some of the hardest ground.

    You want a machine that you can do everything with the 161 is it you can dig a basement if you wanted too. If you got into landscaping you can build walls out of boulders. If you get into septic fields the 161 is the perfect machine for it.

    You can run digging buckets from 12" to 36" you can have a thumb installed auxilary piping for a breaker or a hoe pack you prolly could get a post auger for it.

    Had the 161 on slopes where if your not wearing your seat belt you would fall out.
  5. Dirty Water

    Dirty Water LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,794

    The 161 is way to large, though a nice machine.

    I'm talking about a 6k machine at the largest.
  6. Squizzy246B

    Squizzy246B LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 837

    Jon, We are about to demo a 301.8. We want it for block laying in areas where the 161 is too big and for drilling post holes when we are fencing. We are also looking at the KX 41 from Kubota and the Hitachi EX17u. The 301.8 is used so we can demo it for a couple of days or hire at a very cheap rate for a week or more. Apart from Cat, a demo down here is usually out of the question because the dealers are less well supported by the manufacturer's. Sad but true.

    I'm not sure the 1.7 to 2 tonne machines have the dig capacity we may want but its the small size that will get the work that we would otherwise; a) not take on, or b) break our backs doing the work and take too long.

    Bill (Uniscaper) has a lot of experience with the 301.8. One of our competitors (and good mates) has the KX 41. His first Kubota did 16 years without any major dramas but his KX 41 has been nothing but trouble. Its sorted now but it was truly a Friday afternoon or Monday morning special...I don't believe its indicative of Kubota but the way in which the dealer handled the matter was not good and thats a big factor with us.

    I know nothing about the Hitachi mini-ex's other than the spec sheets.

    We are looking at a ripper tyne for our machine as well as 9", 12" & 18" tooth buckets and probably a 24" batter/sand bucket...I think you guys call them ditch buckets. I must study the hydraulic ouputs and have a look at what augers can be fitted.

    I'm very tired and must hit the hay:sleeping: because I laid 65 limestone blocks HAND...because I don't have a mini-ex:mad: and the 161 was too big :(

    I'll let you know how the demo went.
  7. ma5tr

    ma5tr LawnSite Member
    from toronto
    Messages: 103

    hey jonholland,
    I just bought a 302.5c excavator. For irrigation trenching I think this machine would be too big, or overkill. I think you should go with a 301.8. They are nice machines. I thought a 302.5c would be small after posting questions about it on this forum, but after having one on site it was a good size. We were craning stone chunks that were about 1ton(or more) at full extension. Yes, we did have to go a bit slower, but it was not tippy. I have pictures to prove it. We also demoed a 303cr zts, but hated it, felt tippy, I think you have to get into the 5 ton machines before they get there stability back.

    As far as demoing, you can usually demo a machine for about 2 days max here (toronto, ontario) then you have the decision to make.

    Dont go Bobcat for excavators. Try a Volvo, Hitachi and Cat. Cat wasn't the best machine but dealer support here is unbeliveable.

    UNISCAPER LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,426


    We have two 301.8's, one leaves with each crew. they are equipped with an adapter plate I made and we morphed a Dingo 24" trencher to the stick. The hydraulic requirements blended well with the 301.8 output, and it did not require any weird fluid like a few of those micro minis use.

    We have everything here from rocky fist to football sized stone mixed with dirt, they call soil, to expansible clays, to sand/sandy silt. Seeing it can be minimized to 38", and expanded to near 60", you have the ability to access any space. With the trencher on the stick, we can reach into dead end spots where walk behind trenchers won't go, and we can stick the unit directly into the ground and go straight into the dirt. It is as productive as any walk behind in a tight space. And, it is pretty productive in a micro tight spot.

    If you want to compare micro irons (orange to yellow), I let our guys do that. even though you would not catch me anywhere on any job without Caterpillar equipment, this time I was looking at productivity and had a salesman from Kubota (Oh man how could I have ever done that) drop their machine, and I called our Cat rep and had him bring the 301.8. At the end of the day, the guys told me to have the Kubota removed. now we have 2
    301.'s as a result. The 301.8 ate that KX 41 an new rear end.

    What you need to remember, this ain't a 305, 314, or 320. It never will be, nor was it ever intended to be. For the jobs you can't get anything else in, very productive.

    We have installed a rip tooth and peeled shale apart for a wall trench we had to do. It took 5 hours to rip an area 230' long by 4' wide by 1.5' deep. Compare that to a bigger machine and you would laugh, but, we had 43" to get in on this one, and it sure beat jack lugging the stone with an air hammer. (3 guys all day, the 301., 5 hours, one guy)

    For rock trenches, install that rip tooth or the 8" bucket and have at it.

    Each of our crews pull out with their 257B, a 301.8, and two Inersol-Rand 21 cubic foot power wheel barrows each day. What used to be 5 man crews now are 2-3, and the third guy is a floater.

    Add the rock teeth to the Dingo trencher and you got an unstopable combo.

    Just call the Cat rep in your area and arrange for a demo. Our guy usually does week long demos so you can really test the machines well rather than stab at a pile in a yard while the salesman is hovering over you with a contract.
  9. Gravel Rat

    Gravel Rat LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,544

    You may find a 6000lb machine is just going to be barely enough power the 325 Bobcat mini I was running would struggle digging the conditions we have here (Pacific Northwest). Your digging a trench and you hit a big nugget you will really have to dig around it to get the sucker out or you have a breaker crack it in half to get it managable.

    The 325 would just stand itself on its nose pulling on a hard rock even with the blade down so you would try use the machines weight to bounce the rock out.

    The Bobcat excavator that I was running had the boom snapped off I didn't do it but a friend of mine did he's been a operator for years I guess the machine was being a little over worked :p

    Its been sunk up to the house in mud,sliding down steep slopes etc its been welll used and abused.

    Last thing to leave with ya is stability the smaller mini excavators are tippy the 325 was no where near as stable as the 161. Had to be careful with the 325 it would flop on its side if you got on a decent slope. When you got that narrow undercarriage width its tippy.
  10. coopers

    coopers LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,223

    If a 161-3 is too much, go for a 121-3. Kubota makes great excavators. Both come with a 1' trenching, 2' digging, and 3' (4' for the 161) cleanout bucket. Automatic idle, angle blade if you want one, thumb control on the joystick (kubota finally figured that one out) and more. Good machines. U35 is a zero tail swing the size of a kx91-3 if a 121 is too big as well.


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