Cat 303.5 or 304

Discussion in 'Heavy Equipment & Pavement' started by Rowdyrabbit, May 16, 2018.

  1. Rowdyrabbit

    Rowdyrabbit LawnSite Member
    Messages: 10

    Does anyone have any experience running both a 303.5 and a 304? I know a few people with each machine, but none have run both. The 304 is a little wider and heavier, but not a whole lot. They spec out pretty similar. Biggest difference being horsepower. 303.5 has 23hp versus ~40 in the 304. That's a pretty big power difference that has to show up somewhere.
     
  2. PetersPatioLandscape

    PetersPatioLandscape LawnSite Member
    Male, from Kenyon, MN
    Messages: 72

    I haven't run both but I had a Deere 35c and I went to a 304E2. There is a world of difference between those 2. I am really liking the 304 a lot and doing things the 35c struggled with. I know the 35c is an older machine but I am very impressed with the 304.
     
  3. Rowdyrabbit

    Rowdyrabbit LawnSite Member
    Messages: 10

    I don’t really know the specs on the 35c but the newer 35g is pretty similar to the 303.5.
     
  4. Miller5862

    Miller5862 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 209

  5. ksss

    ksss LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,180

    What I don't like about the CAT mini ex is they still only run one pump. multitasking is not great, running a hoe pac or mower or something high demand off the aux. circuit is never good. There are much better mini ex's on the market than those machines.
     
  6. Rowdyrabbit

    Rowdyrabbit LawnSite Member
    Messages: 10

    What do you think are better machines. I’ve looked at a few and keep coming back to Cat. But, I have not run the Cat machines yet, so that very well may change.

    Who do you think makes the best machine right now? I’m always interested in finding the best out there.
     
  7. ksss

    ksss LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,180

    Taki, Kubota, Hitachi/Deere, Kobelco, Yanmar and Wacker Nueson
     
  8. Rowdyrabbit

    Rowdyrabbit LawnSite Member
    Messages: 10

    That pretty much puts them at the bottom. Is it mainly the pump issue with the Cat, or other problems as well? Like I said, I haven’t run the Cat yet, and that’s the most important thing.
     
  9. ksss

    ksss LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,180

    It is for me. Run one and see what you think of them for what you do. I run a hammer, hoe pac, and a brush mower, and I think they are lacking. If you just dig holes you may not have the issue I see with them. Until recently Wacker Nueson built Cats smaller excavators.
     
  10. Rowdyrabbit

    Rowdyrabbit LawnSite Member
    Messages: 10

    I’ll be using it almost exclusively for digging. I may get a mower or mulcher for it at some point, but that’s not certain.
     

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