Cat G Series/K Series Dozers

Discussion in 'Heavy Equipment & Pavement' started by dozerman21, Feb 2, 2014.

  1. dozerman21

    dozerman21 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,171

    For those with seat time in a G Series or K Series Cat dozer, what are your thoughts pros and cons between the two? Specifically a D4 or D5 size in a XL, but any other sizes input is helpful too. I know the K Series cabs are nicer and offer features like blade shake, but I'd like to know about reliability, power, etc... Also, what are your thoughts with either compared to a Deere 450-650J? Scag, I know you have time in all these too, please chime in. Thanks
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  2. Scag48

    Scag48 LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,067

    The K is hands down a better dozer. I've spent a fair bit of time on D5KLGP and I really liked the machine. I felt it was front heavy but it was bareback, I'd advise heavily toward rippers or winch to balance the machine. I've found the G series dozers to be extremely unbalanced even with rippers installed and I've never cared for the balance on those units, especially the D4G's. There are many features that are very useful with the K's; blade shake, programmable decel pedal, more ground speed modulation, the K's are much improved in hydraulic response and provide better speed and finesse.

    If I was buying a dozer, I'd skip right past Cat and buy a Deere. I have well over 200 hours between a 550J and 650J that were upfitted exactly the same and dare I say they are the best finish dozers out there. I'd opt for a 650J if you can find one, I like the 550 just fine but a little more weight and grunt with the 650 is much appreciated most of the time. I feel the Deere is better laid out for daily service, that might be disputed but that's just the way I feel about it. I'm a Cat guy for large dozers, anything D6 and larger I'll scream Cat all day long but the J series Deere's a stellar machines and I'm sure the new K series Deere's are only an improvement of an already fantastic machine.

    I can't speak much for the reliability of the Deere but I think you'll find most guys will say they are quite reliable. I will say we had some issues with the D5KLGP, 1,000 hours on it and she had teething issues; some computer issues and we fought keeping the tracks tensioned for some reason. No abuse whatsoever, I watched that dozer get worked every day from 400 hours to well over 1,000 so abuse wasn't a cause of our issues.
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2014
  3. ksss

    ksss LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,145

  4. dozerman21

    dozerman21 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,171

    Good info...thanks. I would prefer a K if I go with Cat, unless a smoking deal comes along on a G. If it's a G I would prefer a 5, if it's a K it will be a 4. I like quiet, dustproof cabs, and I'm sure the K's are more refined. I'll look at the Deere's too if I go used. The K Series Deere machines are big $$. I have time on a 450J and D3G and thought both needed more power. An 18K-20K pound, 85-100HP machine is ideal for what I need.
  5. jlazaro317

    jlazaro317 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 3

    So what did you settle on? I'm looking to move on from my Case 550 and looking hard at a D4K2 XL and maybe a 650L....I do worry about long term reliability. I don't see many high hour 650's like I see with the Cat machines. I see you had a 650K...good machine?
  6. dozerman21

    dozerman21 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,171

    I bought a Deere 650J XLT. I've been very happy with it. Good power, visibility, balance, controls. Nice machine. I'll run it for a while longer and probably get a D5K. I've been very impressed with our Cat equipment. I Would consider a K Series Deere too.

    I ran 550s for thousand of hours. From an E to H Series. Nice finish dozers for their size and era, but after you get used to a hystat with a cab, you wonder why you waited this long. I ran my Case 650K from new to around 7K hours. It did the job but wasn't until I ran a K Series Cat and the 650J that I bought that I realized how underpowered and mismatched it is compared to others. It's about the same weight as a D5 or 650 Deere, but 15-20 HP less. The blade is too small, the tracks are too narrow on the LT machines, visibility isn't as good, etc...Mine was pretty reliable though for the most part. I just wouldn't recommend one or even a L or M Series. I haven't ran either of those, but they're non existent around here. They also don't spec out the way they should with power to weight ratio. Unless you keep trading in for another Case, the trade in value on them is minimal. If you're set on Case, I would lean toward the 850 size. That's quite a jump from the 550, but they spec out much better.
  7. jlazaro317

    jlazaro317 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 3

    Appreciate the response. I'll demo a few and make a decision. Not looking at new. We don't run them as hard as you do. About 200 hrs max a year for us. CTLs have picked up all of the slack. I bought our 550 3 years old in 1993 and it has about 5600 hours on it now. Case has been good for us. I know it may not be quite the machine of the other 2 but it may be sufficient for us. I am guessing CAT or Deere will command a $10k premium over the Case comparing similar age machines. Ideally want a 3-5 year old machine with 800-1200 hours. Let somebody else pay for the new dozer smell. I don't have a problem paying that as long as I can justify it on performance. Never been a Deere fan (have owned a couple machines) due to the parts prices and dealer support...maybe things are better now with Westside. Deere parts make Cat prices look cheap! I'll give them a look.
    I really want to keep the machine under 20k lbs for trailer reasons and a D5k or 650K is just a tad heavy and big around houses that are getting bigger on lots that are getting smaller. 99% of our work is grading...not hogging dirt. Occasionally do a basement backfill but not often....and I'll usually do that with a CTL. Always have rippers so that helps with balance and production of a smaller dozer. If I decide to go Case again, wanted to make sure that they are still as reliable as my old 550. And since we keep them for usually 20 plus years I am not terribly worried about resale or trade in support is a must. Case usually does better with the little guy. To Cat or Deere I am just a number.
  8. tbi

    tbi LawnSite Senior Member
    from NY
    Messages: 491

    I bought a 1700 hr 2015 D4K2 XL this week. At first I hated it everything was different than my D.C.-80.
    Then after half an hour I came around and really like it now. It's got far more features than I've used so far. Power and traction seem good and the variable hydraulic pitch on the blade is handy when stripping sod.
  9. jlazaro317

    jlazaro317 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 3

    Congrats! That is a very nice machine. It was my first choice.
    I bought a Case 2011 Case 650L with 800 hours yesterday. We put a few hours on it yesterday and very happy with our purchase. I wanted to get the D4K2 myself but we decided that it was just a little too big for what we do. Plus I wanted to buy a machine with the ripper already installed and that limits our options. And since I'm only on the dozer about 2% of the time, I let the operator decide.
    hort101 likes this.

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