Cat259D/289D vs Bobcat T590/T650

Discussion in 'Heavy Equipment & Pavement' started by ShadowCat, Aug 18, 2014.

  1. ShadowCat

    ShadowCat LawnSite Member
    from Florida
    Messages: 32

    Hey guys,

    I am a first time poster here but have been reading for a few days. Currently I own a hauling company as a part time job and own a dump truck and an equipment trailer. I am a computer software engineer during the week, but can take days off during the week as needed to do jobs.

    The hauling part of this business was only being done so I could build work history up so I could get a bank loan for a compact track loader and move into what actually interest me: concrete removal, land clearing/grading, and of course still using a grapple to do debris removal with the dump truck.

    That being said, I have a two point question, which is basically the thread title:

    Which compact track loader should I get (Cat vs Bobcat) and which size is best (smaller or medium).

    I am considering the Cat 259D vs the Bobcat T590 and the Cat289D vs the Bobcat T650.

    Machine will be purchased with a breaker, industrial grapple, and a 6 way dozer blade.

    I can see pro's and cons to both companies. Cat is well respected for engineering machines and has a great support fleet to fix machines on site. Bobcat has a nice history specifically with skid steers so perhaps are more the "experts" on these machines?

    I prefer the cooling system of the Bobcat over the Cat... blowing the hot air out the side seems to be a much better idea than sucking in air from above the tracks (I live in Florida, so lots of dry dusty sand/dirt)

    As for the size, I am not sure the extra $10k give or take is worth jumping up to the 289D/T650 from their respective smaller cousins.

    Sorry for the rambling, but could some of you provide some real world thoughts on these machines please. The Cats generally cost a bit more than the Bobcat equivalent... is it worth it, or is the Bobcat a better more dependable machine?

    Cats come with larger tracks... in Florida sand that seems like a good thing. Bobcats can be upgraded of course to wide tracks which slightly offsets some of the cost difference.

    Machines will have cab with AC, deluxe instrumentation, and joystick controls.

    Arrrrrghhhhh... so many possible ways to go with this....

    One day I wake up favoring going smaller and with the Bobcat T590... and other days I wake up thinking the 289D is the way to go since it is bigger and still is fairly thin (5 inches or so thinner than the T650 so it fits better on my trailer)

    Thanks for any feedback.
  2. TNGrassCutter

    TNGrassCutter LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,321

    I have had a 289d for a couple weeks now. It's a solid machine, very nice on the inside too. Doing concrete removal and clearing you're never going to wish you had a smaller machine. Whichever brand you choose I would get the biggest machine on your list. With a dump truck and equipment trailer I don't think moving the machine should be an issue, regardless of size. Good luck with your decision.
    Posted via Mobile Device
  3. bobcat_ron

    bobcat_ron LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,131

    Bobcat's cooling system sucks, they heat up the oil so damn fast due to having a tiny hydraulic tank, they need to be able to cool it fast. Cat's hydraulic system is just like an excavator, manifold at the bottom where the loader and drive empties into and it circulates into the tank and the cooler.
    One hydraulic break or leaking line and a Bobcat is done, Cat's have massive tanks.
    It's still a jungle of hoses and wires under a Bobcat cab, and Cat has everything laid out really nice.
    Bobcat cabs have all the buttons and crap all over the sides of the door entry and a stupid windsheild wiper at the bottom, Cat has everything up out of the way.
    Bobcat's has WEAK quick attach frames with no SOILD bump stops to help clean out the sticky material in the bucket, and they rely on dead ending the cylinders for that task, Cat has a solid and strong quick attach frames and bump stops built into the loader arms.
    Bobcat has grease fittings EVERYWHERE and all different angles, Cat has the fittings inside the pins facing out.
    Bobcat uses inferior bushings and pins, I've seen 1 year old units with less than 500 hrs with slop in the main pivots pins, our Cat 289C is tight like a dolphin's ass with 600 hours and minimal greasing.
    Bobcat's undercarriage is a royal PITA to clean out wet sticky mud and clay out of, Cat is just a matter of kicking it out with your feet.
    Personally, I'd stay with a smaller unit, make more money on the bigger jobs, and when a small job that requires a smaller machine pops up, a bigger unit will be a hindrance.
    90% of the work I do with the 289C is perfect, but the tight confined spots I get into, I am cursing, hence the back up camera.
  4. ShadowCat

    ShadowCat LawnSite Member
    from Florida
    Messages: 32

    Great info guys, keep it coming!!!

    One question specific to the Cat259D and Cat 289D... Both are listed as having the same horsepower: 74hp. At one look, I would think the 259D would be a better performer as a result, but then I know hydraulics and weight of the machine also make a difference... IE heavier machine can push better? Would using the dozer attachment be underpowered with the lighter 259D vs the heavier 289D?

    Would you guys agree wide tracks are better for Florida sand and soft material? I know the Bobcat's are 12 inch tracks and the Cat D's come with bigger tracks by default, and have bigger options as well.
  5. treemover

    treemover LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 416

    Here is my input....I would go with the smaller machine, unless u need to lift. We do landscaping and excavating we are running 2 329 deeres great machines but a pain to haul and a smaller size machine around houses would be nice. You didn't clearly say what trailer you were running. We used to run 14k 20' pj's. We blew tires on a weekly basis, wheel bearings way to often and bent trailers many times. We are running 3,7k axles on 10" i beam deck overs on 17.5's or 20 tons with big trucks.We pull with 450's 550's tandems and tri's. I am going to say 9 out of 10 times a little machine will do everything a big machine will and sometimes faster! Especially fine grades. My only reservation on small machines for my application is lift. I know 259's lift no where near what they say they do. I was not a fan of the 570 when I demoed it, I liked the 259 but weak tilt cylinders and I felt cramped with my knees between the joysticks
    Posted via Mobile Device
  6. ShadowCat

    ShadowCat LawnSite Member
    from Florida
    Messages: 32

    The truck I am using is an F700 dump truck, an old department of transportation vehicle. It only has 83,000 miles on it and has the 5.9 cummins diesel so plenty of power for towing, and stopping, the trailer.

    The trailer I have is a Big Tex 14-ET 16 footer. Maybe not the best trailer, but far from the worse. Dual axles with brakes on each.

    Here is a picture of the combined unit:



    I had to buy a trailer to get my CDL license for the truck... I would have gotten a wheel under the deck style had I known better now. The width between wheel hubs is 83.5 inches... leaving one inch clearence for the T650 with wide tracks. One reason I like the Cats is they tend to be skinnier than the Bobcat counter part.
  7. Snyder's Lawn Inc

    Snyder's Lawn Inc LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,530

    Will that trailer handle them big skids Way side of trailer looks doesn't look like heavy built trailer
  8. ShadowCat

    ShadowCat LawnSite Member
    from Florida
    Messages: 32

    It's rated for 14,000 pounds, I would hope it can handle a loader.
  9. kawakx125

    kawakx125 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,130

    1'' of clearance ain't gonna work
  10. Snyder's Lawn Inc

    Snyder's Lawn Inc LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,530

    I figure it could but Looking at it just don't look like it
    Cat 289D are over 10k + weight of the trailer So that doesn't leave you much room You might be getting real close overloading the axles

Share This Page