John Deere Track Machines & Skid Steers

Discussion in 'Heavy Equipment & Pavement' started by floydboy, Jan 9, 2007.

  1. floydboy

    floydboy LawnSite Member
    Messages: 24

    I don't hear much concrete experience on the John Deere Compact track machines or the Skid Steer. I would like to here feedback on people that have drove the John Deere Compact Tract Loaders and Skid Steers. What is your opinion of the new booms on the 300 series from the old 200's? Also, on tractive effort, Lifting, Comfort, servo controls over joystick, operating on hills or any other important issues you would like to add. How do they rate over the competition? I currently sale them at our dealership but I here so many rumors that are not true about the Deere. Customers seem to not be aware of the advantages that Deere has to offer. Maybe I'm being bias but I would like to here your feedback.
  2. Scag48

    Scag48 LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,067

    While I respect Deere for coming back after the 200 series and putting up a hell of a fight, they still haven't recovered their lost name in the skid steer business. And, I still don't believe they produce the best skid steer. However, what someone is looking for in a skid steer, I am not, and the Deere might be the better machine to someone else. To me, the loudness in the cab, the vertical lift system which has terrible visibility to the tires unless the boom arms are raised, the crappy, small cabs, and the control system that isn't up to par with what I'm used to (Cat) makes me run to my Cat dealership. Given that you are a completely unbiased purchaser/customer, you're considering all brands, and weigh all the options, I'd say Deere would play into the mix quite well. For us, Case is about the only other brand we'll consider in the future. Bobcat produces some decent machines, but they're based around creature comforts and I don't really feel like paying for a digital instrument cluster or space-shuttle-like switches and controls, it's not a $400,000 agricultural combine we're talking about here. While most guys who you talk to that own a Deere skid or CTL like them, I bet if they tried something else they'd be just as pleased, but in a different aspect. There is no perfect machine, I think that the flaws in Cat may be corrected by Deere and vice versa. One company does one thing right, the other can't quite figure it out. I do believe, however, that Deere is capable of making a complete comeback, but it's going to take a lot of work on their part and whatever they produce is going to have to be leaps and bounds above what else is being produced by other MFG's to even be considered. As I see it, the 300 series has redeemed Deere to the level of technology and advances that other MFG's were using 3-4 years prior to the 300 series release. To get back in the game they're going to have to bring it on. Case's 400 series have raised the bar, Cat's B series didin't really change much from the original series, but the C series is going to be worth the wait. Deere hasn't put anything on the 300 series that seriously blows the 200 series out of the water. Cat did the same thing with the B series, just a few minor improvements over the previious series. But, Cat is set to release the C series this year, I predict some radical changes. Deere needs the same concept with the next series or they will be left behind (again).
  3. AWJ Services

    AWJ Services LawnSite Platinum Member
    from Ga
    Messages: 4,281

    I demoed There small CTL for several weeks.
    Search my posts too find them.

    I can say without a doubt that if it was the only skid steer available then I would change occupations.

    There loud,uncomfortable,small,the saftey features suck,underpowered,hyd very weak,boom will not hold position when grading etc etc.

    Had it for several weeks as well as a TL140 at the same time.

    Figure out which one I purchased.:)
  4. Construct'O

    Construct'O LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Sw Iowa
    Messages: 1,387

    First off i'm not a salemen for Deere.Okay !or care to be !!!!!!!!!!!
    I'll try to respond from my experience of owning the 332 CTL,i have never run a 322 CTL or the wheel skid .I have about 300 hrs on mine so some issues i have posted before check them along with others.I have included some new information hopefully!!!!!!!!

    Using the 1-10 score.
    I'll start off with the main complaint(biggest) i hear on here and i agree is the boom sway thing.That was the first thing i noticed also from day one.I dug out a stump with the 84" bucket the machine came with so to be fair that size bucket and prying with the corner is good, no matter what machine you have ,put it over into the stops.Rubber on the boom arm.So tells me they need to address this ,again had dozer should have been using it ,just testing that what it are about.I do advoid this now as much as posssible. Biggest issue i don't like!!!!!! but can live with it reason for the Score 5
    They could help this issue by putting beveled wear plates on the boom arms and the stops when the bucket is down grading or digging. The wear plates would be against each other and stop a lot of the side movement.Less wear to boom pins.No help when in the up postions.Not as much wear facter with sway when down and digging.Not a fix all ,but would sure help.I talked to a rep about my idea of fix but not into an big detail.Since i'm not an engieer i'm sure it wouldn't get far .Might do this fix on my own .Not hard to make the plate and weld on (wire welder).I would go with bolt on wear strip ,so you can sim them up as they wear.What do you think guys is it doable????? Needs to look factory when done for me, especially if they hired me to fix the other issues (Smiley)

    Power wise the 332 isn't rated up their with some of the others,but with the 5 cylinder motor and tubo it will compete .Since i'm a dirtmover guy(D6R High track) mostly would like to see grouser tracks(Smiley) IT does suck fuel ,so you pay for the power, (fuel about 3 or a little less an hour) Score 10

    Track system for what i'm using mine for it gets the job done 98% percent of the time.Lots of pushing power,not like my Cat D6R ,but for the job i use mine for back filling drainage tile lines it works great,with the WorkPro 911 extendahoe and grouser 6 way blade. Tracks are simple to adjust with in 300 hours haven't had to do yet.Easy to get into to clean the dirt out.I like that a lot.Sloped track frame covers and lots of daylight to push the dirt out.Score 9

    Cab is small and plenty noisy ,but compared to others how noisy is noisy.Any time the motor is right behind you and seating on hydraulic pumps,then add hydrsat transmissons , aren't they all noisy??????To compare to other machines i do notice that the Deere are lower profile cab machine isn't as tall.Which if you was doing work that height is an issue the lower profile would be good.Digging under a house for basement( not something i care to do ,but has been done)The cab and windowshield is sloped back from the cross bar where the bucket is. I did notice that compared to the other cab machine being close to the bar.You set back farther and lower.I would like to see them raise the seat height would help a lot on visablity.Being back farther does make it harder to see things .I think the side vision thing is about equal to all no way to get aorund this,make smaller arms the you have strenght issues.Not good especially in transport .The plus of cab back farther if enclosed cad the windshield is back farther then others and less likely to hit windshield.Others the windshield is right there next to the cross arms, extra close ,but closeness makes for better vision because you are closer and seating higher to see.More chance to break window tho.Fix for that is don't buy with enclosed cab for brushy type work would be on my list if that is what you do.Score 7

    Hydraulics are noisy but i talked to tech about it yesterday.If you have cushion boom system it probably will be more niosy.They have a acculator that cushions the boom when it is coming down to the stops so it doesn't bang.On my machine the hydraulics and vertial lift is very strong.I have pickedup D6R Cat rails with pads 3/4 of the way with no tipping.Also pickup 1000 gallon propane tank with 50% fuel ( no idea weight ,but is the heaviest thing i have lifted yet!!!!)and moved, did tip ,but because i was turning backing up hill and had 7 inches of rain and was in soft ground mud.After got out on grass it was okay .Wasn't 30 % up tho.Had no problem hydraulics lifting.They will lift guaranteed and a lot.Also lift 2000 lb bales to max loading height on truck trailers with no problem. Score 9

    Safety feature i do agee sucks and over kill.Some has nothing to do with safety to some extent.The main one is the window has to be closed to start or to operate,needless to say i disconnected.The reason is, if you have open cab you are exposed to any part of the operations anyway ,so with enclosed cab why this feature! that is what the enclosed door and glass should take care of.No reason to have safety swith here.Others has posted on the fold up door.I do like the fold of door easy to get in and out up out of the way.With safety switch disconnected i can run machine with door open if air cond does go down.I know safety issue,but same setup if i didn't have a door (no cab machine).So fold up door is a plus if air quits and cab,for you guys that don't have or want cab NO problem!!!!!!!but more guys are getting cabs just like tracks.
    The gages are nice gives you a lot of information ,will also come up with some codes that techs can use to fix problem .This is something not discussed much on here.
    Like others has posted on here don't like the fold up window when it comes to restarts and park release.Foldup advantage is you can run with door open,with the work around safety thing.Try running your cab machine with the door that opens out and raise boom try that one.Costly experience!!!!! You can take door off,that is your work around,but then what about the dirt and dust.Deere could do better on cab , make it tighter and more sound proofing.Does have its rattles.Could improve.Super cold air and heat A+++++++ if you don't have that you don't want a cab period!!!!!!!!! Air to do with Score 8

    Service compartments are good,easy to get to the things that needs serviced.The cab raises easily and was very little that i saw that couldn't be gotten to easily especially if you had to mechanic on it.Side panel comes off ,hood comes up.The air condition evaporater is mounted in top of the hood and blow up and not mounted by radiator a ++++++++ it has electric fan to fore air through it,some have this.Compresser is easy to get to on the motor.The rest of the air cond unit is mounted on the back of the cab.Easy to get to .Score here a 10

    There is other issues and things i could post but this post is probably to long for some.I do hope this will help some compare things.Not all good and not all bad.

    Ksss,Scag,Awj,Minimax,Rock"n Set and all the rest of you that post on here regularly.I respect your opinions.Like said in the pass you need to demo, your service in your area along with good sales person. If you haven't demo at least the new 300 series machine at least give them a try. Especially the 332CTL if that is the size you need.
    And for Scag sorry you haven't a Good Deere dealer so you could at least demo a Deere.I own a Deere skid ,but have always been Cat (dozers!! will agrue them with anyone as the best until i die)Both Deere and Cat has been great for me over the years.Deere Ag and construction, Cat mainly construction.
    Ksss for you i hear you about Case!!!!!!!!! No problem for me to Consider! I would like to see you at least demo a Deere 332 CTL if you every get a change.I know you also have had issue with Deere.Just like you and Case all i say is demo the newer 300 series and if i get a chance i will do the same with a Case agreed.As for Cat,wish they had went with the simpler system.

    Score average for machine=8 You can check the archives for more post and other issues i have posted on my machine,this post is to long the ways it is,but thought would throw out a few more good along with the bad.
    Thank everyone for there time and let the picking begin!!!!!!!!!!!! Take care
  5. Fieldman12

    Fieldman12 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,504

    I think overall they are a good machine. To be honest it has suprised me they have had the issues they have since they are basically a copy of a New Holland. I have a 250 Series II and really about the only complaint I have is the boom sway. It's not that big of a deal now that Im use to it but I have looked at other brands and I have noticed the stops the booms hit are a little better designed on others (especially New Holland, Case, Cat, and Bobcat). I don't see really the noise issue either. Then again I love driving an old 4020 with a straight pipe. Yes, the hydraulics can be a little noisy but I have never been around a hydraulic pump that did not make noise. The motor is very good in the Deere. Over all it is a pretty heavy built machine including boom wise. I think maybe the back door could be more heavy built but I think they have built it a little heavier on the 300 series. As for the boom design I have looked at the 200 series versus the 300 series and there just is not that much of a difference at all between the two designs. I have a buddy that has a new 322 CTL that has over 550 hours now that he got the first of last year. It needed a new motor at 100 hrs, that they fixed asap. He said he has one window that is about to fall out and I think he said a crack in the windshied washer container. Other than that he said he is very happy with the machine. He is hard on the machine. He said his does have the boom sway also. From what I have saw so far is that your gonna have sway with any brand when it involves a Vertical lift machine. The only way you can control it is when its on the ground that I see. As far as visibility I dont think it is any worse than any other brands. Wait and see it may take a little time for Deere to figure it out but I will say THEY ARE HERE TO STAY. Deere has been building construction equipment for a long time, backhoes,dozers,excavators and so on. Yes they do farm some of it out to Hitachi such as the track hoes, but Deere still has to deal with allot of the issues such as when they sold the New Holland skid steers under the Deere name. Deere has sold a skid since the late seventies. Deere has one huge network of dealers and a huge following of Green paint lovers. Personally if I was buying new and dealer was not an issue I would probably go Cat and then Case. Case makes good equipment. I love Cat constuction equipment and also Case equipment. Most importantley I love Case IH red paint.

    JDSKIDSTEER LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,164

    Don't crucify me, but Deere has only been in the business with their own machine since 1999. They are already on their 3rd series machine and working on another and have come a looooooong way from the original 200 series which use to make me want to put a gun to my head, but Deere stood behind everyone I sold and I have not lost a customer yet. Not so where Dealers dropped the ball. I admit I loaned out a lot of new machines for damage control, but Deere stood behind us when we needed them. Biggest impovement is they went from worse electrical system to a great electrical system. Where there are good dealers they are a major player. The problem is even though Deere as a large dealer network, not all dealers understand this market. The key is do not deny the problems, address the problems. Deere has proven this to me and it is my job as a dealer to prove it to my customers. They know where they are weak and are listening to dealers and customers. As far a boom issue, I know they sway, but has not been a issue in my area. I do agree with most of the post here and do not hold back. I know I am listening and learning, and I am pretty sure Deere is too.:hammerhead: Thanks for the input you all give.
  7. Fieldman12

    Fieldman12 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,504

    Yeah, I know they have made there own machine since 99. Im just saying they have had a Deere badged skid steer since late seventies. Remember the old green ones?
  8. Fieldman12

    Fieldman12 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,504

    What was most of the issues you saw as a dealer?

    JDSKIDSTEER LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,164

    I am trying to forget green ones. I have a toy one.

    JDSKIDSTEER LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,164

    200 series...electrical and hydraulic. 200 series II was a great band aid untill they could get settled into their new home in Dubuqe and get the 300 series rolled out. I cannot wait to see what 08 models will be.

    Their a/c did not hold up well.

    300 series is a excellent machine. Cabs are dustiest (working on pressurized cab) and loudest on the market. New sound packaged has helped extreemly. Dealers really need to add that option. Really improved a/c....I feel best a/c on the market if you can stand the dust with a power rake.

    CT322 is great CT332 is to strong for its own good. A good operator does not need that much strength and a new or abusive operator will tear up the machine.

    Favorite units,,,Rubber tire 325 and track unit CT322. These units will give you the best bang for the buck.

    If you ask me about a issue you heard of I tell you if I had any problems.

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