Shopping for another skid

Discussion in 'Heavy Equipment & Pavement' started by Scag48, Mar 27, 2007.

  1. Scag48

    Scag48 LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,067

    Well my dad called me today freaking out because he has two large retaining walls to do with a long run from the unload spot. We've been working on landscaping my parent's new house the last couple weeks (see my other thread) and we installed 15 pallets of pavers. We borrowed/rented our builder's Gehl 5640 to move the pallets of pavers around. This house is 160 miles from "home", it's my parent's summer house, so my dad hauled the 303 over but couldn't bring the 216 without having to make 2 trips. So, we rented the Gehl from the guy who built the house, he wasn't using it. Anyway, long story short, we found the Gehl to be very capable of handling pavers. I've never operated a large capacity skid, the only thing that we've had that handled this kind of weight was our 277B that we sold, that machine saved us on a large retaining wall job last summer that we probably wouldn't have gotten a wheeled machine down the slope to the wall.

    Okay, to the point here. My dad sold our Harley rake a couple days ago, he didn't use it at all last year, and we sold it for a pretty decent price, so no loss. The guy he sold it to has 2 or 3 MTL's and does a ton of grading and hydroseeding in another town 30 miles away. He told my dad he was bailing out of his 257B and tried to sell it to my old man. So, dad calls me asking if we should buy it. I said absolutely not, we've already had a tracked machine that we didn't really need to own, and the 257 is a dog of a machine as it is (this is all after he listened to the guy tell him how much he disliked the 257B). So, he's looking for a machine that will tote upwards of 2500 pounds, which the 257 wouldn't do anyway, but he was thinking of options. We've noticed a trend in the last 2 years, we're doing more and more modular retaining walls as we're about the only contractor in town that really does them. We're damn good at them as well, our crew foreman is super fast and extremely detail oriented when it comes to the walls, we throw them up fast and they always look great, I think our reputation for this type of work is spreading.

    With all that said, kind of a mouthful, I'm shopping for something used, no more buying new. While we could afford new, we just don't put that many hours on our skids and after our last episode with our 312 and 277 I think my dad is scared sh!tless of buying new. I've almost outruled Cat entirely, I do not want a vertical lift machine as visibility is terrible and they grade like hell, especially Cat's vertical lift machines, and the 248 only lifts 2200 pounds. Cat is out, sadly. Thinking maybe a Case 95XT or 85XT, don't want an 80XT or 90XT unless KSSS can convince me the Case vertical lift machines are a little better. Bobcat is pretty much out as well, they don't have anything that is radial lift in the 2500 ROC range. I will give Deere a chance even though I absolutely hate the local dealer and I've given those a-holes enough chances to make a sale. I also don't think I will be impressed with Deere at all, but I'll try them out anyway. The front runner is probably Gehl at this point, I was impressed with the 5640 I ran even with the T-bar controls, dad said he could get used to running them if need be.

    The only kicker in this plan is if Cat releases a C series skid with radial lift in the 2500 ROC range, then we might wait a year to pick up something used. I would love to buy Cat again, but I absolutely hate Cat's vertical lift machines, they are designed horribly.
  2. Tigerotor77W

    Tigerotor77W LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Germany
    Messages: 1,892

    According to Cat press releases, there will be machines are Bauma. If you can wait until summer (my guess is that the machines won't be out until after Bauma -- just a guess, not fact), that may be worth something to you.

    I think you meant that you want a Case 70XT (440 or 430) or a 90XT (450), not the 85XT and 95XT. The -5s are vertical lift.

    I'm curious why you'd be willing to try a Deere vertical lift but not a Case, Bobcat, or Cat -- true the Deeres are flatter-footed, but based on the weight distribution of your 216, you might be more comfortable with something from those three companies.

    Ultimately, if you're really looking for something in the 2,500 ROC, radial lift range, you're looking at threebrands (currently): Case, Gehl, and Mustang. I'm not sure how the 2074 sells used, but Mustangs are generally good, solid machines. You could potentially look into a Thomas 255 or 250, which can be had for pretty cheap, but given that they are or were flirting with bankruptcy, I'm not sure exactly how their dealers stand right now.

    Between Gehl and Case? You might want to try thr 430 or 440 and see how it compares to the 5640. Try picking pallets from truck bed height, too, to see how the Gehl does. Does it have good reach at the top of the lift cycle? There's a trade off somewhere in that machine -- if it lifts as well as it does, it either weighs a LOT (which it doesn't), or has very poor weight distribution (also doesn't), or it doesn't have that much reach. If neither of those compare favorably, you may want to check out (no pun intended, but literally, check it out [as you would a book at a library]) the Gehl and run with it. Keep in mind the 5640 is really a 2,200 ish lb ROC machine -- and is actually pretty small. I think that's a good thing, but if you need a step up, give the 6640 a shot and compare it to the Case 450.
  3. mrusk

    mrusk LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,260

    With my 246b, i can move 3900lbs pallets around site, but it is extremly hairy!

    Moving 2500lbs is a frekkin cake walk for the machine.
  4. grassmanvt

    grassmanvt LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 906

    Why not rent the larger machine you need for the two jobs. NO worries ammount payments and a machine sitting when the jobs done. A goodway to find out what machine works the best for you if you guys decide you need one later.
  5. murray83

    murray83 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 347

    I have to second the rental idea,do the math on paper and see what pans out.
  6. Scag48

    Scag48 LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,067

    I forgot to mention that if we do this we'll probably sell our 216, so rental isn't really an option. I think we're finding that the 216's small size doesn't come in handy anymore like it used to when we first started.

    NEUSWEDE LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 1,149

    Get a 5640 with the joysticks (piliot controls) and don't look back. If you want to fly to Maine and try mine your more than welcome. It is built to work. I demoed mine awhile back and looked everywhere case, NH, Deere, Cat and the Gehl was built great and has a great price. It will handle what you need. It isn't as fancy as a Cat but that is what is great, better price and is made to work.
    That is my 0.02 on the Gehl I demoed everything I could get my hands on and it is what could handle the most and what I could see working for a long time.

    Good Luck

    NEUSWEDE LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 1,149

    One other thing they have probably the best finiancing you can find that runs out Saturday 3/31 and for new you could probably buy for what you you will find used.
  9. ksss

    ksss LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,157

    One thing to think about when building block retaining walls. You typically need a machine that is capable of handling a pallet of block and then some. You are seldom (at least were not) on flat ground. Going up is never a problem, going down can be if you don't have enough lift capacity. The dealer here has my 03' 95XT that I traded in. It has cab/heat/AC, ride control, high flow, hyd coupler, two speed. It has around 1500 hours on it. It was a geat machine. That is vertical lift of course. It will handle a lot of weight as you know. I have no issues with visibility on it. I can see around the machine. You have more linkage but its not that bad. If your going that way the 95XT would give you a lot of room for handling different types of block which may be heavier. It would also give you more capacity when moving backfill material. The only other machine that I would consider would be the 445 which has around 2800 pounds of lift but not as powerful as the 95XT/465. I met a guy that was a part of a large retaining wall company out of NC at AZ last year. His company had 20 something 85XT's/and 445's that they used to move block with. To get the kind of lift you want you'll need to go vertical lift.
  10. Scag48

    Scag48 LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,067

    You are absolutely right Kaiser, you need capacity plus some, especially in our area. We seldom move blocks into an area that is level, so having that extra buffer is very important.

    We'll see how serious my dad is, I'll be up working at the new house for the next couple days. I won't be online until Friday, so I'll get back to you guys as to what we discuss.

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