Discussion in 'Heavy Equipment & Pavement' started by jefftb, Nov 12, 2008.

  1. jefftb

    jefftb LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 563

    Any one here think that the VTS option may actually be better than a purpose built track machine.....

    By this I mean, is VTS actually a better implementation of a track machine for 90% of the application(s) out there?

    VTS track option seems to meet 85-90%+ of the performance of an actual track machine but at less repair cost and less maintenance than the track machine.

    Does the last 10% of dedicated track performance swing the balance toward track machines despite the cost of operation and depreciation?

    To me it seems there are some also-rans in the world of track machine performance and cost. VTS seems to meet that imbalance for a lot of those machines.

    I have no idea, I do not own a VTS equipped machine or have ever even operated one. :confused:

    I'm hoping some operators out there have thoughts.
  2. bobcat_ron

    bobcat_ron LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,131

    Any CTL/MTL will out work a VTS equipped machine and still be easier on the drive train, sure, the CTL's are still tracks on a regular skid steer, but a VTS just makes that problem worse by adding extra strain to a drive train that is built for tires.
    CTL/MTL's have a dedicated drive system with either direct or planetary coupled motors.
    Another problem is that you will need a wider bucket to cover the added width of the VTS system and it will be higher off the ground, some people find that an aggravation.

    Plus, the VTS system has too many "sharp" bends in the track that make the rubber crack faster under stress, this is a noticeable problem already with some members here using the VTS system.
  3. stuvecorp

    stuvecorp LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,246

    I am a big believer but it isn't for everyone. I had a 440 with steel over the tire tracks that I thought was good but the 70XT with the VTS is on a whole 'nother level. I would agree that it can place much more stress on the power train but you just have to use common sense. As for track life that is so dependent on conditions and operator although BCRon had a good point about the sharp track angles.
  4. Johnny-CAT!

    Johnny-CAT! LawnSite Member
    from Ontario
    Messages: 61

    I have ran some machines on VTS and really liked them, but yes it really depends on what you are doing with them...... (VTS now have a new rubber compound that does not crack like old stuff) Good Luck!!
  5. GradeMan

    GradeMan LawnSite Member
    from canada
    Messages: 214

    Good thread
  6. jefftb

    jefftb LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 563

    I have been performing quite a bit of research on this issue over the previous week(s) and that led to my question.

    CAT seems to put an awful lot of VTS attachments on their wheel based machines even though they have competing CTL/MTL products. This is CAT, I mean they are supposed to be the holy grail of machine builders based on a superiority complex.

    No offense CAT owners, but CAT is a lot like a German Auto maker...(in my deepest intonation: Veee MAKE vhat vee MAKE and Vee repair it when Vee repair it and you vvvill pay for it):rolleyes:


    I mean, look at machinery trader.com, of all the producers of BOTH dedicated track machines and wheel machines, CAT has the highest preponderance of VTS equipped machines in the category of modified wheel machines. My local CAT dealer has three sets of used VTS attachments and this is not an isolated geographic issue.

    Does this mean that CAT's CTL/MTL product was poor (i.e., undercarriage problems) or that VTS is a legitimate product? Right in this thread is a prime example...Johnny-Cat! is running a CAT/VTS product. Check the pics.


    The second most VTS based modification is VOLVO-they do not even produce a track based machine so that stands to reason.

    If I look at the overall cost of ownership-purchase cost, repair cost, depreciation cost- then VTS wins the category. Dedicated track machines better provide more performance to overcome this. The hourly operating cost for a dedicated track machine is higher-it better produce more than the comparable marriage of a modified wheel/VTS marriage.
  7. bobcat_ron

    bobcat_ron LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,131

    The words are right in that statement, "dedicated" track machines, that means, yes, they will see more abuse, so they will be worth less due to ever rising costs of rubber and steel.
    Don't even bother to bring up Volvo, their skid steer sales are so bad and their machines are so piss poor, even fellow Sweedenite's are buying from other companies, and Volvo knows that.
    I think the VTS is an option only for people that don't want OTT and their head aches and still demand more performance from a OTT system, but they still want the option to go back to tires in drier conditions with out buying a second skid steer.
    Cat sold more VTS frames on their skid due to really ignorant and stupid sales people, but that was back when most dealerships (not just CAT) had no compact equipment sales reps, everything was sold under a few people with limited knowledge of their representation of these machines.
    Personally, I know of only 1 person here in the Fraser Valley that uses a VTS equipped Cat skid steer, and he bought it just because he wanted to do more with his 262B, but I did warn him about the consequences if used in the wrong condition.
  8. jefftb

    jefftb LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 563

    Just for the record, I have no bias either way. We use both dedicated track and wheel machines.

    I'm running the "numbers" as part of my review and scenario planning process that I perform about every three months.

    The VTS option appeared as an apparition in my clouded crystal ball prognosticator one day because I passed one on a competitor's jobsite.

    You know what that means when a competitor has something you don't,
    .......either they are just plain stupid, or worse, know something you don't.:jester:
  9. Construct'O

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

    The VTS system will slow the machine down because of the gear reduction,so you need to take that in consideration if you decide to go that way.:usflag:
  10. stuvecorp

    stuvecorp LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,246

    I have a theory that if the(or a) manufacturer(s) would embrace the VTS system and engineer the necessary areas on a skid so it could be used without power train issues and if the width factor could be engineered we would not buy another dedicated track machine from any manufacturer. I also think we will see much better tracks (for MTL/CTL and VTS) in the future. I like the ride in the Case with the VTS much better than the Mustang. I thought the speed issue would be much more of an issue for me but I didn't have a huge problem. Any way this is all theory.

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