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yes, another CTL thread


LawnSite Fanatic
Fenton Michigan
Ok guys lets leave ALL talk of brands out of this thread. This is strictly a financial and feasibility question.

Let me set up the picture and the problem for you to help me with.

Currently my CTL is getting up in age (2,300) hours, ive had some costly repairs done to the machine and also put a new set of tracks on it. As of now it runs great and works hard but if things continue to grow i will be putting 750-1000 hours on the machine per year. I cant see it going to much longer without needing more (expensive) work. As of now i have invested around $45,000 into this machine, have i recouped all that money? NO. But if i sell it for a reasonable rate it will be a wash, lesson learned.

Im struggling with the decision of what to do next? do i....

1) keep running this machine, and making the repairs as needed.

2) sell it and put that money down on a new machine ($60,000)

3) change routes and look at diffrent machines (explanation follows)

Im starting to doubt the feasibility of owning a CTL. Yes the machines are great, yes they work hard, yes they make hard jobs seem easy. But take a quick minute to analyze the numbers associated with owning one,

$64,000- machine plus 6% tax
$8,000- 5 year 5,000 hour warranty
$8,900- interest paid over a 60 month loan at 3.9%
$7,500- 3 sets of off brand tracks
$3,000- oil changes, belts, filters (very basic)
$3,000- repairs not covered under power train/hydro warranty (guess)

very basic cost of ownership for 5 years comes to $ 94,400

from that lets say we sell the machine at auction for $10,000

TOTAL COST- $84,400.00

cost per year- $16,800.00

cost per month- $1406.00

Now this is running a machine for 5,000 hours! that's a lot of hours i know but if i get a warranty the major failures will be covered. The longer i run it the more time i have to recoup my money.

But look at that number, almost a hundred grand to own a machine for five years. my main problem with that is after the five years that machine is WORTHLESS. Its blown out, wore out and ready for the scrap pile. These machine are not like wheel loaders that can run for 15,000 hours and have a major overhaul and run for another 15,000. To do a major overhaul on a CTL just wouldn't be feasible.

Im looking at getting a wheel skid steer and buying vts tracks for it. I dont need tracks all the time. I would say 1/3 of the time i could get by with out them. And for the times they are a must i will use the vts. In addition to this machine i would buy a older wheel loader to do "production" work with. i.e hogging dirt, moving dirt, back filling, moving stone and rock. This machine will make short work of all those tasks. Working together the skid wont "rack up" hours and be worked "hard" it will live a easy life. In addition to this both machines could be used in the winter for snow removal that will surely bring in extra cash flow in the winter months. A CTL basically will sit almost all winter.

what do you guys think, is it worth it? what direction looks right?


LawnSite Senior Member
You can't buy a used one with 200hrs for 20k? Deals are all over the place.

I tend to use my machine for damn near nothing. Bought a TL150 last spring for $17,500 and sold it this the winter for $17,800. I had probably about $1000 worth of maintenance/repairs. I just keep flipping them each yearso I really don't have anything in them. I have been able to avoid replacing tracks as well.


LawnSite Senior Member
So. IL
Just the cost of doing business I guess? I could not justify spending 65K on a new one, so I bought a 3 year old one with 1,000 hours in great shape for 24k. Right or wrong I don't know. But it sure beats working every day to pay the bank!


LawnSite Senior Member
no, not in the size class i need.
How bout 30k... that is half of a brand new one. How many hours a year do you put on it right now?

I have seen tl150s for 30k with low hours.

Do you really want to go 60k into debt? You said yourself your machine hasn't even paid for itself so far.

J. Peterson Grading

LawnSite Senior Member
No offense there Pic, but you have to pay to play in this game.

Sure it sucks AZZZZ, but its just how it is.

I don't want to jinx myself and say to much more.



LawnSite Senior Member
and then what? i run it for two years and i have 3,000 hours on it and things are ready the break and im back in the same boat.
You could save 20k by buying a machine with 200-300 hours. Worse case scenario, the machine is worth 10k when you are done with it.

If you paid cash for a 30k machine that would save on your interest.


LawnSite Senior Member
marengo, Oh
Maybe I missed the reason but why do you think its about to die with 2300 hrs on it? Theres only so much you can have break and replace before its mechanically like new again. Also maybe I missed it too but why is there not an option of keeping what you got and buying the wheel loader to make life easier on it? Nothing makes money like a paid off machine