Skid steer VS crawler loader

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m610

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I am still amazed how dificult it is to find a good deal on a skid steer loader in the larger sizes. Just want something twice as powerful as the old Bobcat M610. Oddly enough I found someone who is trying to get me to buy his crawler loader, a CAT D6 track loader. Yes it's old but the price keeps getting cheaper and cheaper. He's a motivated seller, and to dispel any reservations showed me how to run it and it would definately handle the jobs that need power. The clamshell bucket makes moving rocks and stumps easy.Of course if the machine was needed for jobsites, a skid steer has the advantage as it's easier to transport, but since my home and land are together this may be a solution. Not sure why people buy any skid steer with a for sale sign on it but are not intereted in the crawler, but it's down to a price lower than any skid steer I have seen and sems to work well. Anyone have experience with these?
 

skidsteer.ca

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The way I see it the price reflects the number of people that want this. While it may fit good to your need because you don't have to pay $100 /hr for a truck to move it around your place, most buyers do. So resale will not be as good
Also if it needs repairs are you going to have to float it to a shop? Getting it on a float can be a major job if its disabled.
Fixing it yourself requires some serious tools, crane/hiab for lifting parts. Even fixing a derailed a track can be a major job.
I have done it on a 350 jd crawler, it involved 2 men come alongs chains and 2 hours work. crawler tracks can come off easily, compared to skidsteer tire tracks.
If you have any soft ground, you would want to be vary carful about getting stuck, because you will need another 6 to pull you out.
Of course ground speed and turning around will be slower.
On the plus side it will push out a bigger stump, or move a bigger rock, I'm not sure how big yours are, but remember that all machine regardless of size have limits, I'd say about 18“ stumps (in out part of the country) it the limit. That why they make 7s, 8s, and 9s with rippers. Cat equipment generally has good parts availabilty.
A 6 is a good chunk of tractor, my father built his logging roads between 1965 and 85 with a TD9 International and a jd 350, which would be like a d4 and d3. (This was on a island and that was the limit for the barge to float across the lake) He still has both, the 9 needs engine work, and can't be given away, (blade is worth more then tractor, its a 50's era) and the 350 (early 70's) he still uses around the farm, but in lots of ways a midsize bobcat will do almost everything the 350 can and quite a few things it can't with a different attachment and the better visability. Though the longer track frame on a cat excells at making a level road or grade.
I know he used to bury rock piles with it, dig basements what ever, but the last time he cleaned a field, he had a excavator come it for $85 a hour, which was alot quicker then the jd for pulling stumps and buring rocks, they done a ditch at the same time.
If you have alot of heavy work, this may be the answer, and keep the 610 around for the small jobs. But when you done with it it will be alot harder to find it a new home. If you have you money out of it and then some by this point then it was a good choice
Regards
Ken
 

m610

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Apr 1, 2006
Messages
173
The way I see it the price reflects the number of people that want this. While it may fit good to your need because you don't have to pay $100 /hr for a truck to move it around your place, most buyers do. So resale will not be as good
Also if it needs repairs are you going to have to float it to a shop? Getting it on a float can be a major job if its disabled.
Fixing it yourself requires some serious tools, crane/hiab for lifting parts. Even fixing a derailed a track can be a major job.
I have done it on a 350 jd crawler, it involved 2 men come alongs chains and 2 hours work. crawler tracks can come off easily, compared to skidsteer tire tracks.
If you have any soft ground, you would want to be vary carful about getting stuck, because you will need another 6 to pull you out.
Of course ground speed and turning around will be slower.
On the plus side it will push out a bigger stump, or move a bigger rock, I'm not sure how big yours are, but remember that all machine regardless of size have limits, I'd say about 18“ stumps (in out part of the country) it the limit. That why they make 7s, 8s, and 9s with rippers. Cat equipment generally has good parts availabilty.
A 6 is a good chunk of tractor, my father built his logging roads between 1965 and 85 with a TD9 International and a jd 350, which would be like a d4 and d3. (This was on a island and that was the limit for the barge to float across the lake) He still has both, the 9 needs engine work, and can't be given away, (blade is worth more then tractor, its a 50's era) and the 350 (early 70's) he still uses around the farm, but in lots of ways a midsize bobcat will do almost everything the 350 can and quite a few things it can't with a different attachment and the better visability. Though the longer track frame on a cat excells at making a level road or grade.
I know he used to bury rock piles with it, dig basements what ever, but the last time he cleaned a field, he had a excavator come it for $85 a hour, which was alot quicker then the jd for pulling stumps and buring rocks, they done a ditch at the same time.
If you have alot of heavy work, this may be the answer, and keep the 610 around for the small jobs. But when you done with it it will be alot harder to find it a new home. If you have you money out of it and then some by this point then it was a good choice
Regards
Ken
Ken, that's a very good analysis of the two machines. It answers my question of why this thing isn't selling to anyone. Yes it's large, but seems to run well. Most likely a 60's - early '70's era machine bought used in the 80's from a local dairy farm, and has spent the last 20 or so years at the plant nursery where it was originally used to set up the nursery and to move huge rocks and clear a few lots. The owner retired and the crawler has been sitting ever since. The new owner, (his son) doesn't go there much as the business is staffed by workers and he lives in Palm Beach. What they use is a forklift, backhoe , and skid loaders. The Cat went for sale almost a year ago, around 5,000 dollars but the price has been dropping ever since, with no takers. Now it's less than 1/2 that mostly because of the way it looks. Neighbor down the street wanted it, but lost interest because of the size of the machine and being told it was hard to service. It's all sand around here, so I was concerned about wear to tracks and pins. The good thing is that this crawler has no trouble going through loose , dry sand that the Bobcat would get stuck in. I could get the dirt road levelled faster, and dig out the ditches on the sides easier, with power no skid loader can dream of. Maintenance is the big concern, just looking at the machine is intimidating, and I thought about what would happen if a track came off. On a Bobcat a track over the tires is no big deal, and I have always maintained my own machinery, so it would involve a change in methods when this needed work. I am currently rebuilding the M610 so it's a keeper, I use it around the yard for the small, delicate work. But if I can't find a more powerful skid steer the crawler may be worth the risk. If it breaks down and I can't fix it, then I will tow it to the front yard and paint my address on it..LOL!
 

skidsteer.ca

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Ken, that's a very good analysis of the two machines. It answers my question of why this thing isn't selling to anyone. Yes it's large, but seems to run well. Most likely a 60's - early '70's era machine bought used in the 80's from a local dairy farm, and has spent the last 20 or so years at the plant nursery where it was originally used to set up the nursery and to move huge rocks and clear a few lots. The owner retired and the crawler has been sitting ever since. The new owner, (his son) doesn't go there much as the business is staffed by workers and he lives in Palm Beach. What they use is a forklift, backhoe , and skid loaders. The Cat went for sale almost a year ago, around 5,000 dollars but the price has been dropping ever since, with no takers. Now it's less than 1/2 that mostly because of the way it looks. Neighbor down the street wanted it, but lost interest because of the size of the machine and being told it was hard to service. It's all sand around here, so I was concerned about wear to tracks and pins. The good thing is that this crawler has no trouble going through loose , dry sand that the Bobcat would get stuck in. I could get the dirt road levelled faster, and dig out the ditches on the sides easier, with power no skid loader can dream of. Maintenance is the big concern, just looking at the machine is intimidating, and I thought about what would happen if a track came off. On a Bobcat a track over the tires is no big deal, and I have always maintained my own machinery, so it would involve a change in methods when this needed work. I am currently rebuilding the M610 so it's a keeper, I use it around the yard for the small, delicate work. But if I can't find a more powerful skid steer the crawler may be worth the risk. If it breaks down and I can't fix it, then I will tow it to the front yard and paint my address on it..LOL!
Well for that kind of money, you won't have to use it to long before you would have spent 2500+ on hiring it out. And if it is a better fit to the task at hand...
Even though I had a 773 in the yard 2 years back I put a loop road in around my yard and I rented a 644 jd wheel loader for a couple days just because it would be so much faster then the bobcat at spreading the 50 or so 30 yard loads of gravel. A skid is good for everything, but often here where there is ample room its not always the best machine.
Just remember when a D6 needs oil changes it is going to be 1 to 2 pails, not 5 or 6 quarts. I don't believe tha maintenance should be excessive, but things are on a big scale. And I'd make sure the tracks were tight.
I'd be asking to check the drain plugs on the major components, look at the oil for something that is failing, excessive steel contamination in the oil. Hopefully it has magnetic drain plugs to catch wear. Expect some fine material but nothing that cut you fingers if you squeeze the “mush” on the plug between you fingers. If thats good, and the sprockets and chains and tracks are not worn excessively and considering how little it was used, i should be ok. Hopefully it was used a little here and there to keep intenals splashed with oil and prevent rusting.
Just remember that changing all the oils would ruin 500 to 700 dollars. And overhauling any major component could cost 2500 to 5000 or more. So I'd be sure nothing is on it way out before it comes home. Because ant money you put into it will never be recovered by trying to sell again. But if it goes good you may get your use out of it and it will still be good for along time yet. If its not, most of us by now have spent 2500 in worse ways.
Ken
 

Tazza

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Well for that kind of money, you won't have to use it to long before you would have spent 2500+ on hiring it out. And if it is a better fit to the task at hand...
Even though I had a 773 in the yard 2 years back I put a loop road in around my yard and I rented a 644 jd wheel loader for a couple days just because it would be so much faster then the bobcat at spreading the 50 or so 30 yard loads of gravel. A skid is good for everything, but often here where there is ample room its not always the best machine.
Just remember when a D6 needs oil changes it is going to be 1 to 2 pails, not 5 or 6 quarts. I don't believe tha maintenance should be excessive, but things are on a big scale. And I'd make sure the tracks were tight.
I'd be asking to check the drain plugs on the major components, look at the oil for something that is failing, excessive steel contamination in the oil. Hopefully it has magnetic drain plugs to catch wear. Expect some fine material but nothing that cut you fingers if you squeeze the “mush” on the plug between you fingers. If thats good, and the sprockets and chains and tracks are not worn excessively and considering how little it was used, i should be ok. Hopefully it was used a little here and there to keep intenals splashed with oil and prevent rusting.
Just remember that changing all the oils would ruin 500 to 700 dollars. And overhauling any major component could cost 2500 to 5000 or more. So I'd be sure nothing is on it way out before it comes home. Because ant money you put into it will never be recovered by trying to sell again. But if it goes good you may get your use out of it and it will still be good for along time yet. If its not, most of us by now have spent 2500 in worse ways.
Ken
For the price it seems like a good buy. But i do agree check it out! especially the engine, check it starts easily check blow-by check it for smoke etc.
I can see the engine costing big bucks, even just the injection side of things i can see running a fair bit too.
For the price, it won't take long to pay its self off with work around the yard! mine have done this many times over.
 

m610

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For the price it seems like a good buy. But i do agree check it out! especially the engine, check it starts easily check blow-by check it for smoke etc.
I can see the engine costing big bucks, even just the injection side of things i can see running a fair bit too.
For the price, it won't take long to pay its self off with work around the yard! mine have done this many times over.
The engine has started each time I was there, but it's one of those setups where you have to start the gasoline engine first then engage the engine and spin for a couple of minutes. I have used the battery from my car to do this as someone took the one from the CAT. It starts, then you shut off the gas and the little engine runs out while the 6 cylinder diesel keeps warming up. A huge black cloud comes out the exhaust for about 1 minute and then goes away, only to return if you put a load on the machine. After asking around a bit it seems like it's a 1961 Caterpillar, and the lack of electric start is a major negative toward selling this machine. There's a lot of dirt and grease in the engine area despite the rust everywhere else, there are rust holes in many of the panels and floor area. Hydraulics are surprisingly clean and I don't see any leaks around the drive system, and it does move and steer fine. There's plenty of blow-by but every diesel I have seen seems to be this way. The oil seems dark but I have not checked for shavings yet. What really puzzles me is that this crawler didn't sell while a smaller D2 dozer at an orange grove sold for 4,000 and it isn't even a loader! Seems like a collector wanted it and off it went. I am still looking to make a deal on a good used Bobcat but the way things are going I will take a gamble with the crawler. With the Bobcat all apart in the garage things are getting out of control fast. It would cost more to pay someone to maintain the dirt road than use this machine. Looks like a full fluid change and filter cleaning/replacement is the way to go.
 

skidsteer.ca

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The engine has started each time I was there, but it's one of those setups where you have to start the gasoline engine first then engage the engine and spin for a couple of minutes. I have used the battery from my car to do this as someone took the one from the CAT. It starts, then you shut off the gas and the little engine runs out while the 6 cylinder diesel keeps warming up. A huge black cloud comes out the exhaust for about 1 minute and then goes away, only to return if you put a load on the machine. After asking around a bit it seems like it's a 1961 Caterpillar, and the lack of electric start is a major negative toward selling this machine. There's a lot of dirt and grease in the engine area despite the rust everywhere else, there are rust holes in many of the panels and floor area. Hydraulics are surprisingly clean and I don't see any leaks around the drive system, and it does move and steer fine. There's plenty of blow-by but every diesel I have seen seems to be this way. The oil seems dark but I have not checked for shavings yet. What really puzzles me is that this crawler didn't sell while a smaller D2 dozer at an orange grove sold for 4,000 and it isn't even a loader! Seems like a collector wanted it and off it went. I am still looking to make a deal on a good used Bobcat but the way things are going I will take a gamble with the crawler. With the Bobcat all apart in the garage things are getting out of control fast. It would cost more to pay someone to maintain the dirt road than use this machine. Looks like a full fluid change and filter cleaning/replacement is the way to go.
Most important about blowby is that, 1 its not too excessive, and 2 that is is relatively even. a large increase or “puff” surging out the pipe indicate one cylinder that is not sealing. At least if its even the engine is wearing normally.
Black smoke back in the 60's under load would be considered the norm.
Our 72 mack loader truck probably has 20 % of the intake air coming out the breather tube instead of the exhaust, yet it starts ok, oil consumption is reasonable, sure its near the end of its life, but we use it maybe 30 hours a year, and it will like last years yet.
Coolant looks ok, no oil in it? starts ok, black normal for diesel engine oil back then especially.
I'd be more concerned about the oil in the final drives, transmission etc, look for gear wear or part/ full teeth stuck to the plug, or fish in there with a magnet, if there is only very fine wear on those plugs, no water contamination etc then great.
How sharp are the sprocket teeth for the tracks. Also look at every track bushing the sprocket drives against for cracks, and of course cracked or bent pads/shoes
Maybe take the serial # and call Cat and inquire if any parts are still available.
With a put motor the main engine does no have to start so good either, if it gets tires and hard to start the small motor helps by warming the coolant of the big engine, and provides cranking time only limitted by your patience, and save the expense of 2 or more huge/ expensive batterys. If the put motor is electric start thats the main thing. My father had a 40's erra d2 that had a rope start put motor, no rewind on the starter back then either, but he always said once the put was running you knew you were going to work. In the cold Canadian winter, a gas starting engine was one of the best things going.
Ken
 

m610

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Apr 1, 2006
Messages
173
Most important about blowby is that, 1 its not too excessive, and 2 that is is relatively even. a large increase or “puff” surging out the pipe indicate one cylinder that is not sealing. At least if its even the engine is wearing normally.
Black smoke back in the 60's under load would be considered the norm.
Our 72 mack loader truck probably has 20 % of the intake air coming out the breather tube instead of the exhaust, yet it starts ok, oil consumption is reasonable, sure its near the end of its life, but we use it maybe 30 hours a year, and it will like last years yet.
Coolant looks ok, no oil in it? starts ok, black normal for diesel engine oil back then especially.
I'd be more concerned about the oil in the final drives, transmission etc, look for gear wear or part/ full teeth stuck to the plug, or fish in there with a magnet, if there is only very fine wear on those plugs, no water contamination etc then great.
How sharp are the sprocket teeth for the tracks. Also look at every track bushing the sprocket drives against for cracks, and of course cracked or bent pads/shoes
Maybe take the serial # and call Cat and inquire if any parts are still available.
With a put motor the main engine does no have to start so good either, if it gets tires and hard to start the small motor helps by warming the coolant of the big engine, and provides cranking time only limitted by your patience, and save the expense of 2 or more huge/ expensive batterys. If the put motor is electric start thats the main thing. My father had a 40's erra d2 that had a rope start put motor, no rewind on the starter back then either, but he always said once the put was running you knew you were going to work. In the cold Canadian winter, a gas starting engine was one of the best things going.
Ken
Looks like I may be getting this machine as he wants to trade it for an old Volkswagen in my garage. Just have to see if the crawler can make it the almost two miles to my home.
 

sterlclan

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Looks like I may be getting this machine as he wants to trade it for an old Volkswagen in my garage. Just have to see if the crawler can make it the almost two miles to my home.
are you driving this home? bring ear protection as they get noisy at a good travel speed might be better getting a low bed to move it for you it weighs about 20k or better Jeff
 

m610

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are you driving this home? bring ear protection as they get noisy at a good travel speed might be better getting a low bed to move it for you it weighs about 20k or better Jeff
Good point, I never thought of the noise! I am not sure who would be able to move that crawler around here, do you think it can make the distance on it's own? I don't intend to go top speed, seems like that would just wear it out more.
 

sterlclan

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Good point, I never thought of the noise! I am not sure who would be able to move that crawler around here, do you think it can make the distance on it's own? I don't intend to go top speed, seems like that would just wear it out more.
Yup the distance shouldnt be a problem we often have to drive them down long dirt roads around here due to lack of adequate turning room for the low bed its 50 feet long without the tractor kinda like driving noahs ark also if it is tar be careful turning itll do a number on the road good luck and let us know how you make out Jeff
 

skidsteer.ca

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Yup the distance shouldnt be a problem we often have to drive them down long dirt roads around here due to lack of adequate turning room for the low bed its 50 feet long without the tractor kinda like driving noahs ark also if it is tar be careful turning itll do a number on the road good luck and let us know how you make out Jeff
I have walked our 350 alot farther then that, hope it has street pads though, or you are friends with the local roads board. Ear plugs or muff are a must, you eas will ring in 15 minutes or less.
You have to put some pics of her up later
ken
 
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