Tracks vs. Tires?

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500K_773

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I haven't tried a track machine, but do have track envy. I'll have to rent a T300 or T200 this summer and see how it performs. Priced a S300 for and a T300 with same options, there was about a $20,000 difference. Same engine and lift capacity (basically same frame), what gives? Tracks are really going to have to perform to justify the extra money. 864wood what are your feelings? Are you a dedicated track man?
 

Team Fountain

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Mar 16, 2004
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I haven't tried a track machine, but do have track envy. I'll have to rent a T300 or T200 this summer and see how it performs. Priced a S300 for and a T300 with same options, there was about a $20,000 difference. Same engine and lift capacity (basically same frame), what gives? Tracks are really going to have to perform to justify the extra money. 864wood what are your feelings? Are you a dedicated track man?
They both have their purpose in life. I love my T300, but I'm sorry I didn't keep my S185. I can see myself adding an AWS to the fleet. The tracks really do shine in the dirt, but I use mine for a lot more than dirt. If I could only have one, I think it would be a track machine. If I can have two, it wouldn't be two track machines. As far as the money, for what the track machine can do in the dirt it easily justifies the extra $20k. That being said, they are probably overpriced just because the market will bear it. It's nice to know I could work in the slop if I had too, but I still choose not to. The other major downfall to the larger track machine is the weight. You're at 10k # just for the machine with a bucket. Add an auger and trencher to the trailer + the weight of the trailer = a bullet between the eyes if the DOT weighs you and you don't have a class A CDL. I'm covered, but my salesman did make a point of telling me that the resale market is limited on my machine because the average landscape company around here wants a machine they can stick on a lightweight trailer and tow behind a pickup. Resale is also limited because of the higher operating expenses associated with track machines. That being said, I see a change in the local market. My dealer is selling more track machines than wheeled machines this year. Maybe it's because we nearly drowned last year with all the rain, or maybe it's because they do perform so well in dirt. Hard to say.
 

500K_773

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They both have their purpose in life. I love my T300, but I'm sorry I didn't keep my S185. I can see myself adding an AWS to the fleet. The tracks really do shine in the dirt, but I use mine for a lot more than dirt. If I could only have one, I think it would be a track machine. If I can have two, it wouldn't be two track machines. As far as the money, for what the track machine can do in the dirt it easily justifies the extra $20k. That being said, they are probably overpriced just because the market will bear it. It's nice to know I could work in the slop if I had too, but I still choose not to. The other major downfall to the larger track machine is the weight. You're at 10k # just for the machine with a bucket. Add an auger and trencher to the trailer + the weight of the trailer = a bullet between the eyes if the DOT weighs you and you don't have a class A CDL. I'm covered, but my salesman did make a point of telling me that the resale market is limited on my machine because the average landscape company around here wants a machine they can stick on a lightweight trailer and tow behind a pickup. Resale is also limited because of the higher operating expenses associated with track machines. That being said, I see a change in the local market. My dealer is selling more track machines than wheeled machines this year. Maybe it's because we nearly drowned last year with all the rain, or maybe it's because they do perform so well in dirt. Hard to say.
What applications do you miss your S185 in? Would you have been as happy going with a T200 and keeping your S185 vs. only having the T300?
 

Team Fountain

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What applications do you miss your S185 in? Would you have been as happy going with a T200 and keeping your S185 vs. only having the T300?
I have a small shop that I am constantly moving stuff around in. The wheeled machine was much better on the concrete when using as a forklift. The wheeled machine was also better for moving the trailers around. There's no way I would have been happy with the T200 (now the T250). There's not much difference in price but a big difference in ability. Plus, the 300 has a vertical lift path like the 185. Another issue is the wife doesn't seem very interested in driving the 300. She used to love putting around in the 185.
 

500K_773

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I have a small shop that I am constantly moving stuff around in. The wheeled machine was much better on the concrete when using as a forklift. The wheeled machine was also better for moving the trailers around. There's no way I would have been happy with the T200 (now the T250). There's not much difference in price but a big difference in ability. Plus, the 300 has a vertical lift path like the 185. Another issue is the wife doesn't seem very interested in driving the 300. She used to love putting around in the 185.
I also really like the vertical lift path machines also, and I was waiting for something larger than the T190. Now that the T300 is out, it is rather a $$$$$ issue for me now. I know I'd not want to be without my wheeled machine, but can't justify both right now.
I think it would be scary enough for my wife to drive my 773, but forget it with a more powerful T300, I'd hate to see the trouble/damage that could be caused then.
emotion-5.gif
BTW, did your wife learn hand or foot controls when she tried you S185 (I assume you had ACS on it)?
 

864wood

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Mar 27, 2004
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I also really like the vertical lift path machines also, and I was waiting for something larger than the T190. Now that the T300 is out, it is rather a $$$$$ issue for me now. I know I'd not want to be without my wheeled machine, but can't justify both right now.
I think it would be scary enough for my wife to drive my 773, but forget it with a more powerful T300, I'd hate to see the trouble/damage that could be caused then. BTW, did your wife learn hand or foot controls when she tried you S185 (I assume you had ACS on it)?
I am definately a track machine. This comes after operating an OMC small series mustang in the late 80's and early 90's. Due to the fact it was wheeled it was very limited. I graduated to bobcats in the mid 90's and have run the smallest to the biggest (560's thru the 960's). They all had their pros and cons but I dealt with the dirt environment more than asphalt and concrete. The 864 I own I rented by accident when then wheeled machine was rented out from under me by my dealer. After 2 weeks running this track machine in excessive mud, mountainous terrain and all around sucky conditions(wintertime) I was a full fledged convert. I would like a second machine eventually but as Team Fountain will attest, I operate on a limited budget. Someday! I need an upgraded trailer and a dumptruck first. Also, my wife has no interest in running the bobcat but my two girls are eagerly looking forward to lessons. Women drivers!
 

500K_773

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Mar 5, 2004
Messages
342
I am definately a track machine. This comes after operating an OMC small series mustang in the late 80's and early 90's. Due to the fact it was wheeled it was very limited. I graduated to bobcats in the mid 90's and have run the smallest to the biggest (560's thru the 960's). They all had their pros and cons but I dealt with the dirt environment more than asphalt and concrete. The 864 I own I rented by accident when then wheeled machine was rented out from under me by my dealer. After 2 weeks running this track machine in excessive mud, mountainous terrain and all around sucky conditions(wintertime) I was a full fledged convert. I would like a second machine eventually but as Team Fountain will attest, I operate on a limited budget. Someday! I need an upgraded trailer and a dumptruck first. Also, my wife has no interest in running the bobcat but my two girls are eagerly looking forward to lessons. Women drivers!
I think I'm an AWS person. The Bobcat track system is great, and so are Bobcat SSLs, but I think the AWS thingy is marvelous. Just an amazing feat of engineering that only Bobcat could do. As far as tracks vs. skid... eh, up where I am, a skid would be decent. We don't get huge marsh-causing rains and rarely do our grounds get so wet a SSL would get stuck. BUT -- ya never know.
 

Team Fountain

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Messages
61
I am definately a track machine. This comes after operating an OMC small series mustang in the late 80's and early 90's. Due to the fact it was wheeled it was very limited. I graduated to bobcats in the mid 90's and have run the smallest to the biggest (560's thru the 960's). They all had their pros and cons but I dealt with the dirt environment more than asphalt and concrete. The 864 I own I rented by accident when then wheeled machine was rented out from under me by my dealer. After 2 weeks running this track machine in excessive mud, mountainous terrain and all around sucky conditions(wintertime) I was a full fledged convert. I would like a second machine eventually but as Team Fountain will attest, I operate on a limited budget. Someday! I need an upgraded trailer and a dumptruck first. Also, my wife has no interest in running the bobcat but my two girls are eagerly looking forward to lessons. Women drivers!
864,
Dump truck and trailer are no problem. All you have to do is stop by and sign this little paper I've written up. You don't even need to take time to read it, just sign it. You trust me don't you? Budgets are only limited by imaginations. Oh yeah, I'm probably pushing your little trailer down in the woods this weekend if you want to visit it. It's not rusting nearly quick enough where it is.
emotion-14.gif

You never call, you never write..................
 

864wood

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Mar 27, 2004
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864,
Dump truck and trailer are no problem. All you have to do is stop by and sign this little paper I've written up. You don't even need to take time to read it, just sign it. You trust me don't you? Budgets are only limited by imaginations. Oh yeah, I'm probably pushing your little trailer down in the woods this weekend if you want to visit it. It's not rusting nearly quick enough where it is.
You never call, you never write..................
Had a few cash jobs to recoup from some more equip failure. Would you belive it, that hauling around a big machine might actually burn up an axle bearing!! Go figure, but gota work, gota eat and pay bills. What could possible happen now? At least the work load is increasing. The small bulider I am working for has turned almost all bobcat work over to me, so let me see that pink slip. As you are famous for saying "Its only money".
 

kensandiford

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Aug 18, 2004
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Had a few cash jobs to recoup from some more equip failure. Would you belive it, that hauling around a big machine might actually burn up an axle bearing!! Go figure, but gota work, gota eat and pay bills. What could possible happen now? At least the work load is increasing. The small bulider I am working for has turned almost all bobcat work over to me, so let me see that pink slip. As you are famous for saying "Its only money".
Tracks for sure. I think our biggest competition is not the guy across town with the same machine. It is the air in our tires(or the lack there of) I have tried foam filling. It didn't work,and I have had rental machines with solid tires but they just did not have any traction on dirt
 

Tigerotor77W

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Apr 29, 2004
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Tracks for sure. I think our biggest competition is not the guy across town with the same machine. It is the air in our tires(or the lack there of) I have tried foam filling. It didn't work,and I have had rental machines with solid tires but they just did not have any traction on dirt
But is the extra cost justified if you work in dirt all the time? As in, if you contract jobs which require turning on asphalt or concrete, would you still want to go all track?
 

kensandiford

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Aug 18, 2004
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But is the extra cost justified if you work in dirt all the time? As in, if you contract jobs which require turning on asphalt or concrete, would you still want to go all track?
I would say about 3/4 of my work is in dirt, if I spent a lot of time on asphalt or concrete I would probably go with tires. And I will admit the tracks suck when it comes to snow and ice. But in the dirt you just can't beat the tracks even machines with tracks on tires just don't come close. I can work on bigger angles, I can lift more weight, have more digging force, and can work in muddy and soft ground conditions. My friend has me bring my T-190 to help dig pools with his Case xt-90? and I often lap him many times on the dig, and leave less ground damage
 

Tigerotor77W

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I would say about 3/4 of my work is in dirt, if I spent a lot of time on asphalt or concrete I would probably go with tires. And I will admit the tracks suck when it comes to snow and ice. But in the dirt you just can't beat the tracks even machines with tracks on tires just don't come close. I can work on bigger angles, I can lift more weight, have more digging force, and can work in muddy and soft ground conditions. My friend has me bring my T-190 to help dig pools with his Case xt-90? and I often lap him many times on the dig, and leave less ground damage
Ooooh, are you telling me that the T-190 outperforms the 90XT? That is good news. Do you have a 56 hp T190 or the 61 hp version? And what do you think of the 90XT? (Long story.)
 

kensandiford

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Ooooh, are you telling me that the T-190 outperforms the 90XT? That is good news. Do you have a 56 hp T190 or the 61 hp version? And what do you think of the 90XT? (Long story.)
I am sure on a straightaway the 90XT would win, but throw in a few small hills or some digging and the T-190 has it beat. Also you save some time when loading into the dump trucks because on the T-190 you know there is almost no way you are going to tip that thing backwards. I have the 56 hp version and I am happy with it.Sometimes I stall it, but I think that is more my fault then the machine. I did a demo with a T-200 and it was beautiful; but it was just too much money, too heavy, and went through too much fuel. Now the 90XT I am going to start by saying I hate the case hand controls (I actually love the pilot controls on machines like Cat and Gehl) it just seems to me like your hands are to busy. Now on the 90XT Case has replaced their joysticks with electronic ones and it was just to weird to get used to. That suprised me because it is not a problem for me on my 331E which uses pretty much the same electronic system. Other than that it is a pretty good machine. I notice that whenever we work together his operators are always trying to make a deal with mine to switch machines, and it has to be a sweet offering for my guys to trade seats.
 

Tigerotor77W

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I am sure on a straightaway the 90XT would win, but throw in a few small hills or some digging and the T-190 has it beat. Also you save some time when loading into the dump trucks because on the T-190 you know there is almost no way you are going to tip that thing backwards. I have the 56 hp version and I am happy with it.Sometimes I stall it, but I think that is more my fault then the machine. I did a demo with a T-200 and it was beautiful; but it was just too much money, too heavy, and went through too much fuel. Now the 90XT I am going to start by saying I hate the case hand controls (I actually love the pilot controls on machines like Cat and Gehl) it just seems to me like your hands are to busy. Now on the 90XT Case has replaced their joysticks with electronic ones and it was just to weird to get used to. That suprised me because it is not a problem for me on my 331E which uses pretty much the same electronic system. Other than that it is a pretty good machine. I notice that whenever we work together his operators are always trying to make a deal with mine to switch machines, and it has to be a sweet offering for my guys to trade seats.
Hmm, interesting. Interesting to note that it is possible to stall a track machine. It's odd that you can't stall a hystat dozer but you can a tracker SSL.
 

864wood

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Hmm, interesting. Interesting to note that it is possible to stall a track machine. It's odd that you can't stall a hystat dozer but you can a tracker SSL.
I have found the easiest way to stall my 864G is to drive into a pile, load bucket, back up and turn 180% in one place. It is really prone to this if the conditions are sloppy. This can be alleviated by incorpoarating the turn with either forward or backwards movement. Otherwise I have to really strain the machine to stall. But as Team Fountain can attest to most things that cannot be done in normal conditions I find myself trying sometimes to applause and sometimes with egg on my face. Oh well, can't win them all.
 

Tigerotor77W

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I have found the easiest way to stall my 864G is to drive into a pile, load bucket, back up and turn 180% in one place. It is really prone to this if the conditions are sloppy. This can be alleviated by incorpoarating the turn with either forward or backwards movement. Otherwise I have to really strain the machine to stall. But as Team Fountain can attest to most things that cannot be done in normal conditions I find myself trying sometimes to applause and sometimes with egg on my face. Oh well, can't win them all.
Yup. Doing a 180 is straining because you're pulling 60" of track along the ground... which is difficult.
 
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