In the market for a tracked skid steer. Looking for advice or anyone's history on these machines in the snow? On the JD I am looking to get a set of Polar Treads, so any comments on those would also be appreciated.
I have a 257b2 tracks are amazing, with a 10ft pusher does not stop it. I also have a tak TL150 it's like ice skates will not move with the pad tracks. Only problem I run into with the 257 the rear idel wheels will wear into the tracks if you don't plow with the tracks tight on the ground(level).
I think before you decide which machine you like, what are you going to be doing with it aside from snow?
(I've never owned an ASV or a Cat 7 series so take this into consideration)
Everything I've read about the undercarriage on those machines is that they are very costly to maintain but in return they are very good in snow and have a nice ride. It seems they also can take some getting used to for doing grading or leveling work and getting used to the suspension on them to get things smooth.
Also it seems they do not like rocks or other hard materials that can get into the undercarriage system and chew up the idler wheels.
I've got a Tak and with the factory tracks the thing is useless on hard packed snow or ice. It has about as much traction as a person does with boots on standing on water covered ice. There is far to much surface area from the alternating block pattern to get a good grip on the snow, I would figure the Deere would be equally as poor with the factory tracks. With polar tracks everyone seems to love the track machines and can't say enough about how big of a difference the tracks made. Essentially turning a useless machine into a fantastic machine in the snow.
The Deere is a nice machine but when we bought they didnt want to move much on thier price and Cat really dicounted theres and gave us zero percent vs the 4.9 that Deere wanted. In the end it added up to a ton of money and we got a great machine.
I was in the same spot you are a few years ago. I opted for the CAT. I was able to get a 297C a year old with less then 100hours for the price of 257B2 new.
Before I bought mine I rented a 257B for a week to do a land clearing job. That is one capable machine. I test drove the deere (320) and didn't feel any special attraction..But others feel differently.
Benefits to the CAT
Smoother ride, better flotation on soft soil, better traction in mud and snow (with standard tracks) more comfortable ride, larger cab, faster ground speed with 2 speed.
After owning it the downsides (which I knew when I bought it) Rear visibility, keeping the undercarrage clean and greased, and cleaning the inside of the frame. If you do alot of dirt work you'll need to clean out the inside (where all the pumps and fans are) about 2 times a year. Also if you don't clean the inside of the cab your throttle pedal will stick..
other then that the machine is easy to maintain. The zerk fittings are easy to get to, filters are easy to change, oil changes are pretty easy to. The only other machine I would rather have is one of the new M series bobcats those things are gosh darn near perfect.
Trucks are red, tractors are green, and skid steers are yellow
We own a 257B3 and love it! We had a 257B2 before it that we traded in on it. Both are and we're flawless machines. If snow is in your plans you will not be disappointed with its capabilities. The new mits motor that cat has installed in lieu of the Perkins is a huge step foreword. Better on fuel we find and lots more balls. It hauls the mail with a 2 speed to boot! I haven't personally run a Deere so I can't say much about them, but we love our Cats. We do have a T190 and it usually sits most of the year cause the Cat is so much better.