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How to pick what size machine

Discussion in 'Heavy Equipment' started by ServiceOnSite, Feb 14, 2014.

  1. ServiceOnSite

    ServiceOnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 927

    Ive been looking at a few different track machines. Ive always thought bigger is better. Im looking to replace my New Holland 180 and get a newer machine. Kubota SVL 90 or a Cat 289 or 299
    Just didnt know if there is something thats to big, or you lose out of skid when going up a size. The work i do is concrete and snow so theres no real close quarters. Just figured id throw it out there and see your guys thoughts. Thanks
  2. Whiffyspark

    Whiffyspark 2000 Club Member
    from SOMD
    Messages: 2,401

    Friend has an svl75.

    299s are close to 90k in my area
  3. ServiceOnSite

    ServiceOnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 927

    Im looking used. Probably should have said that. Ive got a budget of around 50k to spend on this. I def want a 2 speed enclosed cab with air and so on. Just not sure how big is to big. Ive had to small machines before and that sucked. Just not sure about any other draw backs.
  4. Whiffyspark

    Whiffyspark 2000 Club Member
    from SOMD
    Messages: 2,401

    He paid 53k for a new 75 with can heat and air. The cabs are humongous. Visibility is good as well. I used it yesterday to pick up pallets of mag with no issues. 2500 lbs or so. I was barely off idle lol

    The 299 size machines are ridiculously huge. Unless you're doing mulching, I wouldn't bother. Same as the t870. T770 is a good machine. Case alpha series is getting good reviews as well. I'm not a taki fan at all.

    I personally wouldn't spend 50 grand on a used machines unless it was super low hours from a dealer with a warranty. That's just my opinion
  5. sthoms3355

    sthoms3355 Member
    from Detroit
    Messages: 87

    Pros for big machine: lift more, more room in cab and can push more snow
    Cons: difficult for tighter areas (which you say isn't an issue for you), cost more to buy and to repair

    Also remember std tracks on these machines will NOT work good for snow removal. Should consider changing to different pattern for the winter. Could go the MTL from CAT which works great in winter but probably wouldn't handle the abuse of concrete removal (if you do that). Just be careful when purchasing used track machines. Can be very expensive if undercarriage is in bad shape.

    SMLCAT Member
    Messages: 85

    I went through this same question last year except being able to get into tighter spaces (foundations) was a consideration for me.

    I ended up getting a CAT 259B3 and so far have been very happy with it.
    I have a friend who has the 299C and it is a brute. There's nothing that thing can't do.

    My machine has an enclosed cab with air and I bought it through www.ironplanet.com for about 36 delivered and put a new set of tracks on it for $2700 through the dealer.

    A couple of points, if you do any work other than landscaping don't get a mtl machine ( 257, 277 etc.) as the undercarriage is just to lightly built.
    Also, if you work on slopes as I do make sure you get triple idlers for both the front and back. This will minimize the tracks possibly coming off.

    I used my machine over the last couple of days to push 14" of snow with an 8' blade and was happy with its performance.
  7. icudoucme

    icudoucme Senior Member
    Messages: 349

    The biggest you can haul and afford

    Was in a similar situation as you a few years ago. I had a set budget and minimum lifting requirements along with vehicle weight. (at the time it was down to a Cat 287cMTL, BobcatT300(the 870 and 770 weren't released yet) and kubota wasn't in the game, and a Takuichi. Well long story short I called all the dealers told them what I was looking for and when I needed it purchased. I ended up with a 1 year old Cat 297c with about 80hrs on it. fully loaded under budget. My one big mistake is I can't tow it.... Needless to say there hasn't been a job I haven't been able to do.

    In summary buy the biggest you can afford. You'll never wish you had more power.
  8. ServiceOnSite

    ServiceOnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 927

    Whats a MTL??? Im assuming its the cage looking undercarriage on a cat machine. I would hand down have to get the regular looking sproket set up that looks like a dozer setup.
    As much as i think my duramax can handle anything i want to tow, i learned last year it cant lol. I have a 9 ton tag and a 20 tag as well. Towing now really isnt an issue for me. I just dont want to go small, but i also didnt know if there was such a thing as to big in skid steer land.
  9. Whiffyspark

    Whiffyspark 2000 Club Member
    from SOMD
    Messages: 2,401

    There definitely is. You'll need a deck over for the largest machines. The biggest machines are primary for running forestry mulchers and stuff.

    Mtl is 297,287 etc
    Ctl is 299,289 etc

    Guy has a 277 with a 10 ft box works good at our site. We put a 10 on the svl75 too. It slides a lot by you can always get polar tracks.
  10. magnum1

    magnum1 Senior Member
    from ID & ND
    Messages: 249

    Our newest machine

  11. SMLCAT

    SMLCAT Member
    Messages: 85

    A couple of points.
    You don't need a deck over trailer to haul the larger machines. When I was looking for a new trailer to haul my new SS I found Kaufman trailers as recommended by my excavator who bought several of their trailers.
    I ended up buying this trailer:


    And it is a dream to tow. I specifically wanted a low trailer for safety and ease of loading and unloading and this fit the bill perfectly.

    Unless you are into just landscaping you do not want a mtl SS. The undercarriage is not made for the real world IMHO.

    Regarding the CAT ctl's if you look at the specs on the new machines


    You will find that the 259, 279 and 289's all have the same engine and horsepower. The difference is in the hydraulics so unless you need to lift 4500#'s or so or just want a heavier machine the 259D may be your best bet. I bought a 259B3 (it's predecessor) last year and have been pretty happy with it. My machine as spec'd weighs about 9000#'s and I can easily tow it with my F-350 SD SRW on my Kaufman trailer.
  12. Whiffyspark

    Whiffyspark 2000 Club Member
    from SOMD
    Messages: 2,401

    Smlcat a 277 will not fit on anything other than a deck over. I'm not sure about a 299

    Svl90 needs a deck over too of I remember right.

    I'm buying a 16ft gooseneck dump Kaufman. Friend has a 23ft deck over. They're nice trailers.

    In a few months I'm going to pick up the 25 ft gooseneck tilt
  13. SMLCAT

    SMLCAT Member
    Messages: 85

    Good morning Wiffyspark!

    Please look at the specs...a 277d is 78" wide and the trailer I bought has 82" between the wheel wells. It surprised me too when I first looked at it but the lower deck height will work for most machines and be easier to load and unload. Due to the lower deck height and lower ramp angle I can drive my machine on without any attachments on the front which was a first for me instead of backing up the ramps.

    Just looked up the specs on the 299D, the largest ctl CAT makes and it also has a 78" width.
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2014
  14. Whiffyspark

    Whiffyspark 2000 Club Member
    from SOMD
    Messages: 2,401

    That's awesome. Most are 78 from what I gather.

    Are you happy with the Kaufman? I want to buy two from them
  15. SMLCAT

    SMLCAT Member
    Messages: 85

    I am happy with them. Their plant is about 2 hours from me so I ended up driving down there to pick it up. The whole process was painless and they even adjusted the trailer to my pick up so that it road level etc. for the ride home.

    About a month after I got it I had to drive down to Ft. Bragg (a 4 hour drive) to pick up a fiends Ram crew cab 4x4 that had broken down (7000#'s) and towed it home at highway speeds without any problems.

    Would not hesitate to buy another one from them.
  16. peteo1

    peteo1 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,657

    We run a 267 mtl and do all kinds of stuff with it. It does everything from load snow to concrete and asphalt demolition. Yes they do require a little more care but I beg to differ that "they aren't made for the real world". That statement is proof there's a difference between operators and guys who run stuff. I agree the ctl is a better undercarriage but the mtl is a fine machine.
  17. icudoucme

    icudoucme Senior Member
    Messages: 349

    This is the MTL under carriage. it is has double suspension so it's a super smooth ride and always hugs the ground.

    If you're doing alot of plowing and/or alot of off road/rough/hilly terrain work I highly recommend the MTL

    101 - Copy (600x400).jpg

    099 - Copy (600x400).jpg
  18. ServiceOnSite

    ServiceOnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 927

    This is the under carriage that worries me. I do more concrete work with them than snow plowing. Every dozer and excavator has the other style set up and that what has me leaning the other way. I just guessing that the other style is more heavy duty but i dont know the cage style is for. My New holland are rated for like 2200 lbs lift so it looks like a 259 would be the one thats closest speced but i think a touch bigger. Maybe ill have to go to the cat dealer and see what the price differences are.
  19. SMLCAT

    SMLCAT Member
    Messages: 85

    Peteo- sorry to offend you. That wasn't my intention.
    Yes the mtl' have a smoother ride but the wheels are plastic....that wouldn't work if you're working on rough uneven terrain. I have several subs who bought these when they first came out and other than our landscapers all the rest have gone to the ctl's.

    But hey, that's just my opinion from a guy who's been just "running stuff" for 31 years.xysport
  20. ServiceOnSite

    ServiceOnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 927

    I think i may end up with a slightly used 175hr SVL90 Its a 2011 so its out of warranty :(and its pre emission :) but as stated before it kinda sucks shelling out 50+ for something used.