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Loader reccomendations Please..........

Discussion in 'Heavy Equipment' started by forestfireguy, Jan 16, 2010.

  1. forestfireguy

    forestfireguy PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,276

    We are looking for a 2 yard size loader, will be a yard/snow machine for us and would only leave the yard in the summer months on a rare occasion. And with snow it'll be a site machine with a 12-14 ft pusher most likely. We would like to go used, any insight on auctions in the northeast? Ideas on what to look for in used machines, we have 3 backhoes, multiple skidsteers and mini-ex units, this would be our largest. I'm thinking something like a Komatsu WA-180 maybe? We found a 2000 444 Deere locally with 3.5K hours, guy says it's only been a snow machine and is looking for $50,000. Is this a good price?
     
  2. ajslands

    ajslands 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,033

    cat 902 b can do that
     
  3. rob_cook2001

    rob_cook2001 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,181

    A 902 is about 1/2 the capacity of what he wants.:rolleyes:

    I would look for a cat 924F(I love cat loaders) but a 444 would be a great machine to.
    How many hours do you think It will being used a year? You can probably find a pretty clean older machine for 25,000-35,000.
    Robert
     
  4. ryde307

    ryde307 PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,143

    I am slowly comign into the same market as you. I have looked at deere 444 and cat 920-938.
    I would like an it28 Cat but I will be purchasing at auction most likley and we will se what rolls through. I have time to shop though. Auctions are all over at least here. A good one is Richie Brothers if its by you at all. Try www.rbauctions.com
     
  5. kcress31

    kcress31 Senior Member
    Messages: 451

    A JD 444 is a nice size for snow. We have a 2000 444 H with winter tires and a 12 ft pusher. Check out Iron planet.com. I find they have better details and pictures then the ritchie bros auctions.

    I know this is more than you wanted to spend but here is an example of one of the good deals that can be had at a iron planet auction.

    2006 John Deere 544J Wheel Loader (#217274)

    Enclosed cab with A/C and heater, John Deere 6068 HDW56 engine, powershift, 20.5R25 tires, 98" loader bucket

    140 Hours
    Sold for $73,000

    jcc 544 auction.jpg
     
  6. DGODGR

    DGODGR Senior Member
    from s/w co
    Messages: 639

    I am an admitted Cat fan. Every Cat I have (or had) has been a good experience. I recently bought a used 3yd loader and thought that it would be a Cat (before I bought). I found an '04 544J that had 1,000 hours. When I tried the unit out (and compared it to the Cat 928 & 930) I thought that the construction of the Deere was better. The cost was deffinately better. I bought the Deere and have been happy thus far (only added a couple of hundred hours or so). I am not sure about values there, but I wouldn't pay $50K for that loader when I only paid $66.5K for a newer, larger, and lower houred unit. Do as others have suggested above. If you go to the Ritchie Bros. site (and register) you can research recent auction sales (the true value of any machine). If you have the time you have the best opportunity to get a better deal at an auction. Look for one that has several units similar to what you are looking for. The more units the better. If there are more units than buyers (and you are buying), that's when you will score the best deals. Be careful. Don't get caught up in the auction. It only takes (2) buyers, that want the same unit, to drive the price up. The other downside to auctions are that they are "as is, where is" so you have to transport and you have no recourse if it's a lemon.
     
  7. forestfireguy

    forestfireguy PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,276

    I was thinking about that no recourse thing and because of it I'm looking hard at ironplanet, I also forgot to mention that I need a quik-tach type set up, we need to be able to run forks, and may consider direct connectiing the pusher come winter, any thoughts on this? I see some of the tractor/skitsteer guys doing it. I think it MIGHT see 4-500 hours a year, we make topsoil only for our own jobs, load the fleet daily, gravel,sand, hardscape supplies etc, and snow would be all it does.
     
  8. kcress31

    kcress31 Senior Member
    Messages: 451



    A tool carrier type loader is definately the way to go. We have Our IT28, John Deere 310 and our Bobcat all with forks and other attachments. I would go with a bucket and pusher chained to the bucket instead of a pusher directly mounted to the loader quick connect. The pushers will float and follow the contour of the ground better and if you ever need your bucket it only takes 30 seconds to remove the pusher and you are ready to backblade or scrape.

    By the way Iron planet guarantees some of the items on the auction.
     
  9. forestfireguy

    forestfireguy PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,276

    A tool carrier type loader is definately the way to go. We have Our IT28, John Deere 310 and our Bobcat all with forks and other attachments. I would go with a bucket and pusher chained to the bucket instead of a pusher directly mounted to the loader quick connect. The pushers will float and follow the contour of the ground better and if you ever need your bucket it only takes 30 seconds to remove the pusher and you are ready to backblade or scrape.

    By the way Iron planet guarantees some of the items on the auction.

    Thats why I was looking at Ironplanet, and thats also why I was wondering about the the pusher, we use them and I've run them on other loaders, didn't know how the direct connect would affect the way they float and shift over/around obstacles. I'm not so worried about the bucket/pusher change and in theory it would be done in the cab and as quickly as chaning forks in the summer season. What other differences are there between a "regular loader" and "tool carrier"??
     
  10. forestfireguy

    forestfireguy PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,276

    Thats why I was looking at Ironplanet, and thats also why I was wondering about the the pusher, we use them and I've run them on other loaders, didn't know how the direct connect would affect the way they float and shift over/around obstacles. I'm not so worried about the bucket/pusher change and in theory it would be done in the cab and as quickly as chaning forks in the summer season. What other differences are there between a "regular loader" and "tool carrier
     
  11. DGODGR

    DGODGR Senior Member
    from s/w co
    Messages: 639

    It sounds as though this unit may be slightly under utilized. I think it will be used enough to justify a purchase but I don't think it will be enough to get super picky about which machine you buy. I recommend that you come up with a price that you are willing to pay and find a unit that is as close to what you want, that fits in your budget. Most loaders (I'm not sure about compacts) will go well beyond 10,000 hours if they are not abused and are well maintained. There are many "J" model Deeres available now (at good prices) but in your application I would be looking to pay about $20K-$25K for an older unit. The key to the whole thing will be how good you are at inspecting the unit so that you are getting a good value.
     
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2010
  12. DGODGR

    DGODGR Senior Member
    from s/w co
    Messages: 639

    I have yet to run a pusher on any of my tractors but I did get a coupler for my loader (I will install myself) so I could install a pusher or and/or a set of forks. I will direct attach just because the whole concept of chaining an attachment to the bucket seems a little "hoakie" to me. I do understand the advantage of having both the bucket and the attachment with you at all times.
     
  13. forestfireguy

    forestfireguy PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,276

    The chaining thing is exactly why pushers can glide over obstructions and shift some side to side. As I understand it this feature is designed into the units as a way to prevent damage to loader arms.
     
  14. DGODGR

    DGODGR Senior Member
    from s/w co
    Messages: 639

    That may be true. but I have a hard time with the idea that the loader arms will get damaged from snow removal when thay can stand up to the riggers of excavating dirt. JMO.
     
  15. forestfireguy

    forestfireguy PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,276

    I found this locally:

    http://newjersey.craigslist.org/grd/1546574778.html

    It is in our price range, we will be looking to spend less than 35,000. But we have numerous skid steers, and 3 backhoes already, one of the hoes will be retired, and it is tired so it's time. The unit to go has been a yard machine for a few seasons now and does nothing but load salt and leaves. This "new" unit will be a snow production piece and that'd be our justification to purchase, otherwise I'd agree that it would be underutilized. We have a mechanic on staff who has extensive fleet maintenance knowledge and a semi retired equipment mechanic who works part time for us, they'd both have to bless whatever we looked at seriously before a purchase. How does one check center pins? Anybody looking for an old 310 deere? Needs tires, trans slips sometimes in forward drive
    but otherwise not a bad machine.
     
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2010
  16. DGODGR

    DGODGR Senior Member
    from s/w co
    Messages: 639

    I checked out the link and I think you are on track looking for an older (hopefully quality) loader like that one. I think those older Cats are about as reliable as a rock, and I'm 100% sure you can get parts still. Don't forget to check on comps for this unit on Ritchie Bros.
    You should be able to check the center bushings by putting the bucket on the ground and lifting the front wheels off the ground. Have some one continue doing this as somone checks the center bushings for play. Play can be observed at the point of weight transfer (by watching the bushings). Unfortunately it's not a very prefcise way to measure wear, and determining wear from this method is going to be hard even if you enlist someone with experience with this machine or similar. I'm not sure that if they would be similar ( I suspect so), but you can do this same proceedure with a newer (or prefferably a similar unit with very low hours) loader and compare the two. It sounds as though you have heavy equipment experience and you are enlisting the help of a mechanic. Between the (2) of you I think you can tell if it is worn severly. More precise measurement would require dis-assembly and at that point you might as well put in new bushings (unless you discover that they are new). Even if the bushings do show wear, it doesn't mean you want to eliminate it as a possible candidate for purchase. Even if the wear is beyond the point of re-bushing it still can be repaired. It will, however, bear a larger cost to repair and should be used as leverage at the time you are negotiating price. All that being said you (or whomever is inspecting the unit) will have to weigh whatever you find (worn bushings or whatever else) to determine the way it was maintained and it's overall condition, and wether or not you will be willing to repair it to the condition you find acceptable, or wether it's in that condition already.
    Sorry for such long posts, but I would rather give the best possible info (that I can through a forum) than see someone else buy something that they may regret later.
     
  17. forestfireguy

    forestfireguy PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,276

    D-

    Thanks for the advice.....New questions dawn on me everytime I read a post.

    Having only run/rented and never managed/owned or been responsible for buying an articulated piece before, is the wear/play at the center pins an indication of hard use/poor maintenance? or is it more like link pins on an excavator, where the bushing do wear despite maintenance? I'm inclined to think they'll eventually wear no matter how well maintained a machine may be, worse/more quickly with heavy production use like a quarry or large topsoil/concrete operation. I am going to be picky, not so much about which model we pursue but any individual machine we get serious about will be gone over with a fine tooth comb, oil will be sent out, ETC. Despite being a larger landscape contractor we are working hard towards making snow a bigger part of our business and this will be a major purchase both financially and logistically. I need/hope/want this machine to be suitable for yard/snow wrok for at least 5-8 years and for snow only after that as long as it remains reliable. If the economy was better I might be in the market for a new machine with they luxury of a warranty, but given the way things are, I'm trying to be reasonable, and keep the owner here reasonable about the expected service life of this machine. Am I being realistic?

    Our tendency has been to run things, trucks, skidsteers anything into the ground and squeeze every last drop of production out of it, my feeling on this is different, as things are used and age, they tend to become less reliable and more costly in repairs. It's always a fine line, but I'd rather sell something to a lighter user while it still has some life than add to our skidsteer graveyard(currently 2 occupants), then invest whatever is recoverd from the sale in a replacement piece. Hopefully the economy will recover and people will start doing larger landscape projects soon, right now it's like everyone else, you can't really count on snow, and everything else is tough.
     
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2010
  18. kcress31

    kcress31 Senior Member
    Messages: 451

    That IT 18 seems to be priced on the high side considering its age. Here is another loader sold on IPlanet close to where you are and closer to your price range. As you can see from the pictures there are some good deals to be had out there, and if your not in a rush you can find something on the auction that is close to where you are.


    Sold Oct 1 2009
    2005 Caterpillar IT14G Tool Carrier (#230842)
    2049 hrs
    Features: Enclosed cab with heater and A/C components, Cat 3054C engine, hydrostatic drive, aux. hyd. plumbing, 93" bucket, hydraulic coupler, drawbar

    Winning Bid: US $37,500

    Location: North Carolina, United States
    Zip/Postal Code: 27302
    (Greensboro--Winston-Salem--High Point area

    jcc.it14.jpg

    jccit141.jpg
     
  19. DGODGR

    DGODGR Senior Member
    from s/w co
    Messages: 639

    If you think about it there is no other bushing more utilized (on an articulated loader) than the center bushings. Loaders are always turning and thus the bushing gets used. I would say that your analogy is fairly close. The center bushings are also part of a system that includes the steering rams (and their related pins & bushings), so be sure to look for excess wear on those as well. Even the best maintained loader will have bushing wear with hours of use. The more hours, the more wear. Maintenance will only extend the service life of any component.
    I think you are on track with your goals and expectations. Only time will tell how long a particular unit will last before the maintenance cost and logistical hassles outweighs the up front cost savings. Do your homework and follow your instincts. If you feel more comfortable you can hire a mechanic (make sure that you trust him or has good references) to look at the unit/s that you are serious about. The relatively small cost of that will be well worth it down the road. Another important thing to remember....if you buy the tractor right you will be able to get your money out of it later should it turn out to be less than you had expected.
     
  20. charlefoxtrtot

    charlefoxtrtot Member
    from MD
    Messages: 62

    Loader - Komatsu

    I have use a Komatsu WA120 with a 12' push box. Great machine. Just bought a WA200 to supplement the fleet. The WA120 has a 1.75 yd. bucket and plenty of power. The WA200 has a 2.75yd bucket. The WA 120 is for sale 3900hrs. and in great shape.