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ToolCat - After a Couple Seasons?

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by RipT, Jul 15, 2007.

  1. RipT

    RipT Senior Member
    Messages: 184

    Those of you that have used ToolCats for a couple seasons.....How do you still like them? How have they held up?

    How many using blowers? Size & Brand?

    Using blades.....Straight or V? Brand?

    Sanders / Salt spreader?

    Can see several inherent advantages....Speed (18 Mph) and ability to run a sander/salt spreader at the same time. Probably more comfortable than most skid steers. For this one pays a fair premium though.

    At the end of the day/season, is it worth it ?

    Rip
     
  2. Craftybigdog

    Craftybigdog Senior Member
    Messages: 238

    I got one and did a lease to buy. It does snow removal great, good vis. comfortable I used it with a Blizzard 810ss and it worked awesome. The only problem thats all it did good I couldnt use it during my lawn season it didnt work that good so I had to turn it back in.If all your going to use it for is snow go for it but if you want to use it for other than snow demo one.
     
  3. RipT

    RipT Senior Member
    Messages: 184

    Thanks Crafty...... snow removal would be 80% of my application for a Toolct with general large property maintenance the remainder, but no grass cutting or lawn crossing at all.

    I have been thinking the Blizzard 810SS would be a good choice for a blade. Did yours come all set up to just plug into the Toolcat? Any issues with it at all?

    I know several others on this site have been using the Toolcat for snow.....any feedback Pro, Con or other after the bloom wore off so-to-speak??
     
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2007
  4. Craftybigdog

    Craftybigdog Senior Member
    Messages: 238

    I just ran the joystick up in the cab it was alot easier than converting to 14 pin.
     
  5. dylan

    dylan PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 83

    Here is my list of attachments:
    7.5' Western that i converted myself. It is simple and trouble free. It is a pretty good fit for the toolcat. I haven't run out of traction yet but the engine can bog down with a full, wet heavy load. 80 hp might be nice.

    7' sweeper for light snowfalls and for scrubbing through ice buildup.

    5' bucket for moving piles or loading salt.

    6' bobcat blower for drives or blowing piles. The blower could use some more power behind it but it works well enough.

    18" ice scraper. great for peeling up that hardpack. Made it myself for $40.

    6-10' expandable pusher box. New for upcoming winter. If the toolcat can't push it, I'll put it on a JD 6425.
     
  6. RipT

    RipT Senior Member
    Messages: 184

    Dylan,

    Thanks for the response...... I have used a 7.5 Western Unimount polyplow with rubber edge for 10 yrs in Colorado on my PU and it has been 100% trouble-free, so I know what you mean.

    I planning on using a ToolCat C near Merritt BC (not heavy snow belt) and have been thinking of a 84" QuickPush from QuickAttach plus a 72" 2000 series blower for the worst stuff. I have about 1/4 mile of rather steep gravel drive plus 4 parking/turn-around areas and another 1/4 mile drive across the road & parking area.

    Have you used the rotary brush on gravel? Frozen dirt/gravel? Poly, poly/steel or all steel brushes? I'll at least have the standard TC bucket as well.

    Figured on 5 to 800 lbs ballast in back like my PU, plus chains. Much of drive is north facing and ice has been a problem here.

    Also really looking for some good feedback on how the ToolCat itself has been holding up for others.

    Have been thinking of fabricating a tail-gate sand spreader. Anyone seen or done such a thing?

    Rip
     
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2007
  7. RipT

    RipT Senior Member
    Messages: 184

    Dylan,

    You said you custom mounted a Western (pick-up truck type I assume) blade for your Toolcat.

    Did you retain its ability to float up and down independently of the machine arm? In other words, is just blade weight applied to the cutting edge when plowing or do you have down pressure from the arm as well? Can you select true float or down pressure? Do you have some good pictures of how you rigged up your mount?

    Most snow blades I see for skid steers do not seem to be able to float in relation to the loader arms. Are there some that do?

    I know many SSL operators regularly apply full down pressure, even lifting front wheels when plowing smooth paved surfaces. My situation is dirt/gravel surfaces (no pavement at all) and want to minimize amount of gravel disturbed when plowing. My straight blade with urathene edge on my pick-up does pretty well in that regard now. Plus the Toolcat really needs all wheels firmly on the ground.

    Craftydog....would your Blizzard 810SS "float" like a truck blade or was it ridgid to the lift arm?

    Anyone else care to chime in on this issue ? ?

    Rip
     
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2007
  8. timm9

    timm9 Senior Member
    Messages: 168

    I have two Toolcats. I do not use blades as I have trucks with blades as well. Both Toolcats have buckets and blowers which we change out depending on the size of storm and particular application. I only use the Toolcats for snow removal. They are stored during the summer. The real test for me is the comfort and visability. After 20 hours in the Toolcat I'm tired, but don't feel like I have been beaten with a baseball bat like I did in my CAT loader. When you climb into your truck or car after being in a Toolcat you are stunned by the difference in visability.
     
  9. RipT

    RipT Senior Member
    Messages: 184

    Thanks Tim.......so I gather you are pleased with your TCs and have had no significant problems?

    What brand/model blowers are you using? Standard/Hi flow?

    How much ballest do you run in the back?

    Is icing an issue in your area? Do you do any sanding/salting?

    Thanks for any & all feedback. Rip
     
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2007
  10. timm9

    timm9 Senior Member
    Messages: 168

    Rip,
    While there is no such thing as the "perfect" piece of equipment, overall I'm very pleased with the TC's. In fact, I would purchase another one. I currently have 2 blowers, both made by IR/Bobcat that are Hi Flow. In California they do not allow salting. I do run ballast (approx. 750 lbs.) in the rear of both TC's. Hope this helps!

    Tim
     
  11. RipT

    RipT Senior Member
    Messages: 184

    Thanks Tim, I am just about to become a '06 Toolcat C owner in the next month or so (guy is ordering a new D model) for our place in BC. As I am just getting the bare machine from him, I am trying to select the best attachments for my situation.

    Machine has a turbo and Hi-flow, so I am thinking of a 73" Quick Attach QA 2000 blower. Still looking at blades. I am behind the coast range, so not in the heavy wet zone of Whistler and such. Am looking for a blade that will "float" independent of the lift arms or curl function so I do not scrape up all the gravel. Seems most SS snow blades do not allow for this.

    Thanks again for your input.

    Rip
     
  12. timm9

    timm9 Senior Member
    Messages: 168

    Rip,

    Good luck on the new machine! The other thing that I did not mention is the tires. I took the turf tires off and had studded mud & snow truck tires mounted on the stock rims. The oldest TC is on it's 3rd season and plenty of tread left. The chains are also cheaper (when needed) on the truck tires, plus it "roads" much better without the turf tires. I have two sets of brand new (8) turf tires if anybody is interested....:)
     
  13. RipT

    RipT Senior Member
    Messages: 184

    My new/used machine is coming with Turf tires (like-new probably, with only 115 hrs) but I am planning to follow your and others experience and go with studded truck M&S tires.

    So add another set of like-new turf tires to the "available" list.

    Been looking at a couple of Self-Loading spreaders mostly for sand: Normand SCR-86 from Canada, and the SS-60 from Skid Steer Solutions. I like that they are better suited to sand (damp or dry) and that I can scoop directly from a pile and go (no manual loading or unloading). Also they attach just like a bucket (plus hyd hoses) so no one-man struggling to hook up a hitch mount.

    On the negative side, they are pretty expensive and hold a yard or more, so I would only be able to fill them 1/2 way on a Toolcat.

    Has anyone run across something similar but smaller/lighter/cheaper ? ?
     
  14. dylan

    dylan PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 83

    Rip
    I have 800 lbs of ballast in the back. The sweeper will go over frozen gravel but is pretty aggressive. I have the poly / wire mix. It will sweep the loose stones.

    The blade floats independantly of the arm. The attachment plate has two mounts at the bottom and to swivel on and a chain at the top. It works well. I have included some pics but let me know if you need something clearer. I can take another. The only down pressure i have is from the weight of the blade. You can make your own blade for a fraction of the cost of a new one. It is easy and will float free of the arm.

    Good luck
    dylan

    plowersmall.jpg

    plowwwsmall.jpg
     
  15. RipT

    RipT Senior Member
    Messages: 184

    Thanks a lot Dylan..... I was thinking of doing just about the same based on over 10 yrs plowing about a mile of dirt/gravel road here in Colorado. I even switched to a rubber edge after first several years and it has worked the best for me.

    FYI....I am getting a lightly-used turbo/hi-flow C model and will be bringing it up to our seasonal home in BC. The current owner is upgrading to a D, so is keeping all his attachments (blower, sweeper, mower). Also explains why my current equipment is staying in Colorado.

    I was thinking of a chain so it would float just like on a PU, plus either a solid or spring link that I could switch to if I did want some or a lot of down-pressure. In any case, could harldy immagine plowing these surfaces and having to constantly "tweak" the lift or roll-back controls.

    Did you keep the original blade-angle cylinders? Can you control it pretty smooth or do these small cylinders make it too fast?

    Couple of close-ups would be welcomed if not too much trouble.

    I had been thinking of a rotary brush like yours, but it has kind of taken a back seat at this time. Figure with a blower, a blade set-up like yours, (and a bucket) I should be pretty well set for snow removal.

    As icing will still be an issue on the mostly north-facing steep parts, I have been looking at various sanders (bulk 15% rock salt/85% course sand). The BobCat V-box is overkill, but Thomas has a nice looking self-loading hyd broadcast front sander/spreader attachment that might be just the ticket. Also considering a 2 stage "tailgate" type such as a Western Pro-Flo2 that I could either rear mount or QA plate mount up front. Normand has a neat concept with its SCR series drop-sander scoop-buckets, but at 1.1 cu yd capacity is too much for a Toolcat.

    Thanks again, Rip
     
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2007
  16. dylan

    dylan PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 83

    I kept the angle cylinders but I put flow reducers on them to slow them down. They can really move the blade too quickly otherwise.

    I will take some pics in the next couple of days and post them for you.

    Can't help you much with the sanding aspect though. Everything you listed sounds promising. Something on the back of the machine would be good because you wouldn't have to take the plow off everytime you wanted to salt ... but you would have to load it by hand. I do like the normand salters that you can scoop with ... but again you would have to remove it to plow.

    Good luck
    dylan
     
  17. dylan

    dylan PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 83

    I found a couple old pics that might help. If you need something clearer and up close, i take it in a couple of days.
    dylan

    Picturef 001.jpg

    Picturef 002.jpg
     
  18. dylan

    dylan PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 83

    more pics for your viewing pleasure.

    Picture 074.jpg

    Picture 078.jpg

    Picture 079.jpg

    Picture 081.jpg

    Picture 087.jpg
     
  19. RipT

    RipT Senior Member
    Messages: 184

    Thanks for those pics... I think I am pretty clear on how you set it up. I can see the adjustable flow restrictors in the lines. Figured they would be too fast otherwise.

    I'm already looking on ebay and elsewhere for a suitable used plow to adapt. Really just need moldboard and A frame. Got a few months yet, so I'll just keep my eyes open.

    Yeah, the trade-off of front or rear mounting for the sander.... On front you can self-load or lower/tilt to easy shovel-load (or even empty left-over) .....on rear you can leave it mounted, but becomes a real pain to load or empty. Also concerned that rear mount would make it difficult to raise bed for engine access. At this point, best bet may be that Thomas unit or mounting something like a Pro-Flo 2 to a quick attach plate.

    You haven't seen one of those Thomas spreaders around have you? Or someone rig up a Pro-Flo 2 for front mounting?

    Thanks again.... Rip