I'd say their backhoes are one of the best out there. Their crawlers or excavators aren't worth a crap. Their loaders are pretty nice though. Where did you see the pic? Let me know, I'll check it out if it's on a website.
Cat- I've owned 2 pieces of Case equipment, a 580D hoe and a 450 dozer, and I had excellent results with both. The 450 with the 6 way blade was the right size for residential work. The 580 was a three sticker with foot swing. Next time it will be a 4x4 though.
As far as I can see there is very little diffrence in Excavators today.They are alot like TVs all made in the same place just painted diffrent colors. As for Case machinery Iv'e never liked their Tractorhoes much the loader control is not near as nice as JD or Cat and the boom config is not what I'm used to.I think Case skidloaders are second to none as far as earth work is concerned,the 90xt I have is by far better equipped than any of it's competition.
I've used alot of Case equipment, and bought and sold many pieces and have had great success with everyone i've had, but, they do get very pricey. the up side is that they do retain their value.
Scag I know everyones entitled to their opinions but until you get a little more expierience you might want to refrain from making such obviously misinformed statements in public.I have spent several thousand hours each on Komatsu 150-5 ,200-3&6 ,300-3 Case 9010,9020,9030& 9040 and Kobelco 907 [equivalent to 200] excavators and while I consider the Komatsu to be the class of the field currently , I'm just as happy to spend the day on a 90 series Case anytime. As far as I'm concerned they are equal in productivity, power, smoothness,reliability and overall ease of handling. If I had to choose one excavator for everyday use I would be hard preesed to decide between the Case 9030 and the Komatsu 200LC-6. As far as tractor loader backhoes ,Case 590 SuperL 4x4 extendahoe says it all!
590 is nice if you don't have mud but here in Iowa we got mud and a 590 is tooo heavy.You can have all the nonCat machinery you want but from an owners perspective the service Cat provides is second to none.I have nothing against any of the brands you named,I own Cat,JD,Case and have run Komatsu and they are all comperable to each other in certain series but when it comes to down time and getting parts and service no one beats Cat.
Geoff-I don't own one but I know a guy that does. He says he doesn't like them. He told me that you couldn't counter rotate the tracks on the excavators. I don't know what year of machine he was talking about, but that is what he told me.
Smooth Operator-How do you know that my statments are misinformed? I know a guy that says they are terrible. I haven't run one though but will be able to tell you how it went when I do. I don't know the year of the excavator or dozer this guy was talking about but I don't know if that is much of a factor. In my opinion, Cat and Deere have the best excavators out there. Deere's new series of excavators are probably the best on the market (I don't have any sales data to back that up) and I know for a fact that Cat definately makes the best dozer around.
Scag, you know one person, who says they are junk, find 10,000 other people that will say that. Then your post might have some truth to it. The year of the machine is a very big factor, if the guy bought a used 1985 exevator, he is going to have problems with it, it's that simple. If he over paid for it, or even if he didn't over pay for it, and has had to dump a pile of money into it, then he is going to be upset, just like anyone else.
If you buy a brand new machine, and run it for 20 hours, and the motor blows, track fall off, and bucket cracks in half, then its junk. Over 10 years or more of use, parts are going to wear out, and it is going to cost money to fix it, just part of owning an exevator.
Scag if you think that Cat and Deere are the best excavators why didn't you include Hitachi,Mitsubishi,and MDI Yutani because they are ones making the machines.Case is also made by a Japanese company,JD small rubber tired loader are Liebeers and their off raod trucks are Moxys.These machines don't have diffrent anything other than paint and decals.So like I said earlier that there is not alot of diffrence in the excavator market or some of the other machine series,other than service.
As for a 1985 excavator being junk,I think is more on what it looks like and how it runs when you buy it.There are still alot of 225 Cats and JD 690's around this country that are at least that old that still function very well for their owners.
Southside JCB is make a run at a certain portion of the market in the last couple of years with the intro of their excavators,their TLBs and 4wd loaders have been here a little longer.I have done a demo on their TLBS and had a little trouble with the visability out the rear and the steering configuration on the 4x4x4,it has to be in 4w steer to function normally where as Cat's has a smaller front wheel and when it is not in 4w steer it can be run normally. Cat really has taken a big bite out of the TLB market mainly because of their lease programs that few others besides Case have been able to match.The lease program we are on costs use little more than depreciation and we were getting a new machine every year now its every three.So JCB has a service problems as well because many of their dealers are to small to provide the kind of service many of us are used to.Time will tell, european stytled machines are growing in popularity here everyday.