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plowing with a track loader?

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by ducatirider944, Mar 19, 2008.

  1. ducatirider944

    ducatirider944 Senior Member
    from Iowa
    Messages: 469

    I didn't want to hijack a different thread so I am starting my own. I have case 90XT which I use 80% of the time in my regular job, building houses. I am a general contractor and do all of my backfilling and rough grading. I really want to go to a track loader like a 450CT. I have ran one of these in the dirt and they pretty much rock. They float better, grade more even and flatter. They push more and better. I have metal tracks on mine which helped a lot. I don't like that I can't run across concrete without removing the metal tracks.

    I have looked at the rubber track carriage system that replaces the wheels and liked that option until I found out that the only thing driving this system is the rear drives. I hear you burn things up with this system. I liked this option because once a year I could throw tires back on and use it for snow. I am on the verge of getting a track machine and just not having a skidloader for snow.

    I like using my skidloader for snow because it is like a 9-10K bonus at the end of the season. I already own it so it's just a matter of diesel, some tires, and labor to throw somebody in it. I like the extra cash since I'm already out doing my lots anyway and after all is said and done I make almost double what I would make from doing snow with out it. If I didn't make the money of my skidloader, I don't know if I would bother doing snow.

    In a different thread we started talking about this and I didn't want to take the other thread over, plus I thought I might get more response from starting my own thread. Every thing I have heard from rubber track skidloader owners is that they go no where in the snow.

    So my questions are this. Anyone using a track loader for moving snow. If so what one, and how does it work? If you are, are you using a bucket or pusher box? What size?
  2. Mike S

    Mike S PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,588

    I use a John Deere CT322 rubber track loader. I have a 10 snow pusher for it. It works but not that good. The only thing that makes my machine work ok is the two speed. You get the machine going and it does fine. It works fine with a bucket though. The bottom line IMO is that if you use a blade or a bucket and get everything off the surface so you can get better traction and it will work better. The pushers seem to leave a film of snow and slush that keep the machines from getting good traction. I know or guys in my area that have upgraded to the CTL's and had problems with thier pushers. They are using large blades now. My opperators dont like the machine compared to a large rubber tire machine but they like it better then running a small single speed machine. We bill hourly so over all in the end it doesnt matter for us. The Cat or ASV rubber tracks on the machines I geuss work the best. I have heard no complaints from a friend of mine who has two Cat CTL's. He even traded his 246 in for 297. He also does not use pushers any more. I have heard bad things from the Bobcat and Takeuchi dealers on there CTL's in the snow. If you notice when Bobcat advertises for the snow season in thier Work Saver mag they dont say anything about pushing snow with thier CTL or even include them in the ad. The Takeuchi dealer tried using some of their 120, 130 and 140 machines to push with pushers this season and they didn't work they had to bring in the 150's. I dont think it the machines I think it is the tracks. I think that If you can get the right tracks life would be ok. Im going to try different tracks that a manufacture says might work better. Thats what I have run into and had the same concern about when I bought mine.
  3. derekbroerse

    derekbroerse 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,377

    Rubber tracks are VERY expensive to buy... I think that if you are slipping them all the time with poor traction you will tear them up pretty fast and get stuck with like a $5k+ bill to replace them.

    That alone would tell me not to bother if the tire'd machines already work well.

    You don't have enough work to justify two machines?
  4. madmaxxxx

    madmaxxxx Member
    Messages: 65

    I have a Bobcat T-200 that had the original Bobcat tracks on it and it SUCKED in the snow. I paid a guy $150 to change the tracks that I bought on Ebay for $1200 and it made all the difference in the world. Whatever you do, make sure you have 2 speed with cab and heat. I personally beleive it is the track design that makes a difference. Thats why some Cat people say they love their ctl in the snow.
  5. TL697

    TL697 Senior Member
    Messages: 189

    ASV or CAT are the only machines that work in the snow...

    The track system is far superior to Bobcat, Case, New Holland, etc...

    Here you go...

    <object width="425" height="355"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/--4p49ESIEo&hl=en"></param><param name="wmode" value="transparent"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/--4p49ESIEo&hl=en" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" wmode="transparent" width="425" height="355"></embed></object>

    <object width="425" height="355"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/JjYT8lQN6YU&hl=en"></param><param name="wmode" value="transparent"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/JjYT8lQN6YU&hl=en" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" wmode="transparent" width="425" height="355"></embed></object>

    I have an ASV SR-80 and I couldn't be happier...
  6. Peterbilt

    Peterbilt Senior Member
    from IA.
    Messages: 745

    A picture/video is worth a thousand words.

    Its all in the tracks. open pattern lug tracks suck in the snow (Bobcat,Case Takeuchi) But ASV style (Cat or ASV) Work way better due to them being a tight type lug.

    There are some new McLarren rubber tracks that will replace the open style tracks. Not sure how much they cost but they advertis in the back of Equipment trader.

  7. Mike S

    Mike S PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,588

    Its not the system its the tracks!
  8. DugHD

    DugHD Senior Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 420

    I have a Case 445CTL that has 400hrs plowing snow with a 10' power angle plow. I've plowed snow with about every skid steer going. I am not saying this is better or worse than any other brand.
    I will say it does plow excellent and shows nill on track wear.
  9. TL697

    TL697 Senior Member
    Messages: 189

  10. Mike S

    Mike S PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,588

    Yes I have! My friend owns a 297. Yes they ride really nice! I dont like the idea of the rollers with all of that rubber on them. That thing better ride nice when you pay over $70,000! All Im saying is that you have to have the tracks like cat does or something similar to get a good performance out of the machine. When we plow with are loader we are on flat lots so there is no problem with the ride. Traction and weight is all that matters in the end!
  11. TL697

    TL697 Senior Member
    Messages: 189


    That's one reason I went w/ ASV... about $15,000 less than the comparable CAT machine... AND, I traded my CAT 257B, so I was already drinking the kool-aid...

    The rollers are fine if you take care of them... I understand what you mean if you are not the only operator... I'm the only operator, so I take good care of the undercarriage, maintenance/cleaning wise, as well as use my head while operating...
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2008
  12. Mike S

    Mike S PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,588

    Multi Opps are a problem! I bet your 80 is a sweet machine! You should post some pics of it plowing!
  13. plowman4life

    plowman4life Senior Member
    Messages: 557

    we use all CAT. most of our machine are. but for skidsteers. idk what the point of tracks are. we have never had them or needed them. i cant see them being a whole lot better than tires.
  14. Mike S

    Mike S PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,588

    In snow they have not been a better machine for me but in dirt I will never own an another tire machine. I dont have to bring a dozer out to my jobs as much which has saved me so much money!
  15. TL697

    TL697 Senior Member
    Messages: 189

    Yeah, snow I could go either way, but once you use a tracked machine in the dirt, you'll never go back...
  16. TL697

    TL697 Senior Member
    Messages: 189

    I'll try to get some next time... I don't plow much w/ it. I use it mainly for clean-up and moving/pushing back piles... Maybe next year I'll have more accounts where it is necessary... I'm actually looking for a blade for it
  17. riverwalkland

    riverwalkland Senior Member
    Messages: 401

    think of the difference snow tires vs performance tires makes... this can be said about rubber tracks, the design and tread of the rubber track itself is also important..
  18. Mike S

    Mike S PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,588

    Cool deal! I just picked up a 8611ss for a loader! I cant wait to use it next year! My friend that has a 297 uses a Daniels Wings Blade that is about 12 feet long. He loves it! I have not been happy with my pushers this year. They just dont stack like a blade does! I like thoes boxes that hook up over the blades so you have the best of both worlds. Next year I will have a little of every thing to choose form for my loader. 8 foot snow bucket, 8611, and a 10 foot pusher.
  19. TL697

    TL697 Senior Member
    Messages: 189

    I'm actually looking for a 6-way dozer blade... I have a 1 mile gravel drive that goes up 600 feet in elevation. I need something for general year-round maintenace and I hope that I could use it for snow removal as long as I was careful and/or use skid shoes... I know that most will flame me for not having a trip edge, but they don't work worth the darn on my drive... I hate to buy both so I'm gonna give the dozer blade try... If it doesn't work for snow removal, then I guess I'll have to buy or make a plow...
  20. Mike S

    Mike S PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,588

    I have a dozer blade and it works fine in the snow. It actually works great like a bucket it peals up snow and ice. The only thing I can say is that you might not be happy with is that if you buy a blade big enough for the snow it might be to big for the dirt or if you buy one that works great in the dirt its probably small for snow pushing. I have a 80 inch and works great in the dirt perfect size for my deere. The blade in the snow is no 10 foot blade or even a 8 foot. I could not imagine using anything less than a 8 foot.