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Skid Steer Questions? Racoon Brand

Discussion in 'Heavy Equipment' started by PPP, Jan 24, 2011.

  1. PPP

    PPP Member
    Messages: 95

    I got a few questions about skid steers. I"ve been trying to justify owning one. Some back ground info on me. Since 2007 I have been on my own with a small property maintenance company. I do general landscaping such as mowing, mulch, walkways, limited stone work, landscape design, planting small trees and shrubs, fall clean ups, snow plowing and ice management. My biggest customer's are condo complexes and small commercial business's. At one complex in the spring I put down just over 200 yards of mulch, in the winter I plow another parking lot at a complex that sits on 25 acres. I've been renting and or hiring out a skid steer when needed. In the last two years I have spent just over 11k on rentals/hiring it out. For 10-15k it looks like I could purchase a used one for my needs. One of the places I purchase/rent from sells a brand called RACOON skid steer. It's a Chinese company called Zhejiang Hero Time Machinery Co and it looks like they've been around for 20 years and they use brand name engines. I can't find much on them. The pricing new is comparable to a used brand name one with 3k hours on them. Essentially all I need is something for snow plowing this one lot (3 year contract), spreading mulch (3 year contract), and the occasional regrading or installing a gravel parking area and the occasional odd job. I'm not looking for a 25yr old pos that I need to spend 5k on to bring it up to par. Is it worth getting a used one with a solid reputation or trying out this Racoon brand? They are loaded with all the features compared to a used one. Talked it over with some friends that own them and they say once you own a tractor or skid steer you'll always have work for it more then you expected. I'm familiar with Cat products as I have rented the Cat 226 a number of times and it is just about the right size if not oversized for my needs. I do own an equipment trailer capable of handling one. I guess what I'm trying to say is my budget falls in the 10-15k for purchasing one and should I buy used or try a new one? I know people have there opinions about overseas brands, but if it fits the bill not opposed to trying it.
  2. excav8ter

    excav8ter Senior Member
    Messages: 554

    I would stick to a good brand and well known machine. The biggest reason is service and parts availability. I know people who went the cheap route withs quads and so on. The dealer tells them, no problem, parts are readily available and easy to get. First time the quad broke down he went back to the dealer to get it fixed. They told him, "yeah, the parts for that model have been discontinued, sorry" So there it sits in the garage. Just my opinion though. I like to save on equipment purchases as much as the next guy, but I will buy something good and reliable because it will pay off in the long run.
  3. Brian Young

    Brian Young PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,394

    Ive seen them on ebay and they look nice but like the previous poster said, parts and the ability to get them is a huge factor. For the price of those you could buy a really nice used common brand.
  4. rob_cook2001

    rob_cook2001 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,192

    Buy a name brand... It would really suck to break something small during a snow storm and be told they can't get the part for 3 weeks. I would much rather have a 2k hour name brand machine than a brand new machine made by kids in a factory where they wear leafs for shoes. Let me ask you a question, do you think you should buy a machine made by the Hero Time Machinery company? To be brutally honest the only thing you'll think of after buying the off brand is how you wish you could go back in time to avoid the purchase.
    Look into machines like this (NH and case are fine to I just like bobcats)
    good luck

    DGODGR Senior Member
    from s/w co
    Messages: 641

    You may find a few people who have had some success with "off brands". Even those will be ones that have been sold in the US for a while. I don't think that the Racoon falls into that category. IMO the Chinese have still not caught up to the US, Japanese, or even the Korean manufacturing, in more ways than I can count (tooling and attention to detail at the forefront). If you buy Chinese you WILL BE BUYING AN INFERIOR MACHINE (IMO). As the others have pointed out the product support will be the most obvious problem, and based on the fine Chinese craftsmanship that I have seen, you will need support. Even if I chose to ignore the buy American rational, and came from a purely profit driven point of view, I would not buy a Chinese tractor. Many of us smaller outfits can weigh in brand loyalty, and buy American rational to our purchasing decisions. But even if you were to look at a bigger company (that may be more influenced by bean counters) you will see that they will stick to the major MFRs (and even Cat most of the time) nine times out of ten purcahses. Why do you think that is?

    SMLCAT Member
    Messages: 85

    If you have spent over 11K in the last 2 years in rental fees you can afford to buy a NEW MAJOR BRAND (Like CAT !)

    As an example CAT is advertising a new machine for $499/mo. with $0 down...


    IMHO you'll be miles ahead buying a newer machine with a warranty and good dealer support.
  7. JB1

    JB1 Senior Member
    Messages: 182

    buying that would be a major mistake.

    SMLCAT Member
    Messages: 85


    We have a 252 and have had zero problems out of it. We also own a few larger pieces as well. We're about to pull the trigger on a 257B2 as well..

    If you don't like CAT get some other brand but the point of the comment was that you could own a new machine with as much as the OP's paying in rent...Just make sure that there is good dealer support in your neck of the woods.
  9. excav8ter

    excav8ter Senior Member
    Messages: 554

    Maybe JB1 meant that buying the Racoon would be a mistake.
  10. DGODGR

    DGODGR Senior Member
    from s/w co
    Messages: 641

    Thats the way I read it too. If you look at the time the post was posted it would support the theory that he was writting his reply BEFORE he saw yours (SMLCAT).
  11. PPP

    PPP Member
    Messages: 95

    Good Points everyone. I just needed to get some other opinions. Your right I was thinking it sounds to good to be true. Since it would be an on demand service item for me I would be up a creek should I have to wait for parts. Spoke with a friend who has a Grey market kubota and he says three weeks to get parts.... That's crazy. I think a newer used one with 2k hours should fit the bill. I finally got some money rolling in from some snow accounts and wanted to spend it wisely.
  12. JB1

    JB1 Senior Member
    Messages: 182

    thats what I was talking about, many moons ago when I worked at a tractor dealership, I saw this with some wild off brands, they looked good, but I think parts came on a very slow boat from china, they were very hard to get and you can't afford that.
  13. bitsandparts

    bitsandparts Junior Member
    from Canada
    Messages: 1

    Parts for Racoon Skid Steers

    If your looking for parts for the Racoon Skid Steers i do stock parts in Canada. Please let me know what you need by emailing me at.

    I have everything from air spings, filters, pins, gears etc etc.....






    SNOWLORD Senior Member
    from MN
    Messages: 610

    Dont buy the racoon buy a Bobcat, Cat, or New Holland or JD.