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Track vs Wheeled Skid Steers?

Discussion in 'Heavy Equipment' started by Wesley's Lawn, Feb 8, 2007.

  1. Wesley's Lawn

    Wesley's Lawn Senior Member
    Messages: 394

    I was looking to see what your guys opinion's are on tracked loaders like the T250. I have always used wheeled skid steers for plowing and for landscaping. I use a bobcat tracked machine once and for the most part I liked it but the ride was really crappy on pavement, don't know if it was the style of track or not and then the noise was annoying. The biggest thing i am concerned with is the tracks and having control on ice and snow and if there are any style of tracks that have a smoother ride. Thanks for any info.
  2. Superior L & L

    Superior L & L PlowSite Veteran
    from MI
    Messages: 3,041

    I have a t-190 and its the Bomb! the ride is not as good as our s-185 but it can drive in any mud! and there was days last year that my buddys where not working because of how wet it was and we were going at it!
    Last fall we hired a guy to lay sod for us, it had rain for 3 days straight on a freshly dozed site. They show up with a big Cat skid and bucket graded the yard and layed 8000 yds in one day. (and it looked good) the Cat skid is the cadilac I think! but im sure it has a BIG price tag!
  3. pools&plowingct

    pools&plowingct Member
    Messages: 73

    i run a John Deere 322 tracked skid its sweet 2 speed, powerful, ice cold AC, awesome heat, lever controls no foot peddles, enclosed cab, and it will go ANYWHERE u want i wouldn't hesitate to put any attachment on it its awesome

    down sides to it
    cab seals leak alittle but i was doing alot of job site sweeping with the sweeper &and asphalt milling, the cab is alittle tight since i am 6' 2 , the tracks don't wear to well on asphalt, if u have a abd back it might not be for you cause theres no suspension in the JD but i heard the CAT one has some sort of suspension to it so it should have a softer ride

    i i am trying to talk my boss into getting the bigger one
  4. wakesetter2001

    wakesetter2001 Member
    Messages: 58

    Last season I ran a bobcat T-190 with isolated controls. Great Machine pushes good, great for stacking snow and cutting ice or hard pack snow, is a little slick on the ice or on hilled drives, and yes it is ruff riding when the pavement is bare. Also run Bobcat S-220 Isolated controls. Also a great machine will do everything that the track machine does except going up a pile to stack snow you will get stuck but it will out do the tracks on the hills. This year I have a Cat 226B (Tires) I liked it a lot, Cat cabs are more comfortable, controls are better. This is a smaller machine will do anything the bobcats will do but still it is a tire machine and hard to stack with, also it is light and does not like to cut the hard pack. But it is much nicer to tow around in the slick stuff. I also have a Cat 257B, Awesome Machine, Same cab and controls as the 226 just bigger machine. Seems to move anything. Does better on the slick stuff then the T-190 but still not as good as a Tire machine, you need to be on your toes if you have a hilled area and plan it out to work from the top down because you may not get up the hill again if you clear the bottom first. This is a heavy machine, around 8000 pounds, you need to have a good tow vehicle and trailer if you are thinking of a machine in this size range. All of these are rentals, I have been renting for a few years trying to run all different makes, models, and size so when I go to buy I get what is best for me. If these track machines where mine I would be trying anything I could to give them a little more traction on the ice and hills. My ranking order of the four machines is

    CAT 257B
    BOBCAT T-190
    BOBCAT S-220
    CAT 226B Very close behind the S-220 only behind do to ability to cut hard pack

    Also all of these machines have enclosed heated cabs. If I was buying at this time I would be looking for a CAT 247B this is the same as the 257 but about 1000 pounds lighter.
  5. WinnEnterprises

    WinnEnterprises Member
    from KCMO
    Messages: 33

    Tracks are awesome, heavier machine means it is more stable and greater breaking force. Traction on ice and snow has never been a problem for us. Tracks will go any where and get you on the job site faster after rain. Down sides are the increased wear when used on pavement and the price. If your machine won't see pavement that often, there is no question tracks are the way to go!wesport
  6. killed300ex

    killed300ex Senior Member
    Messages: 293

    does anyone have any experiance with new holland skidsteers? I am looking at trying to find a lx865. I dont hear to much about the new hollands skids and wondering if they hold up decent.
  7. magnatrac

    magnatrac PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,059

    I love my hew holland and I think that they are good machines. They are not the most advanced machines but they are great for the money. I have a 2001 and am looking to get another. I love the low profile design of the NH. The vertical lift is also great. They now offer three sizes of tracked machines and 10 wheeled machines. They now offer pilot controls and just about any option the other guys have. I don't think you will be dissapointed with a NH.
    If any one is looking to have a rubber tracked machine but is worried about the tracks in winter or on road you can get a set of ( Loegering versa tracks ) They are a full botl on undercarriage. I have used a bobcat s185 with these tracks and it was nice. They have some suspension built in, but still ride rougher than my over the tire rubber tracks. The tracks are around $12,000 but if you take the price if a tire machine and add these your at the same price as a permenant tracked unit. If you have track fail, or a job on pavement you can put your tires back on and go to work. If you already have machine you like, keep it and just add the tracks. It's worth taking a look I was impressed !!!
  8. stoneexc2

    stoneexc2 Member
    Messages: 45

    I fun asv have a sr80 and rc 30 the track don't tear up the turf if your careful and they grab great on snow and ice for pushing
  9. psdiesel24

    psdiesel24 Member
    Messages: 95

    We have 2 new holland track machines and 1 wheeled. Love the tracks great for piling snow but other than that i think any wheeled machine will run circles around a track in all models and brands that is on pavement.
  10. LoneCowboy

    LoneCowboy PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,760

    Tracks cost WAY more to run.

    If you need a tracked machine, get one, but understand that your costs went up significantly and you need to price accordingly.
  11. Mike S

    Mike S PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,588

    I thought the same thing about the track machines about how it will cost more to operate. How ever the last year I had my wheeled machine I spent almost $4000 in tires. So far the track loader I have had for two years has paid off big!! The machine does not perform as good as a tired machine. Its like it has ice skates strapped to it!:drinkup:
  12. LoneCowboy

    LoneCowboy PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,760

    I was in the service shop picking up one of my tractors and they had a tracked NH skid steer in. It was 4 years old, had about 2000 hours on it (one of hte first tracked NH's)
    They were replacing all the rollers and the drive unit


    IN PARTS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    tracks cost significantly more to run than a wheeled unit, as long as you are pricing to recover that, it works out.

    The number I've heard mentioned a couple places (no proof and I can't cite it) is $1/hour for wheeled machine and $4 to $5 an hour in maint for tracked machines.
  13. Mark Oomkes

    Mark Oomkes PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,257

    It all depends on surfaces that it is being used on for the tracks costing more. Paved, or stones and they will wear out faster. Mine went to almost 2400 hours before being replaced. And not a single flat tire in that time. I've had a few of the idlers replaced as well, and no they aren't cheap. But the tracked machines can do pretty much everything a wheeled machine can do plus a lot they can't do.

    How much does a flat tire 'cost' you in the middle of a blizzard at 2 AM?
  14. LoneCowboy

    LoneCowboy PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,760

    but how likely is a flat tire in the middle of a blizzard? Esp if you treat your tires with "goo". (which I've had very good luck with)

    I'm not saying tracked SS's aren't cool tools, they are, in the right place, because they do cost more money to buy and they cost more money to run over time. If you need one, get one, but it's my belief that many times people buy them when they don't need them and their costs go up but not what they are able to charge.
    I saw it this weekend, doing measurements for a job, the neighbor is putting in a driveway for their new detached garage. It's almost dead flat. And what tool is the contractor using? A tracked skid steer. :confused:

    Wrong tool for the job, and more expensive for the contractor to boot.
    that's all I'm saying.

    But if that driveway had serious slope, or they were building up teh sides or it was all muddy, yeah, the tracked SS might have been the right tool.
  15. RipT

    RipT Senior Member
    Messages: 184

    While not the answer to "which is better" or addressing many of the other issues of tracks vs tires on ice, there is a new product out that may be of interest.

    TrakBites sold by www.SkidSteerSolutions.com . Look at the upper right of their Products page.

    These are clamp-on track cleats in 12 and 18" listed for Bobcat tracks, but may fit others. Check out the snow and mud videos.....pretty impressive. Run about $1700 for a set. Probably not for paved surfaces if you are concerned about scratching, but for steep icy conditions they may be a solution for some folks.
  16. T-MAN

    T-MAN PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,363

    Pardon my ignorance but why is that the wrong machine for the job ? A tracked machine can work in most conditions, wouldnt that make you money ?
    I allways thought tracked machine were more stable, dig/cut more effieciently and you can finsh grade alot quicker with out bouncing/hopping around. I have used both machines and for grading, hills or mud the track machines are the bomb.
    All road crews here use tracked machines for cutting road beds why would a smaller scale be any different ? Usually rubber tired machines are used for cleanup and moving materials on pavement on road work. Maybe Im missing something.
  17. LoneCowboy

    LoneCowboy PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,760

    But this has no "bad" conditions, a wheeled tractor is much faster and much cheaper to run.
  18. T-MAN

    T-MAN PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,363

    I guess Im still missing something here. How is it cheaper if a tracked machine is more efficient ? How is the wheeled machine faster ? Just like rubber tire machines the tracks have 2 speeds now. Still cant dig/load on high speed anyway. Imo the track machine # for # can out dig a wheeled machine any day of the week so how would a rubber tire machine be quicker/cheaper ?
  19. LoneCowboy

    LoneCowboy PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,760

    a wheeled machine is physically faster in a straight line
    this was on flat, good ground and some pavement
    picking up road base moving it about a 100' and spreading it.
    so, for 10,000 more dollars plus 4 to 5x the hourly operating costs, he gets to do something that is slower than a wheeled machine.

    The machine, in this case, isn't more efficient, it's less or equal at best. But it costs much more to run. wheeled machines with a skilled operator can do things that a tracked machine with an unskilled operator can't.
    I'd rather pay the operator more.
  20. dirt digger

    dirt digger Senior Member
    Messages: 619

    tracked units are a little more expensive to fix/repair but at the same time they can out preform anything on wheels. Yea a skilled operator on a wheeled machine can do a lot of things but a skilled operator on a track machine can do more. I run a takeuchi TL130 and i am not afraid to take that thing anywhere, i much much prefer it over our case 1840, not just because of the strength but because i hate how wheeled units are so ass heavy, popping wheelies and having to back up steep slopes takes a lot of extra time. Just this weekend i was working a job where a guy with a newholland couldnt do half the work so i had to take my machine in there and bale him out. However when it comes to snow removal, in my opinion, wheeled units are the way to go. Our takeuchi is fine if you can scrape everything down the the pavement, but if you leave a little snow or ice under the tracks you can say goodbye to moving forward.