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  1. #1
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    Default Best Track Skid Steer Under 7,500 lbs?

    As my struggling little tractor & backhoe business goes on, it's become painfully obvious that a compact aggie-style tractor... no matter how good... cannot do every specialty landscaping task out there. Too much work is being turned away due to slope, weight on tires, high risk and other factors. I keep thinking that my next piece of equipment has got to be a track skid steer to take on jobs where the working slope is too great, the risk of falling debris is too high... or simply to be able to work where a client doesn't want his yard torn up by industrial tires. I've been looking hard, but I'm getting a lot of feedback that this machine is not that stable or that machine has a weak undercarriage system, etc. No machine I've looked at so far seems to fit the needs perfectly. Bigger and wider seems to be better, but I am limited by net towing capacity to 7,500 lbs. And so I ask: What do you folks consider the best real rubber-tracked skid steer machine under 7,500 lbs dressed and ready to work???

  2. #2
    Elite Member AlanB's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best Track Skid Steer Under 7,500 lbs?

    Just as with tractors, there are pro's and con's to each and you need to decide which will "fit" you best.

    Have you been renting them to do the job's?

    Just bid in the rental cost into the job, if you get it, it give's you the chance to try a different machine. If you don't, you do not have the expense of owning and maintaining it yet.

    Our deal has primarily been that it is not buying the "machine" it is all the other assorted crap it takes to make it work, and get there etc. etc. that makes the cost astronomical.

  3. #3
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    Ford 1920 4x4 (traded in on Kubota). Case 480F TLB w/4 in 1 bucket, 4x4. Gehl CTL60 tracked loader, Kubota L4330 GST

    Default Re: Best Track Skid Steer Under 7,500 lbs?

    Those tracks may not leave ruts but mine sure is good at shearing off the top 1 inch or so of sod whenever you turn it. And the sharper the turn, the worse the damage. Tread design is part of it because ASV offers a green track that they show doing a donut on a golf course green without a trace. My Gehl tread is pretty aggressive. Another reason to rent before you buy.

    John

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Best Track Skid Steer Under 7,500 lbs?

    Quote Originally Posted by AlanB
    Just as with tractors, there are pro's and con's to each and you need to decide which will "fit" you best. Have you been renting them to do the job's? Just bid in the rental cost into the job, if you get it, it give's you the chance to try a different machine. If you don't, you do not have the expense of owning and maintaining it yet. Our deal has primarily been that it is not buying the "machine" it is all the other assorted crap it takes to make it work, and get there etc. etc. that makes the cost astronomical.
    I have been bidding jobs based on using rental track skid steers... but haven't won a single one so far. The daily rental costs are just too high to make it work... and nobody so far has been willing to pay me an "operator-only" hourly fee and take the rental cost risk themselves. Yes, this would be a great way to work with a couple different sizes and brands.

    Dougster

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Best Track Skid Steer Under 7,500 lbs?

    Quote Originally Posted by jmc
    Those tracks may not leave ruts but mine sure is good at shearing off the top 1 inch or so of sod whenever you turn it. And the sharper the turn, the worse the damage. Tread design is part of it because ASV offers a green track that they show doing a donut on a golf course green without a trace. My Gehl tread is pretty aggressive. Another reason to rent before you buy.
    John
    Understood about the damage those tracks can do with a single turn! Interesting what you are saying about the ASV's tracks. Is that ALL ASV tracks? Or just some? I was told by one former ASV RC-50 owner (now a CAT 277 owner) that ASV machines have lots of undercarriage problems... true or false?

    Dougster
    Last edited by Dougster; 06-18-2007 at 12:47 PM.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Best Track Skid Steer Under 7,500 lbs?

    I own an RC50 with well over 1,000 hours on the tracks and I've been extremely satisfied. I think you'd be hard pressed to find another 6,000lb machine with the capabilities of the RC50. I heard all of the horror stories about ASV when I sold Bobcat machines. When I decided to start my own business I started out with an S220 (still own it) and bought the RC50 based on my experience selling against them, selling the Bobcat tracked machines, and talking to actual owners. I now know that I made the right choice.

  7. #7
    Elite Member AlanB's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best Track Skid Steer Under 7,500 lbs?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dougster
    I have been bidding jobs based on using rental track skid steers... but haven't won a single one so far. The daily rental costs are just too high to make it work... and nobody so far has been willing to pay me an "operator-only" hourly fee and take the rental cost risk themselves. Yes, this would be a great way to work with a couple different sizes and brands.

    Dougster

    My 2 cents, if there is not enough margin in the jobs to get them including rental, then there is doubtful enough margin in there to pay for owning the equipment.

    You can take that fwiw, but you may be finding yourself being "shopped" thinking there is actually work available, when it would not come out.

    Don't get me wrong, I love equipment, and want another SS at the moment, and can justify it to myself several times over, but in an honest business sense, it does not work for me at this time.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Best Track Skid Steer Under 7,500 lbs?

    Quote Originally Posted by Digdeep
    I own an RC50 with well over 1,000 hours on the tracks and I've been extremely satisfied. I think you'd be hard pressed to find another 6,000lb machine with the capabilities of the RC50. I heard all of the horror stories about ASV when I sold Bobcat machines. When I decided to start my own business I started out with an S220 (still own it) and bought the RC50 based on my experience selling against them, selling the Bobcat tracked machines, and talking to actual owners. I now know that I made the right choice.
    Interesting post. Sounds like you are a very happy customer. Must admit that the used ones I've been looking are all 2,000+ hours. How many hours would you think an RC-50 could/should go before requiring major undercarriage repair or rebuilding? In a several year old, moderately used machine, would use still choose an RC-50?

    Dougster

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Best Track Skid Steer Under 7,500 lbs?

    Quote Originally Posted by AlanB
    My 2 cents, if there is not enough margin in the jobs to get them including rental, then there is doubtful enough margin in there to pay for owning the equipment. You can take that fwiw, but you may be finding yourself being "shopped" thinking there is actually work available, when it would not come out. Don't get me wrong, I love equipment, and want another SS at the moment, and can justify it to myself several times over, but in an honest business sense, it does not work for me at this time.
    Let's put it this way Alan: I am doing jobs now at which I would never make a cent if the red Beast wasn't entirely paid for. If I was making payments on it, I'd already be broke. What will happen when this red Beast wears out or needs major repairs is a very scary thought.

    I am always bluntly clear with my customers that anything I can do with my own equipment is generally going to be cheaper for them than using rental equipment. It's the only way I can justify bidding most of these marginal jobs. But too many jobs are better suited to a track skid steer. It pains me to say it, but that is the case. My whole marketing campaign is that I am the alternative to the cheapy Bobcat services... but sometimes the terrain... or the risk... or the property owner's concerns... or the nature of the job itself... really scream: Track Skid Steer.

    Like I told my brother the other day... One way or another, I either get bigger (with the track skid steer) or get out of this crazy little business. Steady as she goes... turning down such a high percentage of my calls... just ain't cutting it.

    Dougster

  10. #10
    Elite Member AlanB's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best Track Skid Steer Under 7,500 lbs?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dougster
    Let's put it this way Alan: I am doing jobs now at which I would never make a cent if the red Beast wasn't entirely paid for. If I was making payments on it, I'd already be broke. What will happen when this red Beast wears out or needs major repairs is a very scary thought.

    Dougster
    Well, you know it, so there probably is not much more to say,

    At some point though, if you do not bid in enough to cover the cost of the equipment, you won't have it to do any more work with. I know you have probably thought that one through.

    Anyway, I know the feeling, we keep getting asked to do irrigation, but at this point, without hiring more labor, we cannot do what we already have on the books, so we keep resisting the temptation. It always seems that those jobs that you did not get, would have gone perfect, but the reality is often different.

    All the tracked SS I have seen have been quite an investment, and honestly, if I did not have enough work coming in to where I was making money on top of paying the note on it, I would not bother.

    I would go wheeled, with add on tracks, but that may not cover the niche you are trying to hit.

    I would figure out the cost lets say 25k for a used unit, then finance charges etc. and what the loan would be etc. Lets say they put you in one for $750 a month. I am thinking you could rent that machine at $200 a day (I do not know your area but you could here) So you would need to work that machine 4 days a month to start to come out ahead.

    Honestly, are you turning down bids of 4 man days a month that one of those machines would let you get? And that would have to be EVERY month.

    Not trying to be the sour grape, but sometimes an outside view helps look at things clearer.

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