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  1. #1
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    Default Buying a toolcat am I making a 100k mistake ? Golf course use, rental properties ect

    Here is the situation, 80 acre golf course (we are a public, privately owned golf course and not a country club)
    The course is surrounded by a river that floods (but doesn稚 leave much debris on the course to clean up) We have thousands of trees. The course has a driving range that is around 14 acres.
    The other tasks that need to be accomplished are clearing snow in the parking lot during the winter months (if we decide to stay open during the winter)
    The third area the unit will be (which is located 12 miles away) clearing an empty storage lot about 75ft by 150ft and clearing snow at 4 single family residences(50x140 lots in a city so basically only a 50 ft sidewalk and a parking stall for 3-4 cars)
    The attachments I will need are

    -Blow leaves with a hydraulic powered buffalo turbine
    -Mow the range and large areas with a 72?or preferably 62? rotary mower (3 point or front mounted hydraulic) (could possibly use a tow behind because it will contour better)
    -trenching attachment that can be used to run new irrigation lines (we would rent or buy a skidsteer for this task)
    -Stump grinding attachment allowing us to remove all stumps and replant with grass seed
    -Fork attachment will help us move trees around, move smaller rocks and help unload shipments of equipment and fertilizer (might also need a grapple but will start with forks)
    -bucket to load sand, dirt and other debris around course
    -Angle blade that can be used to level and spread gravel on cart paths (3 point)
    -Soil conditioner or landplane can be used to level out areas
    -Angle broom would help clear snow and clear debris on grass
    -Auger to drill post holes or plant trees
    -PTO powered aerator for fairways driving range and various other parts of the land
    -Snow blower(possibly box blade or snow pusher as well)
    -snow plow(I haven稚 heard good reviews on the forums about the snow plows on toolcats unless your pushing on a flat surface, so probably don稚 need this as bad)
    -Fertilizer spreader or liquid fertilizer sprayer(already have these but could adapt)
    Luckily I get a little discount from the bobcat dealer because we are similar to municipalities (although not as good as being non-profit)

    I have talked to a few people that have said their toolcat was a huge waste of money and would never do it again. (these people own construction companies and build houses) They also owned a skid steer and said they used the skidsteer for 90% of the exterior and landscaping, and 10% would use a tellahandler or other piece of equipment. They eventually just started leaving the toolcat at home so they could at least drive the kids around with it. Now our college and city uses them to clear snow and do chores but they have hundreds and hundreds of acres, and practically an unlimited budget.
    People on the forums say that the toolcat is a swiss army knife, good for anything but not great at anything.

    Now I can buy this 50k piece of equipment and then the 50k-60k in attachments but will I be happy?

    My other options are as follows:
    -Kubota Tractor (product is good but our dealer sucks)
    -John Deere Tractor (Good product but on the pricey side, will not let me demo a snowblower till February?.)
    -Mahindra (appears to be a good product)
    -A wacker neisen or Cat compact wheel loader with cab(volvo also makes one)(this would not mow)

    In closing maybe I should
    -Buy a contour mower, a Zero turn mower, a core aerator, a dedicated spreader/fertilizer sprayer, buy or rent a trencher, buy or rent a stump grinder, subcontract out the snow or buy a work truck (put a boss plow on it), buy a turf cat with a sweeper attachment and put the extra 50k in the bank

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Buying a toolcat am I making a 100k mistake ? Golf course use, rental properties

    I like to ponder equipment purchases. I had a hardon for the tool cat, but this kind of fizzled out. It's too much of a toy and not enough machine, in my point of view. The little wheels in particular have me worried. Take away the big back wheels of a tractor and what are you left with as far as traction goes?

    I have found that machines that can do everything, don't do anything really well. Be it a Gravely walk behind, or the Steiner stuff I have now. Would I like a Tool Cat with blower to do my 1000 foot driveway today? Absol freaking lutely!

    If you opt for the 3ph model, I don't like the lack of visability at all.

    Advantages, for you as I see it. Turf Friendly. Probably a biggie for you. A skid steer (except the A300 or current model, yes I wanted one of those to) would really tear up your turf. Attachments on the Toolcat are skid steer mount, so not specific to the Toolcat, like a Steiner for instance. Big savings there!

    I personally like small articulated loaders. Ones with skid steer mounting and available hydraulic flow out front (something my Kubota R510 doesn't have, but it has a backhoe). The visability is awesome and it's not a toy. You can load a dump truck in no time!

    Plus, I would want to make darn sure, they got their cooling issues totally sorted out. Nothing destroys a machine faster then excess heat!

    Just my random thoughts on the matter.

  3. #3
    Bronze Member Big Barn's Avatar
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    Mostly Ford and New Holland. 30-150HP

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    I'm not a golfer, but I know my way a bit around turf grass management. If you haven't ready done so I would highly recommend joining whatever Golf Course Superintendent associations in your area. Turfgrass Producers International is also good. There are probably members of those associations here on TBN. Depending on the quality level of your course, your local economic climate and what your members expect (and are willing to pay), your $100K budget may be a little challenging. Good luck and keep us posted.

    Terry

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Buying a toolcat am I making a 100k mistake ? Golf course use, rental properties

    As others have pointed out, a skid steer would fill your needs but it would destroy your course.
    I own a Bobcat s750 that I use for mulching and land clearing and two high-flow Toolcats (B series and F series).

    The toolcat will fill all your needs. To me, coming from Bobcats but with many years of tractor experience, there was more of a learning curve with the Toolcat because there are sight issues with the front, right corner. That makes it a little tougher for spreading material or doing fine cleanup but with practice, it becomes a natural reflex.
    The toolcat will dig better than a tractor, turn tighter, and if you get a dump bed, it can carry a lot of tools.

    I do leave my toolcat at home more than I thought I would. My B series and F series do pretty much the same thing but if you are looking at a newer one, the independent suspension is really nice. I live on rough terrain and the independent suspension is equal to or better than the suspension on my Kawasaki mules. I enjoy driving it and I am considering selling my mules because the Toolcat is so smooth.

    I have run my stump grinder on my Toolcat. It does a good job BUT there is always the chance of breaking the windshield. The Bobcat stump grinder has the best guarding I've seen but wood chips and rocks still escape.

    I use forks, grapples, tree shear and auger and 4n1 bucket and landplane, brushcat, roller and my favorite attachment is 72" finish mower. All work well. My trencher is too heavy so I can't speak on that with the Toolcat.

    It is not a skidsteer. It will not hold up to the same abuse that a skid will but it is not a toy at 5800 lbs. If you are willing to train only a few individuals to be responsible or become experts, it's an amazing tool. I was on the fence about selling my B series and then I realized I couldn't live without one. I was using my B series only on flat areas because the suspension was rough but after getting the F series with better suspension, I find that I want to be in it a lot. I have a radio and AC and controls are comfortable. I actually liked the B series joystick configuration better but the hydraulics on the F are more refined and responsive.

    For what you are describing, I do not think anything else will come close. The guys that wanted to use it on a construction site for clearing land or moving large objects just had the wrong tool. The Toolcat can lift a lot more than it's rated for but without weight in the rear you can feel 2000 lbs out front.
    Brush Chipping and Tree Mulching Texas Style!

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Buying a toolcat am I making a 100k mistake ? Golf course use, rental properties

    As others have pointed out, a skid steer would fill your needs but it would destroy your course.
    I own a Bobcat s750 that I use for mulching and land clearing and two high-flow Toolcats (B series and F series).

    The toolcat will fill all your needs. To me, coming from Bobcats but with many years of tractor experience, there was more of a learning curve with the Toolcat because there are sight issues with the front, right corner. That makes it a little tougher for spreading material or doing fine cleanup but with practice, it becomes a natural reflex.
    The toolcat will dig better than a tractor, turn tighter, and if you get a dump bed, it can carry a lot of tools.

    I do leave my toolcat at home more than I thought I would. My B series and F series do pretty much the same thing but if you are looking at a newer one, the independent suspension is really nice. I live on rough terrain and the independent suspension is equal to or better than the suspension on my Kawasaki mules. I enjoy driving it and I am considering selling my mules because the Toolcat is so smooth.

    I have run my stump grinder on my Toolcat. It does a good job BUT there is always the chance of breaking the windshield. The Bobcat stump grinder has the best guarding I've seen but wood chips and rocks still escape.

    I use forks, grapples, tree shear and auger and 4n1 bucket and landplane, brushcat, roller and my favorite attachment is 72" finish mower. All work well. My trencher is too heavy so I can't speak on that with the Toolcat.

    It is not a skidsteer. It will not hold up to the same abuse that a skid will but it is not a toy at 5800 lbs. If you are willing to train only a few individuals to be responsible or become experts, it's an amazing tool. I was on the fence about selling my B series and then I realized I couldn't live without one. I was using my B series only on flat areas because the suspension was rough but after getting the F series with better suspension, I find that I want to be in it a lot. I have a radio and AC and controls are comfortable. I actually liked the B series joystick configuration better but the hydraulics on the F are more refined and responsive.

    For what you are describing, I do not think anything else will come close. The guys that wanted to use it on a construction site for clearing land or moving large objects just had the wrong tool. The Toolcat can lift a lot more than it's rated for but without weight in the rear you can feel 2000 lbs out front.
    Brush Chipping and Tree Mulching Texas Style!

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Buying a toolcat am I making a 100k mistake ? Golf course use, rental properties

    I should add a few things
    I have demo'd the follow items.

    2012 or 2013 Bobcat S130 (we choose this model because it would do the least damage to the turf. Works well, can cross fairways with no damage to the fairway) However would only be good for certain tasks like
    -trenching, moving dirt around, removing stumps, ect..

    2012 or 2013 bobcat 190 or 205 track machine
    Machine was a workhorse, wouldn't do much damage to the turf because the tracks, moved a very large pile of dirt 50 feet after a few hundred passes the grass was still fine and grew back in perfectly, this machine was a brute but too much for my needs and wouldn't want to drive it around town clearing snow at rentals(would have to trailer it)

    2012 CAT skidsteer lighter duty unit, worked great no complaints

    Johndeere 3000 series compact tractor (worked well this would meet a ton of my needs but the under belly mowing was a little different and wouldn't do much contour mowing but would be fine for the wide open spaces...

    A 2006 toolcat with bucket, immediately noticed the rough ride, could spend my time on flat grass with it but anytime I try to get in the woods or on the rough dirt It was rough, I couldn't spend 3 or more hours doing it.

    A 2011 toolcat with bucket, much better ride, wouldn't need a kidney belt. Great machine, with the joystick controls.

    My only issue is the dealer will really only let me demo the auger bit, the bucket and the sweeper. The nice thing is if I am not happy with the tool cat all of the attachments are skidsteer attachments and I could use with a john deere tractor or any skid steer I buy.

    All of these seem to be diesel hogs but I have a 200 gallon onsite fuel tank so we have diesel delivered every other week during the summer months.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Buying a toolcat am I making a 100k mistake ? Golf course use, rental properties

    If you have lots of money and a budget to replace machines sooner rather then later, it's no biggie what you choose. My concern with the Toolcat would be the complexity of the four wheel steer and all those U or CV joints that you are applying torque through. Could be very, very expensive, in the long run in my thinking. These things always sound great in the brochures and in the videos!

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Buying a toolcat am I making a 100k mistake ? Golf course use, rental properties

    I agree, I am afraid of the older versions with the drive motors going bad, pouring thousands of dollars in a new machine is out of the question. I think that they have worked the bugs out.

    I don't mind maintenance as I have already checked what the first 1,000 hours will cost with the service department.
    Seems like lots of guys or kids buy these and then realize they aren't using them as much as planned, realize they can't afford them then trade em back into the dealer or sell on clist. When you see a 4 or 5 year old machine with 300-600 hours that tells me they didn't use them as much as planned.

    I don't think I will be one of those people but the risk is only about $4,000.. I tried to rent one but our dealer doesn't rent on in our area only short term demo's.

    I also thought about leasing, and if the machine doesn't meet my needs ask the leasing company to terminate the lease and take the unit back(I would still be out a few thousand assuming I can't sell it).

    The dealer is trying to get me to trade it in every year or every other year but taking a 4,000-6,000 hit every year just doesn't make sense to me. Keeping it in warranty sounds good though.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Buying a toolcat am I making a 100k mistake ? Golf course use, rental properties

    I guess another HUGE question is, who is going to operate the machine? You, the guy who has to pay for repairs, or someone else. An old friend and neighbour that built and ran a golf course used to tell me horror stories of how his employees destroyed his equipment.

    What I do notice while I drive by the course, is the ever increasingly large amount of purpose built equipment that he seems to buy, and I rarely see the jack-of-all-trades type of equipment.

  10. #10
    Veteran Member Piston's Avatar
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    Since I have no experience with either toolcat's or golf course management, I can't offer too much advice. However, from a logistical standpoint, I think you would be more efficient to have two machines vs one do-it-all machine (for possibly cheaper money!)

    Do you have numerous employees? If there is more than just you, and you have a toolcat, you can only do one job at a time, regardless of how many people you have working for you.

    If you had multiple machines, you could have numerous people doing numerous jobs at once, with more specialized equipment that will do a better job.

    I think it would be a better choice logistically, to have 2 people operating 2 machines doing 2 different jobs at the same time, than only having one machine.



    However, if it's only you, and you have the money to spend, then it may be a good idea. Just think long and hard about it, and be certain of your decision, because once you spend all that money on new equipment, you can't change your mind later. (Well, if you did, you'd lose a LOT of money)

    Xfaxman can probably give you better advice than any of us. He has all the toys when it comes to Bobcat, and has had tractors as well. He does a lot of impressive work with his equipment and post lots of good pictures of what the equipment is capable of. However, nothing he has ever posted (at least that I saw) even comes close to resembling a golf course.

    I will be interested to see what you decide.
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