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Thread: Cat vs Case backhoes?

  1. #1
    Senior Member Aliate's Avatar
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    Cat vs Case backhoes?

    Has anyone had some time in both machines? I guess the Cat 420 is comparable to the Case 590....Im going to be buying a new or used backhoe in 2010 so Im trying to decide, any input is appreciated, if I went cat Id probably go with a 430.

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    Stay with Case.Majority of people I know that has or had cats regreted it. Cases are much better in the street. Cats road like crap and the 430 in particular turns like a school bus if you ask me. From your other posts and the work your looking into Id go with a Super M case.

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    The Cat 430 (15 foot) is comparable to the Case 590M... the 420 (14 foot) is the Case 580 series.
    Opinions expressed in this message are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views or opinions of Caterpillar, Inc. or Bobcat Company, both of which are copyrighted trademarks of their respective companies.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Aliate's Avatar
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    thanks for the replies, after looking around a bit i agree with you js5, Im gonna stick with case.

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    Ever look at a Deere? Pretty nice machine and have the curved boom that I like.

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    Senior Member JDOFMEMI's Avatar
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    I haven't been on the newest generation of backhoes, because I got out of backhoe work for larger stuff.
    That said, even though I have been a Cat fan all my life, you can't beat a Case hoe. I have had both and I would take a 5 year old Case over a new Cat any day. The Case K series had the production, but had a few weaknesses. These were all fixed with the L series, and the M is just a further refinement of what was already the best machine.

    I had a Cat and the boom broke, the stick broke, the swing tower broke, the front loader arms broke, the brakes failed, and the diff went out, and that was all before it had 3,000 hrs on it. As if the broken parts and downtime was not enough, it was weak digging hard dirt, would not lift near as much as the Case, even though it outperforms on paper, and it struggled when in mud or climbing hills where you needed to assist with the hoe. Places the Case would tackle with no problem were an ordeal with the Cat.

    My 580SL Case had over 8,000hrs on it when I sold it, and the worst problem it had was a worn out starter, a couple of hoses, and some tires.

    Just my $0.02 worth
    Jerry

  7. #7
    Senior Member Burnout's Avatar
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    I will second what JDOFMEMI is sayin. I grew up on Deere backhoes and would hear nothing else about another machine. When I was 18 I started workin for a guy who was Case and would hear nothin else. I got myself a nowhere near new 580 Super K and it was a nice machine. I was converted in a few months, when I was upgraded to his L2..... I was done with Deere's. Not long after I got myself a beautiful new M2.... my old man at the same time bought a Deere 310SJ and I couldn't even bare to run his Deere anymore.

    As for the Cats... I think they should stick to larger iron since its what they do best. The 430's are a dog, they are underpowered, slow, lazy around site and the hydraulics are weak.... you'd expect it if you saw JCB on the side, not Caterpillar.

    I will post up a video of the 430 I was running earlier this year. It was a D model with only 1700hrs on it.

  8. #8
    Junior Member ScottSeptic's Avatar
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    Cant beat any 580 Case backhoe and I own a a 430E cat. They're rugged, simple and dependable. There excavators and skidsteers on the other hand biggest toilets in the industry..... No Doubt About It!

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    I have been running backhoes since 1983. Between '86 and 96 you could say I was running them almost exclusively 8 to 10 hours a day 5 or 6 days a week. If you were to say 2000 hours per year that adds up to about 20,000 hours during that time period. That was during my employment in which time I ran Fords (now New Hollands), Cases, a JCB, a Deere, and Cats. I started my own business in '96 at which time I bought my first hoe (416B). During my selection process (for my first purchase) I demoed the Cat 416B and the Deere 310SG. I did not demo the Case because they were not close in price and the delaership was having troubles and was closing the local store. I now own a 416C which I bought new and have put roughly 12,000 hours on it so far. I will admit that I have become partial to the CATs, but I feel they have earned that partiality in my case. When I was making my decision (and I recommend that any one else deciding do as well) I did some homework. In actuality I prefered the 310 in performance. The other things that I used to decide were durability, parts availability, dealer support, and resale. Being from Southern California (at that time) my Cat dealer was Quinn Co and the Deere dealer was Honnen Eqpt. Co. In short Quinn was (and probably still is) an awsome dealer and they bent over backwards to get me in that backhoe. Obviously, I bought from them. The funny thing is that I thought I was going to buy a Case up until I got serious about the purchase (though it was never my favorite). So much for my resume. Suffice it to say that have about 35,000 hours with a backhoe under my butt.
    From this experience I know that we all have favorites. I also know that the big three all make good 'hoes. I suggest that you look at all relevant things (instead of only which one is your favorite) when making your purchasing decision. Don't forget you will now be paying all the bills so look at from an owners point of view as well as the operators.
    I also take issue with some of the previous statements. I have not used a Case that's newer than a K model but the newer ones are still the same basic machines, but with refinements. My first issue is with the comment on roading the Case vs the Cat. In my opinion my Cat roads better than the Cases that I have run. I have not roaded either one that had ride control so now that it's an available option I'm sure that it may have an impact (and maybe different for each machine) on ride. My second issue is with the machine compatibility stated previously (and then I think it was corrected Tigerotor). Unfortunately the manufacturers try to muddy the waters making comparisons more difficult. Here's how I see it (for the major 3):
    CAT Case Deere
    1) 416/420=580=310.
    2) 426/430=590=410.
    Lastly, if you take anything away from this post make it this. As I said before, the big three all make good backhoes. They all have also had units with issues. Sadly no one can tell which individual machine will outlast, have lower operating costs, or have less mechanical breakdowns than another. Only time will tell. My point is that one must demo each specific machine to seriously compare it to another. Use your best judgement and make the best most informed decision that you possibly can. Unfortunately interent forums usually reveal the worst things in these machines. I'm sure that there are others (CAT, DEERE and CASE owners) that can say that their machines have 12,000 hours (and still counting) of excellent service like I can with my 416C. I hope that one day the OP can be one as well.
    Good luck.

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    I say get what you think is best for you , I have run a newer 580 a brand new 310sj or G and a brand new 430E , and for my money I would go with the 430E that thing was great , I never got to use the loader but once so I cant comment on that , but the digging power and smoothness and speed of the hydraulics were amazing , I guess I have always lucked out and got the Cat backhoes with good digging power ( with the hoe) but if I could build my ideal backhoe , I would take the loader power from the Deere the speed and precision of the Case hydraulics and the digging power from the Cat

    I have never liked jd backhoes but they have a super strong front end, I have never been on one with alot of power for the hoe , and they are too loud
    the Case has alot of speed and precision while digging for the most part I have always hated the boom lift cylinder on the cases and how bouncy they can be, and the have good power they just seem too small

    And the Cat like I said, every one I have ever been around had a ton of power and fairly good speed for the hoe, the front end seemed seem weaker then the deere though , both the deere and cat seemed more top heavy then the case

  11. #11
    Junior Member TURBOCAT's Avatar
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    I prefer the cat over the case, at least in the late 90's early 2k's era. The visibility seems better. The rear window on the cat slides completly out of the way into the roof as where the case it is either down or up still in your way of vision. Much more cab room in the cat. I am 6'2" i can't barely turn around in the case without fighting it. I like the overall features better on the cat. I have run many different hoes and i can say i would probally buy the cat again. These are all things that each person likes on one brand over another based on there personnel preferance. You should buy what fits your needs based one what kind of work and conditions you will be in. Any of the big names are all good. If you buy used make sure you know what you are looking at or bring someone that does, this can save you alot of hassel and money. Its not all about a new paint job and tires.

  12. #12
    Senior Member KSSS's Avatar
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    A friend of mine here has two 430's that he bought new at the same time. The guy is a committed CAT customer (except skid steers which he then he buys CASE). The 430's had been swapping time at the CAT dealership. I liked to give him a hard time about it. I told him it was a good thing he bought two of them so at least he will always have one that runs. One time the loader fell off the tractor in the first 500 hours. CAT blamed it on poor wields which did not correctly penatrate. Pretty embarrassing for him and CAT. I am sure when these are to due to be replaced he will continue to buy CAT.
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    Just thought I would throw my 2cts in.
    Ive been running hoes for 27 years, cat, case,deere,ford, etc. Iím not going to put any of them down, they are all good machines. I think if you ask a person what the best machine is, they will most often tell you itís the one they learned on. I do think the most important thing to consider when buying a backhoe, is what is its intended use going to be.

    If youíre going to be in a wide open field and just throwin dirt outta the hole, I would go with a cat or deere. They are heavier machines, a little stronger hyd. systems. If your going to be hauling the machine around on a daily basis, and if your looking for a more nimble and precise machine, (witch is what I do) I would go for the case. Itís much faster and more evenly balanced.

    I know some will beg to differ, but thatís just my experience

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    Many people are posting here about the precision and speed of the Case over the Cat. It makes me wonder as I have had the exact opposite experience. For many years I would run Cases on a daily bases. I had a hard time adjusting to them. I did find them to be very quick in the initial part of the stroke (giving them the feeling of being fast). At the end of the day though, I found that I would get more production from the Cats and Fords. I also found them to have a "spongie" feel to the hydraulics (on both loader and backhoe). It felt as though it took a while for them to push enough fluid (into the cylinders) to create the pressure required to apply force. I have seen others (in this thread) post about the bouncy feel of the boom. This is what I'm talking about, though I felt it in all the hydraulic functions, not just the boom. The combination of these (2) factors made it hard for me to aclimate to these machines. Keep in mind that my experience is with about a dozen Cases, not a single unit that may have had a unique problem. The lack of the spongie feel made the others (in my opinion) much more precise, especially aound utilities. Which brings up another point. I think that the digging environment was one that required precise digging. The work was dry utilities (power, tel & c-tv) in the streets of the LA area. Streets, sidewalks, tunneling, close work on and around the more fragile of the utilities. All spoils truck loaded and trenches slurry backfilled.
    Obviously this work can be done with most any backhoe (as I have done it with many different brands myself) but I feel more comfortable with the Cat 416.
    Last edited by DGODGR; 01-06-2010 at 09:55 AM. Reason: sp

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    The bounce that is being talked about with the case happens only at the top of the boom cyl. Stroke, and only if the boom is raised up past where it would be during normal operation. It may have something to do with the boom being on a two way valve to lock the boom.

    The work you talk about, being in the streets of Los Angeles is exactly what I do (DWP).

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