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973 quit moving

Discussion in 'Track Loaders (NOT CTL)' started by gwhammy, Jun 25, 2022.

  1. Welder Dave

    Welder Dave Senior Member

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    8000 hours seems pretty low to have to replace the hydrostatic drive system but if the machine was maintained the rest should be in great shape. A big portion of the repair bill was probably for cleaning the entire hyd./hydrostat system.
     
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  2. Welder Dave

    Welder Dave Senior Member

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    Are Cat track loaders are pretty common in Australia?
     
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  3. Cmark

    Cmark Senior Member

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    Yes, reasonably common although they seem to be being replaced with the bigger CTL machines, presumably due to cost. Typically seen with a GPS or laser setup for leveling new house pads.
     
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  4. Welder Dave

    Welder Dave Senior Member

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    Never seen GPS or laser on a loader. I could see the smaller machines being replaced by a CTL but not the 953's and above. Are they still being used to dig basements?
     
  5. DMiller

    DMiller Senior Member

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    Excavators are the big thing thee days Dave, no need to track materials from hole to stockpiles, just boom out. Can sit aside a foundation hole and have it cleaned out faster, with spoil piles further away.
     
  6. gwhammy

    gwhammy Senior Member

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    Excavators and six way angle dozers along with the big skid steers seem to have taken the place of track loaders and motorgraders around here on commercial construction. I like track loaders working in rural farm area I'm in working by myself. Excavators are great but really need a support machine if you are moving anything very far. Excavators for digging stumps, every machine has it's place it shines, we do almost all the fine finish work with the skid steer behind the loaders and dozers on ponds, lakes and brush jobs if they want a final finish on them.
     
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  7. Welder Dave

    Welder Dave Senior Member

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    I thought if they're leveling house pads they might also be digging basements with them. Track loaders used to be the machine of choice for basements. A good operator can still dig a basement pretty quick.
     
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  8. Cmark

    Cmark Senior Member

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    New houses with basements are uncommon around here. For years a 953 was the weapon of choice. Now the 299 seems to be replacing the 953 somewhat, probably due to the fact that a 299 is a fraction of the cost and can do the job just as well.

    Note this is speculation on my part. I only repair them but I report on what I see. There are people around here who make a good living in this line of work and presumably they have done the maths.
     
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  9. Welder Dave

    Welder Dave Senior Member

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    I think a 953 would have a longer life span than a 299 but busy contractors would probably replace their machines before they got too expensive to repair/run.
     
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  10. gwhammy

    gwhammy Senior Member

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    I use the 963 or sometimes the 973 to dig big basements. I did dig a smaller one with my 97 kubota and was surprised how fast it went. The problem with digging them with the 973 is you really don't want them to watch you as they go way to fast.
     
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  11. Cmark

    Cmark Senior Member

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    I agree.

    Also bear in mind transportation costs. They will put an MTL in the back of a tipper truck and move from job to job. A 953 will need to be floated. Costs that add up when you're doing two or three house pads a day.
     
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  12. Welder Dave

    Welder Dave Senior Member

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    How many hours do the steel tracks on a 299 last? I think you'd be replacing them more often on a 299. I've also read some of the horror stories on 299's on here.
     
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  13. Cmark

    Cmark Senior Member

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    Mostly all on rubber around here. Like any machine they do break down but no more than any other. The owners clearly factor the running costs into their business model because they pay the repair bills without complaint and keep buying new Cat machinery.
     
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  14. Welder Dave

    Welder Dave Senior Member

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    I guess the type of soil would play a big part. I thought everybody complains about repair bills. Must be some rich Australians. I'm happy when it turns out to be an inexpensive repair when I thought it would be an expensive repair or I can fix it myself. Hoping I can fix my backhoe swing pivot myself. Going to try finish setting up the drill press tomorrow and try the boring head.
     
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  15. gwhammy

    gwhammy Senior Member

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    We have every soil type imaginable in this area I work in. Some of them you don't want a rubber track in. I've worn out new teeth on the 63 in a couple weeks in flint rock clay.
     
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