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Cat 304CR

DKinWA

Charter Member
Joined
Nov 15, 2003
Messages
210
Location
Western Washington
Occupation
Biologist and Contractor
I've been talking about it for awhile, but now it's time to put up or shut up. Tomorrow I decide if this is the machine to buy. I've been running it this weekend and it's impressive for it's size. When I started on Saturday it was a bit over 20 degrees outside and the heated cab was really nice. I'm also really amazed how quiet things are inside the cab. It's pretty much everything I've been wanting, but I get a knot in my stomach when I think about spending the money. I didn't get any action shots, but here it is sitting in the driveway.
 

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BKrois

Charter Member
Joined
Nov 6, 2003
Messages
152
Location
Connecticut
Occupation
Multi purpose
That looks like a nice size machine. Is the machine a demo or in the dealers rental fleet? How many hours are on it? I saw some on machinerytrader.com for high 40s with very low hours on them.
 

DKinWA

Charter Member
Joined
Nov 15, 2003
Messages
210
Location
Western Washington
Occupation
Biologist and Contractor
It's brand spanking new and now has 10+ hours on it after this weekend. I'm amazed how well the used machines hold their value. I considered used, but a hydraulic thumb is a must around here and the older ones have the control on a foot pedal. It's difficult for me to rock the pedal as designed and usually use my toe which means I'm constantly moving my foot back and forth and hate it. The new ones now have the control on the right stick where it's much more comfortable to use.

This one is a demo, but it would be the one I'd buy. The only thing I'd change on it would be to add two more lights for working at night. It has two lights right now on the left of the cab and stick. At night it's difficult to see anything when you swing to the right. If I don't log on tomorrow, I'm probably out pla......... I mean working ;)

On edit: For reference, the rototiller to the left of the bucket is a 72" model. Only half of it is showing, but it does give some idea of the size of the machine.
 
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Tigerotor77W

Senior Member
Joined
Nov 1, 2004
Messages
1,014
Location
Michigan
Occupation
Engineer
Out of curiosity, have you looked at other makes? I believe Volvo makes an excellent mini-ex and is priced quite a bit cheaper.
 

DKinWA

Charter Member
Joined
Nov 15, 2003
Messages
210
Location
Western Washington
Occupation
Biologist and Contractor
I've looked at other brands and I don't see much price difference when comparing equal machines (which isn't easy). I also like the fact I'm 30 minutes away from the CAT office and all the other brands are at least 90 minutes away in good traffic. If you're familiar with Seattle traffic, it can easily (and frequently does) turn into a 3 hour drive. Best case scenario, I loose two hours of work time because I'm chasing parts. I'd seriously consider other brands if the dealers were closer, but having parts and replacement machines close by makes my work easier and more productive.
 

CascadeScaper

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 27, 2005
Messages
1,162
Location
Lynnwood, WA
Occupation
2nd year Operating Engineer Apprentice
That's a sharp looking machine, the zero radius swing is a great feature, I've rented many a mini ex and have needed that small amount of clearance. Just curious, why didn't you look at Deere? I've rented a 27C ZTS quite a few times, not quite the same size as the 304, but it was a pretty smooth machine. Depending on where you are on the "west side" there's usually a Pape dealer not too far away, but I'm a Cat fan myself, I love our 216 SSL. In fact, I'd support Cat and buy a 303CR tomorrow if I could. I'm over here in Chelan, where are you at exactly? Good luck with that piece, it's a beauty!
 

DKinWA

Charter Member
Joined
Nov 15, 2003
Messages
210
Location
Western Washington
Occupation
Biologist and Contractor
Nothing wrong with Deere, but I'm about 30 minutes west of Olympia which puts Pape (in Tukwila) about 90 minutes away if traffic is good. I finally bought the 304 and it's getting a good work out. It's turning out to be a fast little machine and not one complaint after about 20 hours.
 

BKrois

Charter Member
Joined
Nov 6, 2003
Messages
152
Location
Connecticut
Occupation
Multi purpose
Congrads on the purchase, hopefully we'll be seeing some action pictures of it soon.
 

CascadeScaper

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 27, 2005
Messages
1,162
Location
Lynnwood, WA
Occupation
2nd year Operating Engineer Apprentice
Ah, I see. You'll be happy with the Cat, nothing like a brand new machine to get your ego goin'. Good luck with her!
 
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