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CAT D5C vs G vs K vs K2

Discussion in 'Dozers' started by DGODGR, May 21, 2020.

  1. DGODGR

    DGODGR Senior Member

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    Hey All,
    I am possibly looking to buy D5. I don't use dozers much in my operation so I'm looking at the used market. I would be looking for an enclosed cab, an XL undercarriage, and also rippers out back. I do work in the mountains a lot (slopes and rocks) so LGP is out of the question. I wouldn't be afraid of higher hours (say 5k or less) as long as it has been well maintained (especially the undercarriage). In the past I have rented C series, G series and K series when I needed a small dozer. I like the small Cat D5 dozers. For me it's easy to feel grade with them (good balance) I think that they have good visibility, they have plenty of pushing power and it's not hard to keep it pushing without spinning the tracks. In fact, I was particularly impressed on a job that required me to push spoils up to the top of a stock pile. That little 5G could push a full blade, up that hill (seemed about as steep as one could push a full blade up) and turn without having to lift, or angle the blade to help initiate the turn. Now I'm not very familiar with many other brands so I don't have much to compare it too (and I don't really want to open the thread to a "which brand is best" opinion fest) but I do have over 35 years or professional experience operating heavy equipment. Based on that experience, and my exposure to the D5, I feel it will fit the bill well.
    What I am asking of the HEF community is information in helping me select which series I would best consider for my possible purchase. My understanding is that the machine has employed basically the same components since the D5C. Powered by the Mitsubishi made 3046 and Cat's Hy-stat drive system. I would like to know what the evolutionary path has been (or what the differences are) between the different series of D5s (C, G, K, and K2).
    I have also noticed (during my casual browsing thus far) that some of them come with standard, SystemOne, and salt undercarriages. From what I have heard I think that the standard U/C would be best form me but I could also use information on the differences between the different U/Cs as well.
     
  2. Nige

    Nige Senior Member

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    Stay away from SystemOne would be good advice, or if you get a machine equipped with that style of U/C factor the conversion costs to change to HD undercarriage at some point in the future into your calculations.
    All "standard" HD undercarriage is SALT BTW, so they are one and the same thing. Effectively you only have 2 U/C choices - S1 or HD.
     
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  3. Welder Dave

    Welder Dave Senior Member

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    I think I'd look at the one with the least amount of electronics and emissions crap considering the condition was about equal. Maybe common problems with each model could be looked up?
     
  4. John C.

    John C. Senior Member

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    The G series was about that best that I had anything to do with. The C series machines that I had to inspect were for the most part worn out when they hit the used markets. The Deeres were a far better seller in those days. I didn't like the control scheme on the K machines at all. The diagnostics though were pretty nice once they put the little monitor over on the side and off the center monitor panel. Blade and ripper controls are all pretty similar. Standard under carriage is only good for around 3,500 hours or so depending on the materials your are working in. I don't know your preference on rock guards but from my experience the undercarriage lasts longer without them. System 1 can go up in the 5,000 hour range but usually has seal failures prior to that. Look for new paint on the box sections if you look at a machine with that on it. It is also subject to the materials you are working in. Small dozers now seem to get used a lot less so you should be able to find a decent G model for OK money. Blades on excavators reduced the need for a dedicated dozer on the residential sites. Most people around here just rent them when they need one anymore. The companies that owned them always tried to trade them in when the undercarriages were worn out. Then they were angry when the trade values would reflect the cost of replacing the toe nails. Most of the time you are better off finding machines from the rental companies than the franchised dealers.
     
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  5. DGODGR

    DGODGR Senior Member

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    I had never heard of the term "SALT tracks" before. I actually thought they might be specific for pushing salt piles! Thanks for clearing that up Nige. Once the S1 wears out what would it take to convert to the HD U/C beyond what I would be buying to replace the worn out S1 components anyway?

    I fully agree with that. That's part of why I'd like to know what the evolution of the model is. I'd love to hear which series have which upgrades (or downgrades?) so that I can pick which one/s I want to shop for.

    I would have to agree with a lot of your reply. I haven't seen any decent Cs for sale. I've spent a little bit of time in a 450j. It was quite a capable little dozer but a bit small for my liking (it felt more like a D3 than a 4 or 5) and I also simply like the way the Cat works and feels better. The Deere also had a lot of wear, broken parts, and things that didn't work correctly (buttons, doors, windows, etc.) for the amount of hours it had. That gave me the impression of lessor quality.
     
  6. John C.

    John C. Senior Member

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    As far as converting Sys1 to standard goes, I haven't seen numbers where it actually pays off when applied to small track type tractors. I have a video series on undercarriage for excavators and dozers. Click on the link below for the play list. The programs will provide you with more information than you might need or want to know about track type undercarriages.

    https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLnWEIsuBcxfhS2cURk5Fe7iOozptMAo7Y

    I believe a Deere 450J is comparable to a D3G. I'm not saying they are any better or worse. Just that more were sold in that time frame. There were issues with the Cats that even the factory boys had to admit that Deere had them beat on. Blade angling and visibility comes to mind pretty quickly.
     
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  7. CM1995

    CM1995 Super Moderator

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    I've got a 2004 D5GXL that I bought new. Currently has 6500+ hours on it with it's original chains, rollers and idlers. We have replaced pads and sprocket segments over the years.

    It's been a great little dozer that has moved many a CY of dirt.

    Other than UC and cutting edges here is what we've replaced in 16 years and 6500 hours -

    A/C compressor
    Thermostat
    Various hydraulic lines
    Shimmed the blade a couple of times
    Alternator
    Batteries

    Now one thing about the G series dozers are they are very, very finicky on voltage. If there is not 14.4V or close running through the system it can wreak havoc - like slamming the parking brake on while fine grading a parking lot. It took the first couple of times of the tractor going crazy that we started to check the voltage first when the parking brake wouldn't engage or it slammed to a stop.

    Also the G series will need to be calibrated with ET from time to time. The hystat system will get out of calibration and cause the drive motors to be sluggish and other annoying things. We've had to have the dealer calibrated our D5G twice in 6500 hrs for example which isn't that bad in my opinion.

    Our D5GXL has been a great machine and don't plan on ever getting rid of it. I'll be that old man with the dozer in his barn that people come by trying to buy it from time to time and I'll say "It ain't for sale".:D
     
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  8. Nige

    Nige Senior Member

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    Dunno. I'll have to go digging. I know that on D6-size machines there are some modifications to do on the track frames and guiding guards in order to make the conversion from S1 to HD. Some machines it's imposible to do the conversion because of the design of the track frame. I know we came across that not long back.

    Another couple of words about SALT - it stands for "Sealed And Lubricated Track". Effectively each pin/bush joint in the link assembly has a small cavity in it that is filled with oil. There is a seal at each end of the joint that stops the oil falling out. SALT chains are easily identifiable by the rubber plug/stopper in one end of each track pin that plugs the hole after the lubricant has been pumped into the joint. Generally most modern dozer tracks these days are SALT if you are looking at a Cat tractor.

    Sealed tracks are generally used on excavators and older dozers. The pin joint is either dry or grease-lubricated. In this case the seals are to stop dirt/dust getting into the joint. Run at dozer operating speeds they can be extremely noisy.....
     
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  9. JD955SC

    JD955SC Senior Member

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    Don’t see many Cs most are wore out. The Gs are also getting pretty long in the tooth nowadays.

    The K2s are emissions machines. Personally I like the Ks/K2s for working on. Plenty of room in the hystat area and the engines aren’t too bad for access.
     
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  10. DGODGR

    DGODGR Senior Member

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    The Ks don't have T4i or T4 final?
     
  11. JD955SC

    JD955SC Senior Member

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    I’m pretty sure the earlier Ks did not. Some may have been ACERT engines but no DPF.
     
  12. Don k

    Don k Well-Known Member

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    I have a D5G XL. Have had it for a couple of years now. Just use it here on the ranch so have not put a lot of hours on it. Has around 4800 hours on it. Had a JD 450C and a Cat. D7-17A before that. This is like driving a Lexus as opposed to a model T.
     
  13. DGODGR

    DGODGR Senior Member

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    I have found out that the K model got the ACERT 4.4 engine either immediately, or at some point. Can anyone tell what the difference between this engine and the 3046 is? Current K2 specs (from CAT website) show that they currently hold 4.9 gallons of DEF so that removes it from consideration for me. My 2017 Deere 245G has not exhibited any emissions related issues so far (only has about 1,000 hours on it) but my 2017 Bobcat A770 has had what I would consider far too many emissions related issues and thus has soured me a bit on newer machines. I do have more confidence in yellow iron than I do in white iron but I will likely shop pre-T4i if possible.
    While on the CAT site yesterday I noticed that the D4 (at least D4K2) is practically the same machine as the D5K2. It is only short by 12HP (92 vs 104), about 2,000# of weight, and blade capacity is claimed to be 2.59 yd vs 2.86. The blade is a bit narrower but it matches the D5G dimensions almost exactly. The K track frame increased the track gauge by about 2" over the G and the 4K2 shares that gauge. Interestingly enough the dimensions are practically identical other than what I've mentioned. I wonder if the D4G and D4K are also as close. If so they may also be worthy of consideration. The last time I rented a D4 I think it was a C, or pre- C (whatever series that was). I do recall that it still had the clutch steer levers, not Hy-stat.
    I was hoping to get more info from HEF members. I actually thought that there would be several who had specific knowledge and be enthusiastic to share it. I appreciate the info that I've received thus far and I think I will reach out to my local dealer to see what info they can give me. I will share what I learn so as to possibly benefit others and maybe generate more discussion.
     
    Last edited: May 22, 2020
  14. DGODGR

    DGODGR Senior Member

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    I had more to comment about this post. In particular I find this to be a very impressive example of a reliable machine. I would say it is akin to my '97 416C (bought new, over 12,000 hours now). I am particularly impressed by the U/C life and would suggest that this is an exceptional amount of life. Would you say that this is due to your primary soil conditions (Are you pushing 'tater dirt?) or would you attribute it to something else? I have an old G series brochure and it states that they do offer the "CAT Exclusive Rotating Bushing Track Option" which I assume is CAT's first offering of System One. Which U/C is on your G model? I would also be curious as to how many times you had to replace pads and sprockets in your 6,500 hours.
     
  15. CM1995

    CM1995 Super Moderator

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    Bought the tractor new in 2004. I attribute the exceptional UC wear to the operator that's probably been in the seat 5800 of it's 6500 hours. He hired on as an operator back when the tractor was new and is super now. He's one in a million.

    The earth we work with here in central Alabama is a mixed bag. Rock, clay, coal, iron ore, chert and sand - we have it all. Central AL is where the tail end of the Appalachian Mountains meet the Coastal Plane. It's a very diverse region geologically.

    I believe we've put 3 sets of pads, turned the P&B's once and 2 sets of sprocket segments over the years. It still has the original idlers and rollers.

    As far as I know it has the standard chains, it does not have system one or any variant. The current chains are on run out, I am interested to see how many more hours we get out of the UC. The D5G is going into semi-retirement as my plans are to replace it with a D5K or soon to be D3 per Cat's rebranding, with GPS.
     
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  16. AMBMike

    AMBMike Active Member

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    This may not apply to your question on D5 size machines but I'd like to mention our experience with Cat's System One undercarriage.
    I am the operator of our 2014 D6K2 XL that currently has 7439.7 hours on the clock. It has a ripper installed. It came with System One undercarriage. When we purchased it I was unsure about having another machine with System One due to the many negative reviews it has received and personal experience with System One on our 2008 963D and 2005 953D track loaders.
    This dozer has been an eye opener for me. The undercarriage was replaced at 72xx hours. We had no trouble at all with it. All rollers, idlers, sprocket segments and rails were original at replacement. The pads were regrousered and hard surfaced several times.
    Our area of work includes lots of rock, sand, chert , shale and mud.
    The machine is equipped with GPS and is our go to machine for finishing slopes and pads. It has spent a good part of it's life on 3:1 and 2:1 slopes.
    The cost to replace the undercarriage with System One was deemed too high by my bosses (in the $25k range if I remember correctly) so they converted it to a SALT undercarriage supplied by ITR to run the remainder of the machine's time in our fleet.
    In around 200 hours with the ITR undercarriage I've noticed four bottom rollers leaking oil and 2 of the (apparently) sealed pins are also leaking oil.
    The System One undercarriages on the previously mentioned track loaders were a different story. The chains on the 953D were shot at 25xx hours with 10 plus pins leaking on each chain. The 963D chains made it to around 35xx hours before being replaced but had 3-4 boxes replaced on each side prior to the entire chain replacement. The 953D currently has approximately 6k hours on it with no further problems and the 963D is just over 7k hours with no further problems so maybe it was a problem with first and second generation System One undercarriages???
     
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