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CTL Final Drives

Discussion in 'Compact Track/Multi Terrain Loaders' started by Canuck Digger, Mar 22, 2019.

  1. Canuck Digger

    Canuck Digger Well-Known Member

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    Bit of a hypothetical question here. From personal experience and of others, there seems to be a consensus that final drives on CTLs seem to be the weakest point of the machines, and often fail early, even with proper maintenance.

    Some have noted that most manufacturers use or used the same one or two brands of final drives available to the market.

    Question is.... Are these final drives still being used today, or have there been upgrades and or new options made available to the market. If so, is there a time frame after which "better quality/longer lasting finals were installed in CTL's. Thx.
     
  2. KSSS

    KSSS Senior Member

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    My understanding is that the drive motors have been continuously improved by the drive OEM's. The first Rexroth drives on the BC 864 were horrible and constant improvement has been made by all of them since. I think it would take a bit of research to determine what CTL OEM is using what version of the various drives from the different OEMs. However speaking in general, the drives available now are much more robust than previous generations of drives.
     
    mg2361 likes this.
  3. nycb

    nycb Active Member

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    Which is why CTL shopping is terrifying to me. You see older low hours machines that might grenade early, and then you see the newer machines coming off road crew work pushing 4000 hours and the listing says "Runs great"
     
  4. KSSS

    KSSS Senior Member

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    Buying a higher houred CTL is scary. Pretty easy to pay 1/3 or more of the purchase price on a new drive. Then there is all that metal floating around in the machine after a failure. I think if you change the drive oil often that certainly helps, but buying used there is no way to know. I buy them new and get out by 2K hours, resale is good, I usually buy one set of tracks, maybe a roller or two, but that is about it. I replace the drive oil as called for, and I have never had a failure in the time that I have them. Like Clint likes to say "are you feeling lucky"?
     
    CM1995 likes this.
  5. hosspuller

    hosspuller Senior Member

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    I was considering the purchase of a CTL for a short time. Can't afford new so used is only option. I got scared off by the many posts of final drives failing. Decided in favor of a wheeled skid steer instead.

    The question is why the final drive troubles? Yet skid steers have been working for many years with nary the drive failures.

    Is it the state of hydro drive technology in the CTL sizes? Seems like CAT dozers work well. Are the drives about the same in skid steers ? BUT, the tracks are much more load because of added traction? Or do CTL's get more abuse than a skid steer? Again because of the track capability, where wheel slip limits drive load.
     
  6. Canuck Digger

    Canuck Digger Well-Known Member

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    Guess another angle to add to this conversation is certain brands such as TK/Gehl and even a bobcat in the era of "weak drive motors" seem to have less failures than some of the other brands. Based on my research anyway.... Wonder why that is, or appears to be anyway
     
  7. John C.

    John C. Senior Member

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    MTL and CTL machines mount the final drive under the tracks and drive with sprocket teeth. The whole drive is outside of the frame and subject to the work environment and the shock loading associated with that work environment. Wheeled skid steers use a chain compartment with the motors staying on the inside of the frames and out of the work environment. The chains run in oil and chain gears seem to be a lot tougher overall than the small fast turning precision gears inside the planetary drives found on a tracked machine. The wheels will also slip a lot easier allowing the machine to turn.
     
  8. CM1995

    CM1995 Super Moderator

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    Buying any piece of yellow iron is risky if you don't know it's history.

    I prefer to buy CTL's new as well, actually taking delivery of a new 279D this week. Flip side is in order to buy new, one has to put it to work creating billable hours, since a 279D loaded new is mid $70's.

    For years we ran wheeled machines with metal tracks. Started before foam filling was an option for the tires so that was a real PITA when you got a flat as you had to take the tracks off. Once foam filing came along it made running OTT metal tracks easier.

    Alot of times we would put the tracks on in Nov and take them off in Mar. It's what we had to work with and got jobs completed. Just another option.