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Demoing a 299DS

Discussion in 'Compact Track/Multi Terrain Loaders' started by KSSS, Nov 8, 2015.

  1. KSSS

    KSSS Senior Member

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    I picked up a 299D2 with the high flow (not the 106 hp model) to demo.


    Here are some things I like about it. The display in the machine is real nice, the best I have run in a skid steer. It is intuitive to run, I like the bar graphs for setting speeds and response. The machine tie down locations are very good. The control handles are very nice, liked the feel of them. View to the bucket is good and to the side of the machine. The window out the back is purely ornamental. The camera helps, but its not perfect, sun positioning creates shadows making it hard to see at times. I think sonar like that in pickups would be helpful in conjunction with the camera. The ride is really nice, the torsion suspension is a comfortable feature. The cab is quiet, the noise you hear is not, at least to me objectionable. I did miss not having a storage area you can put gloves and so forth. Not a lot of room in the cab, but I liked the layout.


    Some things I am not excited about. Bucket breakout is not impressive. The bucket is an 84" extended lip bucket and they are not easy to breakout of a pile but for machine of this size I would expect more. Dump height is limited, made worse by the long lip bucket. The reach is fine, just wish it would reach higher. My Mack has a demo body on it and even with that short sided bed it struggles dumping. The seating position is not very comfortable for me. The floor is high in the cab which positions by knees up higher. I am 6' so certainly not the tallest guy but still found it uncomfortable after hour 5 in the machine. Entering the machine is not as easy as I am used to, door doesn't open very far.

    Push power was not very impressive, the machine detunes itself like CATs do and it does it often in this machine. Perhaps that can be adjusted to get a little more out of it. It is a great feature for an inexperienced operator but not set right if your trying to get more out of it. I am surprised at how little push power the machine has, maybe something is not set right with it. My TR320 will push much harder than this machine. It does have more torque than the CAT but gives up some weight and some hp, but you would never know that by running them side by side. It does not appear that this machine has the ability to switch between ISO and H pattern. I see no reason with EH controls that the feature should not be standard. This machine did not have a hyd quick attach, reminded me how much manual couplers suck. The ride control is not as aggressive as it is on my Case machines. Torsion suspension may negate some of the need for ride control. The speed setting on the ride control can have some advantages I guess, but still having the ability to actuate a button on the handle would be helpful as well. Setting it to activate at a certain speed does not allow for changing conditions on the jobsite and it is not a feature you want on all the time.

    I have put about 6 hours on it so far but it is not the horse I was expecting it to be. Maybe the 106 hp XPS machine is the one to demo. I am not sure what the price is on this model, I priced a XPS model with the forestry adds and it was 91K, that is a lot of scratch. This model I am running should be much cheaper I would think.
     
  2. JDOFMEMI

    JDOFMEMI Senior Member

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    Nice review KSSS

    I agree with you on most of what you say. I have been on a couple of rentals, and I am not impressed. One thing I noticed as well is that the drive controls have a good deal of lag time. When you come up against something, the track can spin a bit even after you have backed off the controls. This too may be adjustable, but if the dealer needs to do it few will have it done.

    I have an original 287, and it will lift nearly as much as a new 299D. That just don't seem right. The older machine with the pilot controls is also smoother and more precise to run. To me all of the EH controls is a step backward.
     
  3. KSSS

    KSSS Senior Member

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    Yea I really thought it would compel me to buy it. However not really feeling the love. I was expecting it to be substantially better than the 2011 TR320 I am running, but from a productivity standpoint it is not. I could detect some lag but I have more room on the sensitivity setting to take some of that out of it. However I am running this machine on ISO and I am an H pattern guy, so a little lag is not a bad thing.
     
  4. Shimmy1

    Shimmy1 Senior Member

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    I'm sure you expected me to chime in. Agree with everything you said about cab layout, accessibility, and the junky EH controls. Have you ran a 770 yet?
     
  5. KSSS

    KSSS Senior Member

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    I would like to run one, but the BC dealer here is horrible. Really removes them from contention, ever since the Deere dealer here who used to sell BC sold the Deere franchise and lost the BC contract, they have been in limbo. Currently the BC dealership is an independent rental store. They have no mobile repair capability nor do they take trade ins. The techs are marginally trained. Really a half arsed operation.
     
  6. Shimmy1

    Shimmy1 Senior Member

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    That really sucks.
     
  7. StumpyWally

    StumpyWally Senior Member

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    KSSS - Good review...I hope PaFarmer chimes in, as he runs Cat 299's & seems to rave about them.
     
  8. pafarmer

    pafarmer Senior Member

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    Try the 299XHP and tell us what you think. Totally different animal in every aspect.... We been running the tracks off them for a few season now. Nothing better if you can stomach the sticker....I like the 289D too....but the 299XHP is insanely powerful.
     
  9. KSSS

    KSSS Senior Member

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    Glad to see you respond. I was curious about that. This was the only 299 D2 they had available to run. I honestly figured that the increase in engine hp that the XHP has would only be noticed when running HF hydraulic attachments. I was apparently mistaken. So your saying that there is a noticeable difference between the two? Surprising the price difference is not that much (both are insane) but if the XHP performs than it is easier to write the check.
     
  10. pafarmer

    pafarmer Senior Member

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    Yes Sir. That is what I'm saying. Give one a try and see for yourself. Not easy writing. Check for either one of these CAT units....XHP stands for extra high price...it's a little joke I say every month...try one and report back your finding..
     
  11. BradAZLR

    BradAZLR Active Member

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    I really like our new 299d2 xhp. We just got it in at the end of October got 80 hours on it and it's a beast got the land management package 2 and the steel tracks. We just happened to be picking up some supplies when she came rolling in. [​IMG]