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Looking for 299 class machine. What are the comparables?

Discussion in 'Compact Track/Multi Terrain Loaders' started by fastline, Jan 2, 2022.

  1. fastline

    fastline Senior Member

    Joined:
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    No big rush but looking around for a 299D class machine. All my equipment is CAT, but I am not brand loyal. I do appreciate more than just dig force, HP, etc. I am looking at design, quality, ease of repairs, etc. One thing I just don't like on the full cab models is that you cannot get out of the machine unless bucket is down. maybe a great safety feature, but it has bitten me before.

    I ran an older Bobcat many yrs ago and it was just depressing in the lack of quality. However, I think Bobcat has come a long ways and I ran a newer midi Ex of theirs a while back and really could not complain in the 8hrs I ran it.

    I know Bobcat has a bigger one, I think T870 if memory serves, but want to figure out a list of models, and the pros/cons of each.

    As for what it would be used for, I am almost trying to delete the need for a small 6 way dozer so I need to do pushing and top dressing. I do realize it is a stretch to try to cover dozer work, but most of it won't be a big deal. Basically chasing excavator work and giving it a final. We have a D7 for any major pushing. And obviously in being a CTL, we want to run attachments and such and see it as a good swiss army knife to have around.
     
  2. Kn1ghtWolf

    Kn1ghtWolf Member

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2021
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    Location:
    Minnesota
    John Deere 333g, Takeuchi TL12, BobCat t870, ASV120, Manitou 3200VT, and Kubota svl97-2 are all that I can think of other than New Holland but their largest machine is a class down at only 84hp.

    If you like the vertical sliding doors, the Kubota, Takeuchi, and Manitou have you covered. The Kubota has a better price tag but their previous gen, the 95-2, was a problem child which should be noted. Kubota claim the 97 fixed most of the issues. I know they fixed the def sensors and noise insulation in the cab, not familiar with all the other faults they went over.
    The Takeuchi TL12 is always getting glowing reviews on YouTube from who I consider trustworthy people but some areas are void of dealers which may be an issue if you aren't a handy or need warranty work done. "V-belt and Son" on YouTube does mostly forestry mulching which is one of the most brutal tasks for these machines and their Takeuchi holds strong.
    I haven't seen much info about the Manitou 3200VT other than their website and a few YouTube videos and they aren't wide spread, might have to contact a dealer to learn about them.

    Cat and Deere both have grading systems available, all I know is Deere's smart grade isn't worth the $100,000 they are asking in its current state unless you are a massive company with money to burn on a lacking feature.
    I am most familiar with the 333g as I now own one and have done a fair bit of reading on them before purchasing. I haven't ran it enough to experience issues with it yet, but from what I've read its reliability is on par with everyone else. Build quality is alright but the paint from factory flakes off like they never prepped the base coat.
    Cat I'm less familiar with so nothing negative or positive to say, same goes for Bobcat but I'll add the width of their t870 might not fit on all between fender equipment trailers.

    Most guys with the large ASV's are running mulchers, with their undercarriage its hard to know how they hold in the rocks and mud, someone with experience will have more valuable input than me. Their cab leaves much to be desired however, it doesn't feel as roomy as other brands.

    A key takeaway with using dozer blades on track loaders is making sure you have proper weighting on the back of the machine and having a crawl function, both help reduce rocking which will cause waves in your grade.

    One thing that you need to do is get into every one of these machines at a dealer and drive it around if possible, experiencing the cab and functions first hand will likely be your biggest deciding factor and that way you don't regret your purchase. In my opinion you will like the takeuchi but I don't want to sway anyone one way or the other.
     
  3. fastline

    fastline Senior Member

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    Thanks! I should have mentioned we will buy used, and thought dealer support is nice, I'd rather buy the better machine as we work on our own equipment. I am also considering the "value" aspect here. I tend to lean on CAT just because I know them and their quality is usually mostly on point. But I have no issue cussing some design things they do.

    So no, we won't be walking into the dealer to buy new. This is one reason we were looking at the CAT 299D, because they seem more abundant on the used market.

    I was pretty interested in the JCB mono arm design but seems they don't really dance in these bigger power machines? Or they are hugging tight to the EPA regs and down rating all their engines to stay under the BS radar. I just really like the improved visibility and entry. Still not sure how they will hold up though.
     
  4. Kn1ghtWolf

    Kn1ghtWolf Member

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    I am in the same mind set as you with buying used and working on them, saves money and time.

    Even though you will be buying used, some of the latest machines on dealership lots have few changes from previous gens as far as the cab layout and functions(most functions have been available for years but are just slowly becoming standard) so it would still be beneficial in my opinion for you to try them or at least try a dealers used line up and get acquainted with how the machine is supposed to run so when you run into a used machine that you are ready to buy you know when its running weird or missing something you want. In my specific instance where this would have helped me is when my brother bought his JD skid steer. When we went to look at it the the handling of the mechanical joysticks was rougher than I'm used to on the bobcat I ran and there appeared to be some sort of hydraulic whine, nothing scary but if I would have had sat into a properly function one prior I would know exactly what was off. The seller claimed he had other buyers lining up(could just be a car salesman) so it was basically buy now or never, the price was great and the risk was low so he took the risk, luckily its a fine operating unit.

    I completely forgot the JCB existed. Your attention to visibility is warranted, maintaining a grade in a normal cab can be tedious on dozer blades.
    You will definitely notice a push power difference between the mid size and large machines (74hp vs 100hp) but in most scenarios it just comes down to reducing how much packed material you are cutting up in a single go. Whether that would effect productivity for your circumstances I can't say.
     
  5. JPSouth

    JPSouth Well-Known Member

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    Location:
    SW Montana
    A contractor I work with quite a bit took delivery of a new JCB 3TS-8T last fall. I've put maybe 35 or so hours on it doing several different tasks, aside from a failed o-ring on a hydraulic fitting it's so far been a solid machine. I think it's crowding 150 or so now. 74hp for that weight machine (with 18" tracks) seemed a little light, but it doesn't appear to lack for push. It won't out-horse a 299, but in my experience, you'll run out of bucket before you run out of push. Visibility, access and cab comfort is great, enclosed quick attach is a bonus, keeps rocks and debris out of the connecting mechanism. Can't say enough about the teleboom, it makes loading trucks a snap, you're able to center easily and more precisely. Offers a lot of options when backfilling foundations and trenches, or dumping subgrade gravel into concrete forms. We load racks of wall panels with it, made a jib to lift those racks into 4' foundations, works well. I've built two fairly large driveways, and found it grades comparable to any good CTL. Downsides - because of the monoboom and wide track you're blind to the right hand side of the bucket; after some time, you'll develop a spatial awareness and be able to get within 2" or so fairly consistently. Stock GP bucket seems small for volume, and it's tough to see the leading edge. Tracks seem to pop a lot, and I de-tracked the thing one day grading road mix on a flat driveway, going in a straight line.
     
  6. gwhammy

    gwhammy Senior Member

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    Location:
    missouri
    I've had decent luck with the 95 kubota I bought used. Put around 600 hours on it and it now has 1400 on it. Had def problems right after I bought it but was under warranty. There is a delete kit for the kubota which is the way I was going but dealer offered me real close to what I gave for it on a new one.

    The cab is roomy and I really like the door better than all the cats and bobcats I had. The pilot controls work great. Only complaint is in dry dirt you really have to watch the quick bucket pins and keep them greased often.

    This new one will be my 42 skid steer I've owned so I have a little bit of experience in 44 years in the business.
     
    Tags likes this.
  7. 631G

    631G Well-Known Member

    Joined:
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    Occupation:
    Civil Superintendent
    Location:
    Georgia
    We have a Mustang MTL25 and a new Mustang 3200VT and I would tell you that the older machine is the better of the two from a simplicity and operability standpoint. The new machine will burn a full tank of fuel in probably 6 hours of really working it hard where the older machine would maybe burn half that. Plus, the new machine is riddled with electronics and in my opinion has far too many electric components to fail or get ripped off. A good example is the quick attach. Its electric and we have had nothing but trouble with it. Sometimes it will work and sometimes it won't. We've rebuilt the old one to no avail and replaced it to only have the same issue come up again. For a $75K machine when we got it its not showing to have been a great buy.

    Looking at other machines I have worked with/around I would tell you that Cat's 289D series machines are great. I was working for a large company out of Nebraska on some power plants in PA and we had 5 of them running 2 shifts and they performed amazingly well. Granted that company has an amazing service dept. but I'd say the build quality also had a big role in that. My brother bought a new Cat 299 that he runs hard every day just about with a mulching head and loves it. He also has a Mustang 3200VT and according to him the Cat is the much better machine. Alot of the subs that I use for modular block walls and the like run with Takeuchi TL12's and they've been pretty pleased with them but also say they aren't quite the same machine they were a few years back when Ghel Mustang and Takeuchi were all building them together. Still a solid machine, just not as good as they once were and that's mainly due to the emissions systems and take a wild guess... too many electronic bells and whistles. Our erosion sub only runs Bobcat and from what I understand have been pleased with them. They mainly have older machines but they're all still hanging in and are abused pretty badly by the crews. I don't have much else to add other than that observation.
     
  8. BCG

    BCG Well-Known Member

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    Location:
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    Case also has the 340, 450 and 670 in the 90 - 110 HP range. My buddy just got a new 340 and really likes it, he also really likes my SVL95. I like the Kubota because of the slide up door, I use my machine on the ranch and am usually working alone, being able to work the controls from outside the cab is an absolute necessity for me. I've got more attachments than I can count, everything from grading blades to trencher, auger, mulch head and mowers, it runs everything I put on it without complaint.

    The only real issues I've had with my 95 are a DEF head failure, replaced under warranty at 2500 hours, and the AC evaporator will clog up over time and is a pain to clean. I'm pretty sure the 97, and pretty much every other manufacturer, uses the same DEF header, the emissions systems are a weak point on all of them.
     
  9. fastline

    fastline Senior Member

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    ThanksI guys! Since I mentioned we will be buying something used, I'd like to figure out if prices between all of these are pretty comparable? Or does something like the Kubota just cost a bit less? This is not something that we will run daily so trying to save where we can is important. Especially since we would have to get all sorts of attachments too.

    I read constantly of emissions issues with all equipment here. I think it is just part of newer machine ownership now. You better plan to spend many thousands to "save the world" with your tiny diesel.

    It sounds like most of them are decent. I think one factor for me is serviceability and cost of parts, and/or plentiful aftermarket supplies. I know one reason I bought one of my tractors was that it runs a Cummins 5.9, which is as common as a 350 chevy. I am also looking to scour the Inet for common issues. As we all know, people rarely take to the net to rave about their equipment. They get on to complain or solve problems.

    I work on everything inhouse. For that reason, I pay close attention to access and a thoughtful design. I run a Duramax pickup and I might be one of the few that HATE it! Don't get me wrong, she runs good, but even something as simple as a belt replacement will have you cussing and throwing because there is nothing on that truck that is easy to work on. The engine bay looks like a basket case.
     
  10. John Strange

    John Strange Member

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    Dec 28, 2021
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    Location:
    Austin, TX
    I would also highly consider your location and the dealers for parts and service that are in your area. If you have never serviced heavy equipment before you may want to see what techs are in the area if you are remote and ask them what they like to work on and why. Service and maintenance on any heavy equipment is key to keep problems down IMHO.

    - Buying an older used skid steer without DEF drastically reduces the complexity, I picked up a 2014 299D with no DEF, you still have the regen, but no DEF makes things far simpler.
     
  11. Makers Acres

    Makers Acres Well-Known Member

    Joined:
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    Occupation:
    Imagineer
    Location:
    Los Angeles, California
    So I did a lot of research before I bought my machine (Used 2014 CAT 299D). I was able to pick it up for 32K with 3400 hours on it. I was buying this machine for personal use, as I start to build my farm out.

    I have heard these engines are pretty strong for 6000+ hours. With a couple hundred hours a year I expect to put on it, I figured this would probably last me for decades.

    I was seriously considering Bobcat, Kubota, and CAT machines. Before I bought mine, the factors that made me lean towards CAT were the number of features you get with it, and the quality of the product. When you compare parts from one maker to the others, the parts seems just better-constructed on the CAT, in my opinion.

    Since I have owned the machine, I have helped my friend who has a Bobcat A300, and I am not impressed with his machine. His only has 1200 hours on it, and has had computer failures and Joystick issues. When I took apart the joysticks, they were built like a child’s toy, where the CAT ones were real industrial grade. Bobcat has since improved that design, but they wanted $6K just to upgrade the joysticks to the newer style in his machine.

    His machine is so hard to work on anything, where the CAT is way easier to service and physically get to parts. Bobcat likes to tuck everything super tight, and working on anything usually requires a lot of disassembly. The CAT, you lift the cab and you can get under it and have plenty of room to work on all the valve blocks and the pump.

    CAT also makes all the grease fitting pretty easy to get to, compared to others. Since you grease this every day or so, you can really appreciate the easier access. Go try and grease a BOBCAT, it is a real chore compared to the 299D. If it is hard to do, you find yourself doing it less and less, and you can bet the previous owner probably did the same thing which is not great for the service life.

    The CAT was my first machine I have purchased. Since then, I have purchased a Genie Tele-handler, a Bobcat Excavator, a JLG Scissor lift, and a Kubota UTV.

    What I can say is that CAT has the best parts and service manuals I have ever seen. They also have parts available to purchase for long periods of time.

    I really enjoy that CAT puts part numbers on everything, and I mean EVERYTHING! Even things like small o-rings have the part numbers laser engraved on them. Super helpful and super easy to locate parts on CAT’s website. CAT seems to carry parts for longer too, things don’t get discontinued or become obsolete. I have a friend who has a 988 from the early 90’s that he can still get parts for. When it comes to my 2004 442 Bobcat excavator, The dealership didn’t even know Bobcat sold that machine.

    The have also changed to a new parts numbering system, so I have had to call the dealership and usually they con’t figure out how to cross reference it, or if they do, they can’t get parts for it. If they do in my case, they are way out of line as far as cost. They want $2,000 just for the front window pane plus $2,000 for the frame that holds it. I think CAT is around $300 for the same part on a similar machine. Bobcat has told me I should just buy a new machine as they don’t like to support machines 10 plus years old.

    I live in Burbank, so I have pretty much all of the major dealers close to me, but I have always found the CAT dealer to be friendlier and more supportive of my needs. Finding a good dealer with good dealer support is something that can’t be undervalued.

    I put a bunch of work into my CAT 299 just to restore it, since it came from back east. You can see those videos here if you are curious about the process of buying it and some of the restoration work I did.

    https://youtube.com/playlist?list=PLhM78NC_4pN7KLIN2nD-2eWHyi4T_f98p

    Hope some of this helps, and I am happy to answer any questions about my CAT.
     
    hseII likes this.
  12. hseII

    hseII Member

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    Aug 9, 2014
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    Location:
    Georgia
    Dealer Support & Parts availability is as important as a Solid Machine that has little downtime to me.

    depending on where you live will help with that choice.

    I grew up on 1845Cs, 85xts, & 863 Bobcats. All mechanical & wheeled machines. Those days are gone.

    Cousin #2 has a 299D that has almost 2,000hrs on it that he’s owned since new. He’s had electrical issues as the machine has aged.

    All of them will.

    In his case he will be swapping to a Takeuchi TL12R2 when it is time to update.

    Cousin #1 has a fleet of over 20 Bobcat & Cat machines, T590/CAT 259s & T650s. They aren’t buying anymore Bobcats & will be rolling Caterpillar replacements in as the existing Bobcats age. Doosan powered & poor product support since the Doosan buyout is their reasoning. They have as many mini ex, but have decided to stick with Bobcat for now.

    I owned a SVL90-2 Kubota & will be going back with a SVL95/97-2 this spring.

    Kubota has a Parts Depot like CAT in Atlanta & they’ve always had what I needed.

    Will you be running a Mulcher or a large Stump Grinder?
    For what you mentioned a Kubota, Takeuchi, or CAT 299D seems to be the top pic.

    If you’re running a mulching head a lot, the TAK & the CAT seem get picked more.
     
  13. fastline

    fastline Senior Member

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    Really appreciate the feedback guys!!! No plans to run a mulcher right now, but things change. Does still seem like CAT is still a solid play here. I tend to cuss some things they do, but otherwise I appreciate their real engineering. Currently working on a decades old D7 and I can still walk into the dealer and get those parts for CHEAP! Like an odd gasket was $4. With prices like that, I am happy to give business to the dealer, plus I get to talk to people that know the equipment.

    Deere is something I have never owned, but carries the same heritage as CAT. Some OEMs figured out that supporting equipment for decades leads to better sales on the front end.

    It really is so funny @makers mentioned Bobcat issues. I recall looking at a skidsteer years ago for purchase and was just shocked at the quality. How did that name become so household? It SUCKED! Looked like a DIY toy compared to what I was used to which was Deere, CAT, and New Holland.

    As I mentioned, I ran a Bobcat Midi Ex a while back. I didn't go through the mechanics, just ran it. I was happy with the performance but that is all. I might gamble on a Bobcat if they are dirt cheap, but if they are even close to the higher players, I can't see the advantage?
     
    Makers Acres and hseII like this.
  14. Makers Acres

    Makers Acres Well-Known Member

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    Location:
    Los Angeles, California
    If you do get a used CAT, I would say make sure you get the screen and a backup camera. I added one to mine which you can see my video how I did that. The rear visibility in these machines is nonexistent.
    The screen is extremely helpful for tracking filter life and maintenance items.
    The big deal about it though is that is gives you much better diagnostic messages.
    As far as bobcat, I think their claim to fame is all the attachments they came up with. It was like a kitchen aid for your yard!
     
    hseII likes this.
  15. Linky210

    Linky210 Member

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    Occupation:
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    Amaranth Ontario
    I’ve had good luck with my manitou 3200 so far, just a tad over 500 hours so far in the first year having it

    I did a little thread called “manitou 3200vt” in the skid steer section before I realized this section was the proper one
     
  16. Linky210

    Linky210 Member

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    Occupation:
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    Amaranth Ontario