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Lower priced track machine, or better wheeled machine

Discussion in 'Compact Track/Multi Terrain Loaders' started by john146, Jan 13, 2020.

  1. john146

    john146 Active Member

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    I need a machine with tracks (mud!). Until now I was favoring looking for wheeled machines and then buy OTT tracks for them. I assumed this would be cheaper and it'd be less maintenance. However I'm seeing some pretty decent deals on tracked machines as well (I'm looking at an ASV 60 with 2500 hours for 10k). At face value, getting a tracked machine would provide the lowest entry cost for me. Since I'm a homeowner/landowner, I don't really mind having to have some maintenance down the line as long as it's not a costly repair, but I probably also won't be putting on more than several hundred hours a year.

    I don't think I'll ever run this on pavement, so I really don't mind running steel OTTs, but will I regret buying a tracked machine maintenance-wise?
     
  2. KSSS

    KSSS Senior Member

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    Occupation:
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    Tracked machines can get cheap, it all depends on the undercarriage, much like a dozer. I would be careful of an ASV with higher hours, if you are careful about a proper undercarriage inspection, it may turn out ok. Call an ASV dealer and ask about the cost of going through their undercarriage, to see what the worse case scenario would be (you will want to be sitting down). My experience with Florida was sandy ground, few rocks, maybe that is not everywhere (Fort Walton area). The fully suspended undercarriage would likely be better there than most other places. OTT even with the F type (Trailblazer) tracks from Loegering that offer more floatation still wont float like an ASV would, but would be much better than straight tires with a lot less maintenance. I see that Loegering still makes their VTS track system. I had a set of those years ago. That might be an option as well.
     
  3. skata

    skata Senior Member

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    I'd avoid the asv like the plague. Any other track machine will be way more reliable and cheaper to maintain.
     
  4. mikebramel

    mikebramel Senior Member

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    Asv are great machines for landscapers. But if the machine isn't making enough money to put your budget at only $10 I would not buy one.... Wont get you very far without the wheels falling off lol
     
  5. john146

    john146 Active Member

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    Well, I ended up getting a T-180 with 1500 (fairly rough) hours on it, with a trailer for $9k... I drove three hours just to make sure this was an actual thing. Still need to get it delivered
     
  6. skata

    skata Senior Member

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    That seems cheap. How rough is it?
     
  7. john146

    john146 Active Member

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    The body didn't seem very rough, but it was used for demolition and not landscaping. The bucket had rust and some cracks in it, but not the actual unit itself. I didn't spend much time inspecting it, because I know it's a steal of a price if it even turns on and moves at all with all components functioning as they should be. I was looking at several wheeled ones with more hours for more money.

    [​IMG]
     
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  8. 673moto

    673moto Active Member

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    That’s a hell of a deal!
    I picked up a t180 a couple weeks ago(not for that cheap, unfortunately!) and have been going through it.
    Take those tracks and sprockets off and change the drive motor gear oil as soon as you get it! It’s 1.5oz each side but is pretty critical.
    Let me know if you have any questions about that thing as I’m still working on mine.
    I have a couple posts about it that are still in the first few pages on this forum.
    Good luck!
     
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  9. john146

    john146 Active Member

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    I took it for a test drive around the property and already managed to get it stuck in my makeshift 'moat' (just a poorly dug ditch, really). I need to use the excavator to get it out, but unfortunately the excavator's battery is dead. Fun times. That'll teach me to be more careful where I drive it.

    I bought a rear view camera for it, need to install it.

    Is there anything I can do to give it more traction/clearance/flotation in deep mud?
     
  10. 673moto

    673moto Active Member

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    Only thing I think you could do (aside from some crazy undercarriage swap) to get better float/traction would be to get new tracks... and practice driving it!
    What rear camera setup did you get? I’ve been thinking about doing the same, I guess I’m getting so lazy these days that simply turning my head is too much!
    Edit: those tracks do look kinda worn down.
     
  11. john146

    john146 Active Member

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    I got some el-cheapo camera from cmazon ("koolwoo"). It's not really very impressive. Anything shaded is pretty much black so you can't see much. It's better than nothing, I guess. Also, the mount doesn't stay put with the vibration of the skidsteer.

    I did practice driving it some more, and I've not gotten stuck again, even in the same spot. I guess I'm used to riding a tractor where the bucket stays down, but with the t180 on rough terrain and mud, it actually just serves as a barrier.

    I managed to get rid of "Mount Walter", named after the person who sold us this property, where he just piled up a ton of dirt, used it to fill in the areas where I got stuck in.
     
  12. john146

    john146 Active Member

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    Regarding the gear oil, how do I know it needs more? From what I can tell, my unit was maintained pretty well, just heavily used (i.e. not landscaping or farms). I also see you just bought a mini-ex, so did I! - next in line is a dump truck/trailer, I guess maybe with a 1 ton truck?
     
  13. 673moto

    673moto Active Member

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    Nice! I’m working towards the truck/trailer and a class A license.

    Oil needs to be changed at 500hr intervals I believe... mine had maybe an ounce of very black oil when I drained.
    Assuming that since it’s such a PITA to change that nobody had ever done it.
    Really wasn’t too difficult and I sure feel better knowing it’s fresh.
     
  14. john146

    john146 Active Member

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    FL (idk about CA) has this interesting exemption for CDL requirement:

    "Farmers transporting farm supplies or farm machinery, or transporting agricultural products to or from the first place of storage or processing or directly to or from market, within 150 miles of their farm". I don't know if I want something over 26k gvwr anyway.

    I'm not even sure how to remove the tracks or do any maintenance. The interior of the T180 needs some cleanup, it's all full of random bits of stucco and shingles
     
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  15. 673moto

    673moto Active Member

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    It’s not too difficult. Requires some grunt and leverage.
    Best video I’ve found:
     
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  16. 673moto

    673moto Active Member

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    As a general contractor (with no farmland) I don’t think i’d Qualify!...
     
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  17. john146

    john146 Active Member

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    Nice video. He seems to be having a hard time. Guess I gotta clear the garage and get myself a giant pry bar. What about the gear oil? Also, the tread pattern on his tracks seem interesting.
     
  18. 673moto

    673moto Active Member

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    I used 1.5” steel pipe instead of wood. Slid right off.
    I read somewhere that you can also use gear oil 80–90 weight. I’m not too far from the bobcat dealer though so I just picked up the actual stuff.
     
  19. 673moto

    673moto Active Member

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    I think he covers the gear oil in this video:
     
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  20. john146

    john146 Active Member

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    Thank you canadian bobcat man