1. Thank you for visiting HeavyEquipmentForums.com! Our objective is to provide industry professionals a place to gather to exchange questions, answers and ideas. We welcome you to register using the "Register" icon at the top of the page. We'd appreciate any help you can offer in spreading the word of our new site. The more members that join, the bigger resource for all to enjoy. Thank you!
  2. ALL NEW MEMBERS READ THIS FIRST!! Thank you for joining Heavy Equipment Forums! If you are new to forums we communicate with "Threads", please search our threads to see if your topic may have already been answered and if not then click "Post New Thread" in the appropriate forum. This will allow all of our members to see your question and give you the best chance to be answered. After you've made a number of posts you will graduate to Full Member status where you'll see a few more privileges. Following these guidelines will help make this the best resource for heavy equipment on the net. Thanks for joining us and I hope you enjoy your stay!!

MTL/CTL Maintenances and Costs

Discussion in 'Skid Steers' started by mert0714, May 28, 2007.

  1. mert0714

    mert0714 Charter Member

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2003
    Messages:
    64
    Location:
    Eastern IA
    Situation: Residential removal/replacement of concrete flatwork where we are driving over the 4"-6" edge of the broken concrete most of the time. Turning 180 degrees on the concrete (we spread some loose dirt to aid in slippage) to load a truck and repeat till we get to a point where we can just go forward and backward but still driving over the broken edge of the concrete. I don't forsee much use in real muddy conditions. I also do snow removal and heard that they are just as good or better than tires for that.:beatsme

    Currently we have a Cat 262A and recently we have run into several projects where we had to rent (Cat 257B) to get the job done because of limiting the mess in a yard or the subgrade was too soft for our wheeled machine. The benefit of the track machine besides not getting stuck was that even though we always put in 2"+ of rock, we would have to put in more rock just to get our machine in and out to do what we need to do.

    I was wondering if anyone could tell me, with there experiences/expertice, what might be some of the problems with the track machines in this situation. When some repairs might start showing up? How much some of the repairs could run? How long (hours) I would expect to get out of a set of tracks versus tires (which we will have 1500 hrs on 1 set of Galaxy Bulky Hulks now). How much are a set of replacement tracks? Are tracks hard to replace? Recommendations? Any or all other information would be greatly appreciated and helpful.
     
  2. CascadeScaper

    CascadeScaper Senior Member

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2005
    Messages:
    1,162
    Occupation:
    2nd year Operating Engineer Apprentice
    Location:
    Lynnwood, WA
    I can tell you that if you're working on paved surfaces or broken concrete you're going to toast the tracks in a hurry. Tracked machines are highly specialized machines and should be taken as such. We had a 277B that I calculated to cost us right around $10 more per hour for undercarriage replacement than a comparably sized wheeled machine. Really need to be making up that $10 an hour in productivity or doing jobs that a wheeled machine absolutely cannot do otherwise you're throwing money down the tube.
     
  3. mert0714

    mert0714 Charter Member

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2003
    Messages:
    64
    Location:
    Eastern IA
    Exactly what I imagined it might be and per hour was exactly what i was looking for. Tires are at about $1.50-$1.70 per hour and very minimal maintenance. I just wasn't sure wether the technology recently compensated for this situation and exactly how much it all costed. THANKS
     
  4. Digit

    Digit New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2007
    Messages:
    3
    Location:
    Alberta
    Any type of hard material will shorten any manufacturer's track life. However Cat does not recommend the use of the MTL on any type of rock. Some Cat track owners are spending $8K + a year on under carriage maintenance.

    There are manufacturers out there that have steel ilders, rollers and even steel tabs on the tracks.

    Track life really depends on the conditions the machine is operating in. If traction/production (which equals revenue) is most important then choose a machine with an under carriage than can stand the most abuse.

    Regardless of track or tire, it all wears and needs replaced.
     
  5. kyle

    kyle Member

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2007
    Messages:
    12
    Location:
    Bismarck ND
    I have been talking people out of track machines for quite a while. I come from Fargo ND, which has some of the stickiest least abrasive gumbo for soil you will ever find. I have been told that the market there has one of if not the highest ratios of track skidsteers to wheel skidsteers sold in the country. I have seen a ton of people buy track machines because everyone else had one. Then I have seen them go broke, because of repair costs(this is on all the major brands). IMHO they do not work nearly as well for snow removal as people tell you they do. When doing snow removal you wear the tracks out very quickly. The only applications I recommend track machines for are landscaping, or other applications where you are constantly on soft dirt. I have seen so many tracks get shredded by rebar, rock, concrete, and other materials. In ideal conditions you should get about 3 times the life out of rubber tracks as you would out of rubber tires. Which offsets the hgiher price of tracks. I just have not seen many people who only use their track machine in ideal conditions, and I have not seen many people get that kind of life out of their tracks. You also have quite a bit more maintenance with a track system vs. a set of tires. For the most part the only people we sell track machines to already have wheeled skidsteers, and are using their track machines for certain jobs only. I am not aware of any of our customers who are still pushing snow with track machines, because the track seems to wear very quickly.

    The other thing to be aware of on a track machine, is from my experience they tend to depreciate in value much quicker than a wheel machine. So you have more initial cost, more cost to run per hour, and less value left when you decide to trade your machine.
     
  6. DigDug

    DigDug Senior Member

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2005
    Messages:
    577
    Location:
    Maine
    I would say there is a place for both machines definetly. Tires or tracks. I do know from experiance and have owned both machines. That our Cat 257B skid steer with tracks plows better than any model with tires that i have ever used. But for some reason our Case (which i love) doesnt plow for beans , as far as traction. I think maybe the Cats tread profile or the suspended under carriage must make the differance. Regardless , i dont think tracked or tired skid steers should be compared becuase they are so different in what they will do or where they will work.
     
  7. John C.

    John C. Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2007
    Messages:
    7,622
    Occupation:
    Machinery & Equipment Appraiser
    Location:
    Northwest
    The tracked machines out here work well in steep ground or slick materials. However the wear problem is real big. It is very common for the cost per hour for the undercarriage to be close to the same as one would have on a large crawler tractor.

    The crawlers will do so much more than the wheeled machines but many owners don't charge enough for that extra capability. They don't accrue enough money to pay for the replacement parts and when everything is all worn out they can't afford to go to work.

    I haven't seen the resale value issue be as big as mentioned earlier. The problem I see is the condition of the undercarriage is the reason for the low resale values. A machine with a good bottom end will still bring high dollars, but no one trades them in or sells them outright with a good undercarriage.

    I have seen a few rubber tired skid steers with steel ecotracks installed. I'm sure they add strain to the drive train but think they also might be more cost effective in slick conditions than the tracked machines.

    Has anyone tried putting regular chains on skid steers for plowing snow? I was thinking that might be better than running expensive rubber tracks against gravel roads.
     
  8. KSSS

    KSSS Senior Member

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2005
    Messages:
    2,996
    Occupation:
    excavation
    Location:
    Idaho
    I ran a CASE 440 with heavy duty chains all last Winter. We pushed some snow but mostly it was doing clearing and excavating operations on a ski hill. They work great and if you buy high quality chains they seem to last. We were not operating on asphalt so the wear would of course be higher. They were very helpful in the mud as well. The key is buying top shelf chains. The lighter duty chains don't hold up.
     
  9. Digit

    Digit New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2007
    Messages:
    3
    Location:
    Alberta
    I know an operator that just picked up a Takeuchi TL140 and threw on a set of 'winter tracks' which were cheaper than OEM. The winter tracks have a softer compound to stick to snow and ice which would not last very long on gravel. He is getting ride of his 257B which has been costing him 9000/yr in undercarriage maintenance. He estimates his annual costs for the Tak to be 6000 every two years.(talking Cdn dollar but things are pretty much the same now adays!)
     
  10. KSSS

    KSSS Senior Member

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2005
    Messages:
    2,996
    Occupation:
    excavation
    Location:
    Idaho
    The 140 is fairly strong machine. The owner of the 257 is most likely going to take a bath on the sale of his machine unless his undercarriage is in really good condition. They don't seem to bring much on the open market. I think the word is out on those machines.
     
  11. BKrois

    BKrois Charter Member

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2003
    Messages:
    152
    Occupation:
    Multi purpose
    Location:
    Connecticut
    We have a Cat 287 where i work. Recently the tracks and some of the other undercarriage components were replaced. The machine has close to 1,000 hours on it. I'm not sure of the exact cost of the replacement parts, but it was way up there. Our machine also gets used in all kinds of terrain, using it on asphalt/rock/concrete chew the tracks up. As others have said, you'd have to figure in X amount of dollars an hour for undercarriage repairs into the rate the machine gets.
     
  12. T_S_S

    T_S_S Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2007
    Messages:
    132
    Occupation:
    Owner , Total Site Solutions
    Location:
    Great white north
    I have a NewHolland C185 ctl with 300 hours on it , i use it alot in loose sand and can already notice significant u/c wear.
     
  13. RT Engineering

    RT Engineering Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2007
    Messages:
    35
    Occupation:
    Owner
    Location:
    Port Hueneme, CA
    I had a Gehl CTL80 (Takeuchi TL150) very nice machine, lots of power, but the tracks were gone in 1000 hours. The replacement tracks and sprockets were about $5000 with labor. So for this machine the track cost alone was $5 per hour.

    I will not own a Compact track loader again until someone makes one with a steel undercarriage, and maybe rubber blocks on the track pads.

    The rubber tracks seem to hold up quite well on the excavators, but when they are put on a machine that has to move to work, they just fall apart.

    If you have a job where there is deep sand, or mud and you need the tracks, just make sure you have your rate high enough to pay for the tracks.

    RT
     
  14. Digdeep

    Digdeep Senior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2007
    Messages:
    704
    Location:
    Wisconsin
    My salesman just returned from ASVs annual dealer meeting and said that ASV just announced an undercarriage program that reduces the operating cost of their undercarriage by up to 40% on all of their models. He also said that ASV just released a new RC60 that has a top speed of 11mph.
     
  15. TALLRICK

    TALLRICK Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2007
    Messages:
    195
    Location:
    florida
    It really amazes me that nobody has built a CTL with a steel undercariage and segmented tracks with rubber blocks. Even Struck's kit machine has that kind of track, while real production machines play with rubber bands. And what's with PLASTIC track rollers? A steel, lubricated and sealed chain with rubber blocks in track pads seems like the best way to go.
     
  16. Digdeep

    Digdeep Senior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2007
    Messages:
    704
    Location:
    Wisconsin
    Maybe it's a cost and machine weight issue.

    I own an RC50 with over 1500 hours on it. I have had to replace the rear idlers, but the tracks are still original. My machine weighs in at around 5,300lbs with a bucket and I'm sure that it would weigh quite a bit more with a steel undercarriage with rubber pads on the tracks.
     
  17. Ohio Takeuchi

    Ohio Takeuchi Active Member

    Joined:
    May 31, 2007
    Messages:
    43
    Location:
    Columbus Ohio
    Takeuchi offered steel tracks on the TL26 and no one bought them. Plus it was a hell of a ride. If you have not looked at the Takeuchi undercarriage I would recommend it. The rollers are larger and the track has steel pads the the rollers ride on. So you have steel on steel track design. It is by far the best track design on the market. But you won't get the ride of a cat. But you will spend a 1/3rd of the price to replace the undercarriage.
     
  18. Digdeep

    Digdeep Senior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2007
    Messages:
    704
    Location:
    Wisconsin
    What do you base your 1/3 claim on? I can't speak for the CAT customers but I do own an RC50 with over 1700 hours on it now and the tracks are still original. I do know that the Bobcat tracks (I was a salesman for 8 years) and the Takeuchi tracks last up to about 900hours on the high end and most ove the rollers at or before 2000 hours (especially the front and rear idlers). I see plenty of the larger ASV RC100s in my area and I'd be willing to say that the 1/3 the cost claim you make is probably stretching it a bit. I've even seen RC100 tracks with 1400hrs on them doing nothing but brush cutting. I'm not calling you a liar but I'd like to see you support your claim.
     
  19. Ohio Takeuchi

    Ohio Takeuchi Active Member

    Joined:
    May 31, 2007
    Messages:
    43
    Location:
    Columbus Ohio
    A set of tracks for a RC50 is $4,400 dollars. The rollers are $380 a piece for a total of $3040 a total undercarriage $7,400. Which will not last more than 2,000 hours.

    I have TL126, TL140, TL150 and the tracks for the TL126 comparable to the RC50 our $1800 a set and the rollers can be rebuilt for $50 a piece.The sprockets are $175 a piece The TL126 machine has over 3,000 hours on it and I bought it new. I have only replaced the tracks and sprockets one time. I have never rebuilt or replaced any of the rollers.
     
  20. BIGBEN2004

    BIGBEN2004 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2008
    Messages:
    167
    Location:
    Woodsboro, Maryland
    The rollers and drive sprockets should last a couple thousand hours on the Takeuchi's. That is why I bought a TL130. They are just bulletproof when it comes to the undercarriage compared to other track machines. I love mine and only complaint is the cab is a little loud when the door is shut.