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New Bobcat Tractor - Advice?

Old 04-27-2009, 08:51 PM
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Default New Bobcat Tractor - Advice?

I am thinking about getting a Bobcat tractor - http://www.bobcat.com/utility_machines/tractors/ct440

I can get a new one for about $16K with a bucket on the front. Whats the down and dirty on these. Are they good? I'll probably mount a ball on the bucket to move trailers around, p,us it will have the three point hitch in back. I'll be moving some dirt around, cleaning brush out of the woods, and mowing some with it. I'll probably use the bucket to pick things up like boat engines too. This will be used at our new facility.
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Old 04-27-2009, 08:55 PM
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Try doing a search at tractorbynet.com, they have alot of good info over there.
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Old 04-28-2009, 04:41 AM
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Jim,

I don't have any experience with bobcat tractor loaders, but I have bobcat skid loaders and they are very good machines. If I was buying a small machine like the one you are looking at I would go with a John Deere. They are well constructed with great dealer support. If I was looking at the machine you described I would consider a 4 wheel drive unit, and a weight box for the rear. For lifting large weight you will easily lift the rear tires(s) off the ground. Hence the reason for a weight box. Also if you are trying to dig into dirt piles the rear wheels will spin making it difficult, therefore I would consider the 4 wheel drive. I have used all brands of equiptment on the farm for over 20 years and have switched primarily to John Deere. You may pay a little more but believe me you will get it back.
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Old 04-28-2009, 05:01 AM
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Originally Posted by wreckman View Post
Jim,

I don't have any experience with bobcat tractor loaders, but I have bobcat skid loaders and they are very good machines. If I was buying a small machine like the one you are looking at I would go with a John Deere. They are well constructed with great dealer support. If I was looking at the machine you described I would consider a 4 wheel drive unit, and a weight box for the rear. For lifting large weight you will easily lift the rear tires(s) off the ground. Hence the reason for a weight box. Also if you are trying to dig into dirt piles the rear wheels will spin making it difficult, therefore I would consider the 4 wheel drive. I have used all brands of equiptment on the farm for over 20 years and have switched primarily to John Deere. You may pay a little more but believe me you will get it back.
Not to stir the pot but what experience I do have with JD in the smaller tractor is that they do not come close to say Kubota in terms of construction quality. I have a L3010 Kubota and my neighbor has the 30HP equilavent Jd (I think its a 4000 series), both purchased the same year around 10 years ago. there is not one aspect of his tractor that is built better, thinner metal on the front bucket, plasstic engine cover, cheesy mounting design for the bucket, and about 4 grand more than I paid. He paid the same for his with a front bucket, weight box and awning over drivers seat as I did for front loader, woods backhoe and post hole digger. He has about 1300 hours to my 900 and his already looks beat.

These comments are for the smaller series tractors that are 10 years old. Perhaps the larger machinery is different.

And this is in the north east. His service has not been very good either but that is more of a dealer issue IMO.
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Old 04-28-2009, 05:41 AM
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Jim, what will you gain with a Bobcat type of unit compared to a regular farm tractor that will have a larger footprint and maybe a lower cost with closer dealer support?
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Old 04-28-2009, 11:39 AM
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Click the link, it is a regular tractor. Nothing Bobcat about it. Its even made by a different company called Kioti.
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Old 04-28-2009, 11:43 AM
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Originally Posted by bamaboy473 View Post
Jim, what will you gain with a Bobcat type of unit compared to a regular farm tractor that will have a larger footprint and maybe a lower cost with closer dealer support?
That's a tough question. For me, the tractor was a better fit as I was doing quite a bit of both backhoe work and loader work. I am also not an expert in the bobcat style machine, but these are my observations.

For shop work where you are maybe plowing snow, moving stuff around and generally working on a solid surface, a bobcat would seem to be the better fit. They are more compact and turn in their own footprint. Some also like this for landscaping, like putting in a lawn and moving mulch. Very easy to maneuver. On farms, they also work well to muck stalls, etc..

In my case, I was in some very muddy areas at times and an equivalent size bobcat would have buried itself. On more than one occasion I needed the backhoe to coax myself out of a bad situation. I could also dig with the backhoe and then move the refuse without changing any attachments.

Bobcats do seem to have many different attachments that can run off the front and they seem to be designed with ease of change. On the backhoe/loader, I can have the loader and hoe off in maybe 10 minutes, but if I want to switch to something off the 3 point hitch, I need to pull off an additional bracket and then line up the implement and attach it. Alone, switching to say a brush hog, takes about 1/2 an hour.

I also don't know how much bobcat attachments cost nor am I familiar with their drive mechanism. On my tractor, anything that runs off the back is powered by the PTO which in wither powers hydraulice (like the backhoe), or mechanically powers the attachment thrrough a gearcase (like a post hole digger). I believe (not certain) that the bob cat implements use hydraulics to power everything rather than a mechanical means. I'm not sure any of this matters.

As for mowing a lawn (I think something was mentioned about a lawnmower) I don't think the Bobcat would be the best bet. Would seem that the way they steer could tear up turf. something to consider at least.

For maximum utility, the small loader backhoe would seem to have the edge, as there are some things that can be done the tractor that you cannot do with the Bobcat. Primarily using 2 attachments at the same time. Conversely, you cannot turn a tractor on its own footprint.

If it were me looking for a shop tool, I would probably lean towards a Bobcat but would need to research it a bit more.

The final consideration is hydrostatic versus manual. I would never want a manul transmission unless I was typically spending periods of time at one speed, like haying a field or mowing a lawn. i don't even know if a bobcat is in anything but hydrostatic. Tractors are certainly offerred both and there is a premium for hydro. You lose a little HP on a hydro but the convenience is much better.

Hope this helps.
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Old 04-28-2009, 11:43 AM
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One of my friends is the service mngr at the local BC dealership. I called a Kioti dealer to see what an equivelent Kioti would cost and the guy gave the same honest answer I give a customer when they run across a good deal from a competitor... he said "BUY IT!". He didn't even try to sell me something different.
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Old 04-28-2009, 11:45 AM
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I'm sorry, I thought the Jim was referring to me (my name is Jim). Oh well, disregard my post.
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Old 04-28-2009, 12:19 PM
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Well they are dropping it off tomorrow. I hate being so damn impulsive. Without anything to compare it to I'm sure I'll love it, so if anybody wants to chime in now with a reason not to buy it please keep it to yourself and don't rain on my parade

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Old 04-28-2009, 12:39 PM
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That is SWEET.
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Old 04-28-2009, 01:57 PM
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KUBOTA hands down the best built compact there is and I have run 90% of them.They hold there value better than deere. There hydostats have better pumps and there controls are easer to run. There motors they build themselves unlike the competiton which many out source.They engines are even in the marine world running gen sets you just can not kill the and they are quiet!!
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Old 04-28-2009, 01:59 PM
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Kioti are junk I have seen them split in half
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Old 04-28-2009, 02:08 PM
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Originally Posted by yachtjim View Post
Well they are dropping it off tomorrow. I hate being so damn impulsive. Without anything to compare it to I'm sure I'll love it, so if anybody wants to chime in now with a reason not to buy it please keep it to yourself and don't rain on my parade



Sell a few more radars or whatever it takes to get some chrome mags on those wheels.


What about the sound system?!?
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Old 04-28-2009, 03:16 PM
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I'll have a sound system on my junky Bobcat in no time. I have a lot of tracks to build at the new facility. A big RC Car track and even bigger motorcross track. I'm thinking about getting a side by side and building a track for that too with a huge tabletop. Yee haa. That is if my Bobcat doesn't split in half
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Old 04-28-2009, 03:26 PM
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doooooood...
nice toy!

i want one now
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Old 04-28-2009, 11:07 PM
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I bought a similar sized tractor about a year ago and have been astounded at how much I've used it. You'll want to get a PTO driven mower deck and a scraper blade. They can be almost any brand, as long as they are made for Cat 1, they'll fit on your 3 point. The output spine should be common. Cat 1 is the most common, so you can find the implements on eBay or Craigslist. Don't be hasty in buying a backhoe attachment unless you know it fits onto the frame of the tractor. They can apply a lot of force and a 3 point hitch mount is not adequate for them. You've got my contact info, so give me a call if you want to yak about details. One last note: Make darn sure it has 4 wheel drive before they unload it. 4 wheel is a must on a compact tractor. There is no limited slip on tractors, so in lumpy territory or mud, 4 wheel drive is more like one front and one rear wheel drive. Two wheel drive could best be called one wheel drive. The rear wheels should have independent brakes, so you can apply the brakes to the wheel that loses traction if you get stuck.
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Old 04-30-2009, 06:58 PM
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I was out moving some dirt around tonight for no reason at all and thought I would snap a picture. Can you tell I love my new Tractor
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Old 05-01-2009, 05:58 AM
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"Also if you are trying to dig into dirt piles the rear wheels will spin making it difficult, therefore I would consider the 4 wheel drive."

Careful in 4wd when using the bucket. The front end takes all the weight when the bucket fills and if the front tire are still spinning forward with a bucket jambed into a dirt pile you can strip out the front end gears (im sure a mechanic can be more technical here) when the 4wd is engaged. Its an expensive repair. (Ask me how I know)
But I think you will be happy with your purchace.

Consider getting a roto-tiller to mount on the 3 pt hitch ----Worth their weight in gold!

Last edited by starmonk; 05-01-2009 at 06:02 AM. Reason: add text
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Old 05-01-2009, 03:59 PM
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Nice tractor Jim. My dad has a smaller Kubota and loves it.

But.....I see a forklift in your future for moving boats and installing outboards. That tractor is a bit cumbersome for those activities. We have a Hyundai propane fork lift and its nicknamed by the crew as the "tug". We use it for everything including driving my fat a$$ across the street to the storage building when I am to lazy to walk.

The diesel fuel smell will get to you in the rig shop building in the colder months.

The one draw back to our forklift is in the winter. It sucks in the snow or ice. We opted for the semi-pneumatic tires which helps, but its still stinks in the snow. I had it going sideways last winter while trying to get across the p-lot after a nice head start on pavement. Yee ha!

Andy
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