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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am thinking about purchasing a skidsteer in the near future possibly and am wanting some pros and cons from some of you that run them on a regular basis. I really am only considering a bobcat as the only possibility, becasue of in town servicability. There are other options, John Deere, New Holland, Cat and Case, in the area but all require anywhere from a 35 -90 mile drive for parts and service. I am looking at two different models that I think are comparible just different years and models. The first is a 873 and the second is a newer S185. Both appear to have about the same HP, lifting and tipping capabilities, and so fourth. What does one need to really look at for wear and tear when purchasing one of these machines used? What options should really be considered must haves? It is very hard for me to justify any sort of skidsteer being a one man crew and doing smaller jobs, and on top of it living in a rural area where alot of the farmers all ready own one themselves. I have rented machines from some of the farmers but that gets to be a pain in the ass, cause as soon as you have it they figure they need it back to take care of the their own things. The main uses of a skidsteer would be for moving dirt, rock, snow and moving materials around and possibly running a backhoe and posthole attachment from time to time. Thanks in advance for any input.
 

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Captain California
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I don't understand why you would consider such a large expense, unless you would be using it on a daily basis. Why not just hire someone who already has one? Like an excavating contractor.....:whistling
 

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Take the time to rent different machines, and form your own opinion. I am a Bobcat guy....but.....

Watch eBay....lots of low hour machines being dumped cheap, IMO.

I will also add this: Look critically at your workload for such a machine, and if it will really pay you to own instead of rent.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
I understand you totally, but I live in one of those area's that none of the contractors even consider renting equipment out to another contractor. Talking about the trade is even more taboo because you might be talking about a job the 2 of you are currently bidding against each other on. Everyone is worried that you might have got a bid that they were also competing for and now their equipment is showing up on that jobsite. There is about 4 of us contractors w/ part time help all working in a town of about 1300. There are also 3 larger 2-3 man crews based in town also but most of the time they are building houses or very large remodels, usually out of town. My one rental option is the bobcat dealer themselves, also a farm implement company. They generally don't have much in the used selection, and don't want to rent new machines so you have to wait till they aren't using their own machine, which means after normal hours or weekends. Not that it can't be done that way. I know that justification is the key but I just don't see it panning out that way, it's more of a my convience. Its kind of like buying a metal break for instance don't use it unless I am installing windows or doors 8 -10 a yr or putting a metal roof on 1 a yr but I can't afford to run 30 miles to the lumber yard to rent one all the time and still keep the customer happy and get the job done in a timely manner. The other thing to take into account is that I am looking at machines that are going to have 1500-2000 hours on them.
 

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You can;t go wrong with the s185. Its bobcats flagship model. I have used the 175,185, and 205. The 175 being way underpowered(we bought one:rolleyes:). The 185 has 10 more horse and the difference is night and day,good all around machine. The 205 is another 5 horse on top the 185. I would go with the 205 if you had steel tracks or did primarily dirt work.

Try to get hand controls. They take some getting used to but you'll get a foot throttle. Good luck
 

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I guess my thoughts would depend on your budget. If you are spending say, $10,000, then the 873, or 185 would be good, if you need a machine of that size. My all around machine was a 763G, and was a compromise between size and capacity. My T200 will not go everywhere the smaller machine went, but it can do 4 times the work.

I have seen a lot of 763's going for less then $7,000...and that is hard to beat. Try to stay with machines around the 2000 hour mark or less.


http://business.shop.ebay.com/Skid-..._Loaders&_fln=1&_ssov=1&_trksid=p3286.c0.m282
 

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Twisted Cameron
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There are a lot of great buys out there right now, I just picked up a 873 glass cab, heat and ac. 1200 hours for ten five. great machine! Bobcats are a great product, but I also wouldn't mind having a John Deere too!
 

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Contractor
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I personally would go with the newer machine.

I would prefer a different brand but that does not seem to be an option for you, so if the money is right, and your comfortable with having a loader you will use now and then, go for it.

Either model will be fine for you, Bobcat makes durable equipment, get the one you like the most, or want to afford.
 

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Good choice with Bobcat line equipment. They have always treated me good. The older models (763 etc) are selling plenty cheap right now and are very durable. If you plan on changing attachments often the power Quik-Tach is pretty handy.... Find a set of pallet forks if you can. Real handy to have around.
 

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"Pro"
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We have an LX665 with maybe 2000 hrs on it. It's a little older but a great machine nonetheless. Also we have a Bradco backhoe attachment for it and it's an awesome combination.
 

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I think a skid steer is a good move .
I owned a 753 for years and the hour meter was stuck on 4500 when we bought it ;
We never had a problem other then a hose or alt /battery.
I sold it for more then i payed for it 5 years later .
I was going to pop for the 185 or 200 but i bought a mustang 2054 6500lbs with 800 hours for 8000 bucks . I wanted a cab heat and A/C but couldnt pass up the stang .
I build additions mostly so i use the skid to move dirt , load out dirt , lift material to the deck or roof push snow around the job .
We have a 3 yard trash bin for demo. and a set of forks .
I have a min EX 8000lb for digging . I like the smaller equipment If i need a full size machine i just hire one .
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks for the info guys. What items do I need to really inspect when looking at a used machine??? Would be nothing worse that to buy one and find out it is a money pit that could have been looked at and passed up. Are high flow hydraulics a necesary item to run such attachments as cement breaker, backhoe, or post hole digger?
 

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You do not need a hi flow for the attachments you listed, mainly for a cold plane or stump grinder and a few others. The things I look for are # 1 just over all appearence clean, dirty, bald tires, just indications of if the machine was taken care of. #2 oil and fuel leaks. #3 does it smoke at start up or while it runs, do you have to preheat it on 60 deg day. #4 ask what it was used for, I do not like machines that have had a rock ram on them for a long time it about doubles the hrs on one imo. I am also carefull on buying machines out of a rental fleet. #5 check for a lot of slop in the bushings. I like bobcat equipment I have a 763 skid and a331 mini ex the kubota diesels are rock soild. I also like a foot control machine. The s185 will most likely have a selection switch in it to switch between feet and hand controls.
 

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Sluggin away
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Had a s175 and beat the crap out of me on the suspension and didn't seem to have the power to "do the job". Sold it and bought a Case 40xt. Rides like a caddy compared to the s175. I need the smaller machines to drive inside garages and so forth. Contrary to other posts I buy all mine from the rental fleets (RSC) and they give us a 1 year "bumper to bumper" warranty which gives plenty of time to find the abuse. Just my opinion since everyone has their pros and cons.
 

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had a t-140 high-sprocket for a while. pro's: goes anywhere anytime, versatile, handy, transportable without cdl, and adaptable to most any ground application for general conditions and landscape. con's: visibility backing up, power, and impact on finished grades. wheeled versions are softer on the turf. we graduated to a v518 which is a lot more money with a lot more versatility for our purposes, but if we augmented with skidsteer i'd think hard about t-300 series with hardened cage-door for some clearing applications.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I figured to look at the obvious things, leaks, tires, appearance, etc. just wanted to make sure I wasn't overlooking something that really needed inspected.
 

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Twisted Cameron
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I forgot to tell you a few things to look for with my post, what an a&& I am. You can tell a bit about the machine with slop in the arms, leaks on cylinders, and also look for any oil leaks around the motor. There should be no leaks around any hydraulic fittings or pump. listen to the machine as you drive it, I have been in machines that sound like the drive chains are gonna come apart. When I bought mine I filled the bucket up with dirt, lifted it off the ground a little bit, then with the motor turned all the way up I shook the bucket back and forth as hard as I could. A loose machine will make a loud clack noise. Hope you find a great deal. there are a few to be had right now!
 

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make sure you check the lower bucket bushings on the old 763. ounce these bushings go out the the quick attach plate they are mounted on is 1200 bucks. the bushings can also be replaced seperatly but they are welded in. i changed the lower bushings in our 763 . our local bobcat dealer wouldnt even attempt it.

other then that the 763 has been a great machine. it fits through double doors of most buildings.
and yes the forks are a very versitile tool.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
So I have been doing a bit of research and think that I have a local guy that is looking to trade to a bigger machine, but I'm not sure what his is worth. The machine is a 99 bobcat 773, with 1450 hrs, cab and heat. I know this guy and he is very maintance oriented, and am very confident in knowing that this has been serviced when needed and anything that needed to be replaced was. I have seen some 2001 models that didn't have cab and heat, but had 2000+ hrs that where in the $12000 - $14000 range.
 

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i own a 773 and its been a great little machine , i think its the perfect size for a skid , i got it new , it has about 800hrs without a problem other then tires,,, id recomend it to anyone as a 1st machine,, that being said i was looking at trading to a case but mostly to match up with the other case stuff good luck you wont regret buying any mid size skid steer,,, as for price id say 7 to 9 would be a range id pay to it
 
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