Ground Trades Xchange - a landscaping forum

Go Back   Ground Trades Xchange - a landscaping forum > Landscape Services > Heavy Equipment
FAQ Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read



Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
  #1 (permalink)  
Old 03-17-2004, 04:26 PM
Whip
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
USDA
Posts: 439
r schipul is on a distinguished road
mini skid vs track skid steer vs power trac

I'm looking to increase efficiency. I'm interested in purchasing some type of equipment to support our TLB. 90% of our work is landscape installations on existing turf (needs to be turf friendly). I see this machine working in plant beds assisting with plant removal, bed prep and planting. I also see this machine moving plants from truck to site on a plant pallet and moving soil/mulch within the plant beds. I can see a real use for augers as well as a bucket and pallet forks. Lifting capacity isn't that much of a concern because of the TLB. Another need is for a dozer/snow plow for snow removal on a gravel driveway. At some point I can see adding other attachments like a trencher, landscape rake and tiller. Questions: 1. Does anyone have experience plowing snow with mini skidsteers, possibly with metal tracks. Are these machines too small for a use like this? 2. Does anyone have experience with the ASV 30 track skid steer with the new 'turf friendly' green tracks? Do these new tracks still provide enough traction in soil and snow? How turf friendly are they? I'm looking for a turf friendly machine that is powerful enough to be useful but small enough to work within planting beds. Thank you for your comments.
Reply With Quote
  #2 (permalink)  
Old 03-17-2004, 09:40 PM
Gold Oak Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
USDA
Posts: 1,881
Bill Schwab is an unknown quantity at this point
WE have both track drive, and wheeled loaders. We have an ASV-30, a 246 Cat, a bobcat 463, and a 935 Steel track drive loader.

Before you purchase anything, first determine usage based off percentage of work to be done. Every machine wears parts as it runs, so overhead recovery plus maintenance mangement recovery must be built in to machine hours used. Said that, where you can get up to 700 hours on a sset of skid steer tires, and the cost is only $550.00 on average, you can get up to 2500.00 hours on an ASV tracks and under carraige, and the replacement cost is $4K give or take.

Where we are, track drives only have a true advanatge 7-12% of the time, as it rarely rains, and the advantage for us is on slopes, as a track machine will work on a harsher angle.

Lets get to the turf friendlyness, or falocy of tracks. Tracks will be a bit more friendly on perfectly dry situations, and light limited dric=ving over the area. They will trash a yard just as bad and as fast as a wheel machine. We use 1.25" thick plywood to run over in these situations, and the wheel machines work just fine with much less aggrevation as they are less costly to repair.

There are companies who make rubber slip on tracks for around 2K that fit over wheels where if you need to use less ground pressure per square inch, should work for you, without the added costs of dedicated track machines.

If I did it again, in our application, I would stick with wheels over tracks. Personally, I think the track craze at this point is more an extension of ones manhood than a necessary must have purchase.

Plowing snow, what is snow anyway? LOL, talk to some of the folks who get snow, but I have read that the rubber tracks slide all over the place.

Hope this helps!
__________________
Bill Schwab
In the year 1491, if the Naturescape Landscape Company did the site work in Pisa, Italy, they would not be calling it the "leaning" tower.

Encinitas, Ca. 92024

www.naturescapelandscape.com

Reply With Quote
  #3 (permalink)  
Old 05-09-2004, 06:33 PM
Gill's Avatar
Acorn
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
USDA
Posts: 2
Gill is an unknown quantity at this point
Well you asked about small type skid steers and i am here to let you know that the Toro 322 skid steer loader Etc. will do more than people think. i know it does'nt have the power of a bobcat or larger skid steer loaders, but like you i do alot of landscape install work for customers who already have exsisting landscapes and don't want to tear up one area of the garden to get to an area to be planted. the mini skid steer Toro Dingo meets the challenge. We have had one for six years now and i can't see my crews living without one now. We can auger hole , haul materials in and out, level soil, till soil , harley rake soil and more, with minimal damage to an exsisitng landscape.
Reply With Quote
  #4 (permalink)  
Old 05-09-2004, 07:47 PM
Nebraska's Avatar
GTX Advisor
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Great Plains
USDA Zone 4
Posts: 1,071
Nebraska is on a distinguished road
We've been renting both a Toro Dingo and a Bobcat MT52 a lot this season and a few times last season......I love both of them.... In fact seriously considering purchasing one of the compact trackloaders. This machine is perfect for our needs in small residential landscaping where by little is disturbed from it's use. For a crew of two it increases their efficiency and handles the work of two extra men. With that said keep in mind it does really have it's specific nitch of existing residential landscape applications with little disturbance to the property and areas of tight fit.

P.s. look at this co: http://www.ramrodequip.com/

a friend bought one this spring...the 1150 model.... I'm going to rent it from him this week to check it out. Handles a lot more than the Toro of Bobcat.

Last edited by Nebraska; 05-09-2004 at 08:08 PM..
Reply With Quote
  #5 (permalink)  
Old 05-10-2004, 08:39 PM
Whip
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
USDA
Posts: 439
r schipul is on a distinguished road
Thanks for your reply. I ended up buying a used dingo 322 with 330 hours. Still trying to see how it fits into are operation. It came with a trencher which I haven't tried yet and metal tracks. Definitely would like to buy some augers. Does anyone have experience with the rototiller. I'm trying to decide to buy a stand alone or get the rototiller attachment for the dingo. P.S. If this dingo did not come my way I was going to purchase the Ramrod 950. Very impressive
__________________
Richard
http://DesigningEden.com
Reply With Quote
  #6 (permalink)  
Old 05-10-2004, 08:50 PM
Gold Oak Network Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Highland, NY
USDA Zone 4
Posts: 709
AZTLANLC will become famous soon enough AZTLANLC will become famous soon enough
Well I can tell you that I just bought a MT52 and that little thing is awsome.

It does the work or al least one more guy, the payments are going to be what I would have to pay for workers comp.
Reply With Quote
  #7 (permalink)  
Old 05-14-2004, 10:03 AM
PlanItEarth1's Avatar
Acorn
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
USDA
Posts: 1
PlanItEarth1 is an unknown quantity at this point
I am new to the industry as of the first of the year. I am focusing on residential landscape design and installation. So far I am doing everything by hand (and back).

I've heard claims that "minis" do the work of two men or more. (Which sounds like a sales pitch or a line from 'How the Grinch Stole Christmas').

Is there a quick&dirty way to calculate if it's cost efficient to buy one of these "minis". Keep in mind that in our area of the country (Houston TX) day labor is relatively inexpensive. How high do your labor costs have to be to cost-justify replacing a worker (or two) with a machine?
Reply With Quote
  #8 (permalink)  
Old 05-14-2004, 10:20 AM
Gold Oak Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
USDA
Posts: 1,881
Bill Schwab is an unknown quantity at this point
Weigh comp claims, ours is at $30.00 per 100 of wage, and experience mods vs a flat rate of a machine atf $14,000.00 to not only cut payroll, but stop back injuries.

I won't have a mini, such as Dingo, Ramrod, etc. The one thing we need them to do they will not do. We need a multi functional machine that will load an F-450 or a roll off box from ground level with no ramps. A Bobcat 463, or ASV30 will perform both of those tasks, and because we can install the 36" kit on them, will get in gates and mason boundries that you cannot get a Dingo back to. The Bobcat will get into any space a Dingo will, and I would far rather ride in an ROPS cage than stand on the back or walk behind as with the track drive Dingo. Break out force on the 463 is 1100 lbs, and lift capacity is rated at 900 lbs and a Dingo stops at 650. Any atatchment that bobcay makes can be used on the 463.

I'm not running the stand on minis down here. Just saying that for the same price, you get so much more, with more important functions than the minis with the Bobcat. We have dug 4 swimming pools with the 463, as the access was only 41 inches between the house and walls of the next house.
__________________
Bill Schwab
In the year 1491, if the Naturescape Landscape Company did the site work in Pisa, Italy, they would not be calling it the "leaning" tower.

Encinitas, Ca. 92024

www.naturescapelandscape.com

Reply With Quote
  #9 (permalink)  
Old 05-14-2004, 02:47 PM
Stonehenge's Avatar
Administrator
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Wisconsin
USDA Zone 4
Posts: 9,092
Stonehenge will become famous soon enough
Planit - first off, welcome to the boards!

Next, I believe that many of the folks here will tell you that the cost of their machines (skid steers more specifically), run around $5-10/hr. That's purchase, maintenance, repair and resale. We tend to rip up our tires faster than anyone here, and that helps put us closer to $10/hr. Compare that to what you pay a laborer, including taxes, unemployment, worker's comp, and the skid steer will seem cheap.

And a skid steer will never call in sick. Or complain. And it'll move a tri-axle of soil in an hour. It'll move a skid of pavers to the backyard in 180 seconds. It'll allow you to place 4,000# boulders with no more than one person. And all that for $10/hr.

And an intangible - it'll open up doors for other work you couldn't tackle before, because you didn't have the machinery (like moving 4,000# boulders ).

I'm not a big fan of the minis, mainly because access isn't as much of an obstacle as lift capacity - we must be able to lift a 3200# skid of pavers or block with our machine. A mini might still do the work of 2, but a skid steer will likely do the work of 3,4 or 5.

Last edited by Stonehenge; 03-02-2007 at 05:35 PM..
Reply With Quote
  #10 (permalink)  
Old 05-14-2004, 10:55 PM
chesie's Avatar
Gold Oak Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
USDA Zone 7
Posts: 205
chesie is an unknown quantity at this point
We have a mini and a full size skid loader and i will say the combination is great. There is very little we cannot handle with these machines. I don't think we could live without either one.
Reply With Quote
  #11 (permalink)  
Old 05-16-2004, 05:56 PM
Gold Oak Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Cleveland, Ohio
USDA Zone 5
Posts: 243
Lawn Lad is an unknown quantity at this point
Six years ago I bought the Toro 222 with two buckets, forks, grader bar (I love that thing), rototiller and Eliminator bar. We work in established landscapes that are confined. This machine has made me money.

I looked at it from a rather simple point of view. This machine gave me the equivalent of two men plus when I needed it - on call. At the time, my payment was about $400 a month. I figured as long as I billed the machine for three to four days per month - I covered the cost of the machine. We haven't used it a ton as we do not run a large installation operation. But the Dingo has allowed me to take on work that I wouldn't have otherwise been able to do for my customers - keeping them happy and adding a bit more revenue each year. I don't want to get tied up on a project for a week or more. If it's more than two to three days I'm not comfortable. The dingo lets me do jobs in one or two days that by hand would take three to five days.

The rototiller is the only powered attachment I bought and it's a nice attachment. Much easier on the body and much less work than using a walk behind unit and significantly faster. The only problem is that the tilling depth is 4" to 6" max.

If you have nothing, buying a mini in the right applicaiton will be a good investment. I took a somewhat backwards approach by buying the equipment and then selling the work for it which has been no problem.

This year I added a New Holland 885 mostly as a yard machine- I have yet to take it out on a job - I'd rather use the Dingo for our projects.

We tried using the Dingo for snow plowing - it was horrible as the Kubota engine does not like the cold weather (perhaps would be okay with a different engine). We also used the dozer blade for snow - no trip mechanism. Maybe they have something available today that trips. We used a prototype snow blower for Dingo about 5 years ago which was okay - just very slow. ATV is a much better option for us.

I'm beginning to think that with about 700 hours on the 222 that I might want to trade it in for a new power unit - 322. We don't use it much - but it's worth having one around for when we need it. I wouldn't think about not having one at this point.
__________________
Lawn Lad, Inc.
Cleveland, Ohio
www.lawnlad.com
Reply With Quote
  #12 (permalink)  
Old 09-28-2004, 10:30 PM
jwholden's Avatar
GTX Advisor
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Southwest ct
USDA Zone 6
Posts: 1,835
jwholden is on a distinguished road
I just sent this pm to a couple members of GTX, but thought I would post it here and see what members who used a mini-skid think.

I had the pleasure of renting a Dingo 425tx last week and was extremely impressed by this little, yet powerful, machine. I loved the tracks which made it almost unstoppable when loading the bucked with dirt and the very compact size making transporting it a cake walk. Finally, the learning curve when one of my guys started using it was very quick as well.

I know you recently bought a mini-skid steer and would love to hear your opinion about it.

What model do you have?

What do you love about it?

What do you not like about it?

How have you handled removing materials from a jobsite, specifically, loading materials into your truck?

How much was it?
Attached Thumbnails
mini skid vs track skid steer vs power trac-dingo.jpeg  
__________________
As a father I was always aware that I was raising my sons to leave home, marry, establish families, and be men who could stand on their own two feet. We must fulfill our own destiny. I really wasn't concerned about what they might 'do' but I wanted them to 'be' good men.
- David Epps
Reply With Quote
  #13 (permalink)  
Old 09-28-2004, 11:25 PM
VoodooChile's Avatar
Gold Oak Member
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Lake Geneva, WI
USDA Zone 5
Posts: 1,532
VoodooChile will become famous soon enough VoodooChile will become famous soon enough
I'm running a Dingo 425TX, same machine you rented John. Been at it since the beginning of June, (minus 10 days when the machine was in the shop, a story you can read here) and have amassed about 100 hours operating time. I paired it with a new dump-trailer to haul the Dingo and tip its prey. We also added a light materials bucket (maybe 1/3rd yd. capacity), pallet forks, and nursery forks (28" maximum width).

Many things to like: 1) A breeze to operate, and train others to operate, 2) Dizzying array of attachments, 3) Stand-up service from Reindeers/Toro when it broke down, and most of all 4) the labor it saves.

Saved labor would include: 1) roughing out tree holes with pallet forks, instead of shovels, especially critical now that the ground is so dry and tight, 2) loading, unloading and moving around B&B nursery stock, previously performed with a tree dolly and indomitable will, 3) loading and unloading boulders at the quarry and jobsite, again previously performed with a tree dolly and "I bet you can't move that rock" motivation4) and mostly, replacing the wheel-barrow, when it is time to remove sod or move soil-amendment, gravel and mulch.

I am sure there are other ways I could use this machine to save labor. I wonder for instance if it would be an effective tool to scrape cut sod up, instead of loading the bucket with scoop shovels...

One Major Complaint: Limited Lift Capacity. The machine has a sticker that says lift capacity is 525#, and it doesn't take long to reach that point. A regular pallet with two layers of 2" flagstone will max it out, as will 28" diameter B&B stock, even though the nursery forks will close on root-balls that big. This can be really dangerous, when the front of the Dingo tips forward lifting the rear where the operator stands off the ground. React too abruptly, say, opening the forks, and the whole Dingo will see-saw back and forth, crushing all in its path.

The moral I guess is Know your limits! True in drinking, Dingos and life.

The machine with attachments came in at 18 large. The dump trailer was another 6. The years added to my life...priceless.

Last edited by VoodooChile; 09-28-2004 at 11:32 PM..
Reply With Quote
  #14 (permalink)  
Old 09-29-2004, 12:01 AM
jwholden's Avatar
GTX Advisor
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Southwest ct
USDA Zone 6
Posts: 1,835
jwholden is on a distinguished road
Voodoo,

How did you make out with the thrown track? Has it happened again?
__________________
As a father I was always aware that I was raising my sons to leave home, marry, establish families, and be men who could stand on their own two feet. We must fulfill our own destiny. I really wasn't concerned about what they might 'do' but I wanted them to 'be' good men.
- David Epps
Reply With Quote
  #15 (permalink)  
Old 09-29-2004, 08:19 AM
VoodooChile's Avatar
Gold Oak Member
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Lake Geneva, WI
USDA Zone 5
Posts: 1,532
VoodooChile will become famous soon enough VoodooChile will become famous soon enough
The thrown track was trashed, and replaced, gratis. No problems since, although I have avoided operating on cross-slopes whenever I can. Once we slow down, I'll rotate the tracks, at Bill's suggestion, because there definitely is more wear toward the outside edge of the tracks' teeth.
Reply With Quote
Reply

You might like the following content from the Ground Trades Xchange, served by Google:

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On


Free Landscaping Magazines
Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Laser level Grading with Skid Steer??? RIC Landscaping Tools 15 04-12-2010 07:29 PM
BOXER Mini track loader vs. BOBCAT Mini track loader yardscapes Landscaping Tools 3 11-09-2006 11:44 AM
BOXER Mini Skid Steer Trencher Tomwalo Classifieds 0 03-07-2006 07:00 PM
mini skid steer yardguy Landscaping Tools 25 08-10-2005 10:26 AM
Second skid steer choice Stonehenge Landscaping Tools 43 04-11-2004 10:29 AM

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 12:53 AM.


Powered by vBulletin®
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright 2003-2016 Ground Trades Xchange, LLC