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#6108 - 12/28/06 09:59 AM Bobcat track loader for digging vs dozer
NuttyGambler Offline
Lunker

Registered: 12/06/06
Posts: 51
Loc: West Central MN
How would a large Bobcat track loader work for building a pond, if it is used mostly for removing topsoil. Digging a few deeper pits, and building the dam in the valley between hills.

I know they are made up here, and maybe that is why they are so common and highy used, but I know I could find so many uses for one, from snow removal, to all the other yard work items.

I do know even the skid steers can move dirt, when we built our last house there was a very large pill of dirt left after digging the basement that my father moved to our back lot low area in one day while I was at work with a very small bobcat.

Thoughts? A T300 One can be rented for a month for $3,995 up here as well.
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#6109 - 12/28/06 01:04 PM Re: Bobcat track loader for digging vs dozer
h20fwlkillr Offline
Member

Registered: 01/18/05
Posts: 320
Loc: Holden, Mo
It would work well, but not as fast as larger equip. A plus would be with steel tracks, they have more psi on the tracks than most dozers. Rubber tracks have very little.
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#6110 - 12/28/06 03:45 PM Re: Bobcat track loader for digging vs dozer
eddie_walker Offline
Lunker

Registered: 11/23/05
Posts: 773
Loc: Just North of Tyler, Texas
I'd say it's a very bad idea.

How big a bucket will you find in the very largest skid steers? Less than a yard, but lets pretend you can find one with a one yard bucket. You have to pick up that yard of dirt, carry it to the dam, drop it, spread it and compact it, then return for another load. The machine isn't designed for hauling dirt, just loading it, so it's very in-efficiant.

A decent sixed dozer can move from 3 to 6 yards at a time. For maximum dirt movement, you want one with a fixed blade. 6 way blades are a compromise for moving dirt as they also have to shape it.

The real question is how far do you have to move the dirt? The dozer will do a good job for a short distance, but after 300 feet, it's not a good idea either.

If further than that, you really need to consider a way to haul dirt. Dump truck and loader work well, but the best way is to get a belly scraper.

Do some measurements and figure out how far you have to move the dirt and how much dirt you need to move. If it's just a small dam that needs a few hundred yards, than you can do that with just about anything. If you need to move thousands of yards of dirt over any sort of distance, than you're just throughing money away doing it the hard way.

Good luck,
Eddie
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#6111 - 12/29/06 08:09 AM Re: Bobcat track loader for digging vs dozer
bobad Offline
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Registered: 06/02/05
Posts: 2365
Loc: Eunice, Louisiana
What Eddie said.

Nothing digs like a dozer. Nothihng loads like a loader, and nothing hauls like a dump truck.** If I had it to do over, I would have waited a year or 2 until I could afford to buy or rent the triad.

**a nice size track hoe can replace the dozer and loader, but the cost and learning curve is a bit steeper.
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#6112 - 12/29/06 10:35 AM Re: Bobcat track loader for digging vs dozer
h20fwlkillr Offline
Member

Registered: 01/18/05
Posts: 320
Loc: Holden, Mo
My pond was built with a D-7 turbo and a Cat 277B. Both were used about equally. If you are not working on a grand scale, IMO the loader will out perform the dozer in certain situations, and be much easier to learn to run.
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#6113 - 12/29/06 11:15 AM Re: Bobcat track loader for digging vs dozer
seashores Offline
Lunker

Registered: 09/29/04
Posts: 32
Loc: Bastrop, Texas
I use a John Deere CTL 322 ; a rubber tracked skid loader ,digging my ponds - one 2.5 acre under construction presently and there is nothing -nothing that I cannot do with this machine - a lot of dirt can be moved in several hours - of course distance is a big factor. Sure one could do it faster with larger and more equipment, but hey the journey is the most important part of the trip. A 78 inch bucket and an 84 inch blade and good clay earth make one happy pond builder.

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#6114 - 12/29/06 08:28 PM Re: Bobcat track loader for digging vs dozer
Brettski Offline
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Registered: 10/07/05
Posts: 6870
Loc: Illinois
Hey Nutty....
did ya see this thread ?
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#6115 - 12/30/06 10:08 AM Re: Bobcat track loader for digging vs dozer
NuttyGambler Offline
Lunker

Registered: 12/06/06
Posts: 51
Loc: West Central MN
Thanks for the replies guys. Guess it is what I thought, would be some diff in 2 cents.

The property I am looking at is this. About 70+ acres, rolling hills with hardwoods, and about 16 acres that is currently tillable. Has 1700LF of lakeshore on a lake of apprx. 50 acres and 18 to 20 ft of good depth over most , that has only one other land owner. (he owns the other 3/4 of the lakeshore). Thing is this other land owner is also one of the biggest bait shops up here and has it permitted to raise and harvest white suckers. So until the day I can buy the rest of the land around the lake... I can only dream of that one.

There are two small watering holes (wetland? but no vegitation) for horses that are basicly dry/muddy right now. That I would like to clean out and be my first projects, they would end up being about 1/3 acres. They are surrounded by hills, with big watersheds. I would think a bobcat could handle this task pretty well. Remove the dirt from the pond. Bring it out of the hole and spreed it to make a more level area around the ponds.

My next project would be about a 3 acre pond, that would be at the bottom of a valley, which eventually runs into a nonprotected wetland area in the neighbors property. I am not sure I would get a permit to build this or not. I would think I would because the overflow would still go to the wetland, and there will still be plenty of runoff for the wetland from other areas. I do think I would hire the main tasks for this project, but would still be nice to have a skidsteer to do the final leveling, shaping and landscaping.

Well, I think I am going to pull the trigger on this property today, am at the offer, counter, and I could accept this, just gonna change one item to make the process go a little smoother.

Anyways, ready to dive in head first. Looking forward to further tapping your knowledge and support.
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#6116 - 12/31/06 09:28 AM Re: Bobcat track loader for digging vs dozer
Meadowlark Offline
Lunker

Registered: 03/09/04
Posts: 3075
Loc: East Texas
Nutty,

I like your style. Sounds like a great property.

Wondering about the lake..in your area, does the fact that the other person that has the lake permitted for white suckers give them exclusive rights over fishing, stocking, and using the lake? A 50 acre lake with 20 foot depths would be an invaluable resource, but if he controls it exclusively, it would have little value.

Weighing in on your original question, as a person who has a working ranch in Texas and has built and is building several ponds, I wouldn't own large acreage without a dozer. In addition to pond building, the dozer has more uses than you can even imagine at this point in terms of property management. Personally, I have a small one, a Case 450C, and it is slow on pond building but very adept at general ranch work....land clearing, fence row clean-out, repairs of wash-outs, moving dead trees, laying a pad for a foundation, cleaning up livestock areas, getting your neighbors vehicles unstuck, getting your vehicles unstuck...etc., etc. Its better than an American Express card!

This would be my suggestion...after you get the property, try renting the Bobcat for a weekend or so and then rent a dozer for a separate weekend. Compare results and I think you will have your answer.

By the way, there is a great fellow who posts on here from your neck of the woods who recently built himself another pond with a rented dozer. I recommend you look up "Bz" e-mail address and/or PM him and he will be a great source of local information...plus he knows how to raise some beautiful HBG.

Best wishes on your purchase and subsequent journey with the property...it can be one of the greatest adventures of your life.

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#6117 - 12/31/06 10:19 PM Re: Bobcat track loader for digging vs dozer
jas Offline
Lunker

Registered: 02/11/06
Posts: 26
Loc: western new york
I have to agree with the post from Medow Lark. A dozer is an absolute must is you own more than a few acres. I have 450 acres in western new york and have built 12 ponds. For a one acre pond or smaller, a small dozer like a Cat D3 or D4 is ok. For larger ponds you really need big equipment like a D6 or a D8. A skid steer just won't cut it for small or large ponds.

Another very useful tool is a scraper attached to an ag tractor. I have a 105 hp Fendt all wheel drive with a 6.5 acre Leon scaper that works great for topsoil, softer clays and sands.
If the push is more than 100-150 feet you are wasting effort with a dozer.

Renting is a great idea, even if you haven't run a dozer beofore you can pick it up in a few hours of use. Before you buy anything rent the same model and try it.

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#6118 - 01/02/07 11:39 AM Re: Bobcat track loader for digging vs dozer
NuttyGambler Offline
Lunker

Registered: 12/06/06
Posts: 51
Loc: West Central MN
Meadowlark: Yes, currently, if someone has access to a body of water, and has it permitted for baitfish, they have exclusive rights to that body of water, indefinately. This may change via the MN state legislation someday, but the local legislators consider it probusiness. Now I'm all for probusiness but I don't make my money off the expense and/or enjoyment of other people.

As to renting a dozer, guess I would have to, but still struggle with how one is more useful in general vs having all the attachments available to a bobcat. (post hole digger, log splitter, to name a couple I would like to have).

I do think a scraper is worth looking into at least from a rental stand point.

Thanks again everyone. With the holiday still have not pulled the trigger on the property...
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#6119 - 01/02/07 11:47 AM Re: Bobcat track loader for digging vs dozer
NuttyGambler Offline
Lunker

Registered: 12/06/06
Posts: 51
Loc: West Central MN
Actually a quick search finds, many older D3 cats for less then 10K. Wonder how much one would have to put into them, to complete the project. LOL
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#6120 - 01/02/07 02:22 PM Re: Bobcat track loader for digging vs dozer
bz Offline
Lunker

Registered: 05/09/05
Posts: 844
Loc: Minnesota
Nutty, I've got both, a skid steer and a dozer and I've rented larger dozers and track hoes. My skid steer is a medium sized one with wheels. I would never consider using it for anything where soft ground is involved. My dozer is a very small JD350 which is about equivalent to a D3 I think. I have a friend who has the largest tracked Bobcat with the high sprocket. I can easily compare his Bobcat to my dozer because we've done several projects together. Whenever he needs a job done that involves digging up virgin soil or moving very much of it he asks me to bring my little dozer. He needed a road bed and associated ditches built on high ground. It was about 300 feet long. I did this with my dozer in one long day. He figured it would have taken him a week with the Bobcat. Another time he needed a road built on one end of his pole barn with the dirt from the ditches going into the barn to build up the floor. I used the dozer to dig the ditches and pushed the dirt into the pole barn. He used his skid loader to spread the dirt inside the barn. The distance I pushed the dirt ranged from just outside the pole barn to about 150 feet away. He couldn't keep up spreading the dirt inside the barn. I would have the 12 foot wide door blocked with a pile of dirt and then had to wait for him to catch up before I could push more in. We finally gave up on the skid loader and I did the whole job with the dozer. The dozer can't be beat for digging, the bobcat is great for loading, and I use a hydraulic dump trailer for hauling. Even the biggest skid loaders do not dig holes very well and the tracked ones have too much ground pressure and low ground clearance that they get stuck real easy in soft stuff. I researched every angle of this issue and concluded that I needed , a digger, a loader, and a hauler. If you have acreage and are prone to dirt moving projects I think a track hoe could take the place of the dozer and loader. The track hoe can reach in and dig where even the dozer can't go. I think for small ponds less than 1 acre where there is no immediate flooding to deal with and you don't need to move the dirt very far from the digging site then I'd dig it with a dozer alone. The track hoe is obviously a great digger but you still need the dozer to pile the dirt out of the way unless your pond is no bigger than the track hoe can reach. With a dozer you can dig and push into piles using one machine. If the dirt needs to be moved more than 200 feet or so then I'd probably go with the track hoe right off the bat and scoop it straight into a trailer or dump truck. I concluded that if you need to move dirt a long ways the best bet is the track hoe (it digs and loads) and a hauler (actually a scraper is even better but it won't go into soft places). If you don't need to move it a long way then a dozer does the whole job by itself. The pond I just dug was in wet sand but not flooded, it was about one half acre, and I know I dug it quicker with just a dozer than I could have with a track hoe unless I also had a dozer and two operators.
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#6121 - 01/02/07 05:38 PM Re: Bobcat track loader for digging vs dozer
NuttyGambler Offline
Lunker

Registered: 12/06/06
Posts: 51
Loc: West Central MN
Thanks everyone for the great posts, I'm sure others will find this thread very useful as well.

OK you guys are making the case for the dozer, but to be honest, they kind of scare the .... out of me. Visions of me with one on its side run through my head. Although, I would think you would have to screw up pretty bad to tip them on their sides. Should have a pretty low center of gravity.
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#6122 - 01/02/07 07:37 PM Re: Bobcat track loader for digging vs dozer
eddie_walker Offline
Lunker

Registered: 11/23/05
Posts: 773
Loc: Just North of Tyler, Texas
Nutty,

On one hand, there is nothing more fun than having a dozer. When it's running good, you can do more with it than anything else. There's no way to describe what it's like to spend a day on one and see all that you accomplished. The bigger the dozer, the more amazing it is!!

Unfortunately, a dozer will also become your biggest nightmare. Nobody sells a dozer just to get rid of it for less than they can. When a guy sells a dozer, he knows everything that's wrong with it and has decided it's not worth fixing it himself.

Buying a dozer means working on the dozer. The longer you have it, the more work you'll have to do on it. Never expect a mechanic to come out to work on it for you. They have plenty of customers to keep them busy and your just not important to them. If you find a guy who has the time to fix your machine, than there's something very wrong with him. Why isn't he working steady for the big construction companies where the big money is?

Learning to run a dozer isn't very tough. Getting good at it is. To dig a pond and push dirt isn't very complicated. Grading a road or a level pad is.

Rent one if you plan to do the work yourself. Rent it on a monthly basis and expect to spend twice as much time as you plan on.

If this sounds like your getting in over your head, than hiring it done is usualy a pretty good idea. Find a guy who believes in coreing and compacting the dam, and you shouldn't have any problems.

Good luck,
Eddie
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It's not how many ideas you have, but how many you make happen.

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#6123 - 01/03/07 09:18 AM Re: Bobcat track loader for digging vs dozer
bobad Offline
Lunker

Registered: 06/02/05
Posts: 2365
Loc: Eunice, Louisiana
 Quote:
Originally posted by NuttyGambler:
OK you guys are making the case for the dozer, but to be honest, they kind of scare the .... out of me. Visions of me with one on its side run through my head. Although, I would think you would have to screw up pretty bad to tip them on their sides. Should have a pretty low center of gravity.
Hey Gambler.

I will say once more that nothing digs like a dozer. If you keep the push distances real short, you can pile up several 50 yard mounds of dirt in an 8 hour day. Just be ready to load them and move them out with the appropriate equimpent. It's very hard to keep up with a dozer!

After using large and small tractors for a "dozer" for years, I found the dozer was actually much easier to use. It took me 10 minutes to get comfortable in it. As Eddie said, it takes longer to finesse it. But hey, it's just a big hole in the ground, and perfect for learning.

You're right about the low center of gravity. Use "seat of the pants" feel, and you will be safe. When you slip and slide in the seat, and tug hard against the seat belt, you will know to back off. I once made a mistake and rode 1 track up on a ridge, and thought I was in danger of turning it over. I worked my way out of the cab and took a look, and couldn't believe it was less than a 30deg tilt... not even the slightest danger. The worst thing I have ran into so far is not paying attention and making little ramps or humps, and
running over them and making the dozer pivot suddenly. It makes a big bang, and smacks your kidneys around. But again, outside the dozer, it doesn't look bad at all. So just go by the seat of your pants. A comfortable ride is a safe ride.

A real big scraper is awesome, because it digs AND hauls non-stop. Don't worry too much about soft spots, because they will disappear after a pass or 2. Even here in LA, they rarely go deeper than 2 feet. I used a smaller (3 yard)scraper to dig most of my pond, but soon ran out of places to haul the dirt. You tend to haul it farther and farther, and it begins to eat up the speed advantage in smaller scrapers. A huge scraper is the implement of choice for digging larger ponds, but you had better have some acreage to dump all that dirt!

Good luck, and git er done! \:\)
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#6124 - 01/03/07 10:35 AM Re: Bobcat track loader for digging vs dozer
TN Hillbilly Offline
Lunker

Registered: 11/23/05
Posts: 121
Loc: Greenest state in the Land of ...
My D5 sticks like glue on a 30 degree slope, any direction. What you have to watch out for on slopes are rocks, pieces of wood, etc. which can cause the track to slip, especially sideways when working on a side slope. Don't put her in neutral on a steep slope and never forget about the big brake in the front! The easiest way to roll one is to fall off a pile of dirt you're pushing up by not paying enough attention. I came close to doing this a couple of times before I wised up. All that being said, never buy a dozer (or anything) without a ROPS.

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#6125 - 01/03/07 10:56 AM Re: Bobcat track loader for digging vs dozer
eddie_walker Offline
Lunker

Registered: 11/23/05
Posts: 773
Loc: Just North of Tyler, Texas
bobad,

I know there are allot of guys from TBN over here too, but until this post, I didn't reckognize you. How many guys have a scraper? hahahahaha

Eddie
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It's not how many ideas you have, but how many you make happen.

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#6126 - 01/03/07 01:52 PM Re: Bobcat track loader for digging vs dozer
bz Offline
Lunker

Registered: 05/09/05
Posts: 844
Loc: Minnesota
Eddie's right on with his comments. If you own a dozer you better be prepared to fix it. I'd say I do some major repair work about every 3 years or so. Other than the sheer size and weight of everything they are really very easy to fix. I been lucky in that I have a small Mom & Pop repair shop in the area that does nice work. Only problem is I have to move the dozer 25 miles to get there. Glad I have a baby dozer that I can move with a 1 ton pickup and a 12,000 pound trailer. I don't think I'll ever sell my dozer unless I find a larger one at the right price or if it gets to the point that it's only good for parts. I'm looking at an engine top end rebuild this spring (gas engine). Will cost me $350 if I do it my self or about $1000 if I bring it in. I had no idea how much I'd use this thing when I bought it. I've got about $7000 in the machine and I bet I've done $20,000 worth of major projects and countless small stuff with it. Renting one is a good way to go for a single project or in my case when I need a bigger one. I rented a JD550 for two days, cost about $1000 with hauling and fuel. Main benefit to owning one is that if you need it for a one hour job you've got it.
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