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It’s a type of article you’ve requested for years and a challenge we’ve struggled with: how to create unbiased, contractor-based reviews of heavy equipment. We hear opinions, but one or two opinions does not an article make.
But we finally found our solution. Using information from Equipment Data Associates we identified the best selling machines in the industry and sent surveys to the owners of this equipment. For our first article, we asked owners to rate the performance, serviceablity, and creature comforts on three machines on a scale from 1 to 10. These include the Bobcat S650 skid steer, Case 580 Super N backhoe and Caterpillar 336E L excavator. We also asked them to rate their dealer service and support. The results are below.
This is the first round in a continuing series of reviews we will publish showcasing thorough contractor verdicts on heavy equipment. We’d also like this to become a dialogue and hear your opinions. So, let’s keep the conversation going. Be sure to leave your own feedback in the comments section for each machine.
Posted by Tom Jackson on Mar 03, 2015
While our reviewers were a bit stingy with their numerical ratings, in their comments to us and in our surveys, they made it clear they like the Bobcat S650 and will continue to buy and use it "I wouldn't own any other," said Chad Heinert, owner of Heinert Enterprises, Papillion, Nebraska. "I've owned Bobcat skid steers for 25 years.” SOUND OFF: Agree with the score? Disagree completely? ...
Posted by Wayne Grayson on Mar 03, 2015
With a combined 14,000 hours of uptime with the Caterpillar 336E L and after considering every aspect of the machine's fit in their business, our reviewers gave the excavator high marks in nearly every category. Based on their reviews, the 336E L is a machine that performs well and makes operators happy, despite a few quirks. Chris Cunningham has been running excavators since he was 16 ...
Posted by Marcia Gruver Doyle on Mar 03, 2015
For Wayne Dowd, W. Dowd Excavating, Wind Gap, Pennsylvania, it’s how the Case 580 Super N backhoe stacks up against two competitive machines. One competitive machine is “not as nimble or balanced” as the 580; another machine is “too big and bulky, with a large boom where you can’t get in and out without making all kinds of turns,” Dowd says. In comparison, with the 580, he ...