Matt Wood puts his arse on the line in a couple of Cat skid steer loaders at the recent Hastings Deering 2017 Dig Day
I’m never one to shirk the opportunity to play in the dirt, and the recent Hastings Deering Cat Dig Day provided the perfect excuse to go and shift some dirt and strut around in hi-vis.
There were plenty of yellow machines with which to get up close and personal out the back of the massive Hastings Deering Acacia Ridge facility.
There were excavators and skid steers set up along with some conveniently placed mounds of dirt. All so punters could get out and have a crack at this oversized playground for grown-ups. In the name of product familiarisation, of course… we don’t want to be seen as having too much fun on the job!
The excavator line-up ranged from 1.5-tonners up to an 8-tonner. And there was also a handy cross-section of skid steers available, both on wheels and tracks.
It was the latter that I thought I’d take a closer look at. I climbed aboard a 259D loader equipped with compact track loader (CTL) tracks to shuffle some dirt around with.
Obviously anyone opting for a tracked loader is chasing lower ground pressure, however I was soon to learn that there are tracks and then there are tracks. And so I swapped to a 279D equipped with multi-terrain loader (MTL) tracks.
There’s no doubt that from inside that quiet, airconditioned cab the MTL loader was much more pleasant to operate; the ride was softer and there was little in the way of harshness in operation.
And really, that’s the beauty of an event like this Dig Day. It’s an opportunity to put different machines side by side and get hands on to find out which machine suits your application the best.
On the downside, someone had hidden the keys to the D11. Spoilsports!