play time

Matt Wood puts his arse on the line in a cou­ple of Cat skid steer load­ers at the re­cent Hast­ings Deering 2017 Dig Day

Earthmovers & Excavators - - News -

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!

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