Used CAT telehandler. Yay/nay?

AngusLad

Member
Livestock Farmer
Looking at buying a used telehandler and I've seen a couple of Cat forklifts at fairly handy money, one TH406c with5500 hours that I really like the look of. Any recommendations? Always thought cat had a fairly good reputation for build quality?
 

egbert

Member
There will be plenty who say not, but we've had 2 , and put them through all kinds of hell.
The current one (a TH330 I think it is) lifts oak logs in sawmill all day, to/beyond capacity, rehandles thousands of tonnes of granite, and stacks some bales.
8000 hours, and still coming back for more
Previous one was traded at 10k hours i think....still working perfectly well
credit where it due from me.
 

Spud

Member
Arable Farmer
Location
YO62
Looking at buying a used telehandler and I've seen a couple of Cat forklifts at fairly handy money, one TH406c with5500 hours that I really like the look of. Any recommendations? Always thought cat had a fairly good reputation for build quality?
Depends what you're used to. My brother has had two for loading lime and loves them, but the low seating position and long wheelbase makes them appeal less to us, particularly after 20yrs running JCB (Matbro before that)
 

AngusLad

Member
Livestock Farmer
Spent a fair bit of time driving articulated jcb's before I came home but we've never had a forklift at home so anything will be new to us. (A Jcb TM would be my choice but struggling to justify one just for feeding a few suckler coos)
 

AngusLad

Member
Livestock Farmer
There will be plenty who say not, but we've had 2 , and put them through all kinds of hell.
The current one (a TH330 I think it is) lifts oak logs in sawmill all day, to/beyond capacity, rehandles thousands of tonnes of granite, and stacks some bales.
8000 hours, and still coming back for more
Previous one was traded at 10k hours i think....still working perfectly well
credit where it due from me.
That's the kind of answer I was hoping for! It won't be working flat out with us, really just looking for one to make life a bit easier and more efficient. Anything you think I should be looking out for problem wise?
 

sledgeit

Member
Location
Stirling
Had a TH 330 nice machine to drive but we had a lot of trouble with it the gearbox could work ok some days other days it not work at all even the guys at Finnings could not sort it, electronics were a nightmare as well. Gave up on it and traded it for a new Kramer which we think is a great machine.
 

egbert

Member
That's the kind of answer I was hoping for! It won't be working flat out with us, really just looking for one to make life a bit easier and more efficient. Anything you think I should be looking out for problem wise?
I'm not the man to say....we've had odd issues we've dealt with.
Have a very good man that's too far from you, and main dealers finni8ngs are almost impossible to deal with IME.

Um....
OK...there was a computer upgrade after our 2006 machine was made. It's a clunky great bolt-on, which might cost thousands if you need it. sorry, I can't recall what it fixed...but we needed it, and it took some phone calls to convince them not to charge £6k for it.

The 330s are very slow to start, eating starters and batteries
Eventually our 'nuts and bolts' fitter took injectors away to Mr Injector wizard, who reset pressures. Suddenly it starts like a dream...batteries and starters last like you'd want. Probably wouldn't pass emissions regs now...but hey ho

Perkins engine means some ancillaries are shared with other makes. Manipoo parts are cheaper.
Same with axles ...Carrero.
CAT parts are often eye wateringly pi55 takingly dear




Mind....
If it's only feeding a few cows, i don't know that i would want the complications of an older TH. A loader tractor would be far more versatile, and cheaper.
 
Last edited:

alomy75

Member
Looking at buying a used telehandler and I've seen a couple of Cat forklifts at fairly handy money, one TH406c with5500 hours that I really like the look of. Any recommendations? Always thought cat had a fairly good reputation for build quality?
Never had one but heard lots of scare stories around about them. Neighbour here has one that’s always in the dealers; electrical faults usually. As with anything; if it’s significantly cheaper than other brands at same age/spec there’s probably a reason.
 

Spud

Member
Arable Farmer
Location
YO62
I'm not the man to say....we've had odd issues we've dealt with.
Have a very good man that's too far from you, and main dealers finni8ngs are almost impossible to deal with IME.

Um....
OK...there was a computer upgrade after our 2006 machine was made. It's a clunky great bolt-on, which might cost thousands if you need it. sorry, I can't recall what it fixed...but we needed it, and it took some phone calls to convince them not to charge £6k for it.

The 330s are very slow to start, eating starters and batteries
Eventually our 'nuts and bolts' fitter took injectors away to Mr Injector wizard, who reset pressures. Suddenly it starts like a dream...batteries and starters last like you'd want. Probably would pass emissions regs now...but hey ho

Perkins engine means some ancillaries are shared with other makes. Manipoo parts are cheaper.
Same with axles ...Carrero.
CAT parts are often eye wateringly pi55 takingly dear




Mind....
If it's only feeding a few cows, i don't know that i would want the complications of an older TH. A loader tractor would be far more versatile, and cheaper.

Pre 2003 JCB 530/70 might be a bit slow but simple & reliable, and parts (should you ever need any) aren't heart attack expensive might be a better bet. Available for under 15k

You'll pick a TM300 up for less than 20k too. Our 05 TM300 left here with 12000hrs and was very little bother
 

ACEngineering

Member
Location
Oxon
Looking at buying a used telehandler and I've seen a couple of Cat forklifts at fairly handy money, one TH406c with5500 hours that I really like the look of. Any recommendations? Always thought cat had a fairly good reputation for build quality?

What would put me off were the older models i think TH330b???? which had known issues with electrics controlling spool blocks and had eye watering costs to upgrade the electrics something like 7k for the parts rings a bell.
 

icanshootwell

Member
Location
Ross-on-wye
Looking at buying a used telehandler and I've seen a couple of Cat forklifts at fairly handy money, one TH406c with5500 hours that I really like the look of. Any recommendations? Always thought cat had a fairly good reputation for build quality?
Good machine imo, have a 407 on 9500 hrs, engine and transmission been good, would buy another in a heartbeat..
 

Martyn

Member
Location
South west
If it's the CAT gear made by JLG then it's similar to Duetz handlers, we have a rare beast of one 09 plate, done 9000k + cost 1 battery, 1 alternator, couple of boom hoses and steering joints and serviced every 500hours. Would buy another tomorrow. Far more reliable than any JD tractor we have run!
 

Campbell

Member
Location
Herefordshire
A friend of mine bought a new one, at the time of launch. His presumption was that as CAT equipment built the modern world, service and reliability would also be world class. Sadly not.........:facepalm:
 

AngusLad

Member
Livestock Farmer
I'm not the man to say....we've had odd issues we've dealt with.
Have a very good man that's too far from you, and main dealers finni8ngs are almost impossible to deal with IME.

Um....
OK...there was a computer upgrade after our 2006 machine was made. It's a clunky great bolt-on, which might cost thousands if you need it. sorry, I can't recall what it fixed...but we needed it, and it took some phone calls to convince them not to charge £6k for it.

The 330s are very slow to start, eating starters and batteries
Eventually our 'nuts and bolts' fitter took injectors away to Mr Injector wizard, who reset pressures. Suddenly it starts like a dream...batteries and starters last like you'd want. Probably wouldn't pass emissions regs now...but hey ho

Perkins engine means some ancillaries are shared with other makes. Manipoo parts are cheaper.
Same with axles ...Carrero.
CAT parts are often eye wateringly pi55 takingly dear




Mind....
If it's only feeding a few cows, i don't know that i would want the complications of an older TH. A loader tractor would be far more versatile, and cheaper.
Sounds like all second hand machines then tbf, some good and some bad. Just got to take the plunge and hope the one you've bought isn't a stinker..

I'm fairness it's getting to be more than a few coos and have other projects in the pipeline that a handler would be a big benefit for.

Have any of you any experience with industrial types? Too slow for ag work? Not overly bothered about 40k etc but more in terms of hydraulics and break out force
 

Spud

Member
Arable Farmer
Location
YO62
Sounds like all second hand machines then tbf, some good and some bad. Just got to take the plunge and hope the one you've bought isn't a stinker..

I'm fairness it's getting to be more than a few coos and have other projects in the pipeline that a handler would be a big benefit for.

Have any of you any experience with industrial types? Too slow for ag work? Not overly bothered about 40k etc but more in terms of hydraulics and break out force
I've driven an industrial spec 531/70 JCB - don't go there! Too much compromise to be useful. No auxillary hydraulics, no pickup hitch, air con, little wheels, plumbed differently - the joystick is up, down & boom extension, tilt is on a seperate lever, etc etc. Stick with Ag spec
 
Had a TH 330 nice machine to drive but we had a lot of trouble with it the gearbox could work ok some days other days it not work at all even the guys at Finnings could not sort it, electronics were a nightmare as well. Gave up on it and traded it for a new Kramer which we think is a great machine.

Drove a Kramer over the summer. I thought it was a very smart machine, workman like cabin and a hell of a lot nicer place to spend the day compared to a JCB. Serious engine and hydraulic grunt as well.
 

AngusLad

Member
Livestock Farmer
Drove a Kramer over the summer. I thought it was a very smart machine, workman like cabin and a hell of a lot nicer place to spend the day compared to a JCB. Serious engine and hydraulic grunt as well.
Spent a bit of time in a claas loading lime a couple years ago and quite liked it in fairness. Presumably the kramer will just be the same machine? Will the hydro transmission hold up to towing trailers etc?
 
Spent a bit of time in a claas loading lime a couple years ago and quite liked it in fairness. Presumably the kramer will just be the same machine? Will the hydro transmission hold up to towing trailers etc?

I know that Kramer did manufacturer Claas handlers for a time but the latest version of these is now manufactured by Liebherr. I have driven two different iterations of recent Claas handlers but neither were Liebherr ( I believe Kramer manufactured both), they were both excellent. The Kramer I drove over the summer was very similar in many respects to the later Claas I drove and was excellent. Liebherr are supposedly the bees knees in the construction game and make high end stuff but I have not driven one and I was told a neighbouring farm had one and hated it for some reason.

The Kramer (and the Claas before it) does have a lot of mirrors around it and a big arse. You also seem to have less view over the right hand side than some machines but I personally didn't find this an issue with either machine. The Kramer spoils you because it has a wide angle rear view camera on the back so it is a doddle to drive in small spaces.

You could spend a day in any of the three different Kramer machines but the later two I drove would be an effortless day compared to any JCB I have driven. The hydraulic grunt from them was nuts.

I'm yet to meet a handler that enjoys towing anything.
 

AngusLad

Member
Livestock Farmer
I know that Kramer did manufacturer Claas handlers for a time but the latest version of these is now manufactured by Liebherr. I have driven two different iterations of recent Claas handlers but neither were Liebherr ( I believe Kramer manufactured both), they were both excellent. The Kramer I drove over the summer was very similar in many respects to the later Claas I drove and was excellent. Liebherr are supposedly the bees knees in the construction game and make high end stuff but I have not driven one and I was told a neighbouring farm had one and hated it for some reason.

The Kramer (and the Claas before it) does have a lot of mirrors around it and a big arse. You also seem to have less view over the right hand side than some machines but I personally didn't find this an issue with either machine. The Kramer spoils you because it has a wide angle rear view camera on the back so it is a doddle to drive in small spaces.

You could spend a day in any of the three different Kramer machines but the later two I drove would be an effortless day compared to any JCB I have driven. The hydraulic grunt from them was nuts.

I'm yet to meet a handler that enjoys towing anything.
Been having a quick look at a few second hand kramers while waiting for the lamb lorry there, the plus side being the dealer is just 5 minutes down the road. Probably a bit more money than I was really looking to spend but if I can catch the old man in a good mood you never know! They certainly look to be cheaper than the comparable jcb's
 

Lowland1

Member
Mixed Farmer
I've driven an industrial spec 531/70 JCB - don't go there! Too much compromise to be useful. No auxillary hydraulics, no pickup hitch, air con, little wheels, plumbed differently - the joystick is up, down & boom extension, tilt is on a seperate lever, etc etc. Stick with Ag spec
I’ve had one for over 10,000 hours and some of what you say is true but we fitted a pick up hitch and it has auxiliary hydraulics so we use a box tipper and tip trailers with it. It’s actually fair machine which didn’t cost much nearly new however it’s no comparison to our Claas Scorpion and I will replace it with an ag spec machine but we do put 1800-2000 hours on them per year.
 

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