| What should I know about a CAT D4H LGP dozer|
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|22 inch row|
south central Minnesota
|Looking to buy a dozer for terrace work/general farm work. I have been looking at D4H LGP with 6 way blade every body says the lgp is the only way to go, they also tell me the H or high track is easier to maintain and work on. Is there any down side to a high track drive machine? Any other comments about a good farm dozer would be nice a six way blade is a must.|
|I would get oil samples from the engine and the final drive hydraulics......Maintenance and service records..The hydrastatic drives are nice, however the control circuits on them are very complicated and the repair costs are very high. Check pins, bushings and track frame for wear and abuse.. The oil samples may cost you a couple hundred bucks, but it could save you 10000.00 or more in repairs..If there was trouble in the past and it wasn't flushed..look out...If it looks nice..don't be fooled...there are alot of polished turds out there...The old direct drive power shift are a little slower..but they are tough old birds...|
|Would not be my choice if you are building alot of terraces of wanting to clear many big trees. Just dont have the weight or blade size. Not saying it cant be done, I'd look for a D6 or bigger if I had alot of serious dirt work|
|Other than for pushing snow or backfilling tile I am no fan of a 6 way.|
Red River Valley
|I have to agree with 3w, a D4 may be a little small if you want to get anything done, they are good for final work, but if you want to get some dirt moved find a D6, we run a D8 and do not have a single terrace, but love that machine it will flat out get it done, push down trees, and pile them up. Just think you may be unimpressed with the D4. Maybe try renting both and make your choice from there....|
|There are alot of used machines out there. Cat is good, but the 4H's did not have a great reputation. For that size, look for a 41P Komatsu. Avoid a cab at all costs. First off you cannot see and when the a/c does break you will suffer. An LGP will be rougher, wear rails quicker, and lug a machine more. Down sides to the high track may be that you have an additional idler to maintain, but you are higher off the engine/transmission for comfort.|
|As a lot of other guys have said, the D4H is more of a finish tractor. It has some dimension to it (Cat actually "upgraded" the D4H to call it the D5M when they changed model #s in the late 1990's), but not really enough weight to do a whole lot of dirt pushing. I think it only weighs 25k -30k lbs, so it is pretty easy to move around, though. |
That being said, I wouldn't be afraid of a D4H if it was in good shape. Spending a few $$$ getting a professional to check it out first, would be more than worth it for a little peace of mind. $5,000 or $10,000 in repairs doesn't go very far at all on a 15 - 25 year old dozer.
|No 41 komastu!!!! the transmission runs hot on all of them|
|I have a Cat D-5B which I use on farm and do some work for neighbors. I love the machine and got power to dig up trees, spread dirt, clean off fence rows. I have no terrace. Its a power shift late model 5b. Your size of choice will depend on amount of work in a given time. Dad had a Cat D-8H, D7, D6. For most of my work the 5B is great. Some times I could use the D 8 or D6. If I had to replace my Cat, I would most likely get a D-6D. Your older Cats are made to last forever. The high tracks are not really rebuildiable friendly.|
|Aside from farming corn and beans we do alot dirt work and tiling,we have 4 Cats (3 D6Rs and 1 D6T) and 3 Deeres (2 850J and 1 850C). I agree with others you should look into a D6 of some variety (D6M, D6N, D6H or D6R Cats 750 or 850 Deeres) or something of that size range. Then M and N are a little smaller but i do like the 6way blade (PAT) on them better than the Rs. The only problem with the PAT blade is that they wont hold dirt like a Semi-U blade and for terraces you cant carry the dirt up the backside near as well and when doing waterways you will have trouble moving dirt more than 150 ft and still having a good load in front of you. On the plus side of a PAT blade they work wonders for finishing and short and tight area pushes. If you go to a D6R or H intermediate pad or LGP or a D7 and bigger, they are heavy and wide so they are hard to haul "legally" on a truck. I actually kinda like the deere machines, they have a better cab and comfort, and since they are hydrostatic to each track they are quicker and can push while turning. I would tend to think you would be happier with a D6M or like a 750C deere, they will do so much more and you actually have a piece of equipment. If you are in an area that freezes and want to do work in the winter you will like the high track cats. There is much less work cleaning around the rollers that you have to do when you quit for the day. And the LGPs are great for flotation and will go about anywhere, You will be surprised how light footed a big dozer can be with wide pads like that. Best of luck on on whatever you find.|
|We bought a 4H new in the fall of 88 and it's one of the earlier serial numbers. It's had a few problems, mainly in the transmission. Shift valves were the main thing early on and it still acts up a bit when it's hot... other thing was a broken planetary in the tranmission at ~2500 hours. |
It's also had the angle frame (singletree is it's proper name) on the 6 way blade broken and is now reinforced.
Other than that, just your basic undercarriage work. This dozer was used mostly for land clearing and it did plenty of heavy hard work.
The downside is that it's not powerfull or heavy enough for heavy stumping. It doesn't have differential steering so it's nearly useless for heavy dozing... and it weighs about 25K (without checking I'd say teh LGP is more like 26-27K)... so it's a bit crude for fine work with the heavy grousers we have on it.
That said, it does work well for most things we do with it. Road building, fence removal, pond digging, silo packing, land clearing, etc... it's done some of each and done quite well at all. It's just not as fast on the heavy pushes.
It's also had a propensity to run hot since day one... mostly on the transmission. You need to keep the rad very clean to keep it cool....
I've always found it to have a nice cab and controls. Visibility is excellent on that dozer. Repairs aren't too bad for major components as it's a modular assembled machine though some things will torture you...
If I had a need for one I'd not hesitate to buy another, but at the same time I'd sooner a 6H for most of what we do. The 4 was simply what we could swing at the time as it replaced a dieing Case 1150. It far outworked the 1150 too...
This 4H is also near the weight of the older 6C's though it doesn't have the power. Probably a bit more machine than a 5C.
|Fla Veggie Farmer|
|D4H LGP the H does not stand for high track H is the series. D4H has 3304 turbo engine with steering clutches (YUCK!) You want to find either a later series D5, M or N in that size or a differential steering D6H LGP or later R or T. The D6’s have a 4 way blade which does not angle. There's 2, D6H LGP's on Iron Planet, $ 16-20K but both have a cab and you can't see $hit from the cab. Most operators with those cabs ran with doors open so they could see the blade. We had a lot of LGP dozer’s in the sugarcane fields to push stuck haul wagons and D4H was as close to useless as they came. It's hard to finish grade with them because they have clutches and you cannot turn under a load or the drive track just spins out. The high tracks are way cheaper to repair all the way around and especially the transmission. They’re also a lot easier to clean the tracks out. The high tracks have a lot more visibility from the seat than any other on the market due to how high the seat is. Komatsu is very expensive to work on in the transmission department and depreciate very quickly. The golf course finish operators like the JD dozers because they’re nimble and low to get under trees.|
Central / West Texas
|We have a 6r and a 6d and I prefer the 6d. Both have the trunion style blade. No use for a 6 way in our operation. We have a maintaniner for finish work. If you use it much you really dont need to see the blade that well and its a dozer. No need to get a bathtub slick finish. Let the rain or another finish type machine do that for you. If you like to fix things yourself and not support your local cat dealer to the tune of $100 an hour from the time they leave the shop till the time they return than get yourself a little order machine and be alble to work on the thing. also if your not running in a marsh I sure would not look at lgp machines, the pads and rails dont last long if you have any rocks around.|
|6 way will not hold up to heavy pushing. Very expensive upkeep. Outside push arms are the best for overall farm tractor. |
I have absolutely nothing against a tractor with windows, heat and air. No sense abusing yourself just to push dirt and pile dead trees. A brush guard makes for a good hood ornament, and no worry about breaking glass. Remember when we thought we couldn't plant corn with a cab?
Edited by dave morgan 6/30/2009 02:49
|I think you will find the wider the track shoes the shorter the life of the rails. More pry on the rails tend to wear pins and bushings much faster. Always run with the narrowest shoes that will do what you need done. |
More important, if you are not friends with a good Cat mechanic, find one and stroke the friendship all you can. You will not like to take a Cat into a company shop for little things, let alone the big things that wear eventually. All work on a D5-6-7 size machine can be performed in a good farm shop.
The D4H is not in production anymore, not a whole gazillion were made like the other sizes. While it is handy for finish work it is very light for production work. Yardage/day does not mount up quickly, very noticeable by the 3rd day.
Edited by dave morgan 6/30/2009 03:01
|3204T... not that it matters much. |
I agree with you about the steering clutches. Differential would be much prefered in a machine of that weight class.
I tend to think of it as the 'little big' dozer. It's too big to be little, and too little to be big....
Panhandle of Texas
Ive got a D5B also, and love it.
I would seriously consider going a size up from the 4 that you are considering.
(other people very accurately described the reason why)
|I would look for a low track d6 d6b-d6d, a JD700, i'm assuming a JD700J or D6k are a little rich for a farm dozer. I have to say that my friend has a 700H for his excavation business and it is a beast for a VPAT tractor.|
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