09-18-2011 04:11 PM - last edited on 09-19-2011 09:33 AM by woody
My name is James Hatcher and I am the operator for Nena Matz. We bought a Caterpillar 299c track loader 8/8/2011 seriial number JSP01713. This machine has 94 hours on it and the track has jumped off 10 times. The latest times were 11:30 am on 9/17/2011 and 1:10 pm on 9/18/2011. I have relayed this problem to my salesperson Tyler Meuten at Warren Cat in Oklahoma City 6 or 7 times. Tyler has tried to help me and has done an excellent job, even coming out on 9/17/2011 which was a Saturday to help me put the track back on. I feel this is a problem that needs to be brought to Caterpillar's attention. I was told that Cat was going to replace the idlers on this machine to solve this problem. The idlers are supposed to be here next month. On 9/13 the left track came off. Luckily the first 7 times I had an excavator or dozer around to lift up the rear of the 299c. This time I had no way of getting the rear off the ground. So I called Warren Cat service and finally after about 45 minutes Todd called me back. I discussed my problem and he told me to jack up the rear of the machine or put a stump under the rear of the machine and and put down pressure on the bucket and raise the machine in that manner. I did as I was told and put a log under the left rear, turned the blade down and pushed the bucket down which raised the machine of the ground. I left the machine idling and stepped out of the machine and left the door open. Before I could get to my truck to get a bar the front door exploded. The hydraulics had leaked down in approximately 10 to 15 seconds and put pressure on the door which in turn made the door shatter. Luckily I was out of the way and did not get hurt. I called Todd back on the number he had called me on and relayed to him what had happened and he was pretty much not concerned.Todd told me to get with my salesperson. So, I took the machine in to Warren Cat Service on 9/14/2011 and told them about the problem I was having along with needing a new front door. After leaving the machine I got a call from a gentleman named David in service and he asked if I wanted the door fixed and quoted me a price of around $650.00. I told him to go ahead and replace the door because I needed to use the machine. I called my salesperson and he told me he was going to call the Cat rep. David from service called me at about 4:30pm and said that the 299c was ready and that I owed 207.37 for labor. I didn't think that was very fair but again I needed to use the machine so I went and paid the bill invoice # OC94897. The machine had 91 hrs on it when it went in to the shop. Again, it has 94 hrs on it now and the track has jumped off twice since it was in the shop. How is this machine supposed to make money? I strongly considered buying a Deere 333D, Terex PT100 and Bobcat 870. I decided to go with the Cat for reliability and service. Now I wish I would have went with another machine. I feel that this problem is isolated to this machine because a demoed a 299c XPS for about 70 hrs and never had the track come off one time in the same applications. I am asking for another machine because I have lost all faith in the 299c that we have now. It is currently sitting in the bottom of a pond with the track off and I cannot get it out.I still believe that Caterpillar makes a great product but this is not one of them. I would appreciate any help that can be given on this matter. I have pictures of the incident on 9/13/2011 and today. Thank you for your support in advance because I know that your company will do the right thing.
09-19-2011 11:59 AM - edited 09-19-2011 12:00 PM
Hello James. My name is Brian Stokoe. I am the social media program manager at Caterpillar. I am sorry to hear that you have had so many challenges. I am working to involve the local Caterpillar Representatives in your area so they may have a direct conversation regarding your situation to ultimately ensure you reach an acceptable resolution.
To ensure we know how to reach you directly, would you please send your contact information to "socialmedia_caterpillarInc@cat.com"?
04-13-2012 05:14 PM
Hi James, I own a 299C and have never had issues with the tracks coming off. There is almost no way they can if they are in good condition and tensioned properly. I am wondering if your grease tensioners were losing pressure and allowing the track tension to get really sloppy. As long as the metal tabs on the track are good and they are snugged up on the tension, they should hold on great. I twist hard on firm ground and drive side hills all the time. I essentially treat it like a big dozer and I have never had the tracks try to jump. My guess is bad tracks or tensioners.
05-22-2012 04:06 PM
09-09-2012 12:36 AM
I bought a 299C out of the Austin Texas store around Jan. 2011 We like the tractor, but the tracks come off all the time. This has happened from the time it had 2-3 hours on it up till now at 800+ hours. We also relayed the concerns and Holt Cat replaced the rear idlers with the same as the front...... Still the same problem. It runs great if you have it in solid, level terrain. The same kind of terrain that a regular skid steer would operate in. I posted this, because I lost a track today, by myself, and could not leave the machine. 3 hours later and glad to be alive, the tractor is back at our shop. It was unable to complete the job. I would not recommend one of these machines to my worst enemy. Again, the tractor is great, the undercarriage is JUNK!! And Cat has to know it. I had someone ask me if they should buy one, I told them to go get a bobcat. I have never owned a bobcat, but I bet there tracks don't fall off as much as these. PLEASE CATERPILLAR, FIX THIS PROBLEM. I DID NOT SHOP CAT AND PAY MORE THAN I WOULD HAVE ANYWHERE ELSE TO HAVE A TRACTOR THAT I CANNOT RUN BECAUSE THE TRACKS FALL OFF. IF I BOUGHT A NEW TRUCK AND THE WHEELS FELL OFF THERE WOULD BE A PROBLEM. THE ONLY GOOD THING IS I DONT HAVE TO PAINT IT THE COLOR OF A LEMON!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ALAN CUMMINGS 5127548548 THIS TRACTOR WAS SOLD OUT OF THE AUSTIN TEXAS STORE.
01-01-2013 02:00 AM
caterpillar now offers a three flange idler group for the rear of your machine to help "derailing in extreme conditions". I just bought a set for my 2009 299c. getting ready to put them on the machine. I have not had derailing issues but i will be in extreme conditions and do not want to have any issues. part number for my idlers is 348-9647. hope this helps you. If you need more help you might contact Jack Beame with western states cat in montana. he is real helpfull.