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9/22/12 - I ask that you please add a signature line to your profiles on the Cletrac Forum to help me to determine who is spam and who is not. You don't need to drop everything and do this immediately, but please do it when you get a minute and you are visiting the forum. Just go to http://cletrac.org/forum2010/index.php?action=profile and put something in the signature area. If you no longer want to be a member on the Cletrac Forum, please remove your membership.

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Author Topic: Which would you get ... OC3 or OC4 ?  (Read 48 times)
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nikoli
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« on: January 06, 2020, 11:07:13 PM »

I currently have 3 OC3's.  The first is an OC3 with an Anderson Dozer, the second is an OC3 with a 3WI Ware Loader, and the third is an OC3 with 12" tracks and used as a farm crawler for discs and plows.  I have a piece of property on the opposite coast that I am looking to clear of heavy brush and decaying trees where most are down and rotting (nothing more than 10" in diameter).  So, knowing that I've had the limitations of my current OC3's in terms of too high a first gear to function well as a dozer or loader used as a clearing machine ..... I set my sights on looking for an OC4.  I figured that I would also jump into the world of the 3-cylinder diesel models as well .... if I could find one.  It doesn't make too much sense moving one of my crawlers 3000 miles to use on the opposite coast for this endeavor.  In addition, once this 5 acres is cleared I would need to maintain it with a brush hog or mower of some type.

I've come across a few machines that may fit the bill for this need.  The first is local to me where my 3 OC3's reside ... an Alpha Track OC4 diesel, series B.  Very cool looking machine ... but maybe not really practical as a dozer for overgrown ground vegetation.  The cost of the machine itself (on the high end) plus the transport, plus the fact the rear drive tires are non-existent set the odds against me for this choice.  Nonetheless, a very sweet machine that I may just have to find another use for to add to my collection in the near future.

The second choice is an OC46 Loader (3-cylinder diesel) an hour from the location for the need, also with a reverser.  This is the model prior to the series B, but not the first OC4's that came out.  Price is on the high side from what I've been accustomed to for these machines, but not too high or as high as the alpha track.  This same owner also has an OC3 with a dozer and 3-point hitch available for roughly the same price as the OC4 noted.  The 3-point hitch is a nice option and may be of use with a 3-point Cat-1 four or five foot brush hog for my mowing need.  The downside ... not having the low speed first gear of the OC4.

A last option is another OC3 with an Anderson Dozer only 30 minutes from my place of need.  The price is less than half of the other options, but it comes with a few caveats.  Although it looks great and was supposedly restored to some degree some 5 years ago, it has sat unused with a stuck clutch.  Already knowing that sitting OC3's get clutches stuck from time to time, that doesn't bother me.  But, the owner noted that it does roll for loading onto a trailer.  So, how can an OC3 with a stuck clutch freely roll?

I am going to be looking at all of these machines in the coming days, so I would like to get some opinions on this new addition to the family ... whatever it may be.

Questions:

1.  Do you feel that the OC46 diesel loader with the reverser at the high price would trump the OC3 dozers for this clearing operation?
2.  Is the 3-point hitch OC3 dozer worth the same price as above AND will it be of equal benefit to clearing overgrowth, ground brush as the loader?
3.  Is the OC3 that has been sitting worth getting for less than half the price of the others, providing that the dozer option is preferred over the loader option?  This is a very early OC3 with HG style idlers, track frames, final drives, and rear diff cover/hitch.  My OC3 that almost mimics this with the Anderson Blade is a year later and has all the better OC3 improvements with the heavier Main Springs, Heavier Track Frames, Solid Idler Wheels, heavier rear diff cover and drawbar.

What would you choose and why?
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mikegt4
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« Reply #1 on: January 07, 2020, 12:10:45 AM »

I have an OC3 with a small loader and a OC46 (first year with the same 4 cylinder engine as the OC3). My OC46 will work circles around my OC3 despite having considerably more weight with the same power. A 3 cylinder OC46 will work circles around my 4 cyl version, a 50% increase in power & torque. BTW. my sprung OC3 rides like a Rolls Royce compared to the solid suspension of the OC46.
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nikoli
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« Reply #2 on: January 07, 2020, 01:49:19 PM »

Good to know!  Thanks for the real world advice.
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Robert Barbour
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« Reply #3 on: January 17, 2020, 04:48:42 PM »

The OC 46 loader would be the best machine because of the lower first gear and weight.   There were 3 engines used in the OC 46, a 4 cyl gas and 3 cyl gas and diesel.  All are rated the same horse power wise.  But the 3 cyl engines are much heavier duty.  The diesels are the best as all are dry sleeved and the sleeves are very hard and last a long time.  There are 3 version of the 3 cyl gas and diesel engines.  The crankshaft was changed twice so there are 3 diesel blocks and cranks.  The first two version of the gas engine are not sleeved so there are two gas blocks.  The last gas version used the same sleeved block as the diesel, so is the best of the gas engines.  So since the newest of the OC 46 loaders are 55  years old  it is not easy to find one with an engine that is not wore out.  Parts are available for them but the diesel pistons are hard to find.  If you are looking to buy a 3 cyl machine post the engine serial number and I can tell you what it is.  I have a loader with a new 4 cylinder engine and a 3 cyl diesel that is rebuilt and both work well.
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Robert from Vancouver Island BC
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