View the full cat chart at Wikinvest

Cat Stock Blog

Caterpillar Inc. (NYSE:CAT) stock news and links


Amusing time-wasters at

I needed something to occupy myself while waiting for the predicted Obama-bounce to, well, bounce, so I did some nosing around at and found this very cool Web tool: The Build and Quote page, where you can pick your dream Caterpillar machine and configure it with the latest high-tech implements of digging, dragging, scraping and lifting. The tool covers only a fraction of Cat’s product line — sorry, no monster mining trucks or D9’s to armor-plate and strike fear into your political rivals — and it’s not nearly as sexy as the “make your own car” tools at the automakers’ sites. But it does have one unexpected tidbit: suggested retail prices!

Used to be you had to actually be in the market for heavy machines to get a clue on what they cost. Thanks to the Internet, any old tractor geek can go shopping for gear he’ll operate only in his dreams.

The configure tool covers an assortment of backhoe/industrial loaders; hydraulic excavators; multi terrain/compact track loaders; skid steer loaders; track loaders; track-type tractors; and wheel loaders. You can add buckets, blades and other goodies. I really had my heart set on configuring an elephantine D11 dozer, but alas, the tool goes only up to the midrange D7. I settled on seeing which was the cheapest, and which was the priciest.

Cheapest: 216B Series 2 skid steer loader, starting at $29,080 (above).

Priciest: D7R Series 2 bulldozer, starting at $453,390 (right)

See there, you can pick up a nice mini-tractor for the cost of an SUV and actually put it to enough productive use to get back what you paid for it (at $25 an hour you’d get your money back in six months and still have use of the tractor for another 10 years; try that with with your Ford Fusion).

The cheapest dozer, the Cat D3, will set you back 80 grand, but hey, think how much less grief you’d get from your Life Partner for buying something that involves work vs. blowing it on a Porsche Boxter? Just sayin’…

(Betcha didn’t know this: Cat carries a line of simulators to train people to use their equipment. Definite Star Wars vibe without the truck or tractor wrapped around.)

3 comments | Permalink | Tags:
Tom Mangan posted at 8:24 am January 20th, 2009 |

3 Responses to 'Amusing time-wasters at'

Subscribe to comments with RSS or TrackBack to 'Amusing time-wasters at'.

  1. Mahkno says:

    That Build n Quote appears to be region dependent or perhaps dealer dependent.

    I get ‘Sorry, no models available for region:’

    Permalink | Posted January 21st, 2009, at 7:51 am
  2. Tom Mangan says:

    Wow, it’s more sophisticated than I thought. I forgot I had to put in my ZIP code. There is a huge Cat dealer up the road in San Leandro and lots of forestry work done up north of there, but not much heavy mining in a large metro area: hence the smaller tractors (residential and office park construction) and lack of off-highway trucks.

    Permalink | Posted January 21st, 2009, at 8:44 am
  3. Tom Mangan says:

    UPDATE: I had the wrong link posted. Try this one: … it should ask you to choose a country and enter a zip code.

    Permalink | Posted January 21st, 2009, at 8:51 am

Leave a Reply