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ivan
04-02-2006, 10:54 PM
I'm biting the bullet and getting a engine driven welder so I can do most of my work onsite. I build a lot of basic steel gates and do a lot or repair on steel framed kennel runs. I'm thinking how nice it would be not to have to bring this stuff back to my shop ( currently a 2 car garage) and do the work onsite. Ive been looking at the bobcat 250 and the trail blazer 302. I think the bobcat would be more than enough for what I do but , I dont want to get stuck needing more machine either. I have absoultly no experiance with a engine drive machine this will be a first for me. Any feedback on the pros and cons of these two machines for what I do would be a great help. I use 16 to 14 gauge square tubes on everything I make and repair.

tailshaft56
04-02-2006, 11:46 PM
I'm no expert but it sounds like you are right when you say the Bobcat is plenty enough welder. That being said most of the people with Miller engine drives ( at least here and the Miller board ) say " You can weld with a Bobcat but a Trailblazer is a welder " Talk to your local welding supply and see if you can test drive both. That's the only way I know of to see if you want the bigger machine. I have heard the TB does have a very smooth arc. The adjustable dig control can be a help and TB will accept a remote if you ever want to tig or just need to be setup to change amps without going back to the welder.

rvannatta
04-02-2006, 11:58 PM
I'm biting the bullet and getting a engine driven welder so I can do most of my work onsite. I build a lot of basic steel gates and do a lot or repair on steel framed kennel runs. I'm thinking how nice it would be not to have to bring this stuff back to my shop ( currently a 2 car garage) and do the work onsite. Ive been looking at the bobcat 250 and the trail blazer 302. I think the bobcat would be more than enough for what I do but , I dont want to get stuck needing more machine either. I have absoultly no experiance with a engine drive machine this will be a first for me. Any feedback on the pros and cons of these two machines for what I do would be a great help. I use 16 to 14 gauge square tubes on everything I make and repair.
My take is that you get whawt you payfor here. I'm guessing there is perhaps $800 difference in the price. they have the same engine, the same weight, and outside dimensions and even the same paint.

if you go to millers web site at http://millerwelds.com/products/enginedriven/selectorguide.html

they give you a feature by feature list of the differences.

Two differences that could be of significance to you:
The TB has a connecter so you can install a remote amperage control. The lack of this has been frustrating to us on the bobcat because our bobcat is mounted high in a truck, and you have to climb into the truck to change the amp setting--- a pain.
an optional feature on the TB is a remote amp setting on a cord.

The major structural advanatage of the TB is that is has a much better AC power generator in it. It actually has 2 generators in it--one for welding and one for AC power.
this is really big deal if you ever want to add the extra equipment to weld aluminum.

It also can be significant if you want to use AC power and weld at the same time.

Clearly the product are different and there IS value for the extra money. Whether you will benefit from these extra features depends on where life takes you.

WE bought a basic bobcat 225G years ago. We have liked it fine. We're loggers and we hit the wall with it because we got some things we had to do that were just too heavy for it so we bought a BIG 40 as a second welder--- when it got tired (it was used) we bought another big welder, but we still have the bob cat and like it.---though I use it more for powering a big battery charger and other AC functions than I do for welding.

I believe Miller's own list of differences is a fair one, and it sort of depends how precious the extra bucks are to you, I think.

coalsmoke
04-03-2006, 12:17 AM
I love my trailblazer, but i think that the bobcat would serve you just fine and save you some money while you are at it.

calweld
04-03-2006, 12:27 AM
The trailblazer does have a sweeter arc, which may be important with the thin-gauge stuff you're working with.

The trailblazer is set up better for CV (does the Bobcat even have a CV tap??) and if you decide to hook to a wire feeder it will do better.

Would a 110v wire feed with a long extension cord work for your type of work? Others here could tell you if those are capable of welding the gauges you need to weld, I can't because I've never used one, but I have seen them and they're kind of neat. Just a thought.

wroughtnharv
04-03-2006, 07:15 AM
I have the Trailblazer and would recommend it. The difference in price should come back when you trade in or sell your machine. With the TB you can have a helper grinding away while running lights without effecting your arc since they're on two different circuits. I'm not sure how much a/c use effects your arc on a BC.

Trent Combs
04-03-2006, 10:57 AM
I shopped hard for a machine, and ended up with a Bobcat 250. My needs are similar to yours, although I run a bit thicker walled material. I've stick welded lots of .120-.180 mild tubing with mine , and am very pleased with it. I have also used it to power my HH135 and MM210 with fine results. I usually work alone, so dual generators are not a biggie to me.

That said, I used a Coleman 5k genset from Costco and a HH135 extensively for what you are doing with fine results. This is probably the most cost-effective setup for what you are doing, and is by far the cleanest way to weld thin tubing. Weld it, wipe it, paint it.

I bought the Bobcat for .120+ needs, but still use the migs for 90%+ of most jobs.

Ray C.
04-03-2006, 03:50 PM
I also use a 5k Coleman and a HH135 for occasional out of shop needs. For thicker stuff I just plug in my Maxstar 150S and stick weld. This set up costs about $1450. and suit your needs. I can weld just about anything I neen to, but if I did portable welding everyday I would have an engine drive.

precisionworks
04-03-2006, 05:40 PM
I bought the TB302 for its ability to run the 12RC Suitcase feeder. Sweet arc, even with thin wire, vertical and overhead.

At the local welding supply, about $500 difference. Some of that will come back when you sell or trade.

jbmprods
04-03-2006, 06:21 PM
page 23 of my ops manual for my 3 yr old bobcat 225 nt says Quote simultaneous welding and power with fine adjust set at 10 .......210 amps welding 10 amps 120v/240-5 amps......140 amps welding 42 amps.....120v/240v-21 amps. based on the miller figures i don't think you would have any trouble using a bobcat 225 or 250 while doing fencing unless your welding an M1A1 tank barracade:D i might add that at 90 amps welding it says 70 amps available at at 120v/ 35 amps at 240. i haven't tried it as i haven't needed to but at these specs you should be able to run a mm 135 or even a mm175 at the same time your burning rod.

don't take my word for it check it out on the manual from the miller site;)

garth
04-03-2006, 06:38 PM
Hi IVAN I have the trail blazer 301g with the Kohler motor with mig and tig and spool gun set up have had great luck with thin or 1inch thick stuff the arc is outsanding on this machine the 12rc suitye case mig runs butifull beads I would certanly recommend this machine to every one especaily if your thinking of expanding what you do always better to have to much welder than not engough when you need it you can also run a 110 mig off it if need be also if you loose power the 10.000 watt gen is realy nice to good luck

NOS
04-03-2006, 08:16 PM
Have a "Pal" up the road that has 2 new 250 Bobcats. Him and his Father in law run the rigs w/ miller suitcases and mm-175's building stock fences and steel buildings.
Recently I had the chance to check the Bobcat out compared to my Hobart Champion. The Bobcat is a real nice machine and has all the gingerbread a guy would probably ever need! (not gonna try and sell ya a Champion tho for me, it's just as good) I have NO experience with the Trailblazer, but according to Millers literature, the "generators" are exactly the same type. (Smoother arc is a crock according to the spec's.) The fact is that unless yer WAY out there in ability and need, the T/B won't do a thing for ya that the Champion won't, and the 250- Bobcat bridges the gap. 1 thing I did notice is that the Miller want's ya to turn UP the amps when ya use the gen. while welding. This is NOT required with the Hobart, and I have noticed NO differance in welding when running a saw, grinder, or lights while welding at the same time. I'm sure the Miller Bobcat/Trailblazer is better than the Champ,,,but ya couldn't prove it by me when welding under 150 amps. IMO the 250 will be more welder than most here would ever need, the Champoion will satisfy ya, and the T/B is a waste of money for anyone but the absolute best professional weldor that can tell the differance. (Most couldn't tell ya which machine they were using in a comparisson test.) The Bobcat would do ya fine, but so would the Hobart Champ. Yer choice! Buy what ya want. There ain't a nickles differance between all 3 for what I do in weld quality or performance.

Before ya spend yer $ check out the Hobart Champion 10,000 and compare it to the Bobcat 250. The Hobart is a very BASIC welder. The Bobcat is very nice and offers features the Hobart does not have. Other than another 52 amps the T/B offers nothing the B/C doesn't that I can see, and neither one would get my attention as long as Hobart keeps makin Champ's. JMO

Butch007
04-03-2006, 08:42 PM
I'm an amateur welder with very similar needs as yours. I bought the Bobcat 250 and I love it. It is way more welder than I need. I've also been running an HH 180 on it, in addition to grinders, an air compressor, fan, etc. while I'm welding. No problem!
Best yet, the power went down a couple of weeks ago and we were in the dark for about 14 hours. We can manage just fine without electricity, but the wife was upset because she just bought a freezer full of meat that weekend. I just sparked up the Bobcat and plugged in the freezer, fridge, lamp and TV (why not?). Now that she gets it, she's stopped nagging me about how much I paid for it. ;)

Despite that, I'm a "get more tool than you need" guy, so I understand your idea about getting the Trailblazer, just in case. But in my case, I decided to get the Bobcat and spend the difference buying that HH180. Go for it!

ivan
04-03-2006, 09:48 PM
I would definatly get a wire feeder for it. I almost always over buy and end up getting just enough. I know as soon as I get the new unit I'm gonna get a call and need every bit of output the machine has... that just seems to always happen.

jbmprods
04-03-2006, 10:23 PM
I would definatly get a wire feeder for it. I almost always over buy and end up getting just enough. I know as soon as I get the new unit I'm gonna get a call and need every bit of output the machine has... that just seems to always happen.
hey Ivan, sounds like you already convinced yourself to get the trailblazer so go for it. if and when my old aead200le quits(1981 model and runs as strong as new) and my 225 bobcat dies i'll no dout step up to the plate much bigger and badder but till such time i'll enjoy the bank interest even though we all know they don't return enough to buy a box of rod. good luck with your new blazer;)

Sberry
04-03-2006, 10:58 PM
If I had a Bobcat and doing general work there would be no need to trade up, if I was buying new I would spring the extra 800 for the TB.

rvannatta
04-04-2006, 12:26 AM
I would definatly get a wire feeder for it. I almost always over buy and end up getting just enough. I know as soon as I get the new unit I'm gonna get a call and need every bit of output the machine has... that just seems to always happen.

This is my experience. We bought a 400 amp welder in december with 19kw AC and have now had it just over 3 months and have to watch ourselves that we don't overload it, though we never had anything close to that capacity before.

A year ago, I evaluated what we needed in the tool box for 'metric hex drivers' and decided that a 1/2" drive 'impact' set of hex drivers would be all that we would ever need. Well last week one of our contractors broke his 1/2" craftsman flex handle using one of the drivers and still didn't get the bolt lose---so now I have a 3/4" drive metric hex driver for 17 mm.
Today it came loose with the help of one of those Snapon 3/4" ratchets with a 3 foot handle.

other people never seem to outgrow their tools, and I have never been too sure why.

MAC702
04-04-2006, 08:13 PM
I have NO experience with the Trailblazer, but according to Millers literature, the "generators" are exactly the same type. (Smoother arc is a crock according to the spec's.) The fact is that unless yer WAY out there in ability and need, the T/B won't do a thing for ya that the Champion won't, and the 250- Bobcat bridges the gap. 1 thing I did notice is that the Miller want's ya to turn UP the amps when ya use the gen. while welding. ...Other than another 52 amps the T/B offers nothing the B/C doesn't that I can see, and neither one would get my attention as long as Hobart keeps makin Champ's. JMO
Rob, you generally know your stuff and there's no question you do some serious welding with the equipment that you have, but I'll have to address a few of your points. I have the TB301G. My dad has a Bobcat 225 NT. There are a LOT of differences, ESPECIALLY in the arc. It's no pure DC generator, but the TB has TWO generators, and the welding one is 3-phase before it is rectified; WAY smoother, and I weld with both depending on where I am. Its separate AC power generator means a second guy can fire up a 9" grinder (heavy inductive load) while the first guy is running a bead, and you won't notice it in the arc. Until I got the LN-25, I never needed more than the 210A DC I could get from a Bobcat, but it's clearly the arc quality that makes the difference, not the extra 70A (when comparing DC CC welding.) The AC power is also independant of the weld settings on the TB.

Stick rod
04-05-2006, 11:32 AM
I`ve run the Trailblazer,Bobcat and Champion and would recommend them in that order also.While they are all good machines the Trailblazer is the best of the bunch.Spend the extra money now and you won`t regret it later.I have a Trailblazer and love it!While the other two machines MIGHT get me by I know the Trailblazer WILL ge the job done when I need it.

kenweldsit
04-05-2006, 06:19 PM
oveer the years i've had various machines never had a hobart though all they are is miller machines now older ones before1985 i believe are hobart i own a TB300D and love it got it in 01runs almost everyday and weld 1/16 fc in ln25 and .30 in s22p12 welds super nice
very smooth arc only thing i've ever ran that was smoother is the sae400 lincolln i have that's about as old as i am. never regret saving a while longer and buying better quality products or buying what nyou could possibly need later always opt for the best bang for your buck

NOS
04-05-2006, 07:49 PM
Yea I know Mac! I suspect most don't have a 2nd. guy grinding while they are welding tho. I'll take yer word for the "smoother arc" but I doubt that I would notice a differance. After running the new BC-250 (gas) and the Miller suitcase of my friends, I drug out the 8vs and fired up the Champ. He ran my outfit and I ran his. (He asked more questions than I did.) Then we ran his MM-175 and my HH-140 on some 1/16" wall thickness square tube, he woulda traded on the spot. (All fcaw .030 & .045 , & all Miller/Hobart products.)
Is it "set-up" that was the differance? I don't know but I'll tell ya this Mac...I don't need a Bobcat, and I ****-sure don't need a Trailblazer!

I just hope IVAN finds the machine he needs whatever it is!

edit; Stickrod,,,,what the **** are ya doin that 170 amps of dc-cc @ 100% dutycycle won't do? That's what the Champion will do, and it runs cc-fc smooth as glass at 120 amps as long as I can stand to hold the trigger. No argument,,,just wondering.

ivan
04-05-2006, 08:25 PM
Heres my biggest ? What suitcase wire feeder would you guys recomend for the trailblazer? Will a wire feeder with fluxcore wire allow me to weld 1 inch solid pipe to 1/2 inch bottom and top plates? None of the work I do or will ever do ( for now anyways ) will be structural but I dont want to do shotty work either.

kenweldsit
04-05-2006, 09:11 PM
ln25 lincoln is a good feeder so is millers22p12 i don't know which new miller is equal to it though mine is 5 yo. didn't meen to insult anyone but hobart is owned buy ITW same as miller machines are basic the same spec and all

coalsmoke
04-06-2006, 01:55 AM
Get the suitcase 12VS, I hear nothing but good about it. The 8 VS is fine if you run smaller wires, but I have always thought that the 12" would be the way to go for the bigger stuff. You CANNOT beat the CV arc quality that the trailblazer puts out, esp with portable feeders. More people seem to buy trailblzers just to run their wire feeders than anything else. That said, I run stick all day long and it is darn smooth on the TB302. I can't speak for the bobcat one way or another when it comes to running wire.

trevwelder
04-06-2006, 08:41 PM
NOS -- I dont want to start anything here, but why every time someone talks about the Trailblazer you talk up the Champion. I have used a Champ, and the Trailblazer DOES have a smoother arc than the Champ and the Bobcat. You would have to use one to see the differance. The Champ is only DC,but the Bobcat and Traillblaizer can come with AC/DC. I for one needed AC. I am happy for you that the Champ works that good for you, but that does not mean that everyone will like it. Most of the time I work by myself, but there are times when I have 3 or 4 guys working with me. The 14pin plug for the remote makes it really nice for the RC12 and when I am tig welding. The Champ was not the even in the question. Like I said I dont want to start an argument, was just curious.

Albert1234
04-06-2006, 09:42 PM
Is there any difference between the Onan/Robin/Subaru engine and the Kohler? It looks like you get to pick from the two when selecting a Champion, Bobcat or Trailblazer.

Sberry
04-06-2006, 09:55 PM
Right now unless I learned something drastic it would be the Khohler, (its late, cant even spell it) but by all reliable reports it will run the machines they sit in to the ground. I talk to a bud today says at 2100 hrs not a lick of trouble with the eng, a couple minor things with the machine.

Sberry
04-06-2006, 10:28 PM
I could make do with a Champ for portable work, at this moment there wouldnt be any reason to need something better. It would be a consideration for general stick work, low hrs and can give a guy a warm fuzzy feeling as a backup power asset these days. For the part timer it would be great, it takes a long time to put 100 hrs on a welding machine, he would get tired of putting gas in the thing in a hurry,,, ha I have seen more than one machine for sale with 50 hrs on them. I might think of one of those vs a Bobcat, the only real deal is AC and how many guys run alloy electrodes in the field, very few I bet and most will run DC anyway, only need I would have is for nickle but once or twice in 10 yrs?? A Champ wouldnt leave me with a feeling I needed something better, its cheap too. Heck I even like those Bluestars in some cases, light, a bit cheaper and 180 A and 6000 watts is respectable and I wouldnt be embarrassed to own one. I would be hard pressed to justify a feeder and partly because I wouldnt want to tote the extra stuff around. I didnt get the drift from this thread that this was gonna be an ongoing deal chucking big rods in one after another or running feeders, sounded more like a couple guys yukkin it up on weekends building some fence,,, forgot what it was in the beginning now,, ha

coalsmoke
04-06-2006, 11:17 PM
I posted this back in September 05, on the Miller site:

For those considering the engine choices (for 300amp machines).
A few thoughts I have found that might be of interest to someone pondering the engine question.

First, engine choice. I managed to get an "in" with an engineer working at one of the gas engine manufactures, won't say for which side, but after getting some info, I have come to these conclusions:

1. The ORS engine is a fine engine, just keep the oil level up. If you don't run it at least once a week, it may suffer from dry starts more so than the Kohler due to its oiling system. So, use synthetic or an oil modifier to help keep some residual lubrication in the races and oil channels longer.

2. The Kohler is a bit better if you live in a really cold climate. It takes a while to warm up, but once again, its oiling system keeps the engine healthy, providing that your oil is still the right viscosity at that temp and not molasses.

3. The OSR may have the upper hand for day-in day-out running, conflicting data on that one so flip a coin, but if I were going to run the thing 18 hours a day I'd seriously consider the ORS.

4. The Kohler is much easier to get parts for in remote places, but most towns with a population of 80,000 or more have an ORS parts depot.

5. The ORS gets (or did get a couple years ago) a hair better fuel economy, but not enough to really matter one way or the other.

Personally, the Kohler wins in my books because of the availability of parts and good reports of customer service. The ORS is fine too, just stay current with the maintenance on it (like valve adjustments every 500h).

Now, my thoughts on the diesel vs. gas choice for the trailblazer 300 amp series of Miller welders ( TB 302 gas vs. TB 301D if anyone cares ). First off, engine for engine, the Kubota diesel is one heck of a good little workhorse and most of them last forever. Only thing you occasionally have to worry about is the oil pump sometimes after about 7-9000hours. Other than that (and the odd oil seal) if something goes wrong on your Kubota, you're just unlucky. What about economic factors, that is, initial cost of the engine vs. the average running cost of the engine. Now, I didn't factor in the added savings in less frequent oil changes with the Kubota, but strictly looking at fuel costs, on the present fuel market, you would make up the cost differentiation between the gas (Kohler or ORS) and the higher initial cost of the Kubota after 4348 hours (rounded up). Then you start making the profit over the gas engine for each hour you run after that. After another 4783 hours (rounded up again), the welder will then have paid for itself. If you are in it for the long run, the Kubota is the way to go. However, I needed the lower start-up cost and after 4000 hours I might be ready to upgrade. Whichever way a person chooses, take comfort in knowing that there is no "horribly wrong" choice. Hopefully the above info will help all in deciding which engine drive option is best suited for your needs.

trevwelder
04-07-2006, 12:11 AM
I could make do with a Champ for portable work, at this moment there wouldnt be any reason to need something better. It would be a consideration for general stick work, low hrs and can give a guy a warm fuzzy feeling as a backup power asset these days. For the part timer it would be great, it takes a long time to put 100 hrs on a welding machine, he would get tired of putting gas in the thing in a hurry,,, ha I have seen more than one machine for sale with 50 hrs on them. I might think of one of those vs a Bobcat, the only real deal is AC and how many guys run alloy electrodes in the field, very few I bet and most will run DC anyway, only need I would have is for nickle but once or twice in 10 yrs?? A Champ wouldnt leave me with a feeling I needed something better, its cheap too. Heck I even like those Bluestars in some cases, light, a bit cheaper and 180 A and 6000 watts is respectable and I wouldnt be embarrassed to own one. I would be hard pressed to justify a feeder and partly because I wouldnt want to tote the extra stuff around. I didnt get the drift from this thread that this was gonna be an ongoing deal chucking big rods in one after another or running feeders, sounded more like a couple guys yukkin it up on weekends building some fence,,, forgot what it was in the beginning now,, ha


I am sure that the Champ is a good welder. With me I use AC for welding aluminum with the HF-251D-1. I get a big call for portable aluminum welding. With the Champ I would have to buy a tig welder. WHY when the Trailblazer is an AC tig. The HF-251D-1 was cheaper than a Dynasty and more powerful than the Econotig. In the beginning of this thread the question was about the Bobcat and the Trailblazer. The Champ got tossed in and the Trailblazer dogged. I dont know if the new Champ has the new Closed Case like the new Bobcats and ther Trailblazers have, but they run 1/3 quieter and 1/3 cooler. I do like it being quieter, but some may not care.

coalsmoke
04-07-2006, 01:00 AM
I am sure that the Champ is a good welder. With me I use AC for welding aluminum with the HF-251D-1. I get a big call for portable aluminum welding. With the Champ I would have to buy a tig welder. WHY when the Trailblazer is an AC tig. The HF-251D-1 was cheaper than a Dynasty and more powerful than the Econotig. In the beginning of this thread the question was about the Bobcat and the Trailblazer. The Champ got tossed in and the Trailblazer dogged. I dont know if the new Champ has the new Closed Case like the new Bobcats and ther Trailblazers have, but they run 1/3 quieter and 1/3 cooler. I do like it being quieter, but some may not care.

Interestingly enough, the Miller (new) trailblazers (302s) also advertise themselves as being 1/3 quiter, and I can first hand say that there is a huge difference between the old and new trailblazers. The old ones would drive a person crazy by hour 12, heaven forbid you were working a 16-20hour shift.

trevwelder
04-07-2006, 01:27 AM
Interestingly enough, the Miller (new) trailblazers (302s) also advertise themselves as being 1/3 quiter, and I can first hand say that there is a huge difference between the old and new trailblazers. The old ones would drive a person crazy by hour 12, heaven forbid you were working a 16-20hour shift.


Between the welder, the sound of the air arc (I do alot of), my air compressor, the grinders (angle grinder and die grinder), lately I have been useing an Impact alot. Even with ear plugs my ears still ring when I get home.

coalsmoke
04-07-2006, 02:09 AM
Yeah, i find that the compressor and air arc are the worst. I always wear the orange foam 22decible ear plugs or else my ears and head are hurting by the end of the day. For me its automatic, get out of the truck, grab gloves, grab earplugs. The older trailblazer 280s were real loud, not sure why, but boy you sure couldn't hear yourself think.

Tumbleweed
04-07-2006, 07:19 AM
Yeah, i find that the compressor and air arc are the worst. I always wear the orange foam 22decible ear plugs or else my ears and head are hurting by the end of the day. For me its automatic, get out of the truck, grab gloves, grab earplugs. The older trailblazer 280s were real loud, not sure why, but boy you sure couldn't hear yourself think.

My neighbor worked for GA Power and a few years ago they conducted an 18 months study on the physical effects of working in a loud environment. Along with the obvious effect of hearing loss for those who did not wear hearing protection, they also found a huge correlation between working in a loud environment and fatigue. They now require all employees to wear hearing protection.
Sorry to post on this thread an not being about welders...but thought I would share this information. TW

coalsmoke
04-07-2006, 02:20 PM
My neighbor worked for GA Power and a few years ago they conducted an 18 months study on the physical effects of working in a loud environment. Along with the obvious effect of hearing loss for those who did not wear hearing protection, they also found a huge correlation between working in a loud environment and fatigue. They now require all employees to wear hearing protection.
Sorry to post on this thread an not being about welders...but thought I would share this information. TW

TW, thanks for the info, I'm glad you posted it.

gde
04-07-2006, 03:39 PM
I have had my Bobcat for 6months or so. I love it. It does everything I need it to. Here's a link to the trailer I built for it. It looks a little better now that the leads have a place to hang. If you want some updated pics, let me know.
http://www.hobartwelders.com/mboard/showthread.php?t=17003&highlight=trailer+gde

NOS
04-07-2006, 09:38 PM
Trev :confused: and the rest of ya to include Ivan.
Fact:
I stated at the start that I wasn't trying to sell a Champion.
I stated that I had NO experience with a Trailblazer.
I stated that I had had some limited experience with the NEW 250 Bobcat and it was BETTER than the Champ.
I stated that the owner of a MM-175 woulda traded me on the spot for my HH-140.

What I didn't tell ya is that I've had ALOT of experience with the older B/C's and I (thats an "I",,,not a "U") like the NEW Champ. better than them.
I didn't tell ya that at no time was the Bobcat better on CC or CV, than the Champ was at CC with the 2 feeders!. Also what I didn't tell ya is that me using the Champion, Bobcat,& Trailblazer was just an example of the FACT that everyone does not need a Trailblazer, as there are other machines that will do most jobs for alot less money,,,providing that ya know what yer doin in the 1st. place.

My personal opinion is this...I don't give a rat's-*** what machine YOU or anyone else thinks is best!
(If I had a dollar for every Trailblazer in the back of some guys p/u that can't weld with any better than I can with the Champion, I'd buy a Trailblazer with the money! Actually I'd buy another Champion, and most of another new 8vs) A new Trailblazer is ABOUT $1.200.00 more than the Champion, $800.00 more than a Bobcat from what I hear, won't do a single thing the BC wont do other than another 50 amps, and only offers A/C and 70 amps over the Champion in STOCK form. Inorder to accomplish "TIG" with either the BC or TB or any process other than smaw, you must BUY attachments that cost as much as a pretty good "TIG" or "MIG" machine that any of the 3 machines mentioned will run fine. Want a "wirefeed"? Hobart has the 140,180,etc. Miller offers the 8 & 12 vs feeders that all 3 machines will run with no problem. Yes,,,even the HOBART CHAMPION has a 10,000 watt generator and the same engine options as that famed TRAILBLAZER.

If ya need or just want a TB,,,buy one like Mac and others have. He & they may need or just want & can afford the very best 300 amp engine drive they can get. I have got no problem with what he/they that know the differance decided on. At least some guys know what they need ,want, and can afford. At least Mac and SOME others decided on a Trailblazer because he/they needed it! Not because some other wind-bag on a web-site or a show-room told em it was the best.

Lets address this "smoother arc" thing. I Don't buy the hype! Simple as that. I'm as good a smaw welder as anyone I know. I've seen some pipeliners that would blow me outa my socks, but none that couldn't do it with any good dc/cc machine.
When I said the Bobcat has the exact same TYPE of weld generator,,,I was refering to the "waveform" published by Miller. Not the physical stator, or the fact that the TB has a seperate a/c generator "stator". I also said more than once that I,(<another "I" and not a "U"), probably couldn't tell the differance. Maybe "U" can.

Gentlemen, you boys don't have to like what I say! If the Champion was a piece of **** I'd be the 1st. to tell ya, and for the record,,,"I" do absolutely know that the Champ is all "I" need. Not "generally",,,absolutely! It is all I, (another "I"), need,,, to do what "I" (there it is again!) need it to do! I would be a fool (like so many) to buy a Trailblazer, when there are Champs and Bobcats that will more than do the job for alot less money
.
That's all I've ever said Trev!

What I was tryin ta do was ta get Ivan & others to think outside of the "Trailblazer" box some of ya'll keep stickin him in.
Sorry if I pissed ya off!






Ivan,,,hope ya find the right machine for YOU whatever brand it is! Honest!;)

joebass
04-07-2006, 10:05 PM
Well, I feel that the Champion is made mostly for farmers. If you like it good for you. Some of your info is wrong. The Trailblazer has built in lift arc DC TIG. Very handy for portable SS work. According to Andy on the Miller board even when using a high frequency box for TIG on a Bobcat.....

"It will work...but that's about it. The HF 251 is normally used in a remote condition with a foot pedal or hand control. Since the Bobcat has no provision for remote control, The HF251 will have to be run hot all the time. This makes for a dangerous stuation at the HF is going all the time and the Bobcat's output is hot all the time so it will want to jump to anything to ground itself and if you lay the torch across your leg like all of us when not welding, it will light you up."


It has alot more features and differences than the Champion like, Hot start and Dig, Digital meters and a remote receptical. The Champion is a barebones CC machine. Good for stick, scartch start TIG and probably runs a voltage sensing feeder OK. Bottom line is your Champion is not even in the same league as the Trailblazer.

Maybe the features on the traiblazer you don't need but there are plenty of other people that do. I have the need for TIG on a moble rig. I wouldn't like to do without digital meters and a remote or Dig either.

MAC702
04-07-2006, 10:14 PM
from what I hear, won't do a single thing the BC wont do other than another 50 amps
Rob, you passionately make some valid points.

But there can be no question that a 3-phase rectified arc (Trailblazer) is smoother than a single-phase rectified arc (Bobcat.) It's basic electrical physics. And I can "tell you" that it is certainly smoother as I weld with both my TB301G and my dad's Bobcat 225NT often.

Also, and this is interesting: because of the DIFFERENT designs of the generators in Trailblazers and Bobcats, the Trailblazer has a higher DC output than AC, while the smaller of the Bobcats has a higher AC output than DC. So the 225 rating of the small Bobcat is misleading as it only provides 210A of DC CC. The Bobcat 250 is 250A output across the board.

Tim R.
04-07-2006, 11:15 PM
I used a trailblazer 302 at work and thought the world of it until I used a ranger 250.
You might look at a bobcat 225 also. Rangers cheaper and weighs less though.

trevwelder
04-08-2006, 12:12 AM
Trev :confused: and the rest of ya to include Ivan.
Fact:
I stated at the start that I wasn't trying to sell a Champion.
I stated that I had NO experience with a Trailblazer.
I stated that I had had some limited experience with the NEW 250 Bobcat and it was BETTER than the Champ.
I stated that the owner of a MM-175 woulda traded me on the spot for my HH-140.

What I didn't tell ya is that I've had ALOT of experience with the older B/C's and I (thats an "I",,,not a "U") like the NEW Champ. better than them.
I didn't tell ya that at no time was the Bobcat better on CC or CV, than the Champ was at CC with the 2 feeders!. Also what I didn't tell ya is that me using the Champion, Bobcat,& Trailblazer was just an example of the FACT that everyone does not need a Trailblazer, as there are other machines that will do most jobs for alot less money,,,providing that ya know what yer doin in the 1st. place.

My personal opinion is this...I don't give a rat's-*** what machine YOU or anyone else thinks is best!
(If I had a dollar for every Trailblazer in the back of some guys p/u that can't weld with any better than I can with the Champion, I'd buy a Trailblazer with the money! Actually I'd buy another Champion, and most of another new 8vs) A new Trailblazer is ABOUT $1.200.00 more than the Champion, $800.00 more than a Bobcat from what I hear, won't do a single thing the BC wont do other than another 50 amps, and only offers A/C and 70 amps over the Champion in STOCK form. Inorder to accomplish "TIG" with either the BC or TB or any process other than smaw, you must BUY attachments that cost as much as a pretty good "TIG" or "MIG" machine that any of the 3 machines mentioned will run fine. Want a "wirefeed"? Hobart has the 140,180,etc. Miller offers the 8 & 12 vs feeders that all 3 machines will run with no problem. Yes,,,even the HOBART CHAMPION has a 10,000 watt generator and the same engine options as that famed TRAILBLAZER.

If ya need or just want a TB,,,buy one like Mac and others have. He & they may need or just want & can afford the very best 300 amp engine drive they can get. I have got no problem with what he/they that know the differance decided on. At least some guys know what they need ,want, and can afford. At least Mac and SOME others decided on a Trailblazer because he/they needed it! Not because some other wind-bag on a web-site or a show-room told em it was the best.

Lets address this "smoother arc" thing. I Don't buy the hype! Simple as that. I'm as good a smaw welder as anyone I know. I've seen some pipeliners that would blow me outa my socks, but none that couldn't do it with any good dc/cc machine.
When I said the Bobcat has the exact same TYPE of weld generator,,,I was refering to the "waveform" published by Miller. Not the physical stator, or the fact that the TB has a seperate a/c generator "stator". I also said more than once that I,(<another "I" and not a "U"), probably couldn't tell the differance. Maybe "U" can.

Gentlemen, you boys don't have to like what I say! If the Champion was a piece of **** I'd be the 1st. to tell ya, and for the record,,,"I" do absolutely know that the Champ is all "I" need. Not "generally",,,absolutely! It is all I, (another "I"), need,,, to do what "I" (there it is again!) need it to do! I would be a fool (like so many) to buy a Trailblazer, when there are Champs and Bobcats that will more than do the job for alot less money
.
That's all I've ever said Trev!

What I was tryin ta do was ta get Ivan & others to think outside of the "Trailblazer" box some of ya'll keep stickin him in.
Sorry if I pissed ya off!






Ivan,,,hope ya find the right machine for YOU whatever brand it is! Honest!;)



NOS -- You didnt piss me off. I could careless if you dont like the Trailblazer or Bobcat. You can say what you want about them, It does not bother me one bit. I was just curious why when someone mentions the Trailblazer you start in on the Champ. You like your Champ, that great but the tread had nothing to do with the Champ. The spendy attachments I have (the suitcase RC12 I got for $1545.00 with gun) and (the HF-251d-1 was under $1600.00). The Dynasty 200 lists of $3044.00 and the Dynasty 300 is $5281.00. I dont know how much your VS 8 was but it could not have been much less the then my RC12. I dont know if you air arc much but that 50 amps helps. I never said that the Champ was a peice of ****. I have used one and thought it was a nice welder, but I deffently like the Trailblazer better. To me I sounds like your the one that getts pissed when someone says they don't like the Champ (or the HH140). When you are the one that dogs the Trailblazer and talks up the Champ.
I also want Ivan to choose the welder right for him. Weather it be a Champ, Bobcat, Trailblazer, or even them red ones. If it makes him happy then great.
If you are that good of a welder then why dont you think you could tell the differece in the arc quality?

trevwelder
04-08-2006, 12:35 AM
I used a trailblazer 302 at work and thought the world of it until I used a ranger 250.
You might look at a bobcat 225 also. Rangers cheaper and weighs less though.


I had a buddy that had a Ranger 250, he really liked it. Than about a month ago he sold it, the truck and everything. said he didn't use it enough. Now he wants it back. I told him not to sell in the first place.

Than the other day I was at one of the local Norcos, the salesmen said that a guy had bought a new Ranger (dont now what size) put it in his truck and had planed on bolting in down it the morning. Well morning came and no welder. Someone just took it. He never even started it.

jbmprods
04-08-2006, 12:55 AM
you can tell by my sig what i have so i won't go there. where i will go is this thread has turned into quite the pissing contest and i'm just not sure whose daddy can kick whose daddies ***. just a side note, i'm a Farmer and i'm pretty sure i weld, and i do know farmers that can't weld for ****, and i know farmers that weld better than a lot of rig welders or fab welders. as for the machine and the farmers and 24-7 welders if you are any kind of welder you should be able to do it with whats put in your hand. if you can dissagree with this than you have never been and never will be a great welder. i guess the welders of generations past can't be called welders because they did it without a trailblazer or a bobcat or a ranger or a champ. i don't proffess to be a welder, and i don't do it as a sole means of income i do it because i enjoy it and i save. if i had to do it to survive i would without a dout buy what i thought was the best welder my money could buy and as i grew and my wallet grew so would my equipment. ok now i know i pissed on some boots but do you really have to have all high tech **** to do the job and do it right.

trevwelder
04-08-2006, 01:31 AM
you can tell by my sig what i have so i won't go there. where i will go is this thread has turned into quite the pissing contest and i'm just not sure whose daddy can kick whose daddies ***. just a side note, i'm a Farmer and i'm pretty sure i weld, and i do know farmers that can't weld for ****, and i know farmers that weld better than a lot of rig welders or fab welders. as for the machine and the farmers and 24-7 welders if you are any kind of welder you should be able to do it with whats put in your hand. if you can dissagree with this than you have never been and never will be a great welder. i guess the welders of generations past can't be called welders because they did it without a trailblazer or a bobcat or a ranger or a champ. i don't proffess to be a welder, and i don't do it as a sole means of income i do it because i enjoy it and i save. if i had to do it to survive i would without a dout buy what i thought was the best welder my money could buy and as i grew and my wallet grew so would my equipment. ok now i know i pissed on some boots but do you really have to have all high tech **** to do the job and do it right.



I not totally sure the year but a local welding shop has a Trailblazer that I thing dates back to the early 70s. Thats over 30 years. I maybe wrong, I can find out and post pics.
And no a good welder does not need the high tech ****. But I do not have a shop of any kind. I am totally portable, Now lets say I make a aluminum tool box for a guy( I do make a few now and then) I have to go to his place. Your saying that I should stick weld that aluminum toolbox. Because my HF-251D-1 (for tig) sure helps me build that toolbox alot nicer. I could use the RC12 wirefeeder, or is that to high tech. Personaly I choose the TIG.
It gets done right. The feeder is nice, it just make the job go easyer and alot faster, then I can help out my customers. By not having to bill them so much I am not claiming to be the best welder, I know alot of guy that are pretty good. But I do make a decent living and feed my wirfe and two kids. When I started my welding rig I had the same welder you have, the BC 225. This did turn into a pissing match. I am tied of people saying I cant weld because I have to have the Trailblazer. My welds are my signature. With any welder in my hand. As for the high tech ****, its been around for some time. Some welders more than others help you use them in the field. Now if you think that I am less of a welder for dissagreeing with you then thats your loss not mine.

jbmprods
04-08-2006, 02:48 AM
I am tied of people saying I cant weld because I have to have the Trailblazer. My welds are my signature. With any welder in my hand. Now if you think that I am less of a welder for dissagreeing with you then thats your loss not mine.
hey Trev you didn't disagree you just agreed with me. read your own words. "My welds are my signature. With any welder in my hand. this is what makes the welder not the machine. i'm quite sure that if you were put in the field with my old AEAD200LE and its Miller HF-15-2 tig unit you would do what you do best on both steel and aluminum. as i said in my post earlier you probably started with what you could afford at the time starting out and bought up to the trailblazer. am i wrong? could you weld as good then as you do now with the trailblazer? i think you could. the point is do you need a trailblazer to be the welder you are or does the machine of whatever kind or size make you the welder you are? and i never said you can't weld because you have to have a trailblazer. as for the trailblazer name yes it has been around for quite sometime but it was not as high tech then as now. not one of you guys with a trailblazer has to justify why you bought it you bought because its what you wanted and you could afford it. maybe not at first but you in time stepped up to it as some of us will when the time is right. but as you did, in our own time for whatever reason. i hope you all understand what i'm trying to say if i have to put it any plainer then the issue of any of you being less of a welder is not the issue.;)

trevwelder
04-08-2006, 10:07 AM
hey Trev you didn't disagree you just agreed with me. read your own words. "My welds are my signature. With any welder in my hand. this is what makes the welder not the machine. i'm quite sure that if you were put in the field with my old AEAD200LE and its Miller HF-15-2 tig unit you would do what you do best on both steel and aluminum. as i said in my post earlier you probably started with what you could afford at the time starting out and bought up to the trailblazer. am i wrong? could you weld as good then as you do now with the trailblazer? i think you could. the point is do you need a trailblazer to be the welder you are or does the machine of whatever kind or size make you the welder you are? and i never said you can't weld because you have to have a trailblazer. as for the trailblazer name yes it has been around for quite sometime but it was not as high tech then as now. not one of you guys with a trailblazer has to justify why you bought it you bought because its what you wanted and you could afford it. maybe not at first but you in time stepped up to it as some of us will when the time is right. but as you did, in our own time for whatever reason. i hope you all understand what i'm trying to say if i have to put it any plainer then the issue of any of you being less of a welder is not the issue.;)


I am just tied of hearing crap about the Trailblazer when it is a very nice welder. My thoughts werent about any thing, but why NOS dogs the Trailblazer when he has not even tried one. I am not a Chevy fan but I do not tell everyone with one or is going to buy one that they suck, buy a Ford. Same with the welders. I was happy with the Bobcat, but I do like the TB better. Even with a Bobcat that has AC it if for noncritical, were the TB has better AC( with the tig). I don't try to justify for what I buy, I buy because I need it. I like to keep up with all the new, so I like to trade in for a new welder every two to three years. Right now I can trade in TB for a new one and pay about $800.00 difference. A guy does not really need the new high tech stuff, but I makes the job go better. I am all for that.
I have never told anyone to buy a TB, when someone asks about them I tell. Thats all.
If a guy wants the oldest and unhigh tech or the most expensive welder there is, I have no problem with that. If he likes thats good.

jbmprods
04-08-2006, 11:13 AM
I am just tied of hearing crap about the Trailblazer when it is a very nice welder. My thoughts werent about any thing, but why NOS dogs the Trailblazer when he has not even tried one. I am not a Chevy fan but I do not tell everyone with one or is going to buy one that they suck, buy a Ford. Same with the welders. I was happy with the Bobcat, but I do like the TB better. Even with a Bobcat that has AC it if for noncritical, were the TB has better AC( with the tig). I don't try to justify for what I buy, I buy because I need it. I like to keep up with all the new, so I like to trade in for a new welder every two to three years. Right now I can trade in TB for a new one and pay about $800.00 difference. A guy does not really need the new high tech stuff, but I makes the job go better. I am all for that.
I have never told anyone to buy a TB, when someone asks about them I tell. Thats all.
If a guy wants the oldest and unhigh tech or the most expensive welder there is, I have no problem with that. If he likes thats good.hey Trev now we're seeing eye to eye.i don't like chevys either;) but they are a nice pickup and if joe blow buys a new one and asks if its a nice pickup you bet i'll tell him it is (unless its pink):p now if he asks me if i want or need a chevy well my answer would be no thanks i like what i drive. for what i do in welding i get by quite well with the junk i have. if i was a proffessional welder you bet as long as the bucks were rolling in i would drive the best, buy the biggest badest equipment i could lay my money on (as long as the bank didn't own part of it). i would do this simply because if i'm doing field work i'm not going to loose work or reputation because my equipment holds me back not "my abilities" . I to have been in business ever since i got out of the navy in 71 and from experience if your equipment is old you suffer in the market. also if your equipment looks old they won't even consider you as as a general rule. just to buy new equipment to prevent down time hasn't always proved out either. but on the other hand did it? can't say because i upgraded every few yrs in hopes that it would prove out. my theory is why handy cap yourself with the equipment you run in an area or industry that judges abilites by equipment. so with this in mind you are obligated to yourself if you plan to succeed, to step thru that door with the equipment that says ok boys step aside there is a new marshal in town. and once thru that door you better know your ****, right. if not your riding out on a rail with the reputation preceding you. so as it boils down you want the best thats accepted in the industry to be able to display what really matters most, "your talents".
now this does not mean that if you do not have "that" level of equipment that you can not weld. it just means that you have the level of equipment that your job requires you to have.(hopefuly enough to have some cushion) this said if your job requirements expand so will your need for equipment. unless we were born with the silver spoon this is the path we take generally. don't know to many born rich welders:D lots of born rich farmers sorry to say. ok i'm out of breath:eek:

Stick rod
04-08-2006, 06:41 PM
edit; Stickrod,,,,what the **** are ya doin that 170 amps of dc-cc @ 100% dutycycle won't do? That's what the Champion will do, and it runs cc-fc smooth as glass at 120 amps as long as I can stand to hold the trigger. No argument,,,just wondering.
NOS,
I use my Trailblazer to put food on the table and a roof over my family`s head.I`m set up to be completely portable.I do most of my work on heavy equipment repair and need to Air-arc and run a wire feeder with the largest dia I can given the particular situation I`m in.While the Bobcat and Champion are fine machines I personaly like the Trailblazer that much more.I do aluminum Tig so I need the AC which your Camp doesn`t have,It`s got 30to225Amps 200Amps@60% Duty cycle.Need to run 1/4"carbons for heavy equipment repair The TB can do that also.The ability to run 300amps @100% duty cycle for MIG/FCAW,got that to.Will run 280amps@100%duty cycle for CC stick or Tig,got that covered too.Yes those numbers are right out of the Miller book.Will I ever need to max the machine out all the time?Probably not,but I`ve got it if I need it and anyone here that has done heavy equipment repair work knows that the when you are up against it you want/need a machine thats up to the task.The original question was for our opinions and I gave mine,you gave yours and let the asker make up his own mind on how to spend his money.Can he get by with the Bobcat or Champion?Probably,but if you`ve got the money and you know sooner or later you are going to run into a job that you wish you had a bigger or a machine that could do more you`ll regret the decision not to have gone that route from the get go.I`ve done some jobs where I wished I had a larger machine (more output) for air arcing.I`ve run all three machines in question and can tell there is a difference in arc quality.Remember I`m welding at least 6 days a week and sometimes 7,been welding for 21 years so I do have some experience under the hood.
I hope I`ve answered your question without coming off as sounding defencive or argumentative.Sorry this rambled on.

NOS
04-08-2006, 09:13 PM
Thanks again Mac! Informative post as always.

Trev,,,I have never "dogged" the trailblazer! Never! Who and what I have "dogged", was guys that that buy them , and refer them cause someone else told them that they needed one.,,,to a guy that doesn't need one! YOU need a Trailblazer from the sounds of it but IVAN doesn't from the sounds of it. That's my point Trev! I don't know anybody that does TIG work "on-site", and when a guy asks what machine to buy, I look at his question and either answer, or keep my mouth shut. The answer is not always a T/B and rarely is. (tomorrow I'm gonna go re-do the bucket edges on a 988 and I'm gonna use the Champ ta do it with) The Trailblazer must be one **** of a machine to have so many willing to fight for it's honor when so many other machines will do the job just as well, and for less money.

BTW...do ya really TIG outside? Does the wind blow where yer at? Do ya really TIG on heavy eqpt. like in a rock pit on crusher rolls? Whens the last time ya ever used a TIG to hard-face a roll or blade? Stainless steel? In the field? I ain't buyin that for a second and neither is anyone else here that knows. And another thing,,,Farmers do the job every day no matter what it takes, and if the Champ or Bobcat is good enough for them,,,either is **** sure good enough for me, and I weld for a living. Like I said, I don't need a "Trailblazer". If I did,,,I'd buy one.

stang
04-08-2006, 09:30 PM
hobart is millers economy line now, so, trailblazer is the way to go for a feeder, and the 12vs is the feeder, a lincoln ranger 250 has the 14 pin, and the 6 pin for connection, and for foot controls on tig, its priced like the bobcat, around 2,900 and is closer to the trailblazer in comparison, for the money, the lincoln also has downhill pipe settings, lots more bells and whistles than a bobcat , for the money, and the kholer engine seems to be the most popular in the southand you can have a guy running lights, grinding and a guy welding, not affecting the other, a draw back on the bobcat, and the ranger 10,000 ., both of those are your entry level machines, trhe champion, is within dollars of pricing, and the brother, almost twin of the bobcat, but------ these two dont have pc boards, that will blow, or go bad, so depending on what you need and want, thats the factor in what you buy,

joebass
04-08-2006, 09:33 PM
You keep saying that the other machines do the job just as well. Its just flat out not true. We have already established that the Bobcat and the Champion are about worthless for TIG. Neither one has the capability to run a remote feeder either. You are stuck with voltage sensing. This may be fine for thicker metals are fluxcore. But I would much rather run a 12 RC on a CV machine. Not to mention the duty cycle for air arc. I am glad your happy with it but for my money it would be no good.

As far as TIG in the field its done everyday. Sorry "you don't buy it". You don't have to be outside. Whats wrong with getting a 50 foot or 100 ft torch and lift arc TIG SS with a remote all day.That brings up another point. Does the Bobcat have an LP option? I know the Champion doesnt. Cant take that into factories.

Your right farmers do the job every day. Those machines are perfect for them, and thats who they are marketed towards. You have a capable stick machine that will run a VS feeder pretty well and a capable generator also. There are LOTS of things that the trailblazer does better.

trevwelder
04-08-2006, 09:57 PM
Thanks again Mac! Informative post as always.

Trev,,,I have never "dogged" the trailblazer! Never! Who and what I have "dogged", was guys that that buy them , and refer them cause someone else told them that they needed one.,,,to a guy that doesn't need one! YOU need a Trailblazer from the sounds of it but IVAN doesn't from the sounds of it. That's my point Trev! I don't know anybody that does TIG work "on-site", and when a guy asks what machine to buy, I look at his question and either answer, or keep my mouth shut. The answer is not always a T/B and rarely is. (tomorrow I'm gonna go re-do the bucket edges on a 988 and I'm gonna use the Champ ta do it with) The Trailblazer must be one **** of a machine to have so many willing to fight for it's honor when so many other machines will do the job just as well, and for less money.

BTW...do ya really TIG outside? Does the wind blow where yer at? Do ya really TIG on heavy eqpt. like in a rock pit on crusher rolls? Whens the last time ya ever used a TIG to hard-face a roll or blade? Stainless steel? In the field? I ain't buyin that for a second and neither is anyone else here that knows. And another thing,,,Farmers do the job every day no matter what it takes, and if the Champ or Bobcat is good enough for them,,,either is **** sure good enough for me, and I weld for a living. Like I said, I don't need a "Trailblazer". If I did,,,I'd buy one.


Your **** right I tig outside. Sometimes I have to block the wind with my body, It works. Sometimes guys have shops or a spot that is out of the wind. **** no I do dot tig on heavy eqpt. But I dont always work on heavy eqpt. Good that the Champ is that good for you. I know alot of farmers my self, the ones I know dont weld that much, and when thay do thay don't care how it looks as long as it holds. I do weld stainless steel, In the dairies. I also use the RC12 with solid with and gas outside in the wind. I just make it work.
Why do you care if a guy drops a extra $1200.00 on a welder. Its not your money. And my truck has air conditioning that was extra $$, I could get along with out it. I seen a Miller Air Pack the other day. Should have I told the guy that is was way to expencive that the Champ would be better. Trailblazers are here to stay get used to it.
I have a buddy that just bought a extended cab truck. He is not married, no kids. Right now he does not even have a girl friend. Is that truck to big for him. he doesn't need the exstra room. ???????

coalsmoke
04-09-2006, 12:32 AM
NOS,
I use my Trailblazer to put food on the table and a roof over my family`s head.I`m set up to be completely portable.I do most of my work on heavy equipment repair and need to Air-arc and run a wire feeder with the largest dia I can given the particular situation I`m in.While the Bobcat and Champion are fine machines I personaly like the Trailblazer that much more.I do aluminum Tig so I need the AC which your Camp doesn`t have,It`s got 30to225Amps 200Amps@60% Duty cycle.Need to run 1/4"carbons for heavy equipment repair The TB can do that also.The ability to run 300amps @100% duty cycle for MIG/FCAW,got that to.Will run 280amps@100%duty cycle for CC stick or Tig,got that covered too.Yes those numbers are right out of the Miller book.Will I ever need to max the machine out all the time?Probably not,but I`ve got it if I need it and anyone here that has done heavy equipment repair work knows that the when you are up against it you want/need a machine thats up to the task.The original question was for our opinions and I gave mine,you gave yours and let the asker make up his own mind on how to spend his money.Can he get by with the Bobcat or Champion?Probably,but if you`ve got the money and you know sooner or later you are going to run into a job that you wish you had a bigger or a machine that could do more you`ll regret the decision not to have gone that route from the get go.I`ve done some jobs where I wished I had a larger machine (more output) for air arcing.I`ve run all three machines in question and can tell there is a difference in arc quality.Remember I`m welding at least 6 days a week and sometimes 7,been welding for 21 years so I do have some experience under the hood.
I hope I`ve answered your question without coming off as sounding defencive or argumentative.Sorry this rambled on.

Stickrod, your post is DEAD ON. Most of what you described is a parallel to my findings and reasons as well. I am a professional welder. I need a professional machine, with a top quality arc. When you do this full time, it no longer becomes an issue about whether or not it can be done, but instead becomes an issue of quality and ease. (Don (dda) can tell you about a guy that does gas service piping with a bobcat, so this is not to say that it cannot be done)

Stick rod
04-09-2006, 09:26 AM
Nos,
If you read my post it says NOTHING about tig welding outside,it says I`m portable.That means I go to their site and do the work! Many places have small shops to work in or an area to get out of the wind.Never said I hardfaced a blade or worked on crusher rolls with the TIG process.Nor do I tig every day I`ve got it if I need it.Can you tig aluminum with the Champ?Don`t see how but that doesn`t make your machine all wrong for you.Do work for a local beer distributor need to tig some of their stuff,can do it with the TB.Just repaired two aluminum fuel tanks(transfer tanks) for a good customer of mine.Did it inside on site used the tig feature worked great.Like I`ve said the Bobcat and Champion are nice machines but there not for me,if they work for you great.Seems we`ve gotten off track of the original question here and have a pissing contest over what is best.My answer is the same as my first post in the following order TB,Bobcat,Champion.
Repeating again can he go wrong with any of the three? Probably not it`s his money and he knows what type of work he`ll be doing with it,so I hope he chooses the one thats best for him.Myself and others are pointing out some of the things and processes that he may not have thought he could be getting into so he can make an informed decision before laying down the cash.I won`t chastise anyone for there decision to by whatever machine they want,I have some idea what can happen out in the real world and wouldn`t want some one buying something without considering everything that they could get into and maybe not have the equipment to do it.

Trent Combs
04-14-2006, 11:45 PM
This fella just asked


I'm biting the bullet and getting a engine driven welder so I can do most of my work onsite. I build a lot of basic steel gates and do a lot or repair on steel framed kennel runs. I'm thinking how nice it would be not to have to bring this stuff back to my shop ( currently a 2 car garage) and do the work onsite. Ive been looking at the bobcat 250 and the trail blazer 302. I think the bobcat would be more than enough for what I do but , I dont want to get stuck needing more machine either. I have absoultly no experiance with a engine drive machine this will be a first for me. Any feedback on the pros and cons of these two machines for what I do would be a great help. I use 16 to 14 gauge square tubes on everything I make and repair.

and he's getting a whole lot of dialogue about stainless, aluminum and unobtainium.....

For what he's doing, the Bobcat 250 is overkill - we're not talking about anything thick, exotic or explosive here. A decent generator and a Handler would be perfectly adequate for this use, and a lot cheaper! I know, firsthand. Most of the work I do in gates and fences is .180 or thinner mild steel. His is thinner than that. I bought the Bobcat because I wanted to be able to handle any STEEL job that came my way, and it is more than I needed. I've used it to stick weld 1/8" up to 3/8" mild steel in all kinds of weather, to power any and every tool I could plug into it, and even as remote power for my MM210. If I ever decide to sell it, it will bring a good percentage of it's original price - but it's already paid for itself in rentals I haven't had to do, jobs I've been able to take on, and convenience. FOR ME, the TB would have been a waste of $800 better put toward my MM210.

I stretched my budget to the limit to buy the Bobcat 250, and - based on what I'd read here - agonized about not spending $800+ more for a TB302. Now that I've used the Bobcat for nearly a year, I'm very happy with it. I don't want to be a pipeliner, or build dairies - even though both those specialties are honorable and VERY lucrative in these parts. I am a semi-pro. I build things because I enjoy it - and enough people have admired my work to make a side business profitable. I have a career outside of welding, so I'm NOT putting food on the table welding. I don't take on more work than I want to, I don't do work for jerks and/or idiots, I charge what my time is worth to me - and I do a lot of freebies 'cuz I want to. If I work a 14-hr day, it's 'cuz I want to. My paid welding jobs give me personal satisfaction, money to buy MORE tools (!) and a little "fun" money. OTOH, I can work all the extra hours I want at my regular job and get $44/hr for it. I weld because I want to, not because I need to - which is a pretty comfortable position to be in.

That said, if I WAS going to make my living welding - I wouldn't have gone with the Bobcat OR the Trailblazer - but that's another discussion.

stang
04-15-2006, 01:49 AM
Have a "Pal" up the road that has 2 new 250 Bobcats. Him and his Father in law run the rigs w/ miller suitcases and mm-175's building stock fences and steel buildings.
Recently I had the chance to check the Bobcat out compared to my Hobart Champion. The Bobcat is a real nice machine and has all the gingerbread a guy would probably ever need! (not gonna try and sell ya a Champion tho for me, it's just as good) I have NO experience with the Trailblazer, but according to Millers literature, the "generators" are exactly the same type. (Smoother arc is a crock according to the spec's.) The fact is that unless yer WAY out there in ability and need, the T/B won't do a thing for ya that the Champion won't, and the 250- Bobcat bridges the gap. 1 thing I did notice is that the Miller want's ya to turn UP the amps when ya use the gen. while welding. This is NOT required with the Hobart, and I have noticed NO differance in welding when running a saw, grinder, or lights while welding at the same time. I'm sure the Miller Bobcat/Trailblazer is better than the Champ,,,but ya couldn't prove it by me when welding under 150 amps. IMO the 250 will be more welder than most here would ever need, the Champoion will satisfy ya, and the T/B is a waste of money for anyone but the absolute best professional weldor that can tell the differance. (Most couldn't tell ya which machine they were using in a comparisson test.) The Bobcat would do ya fine, but so would the Hobart Champ. Yer choice! Buy what ya want. There ain't a nickles differance between all 3 for what I do in weld quality or performance.

Before ya spend yer $ check out the Hobart Champion 10,000 and compare it to the Bobcat 250. The Hobart is a very BASIC welder. The Bobcat is very nice and offers features the Hobart does not have. Other than another 52 amps the T/B offers nothing the B/C doesn't that I can see, and neither one would get my attention as long as Hobart keeps makin Champ's. JMO
---------both basic machines, trailblazer has a generator for welding, and another for other, those dont, but may be all you will ever need, like someone said before, check the comparison chart on millers web site, or go with the ranger 250, its priced well within the bobcat 250, bobcat is the staple item for contractors, but i sell alot of rangers to, a step above, all within a few hundred dollars of each other

NOS
04-18-2006, 09:07 PM
:(
It's hard for me to admit, but after lettin the dust settle here some, I guess that ya'll must be right about the Miller Trailblazer.

I musta wrong to say that "most don't need one", (as I guess from the sounds of it, most of ya'll do.) I musta been wrong when I said that "I don't need one", I had to have been wrong when I said that a HH-140 did a great job in the hands of someone that knew what they were doing, I musta also been wrong when I said that a good weldor could weld well with **** near anything, & I musta been wrong as well when I said that my 8vs on dc/cc welds as well off the Hobart Champion in my hands, as the 12vs does off of a new Bobcat-250 on dc/cv in my hands.

Guess I was just plain wrong all around! :o :o :o

Buddy
04-19-2006, 12:01 AM
A little heated, but good info. I am close to starting a little fence (stock, pipe, steel, etcc) and steel building construction and repair effort. The motor gen will be the central fixture on the trailer. It forced me to better define where I'm going, and what I'll need to get there. Good info. Product loyalty is admirable--nothing wrong with it unless it blinds one to the other options. Thanks for slugging through this! ;) ;) :)

spuddown
04-19-2006, 12:35 AM
Hey NOS, whats the delivery date on that new trailblazer?;)

coalsmoke
04-19-2006, 04:36 AM
:(

Guess I was just plain wrong all around! :o :o :o

Happens to everyone. ;)

stang
04-19-2006, 05:46 PM
hey, if anyone needs a used generator welder, i got a guy who has a ranger 8, again, a basic stick/generator, but a good staple machine, havent got a price just yet, he mentioned it today.

BBchevy396
04-19-2006, 08:08 PM
Hey........ I wanna piss everyone off too!!!!!!

I've liked my Bobus Catus very well thank you. But, for what I do........ It's too small.

I can't wait until my new VANTAGE 400 gets here!!!:D :D :D :D :D

rvannatta
04-19-2006, 08:39 PM
Hey........ I wanna piss everyone off too!!!!!!

I've liked my Bobus Catus very well thank you. But, for what I do........ It's too small.

I can't wait until my new VANTAGE 400 gets here!!!:D :D :D :D :D

did you order one--- mine only took a couple weeks to get

BBchevy396
04-20-2006, 09:32 AM
No............. I didn't:(

I have it on the top of my wish list, though.................. When i finish up a few big jobs I'm working on, and see how many pennies are left over, then , we'll see:D

dda52
04-20-2006, 09:53 AM
Jim, you get the Bobus running again??:confused:


I used mine yesterday. I still like it. I will say this for them .....they will weld. Yes the TB has a better arc, but the Bobus arc is more than acceptable. I do know that the TB's adaptive hot start can be irritating on sheet metal. Was trying to weld some 18 ga with one and it kept burning through.:mad: Got the Bobus on the same deal, and it worked flawlessly and easier. When my Bobus croaks the next time, I will replace it with a TB. I have been running into a bit more where I really could use a 300a machine. Until then, I like my Bobus Catus.:) :rolleyes:

BBchevy396
04-20-2006, 10:10 AM
Yup. runs fine ......... used it yesterday, ran my Invertech 350, and spoolgun, welding Alum on a boat...... I could have used a little more power, but it worked fine, and welded better than the spoolgun set-up for the Bobus.

storts
04-20-2006, 12:18 PM
No............. I didn't:(

I have it on the top of my wish list, though.................. When i finish up a few big jobs I'm working on, and see how many pennies are left over, then , we'll see:D
Good Luck,,,,Chris said he would come over to mow your lawn,,,!!!!:D :D :D :D Jack

storts
04-20-2006, 12:22 PM
My neighbor worked for GA Power and a few years ago they conducted an 18 months study on the physical effects of working in a loud environment. Along with the obvious effect of hearing loss for those who did not wear hearing protection, they also found a huge correlation between working in a loud environment and fatigue. They now require all employees to wear hearing protection.
Sorry to post on this thread an not being about welders...but thought I would share this information. TW
After 30 years,,,I wish i started wearing them when i was young,,,in the shop,,,that air arc,,,vibrates off the walls real nice,,,But theres not a welder i know,,,that can hear,,,all those years in the shops with machines manging,,,hammers againt steeel benches,,,,You know the deal,,,,Jack

dda52
04-20-2006, 06:05 PM
Stickrod, your post is DEAD ON. Most of what you described is a parallel to my findings and reasons as well. I am a professional welder. I need a professional machine, with a top quality arc. When you do this full time, it no longer becomes an issue about whether or not it can be done, but instead becomes an issue of quality and ease. (Don (dda) can tell you about a guy that does gas service piping with a bobcat, so this is not to say that it cannot be done)



I went by the base today and danged if there weren't two more guys running pipe with Bobusses.:D Couldn't tell what they were doing, whether it was water, chill or otherwise or gas, but it was some 8" stuff for sure. Makes you wonder, huh? Doubt the Corps would let them slop it out.:rolleyes: ;) :D