If your ponds totally dry out to firm hard bottom in the summer you can use a machine with any width track but with soggy subsoil go for a wide-pad machine. I like track loaders because you can do more types of work than with a blade machine. It can pay off to pay a good mechanic a couple of hundred dollars to check over a prospective purchase. If he discovers trouble you're out small money compared to finding out later and spending big money. I've had very good results with Cat 955, 941 & 931 for the work you're describing, the latter one being wide pad. Renting is smart for short term work. If you have on-going work from year to year it's good to own. Like they say in the financial world "investigate before you invest".
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