Haven't got a specific machine picked out, just wondering in general if I would see a difference that would make me want to find a 97 over a 96. Is a bullet rotor something I should look for? Also is there a big difference of the 60 series over the 50 series? Some have told me the 60's are much superior to the 50's while others have said theres not that much difference.
in the conditions your talkin about, the 97 will have no advantage. you will not run out of power before you overload the shoe. like alex mentioned, just make sure the 96 has the high unload rate. and yes, the 60's are superior to the 50's by a long shot in my opinion. another thing to look for is if a 96 would have the heavy lift cylinders, which you will need to lift a 36' draper
in those conditions you are just throwing money away buying a 97. the 60's IMO are a lot better than the 50's, and i have had a lot to do with both. i think the bullet is a little better too, however you may find a pre-bullet 96 with low hours a fair bit cheaper.