Are you wondering “How do I decide what skid steer to buy?” A skid steer is a versatile and compact piece of heavy equipment that can perform a variety of tasks on different job sites. With this versatility, it can be difficult to know what skid steer loader will be right for you. Whether you need to dig, lift, haul, grade, or demolish, a skid steer can help you get the job done faster and easier. Here are some factors to consider before you rent or buy a skid steer.
Size and Weight
Skid steers come in different sizes and weights, ranging from mini models that can fit through narrow spaces to large models that can handle heavy loads. The size and weight of the skid steer affect its maneuverability, stability, lifting capacity, and fuel efficiency. You should choose a skid steer that matches the size and weight of your work area and the materials you need to move.
Lift Path and Height
Skid steers have two types of lift paths: vertical and radial. A vertical lift path allows the skid steer to lift its arms straight up, reaching higher heights and providing more reach at full lift. A radial lift path allows the skid steer to lift its arms in an arc, providing more reach at lower heights and better visibility over the bucket. You should choose a lift path that suits your lifting needs and preferences.
Horsepower and Hydraulics
Skid steers have different levels of horsepower and hydraulic flow, which affect their speed, performance, and attachment compatibility. Higher horsepower means faster travel speed and more power for demanding tasks. Higher hydraulic flow means faster cycle times and more responsiveness for attachments that require high flow rates. You should choose a skid steer that has enough horsepower and hydraulics for your applications.
Tires or Tracks
If you are working on rough, uneven, or soft terrain most of the time, and you need better traction, stability, and flotation, then skid steer tracks may be a better option for you. However, if you are working on flat, hard, or even surfaces most of the time, and you need higher speed, lower fuel consumption, and easier maintenance, then skid steer tires may be a better option for you. If you want to dive deeper into the benefits of each, read our article “Tires vs Tracks”.
Skid steers can attach to a wide variety of tools that expand their functionality and versatility. Some common attachments include buckets, forks, augers, breakers, grapples, sweepers, mowers, and snowplows. You should choose attachments that match your work requirements and make sure they are compatible with your skid steer model. Explore our attachments.
Choosing the right skid steer for your needs can make a big difference in your productivity, efficiency, and safety on the job site. By considering these factors, you can find the best skid steer for your project.