View Full Version : Thinking of buying a skid and need some help

05-02-2006, 11:07 AM
Currently, my partners and I are considering purchasing a skid coming up very soon. We are trying to start up a lot/land clearing, new install landscaping only, sodding, and irrigation company. I was thinking getting something with tracks so it could run more in the rain/ wet conditions but I really have no clue. We have rented nontracked deeres and a couple bobcats but they seem underpowered. What would you all suggest? Size, make, tracked, and is this a profitable move to be making. We are only hoping to spend somewhere in the 25-35,000 range so it will be used. Thanks for the help.

We also already have a lawncare/landscape company but want to move more in the direction of new installs and get away from weekly maint.

05-02-2006, 11:16 AM
A Cat 236 or 246/8 might be just the ticket for you as far as Cat goes. You should be able to find a slightly used 248 for around $35K easily, it won't be brand new, but if you get something with 200-300 hours on it, you'll save yourself a bundle.

BTW, a 248 will sling the tracks well, I've heard some testimonials that they have no problems with steel tracks.

05-02-2006, 11:25 AM
Let me clear something up by tracked I meant multi terrain loaders if I threw anyone off. Should I go with a skid and just get the drive on tracks? Thanks for the quick response!

05-02-2006, 12:31 PM
An MTL will cost you a little more, for $35K you'd have to buy a smaller MTL and it would have to be used. I think you can get a Cat 247B with around 600 hours, depending on options, for around $35K, but it would be a long shot to get something for $25K. I would suggest a larger skid steer with steel tracks. They'll give you the tractive effort you need with much less cost. MTL's are really only usefull if you need the tracks 100% and you're going over paved or delicate surfaces quite a bit. If not, steel tracks on a wheeled machine would work just fine for land clearing.

05-02-2006, 12:52 PM
Thanks for the info! This is really shooting me in the right direction.

Gravel Rat
05-02-2006, 03:20 PM
What do you mean by landclearing ?

What we call landclearing you pretty much need a excavator be it a mini to fullsize. Have you thought about getting a mini ex too ?

In my mind a skid steer is pretty limited a mini ex can dig your trenches and pick up rocks etc. If you want to clear land like removing scrub brush a mini ex with a thumb can save hours of frustrations. You also said your working in wet conditions so I assume you do dig drainage trenches.

Before you go out and buy a skid see what machine will make your jobs the easiest.

05-02-2006, 05:24 PM
What Bobcat models do you currently have?

05-02-2006, 07:35 PM
We dont have any as of now but have rented some.

05-02-2006, 07:37 PM
you must have rented a verry small deere i had a 246 and my 270 deere made it look like a toy i have a 9 ft dozer blade on my 270 it pushes like a small dozer but the new deeres have differnt motors my 270 has the same motor our 555 crawler loader has

05-03-2006, 01:25 AM
If your looking for power try the CASE 440CT tracked machine or the 440 wheeled machine. The wheeled machine is 85 hp gross with a 2200 pound ROC. I just ordered one with cab and heat all options except high flow and AC for 34K.

05-03-2006, 11:47 AM
CTL vs Wheeled is most dependent on your terrain and conditions. NC has a mixed bag

wet, soft and hilly = CTL (easliy traverse 35 deg inclines, sideways too!, nice lower COG)
dry, firm or sandy and flat = wheeled

CTL = more long term maint (undercarriage and tracks can sent you back $,$$$$) but you should be able to get into 1000+hrs b4 needing that repair.

I bought a used CTL w/350hrs + 8 spendy attachments (like chipper, stumpgrinder and mower -$2500 average) for $38k. It was from a rich CEO who used it 'recreationally', and never in the mud or rain. Probably a decent deal, but I use it cautiously, as it is a 'fixed frame' (rigid undercarriage) and will cost me some maint $$ soon. I bought it as a tax necessity, and will pay it off in a couple yrs 'recreationally, stiil with less than 1000hrs' (I'm an antique college student), then I will sell or trade for a 'real machine', whatever might be available then. I have been doing land clearing and excavation for a few customers with large jobs (mainly lots of 3'-5' stumps on difficult terrain, and burn piles the size of houses + excavations (pads) for shops and building rock walls from the 3'+ boulders that are hiding in excavation)

I feel the CTL w/ strategic attachments has good profit potential (I also have a 12,000# mini ex., but is not my 'primary machine', by choice, as it is older and slow) BUT this line of work seems to be paid from "discretionary $$", and folks don't like paying for stuff they dreamed they could do by hand :rolleyes: (and potentially won't be able to pay if inflation bites big) The septic installs and excavations will be 'required' expenses going into an inflationary economy (I hope not)

The 'dream machine' for land clearing might be an 75-100 HP ASV or CAT, or possible the new Case (I haven't reviewed, but insure you have hyd system that allows flow for both attachments and motation) equipped with a Loftness 'timber ax', (they don't like rocks and wire and cars...or FECON Bull Hog - less desirable results in soft ground, uses 'ground pressure' for cutting) That combo will set you back ~$75k - new. If you are commited to go this route, I would consider buying new IF you can get very very low financing and other perks. Using other folks cheap money is a pretty good strategy for building wealth, tho I dislike borrowing in general, and payments put pressure on business. SO consider the Large capital $$ you would place in a used machine + risk of it breaking during peak season, and compare to investing the same $$ in a diversified tax advantaged investment (~10-13%), and you might decide new works for you.. Personally I'm going to concentrate on using my equipment for my own speculative property purchases (spiff and sell, -trashed mobiles (with legal placement permits...) on prime acreage are good money makers) as I can pay it off faster, with less abuse and hassle (permits, licenses, ins, transportation $$, liability risks) I'll keep doing a few prime jobs that are to my taste, but leave more for my competition.

I would consider a CTL with 4in1 combo bucket + Loftness (Or rotary + Flail) and grapple, + HD hoe/grapple/extension from http://www.skidsteersolutions.com/Skid_Steer_Backhoes_s/79.htm
(They need to add a cyl for side swing, and you could be pretty productive for shallow trenching). but you could dig out small stumps and move things with long reach, and more safely burn brush with one of these. The extended Auger has advantages too, as you can't often get right up against your fenceline, with the whole machine