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View Full Version : skid loader vs. compact tractor


kountryscape
02-02-2000, 05:14 PM
HEY GUYS WHAT DO THINK IS THE BEST PIECE OF EQUIPMENT TO OWN IF YOU HAD TO PICK JUST ONE. A SKID LOADER SUCH AS A BOBCAT OR NEW HOLLAND OR A COMPACT TRACTOR SUCH AS A JONH DEERE OR KUBOTA . CURRENTLY THE ONLY TRACTOR I OWN IS A FORD 8N 3PT HITCH AND A WHEEL BARROW . I KNOW MY BUSINESS I GOING TO GET BIGGER YEAR AFTER YEAR AND DON'T WANT TO BUY THE WRONG EQUIPMENT FOR THE JOB. I KNOW THE IDEAL THING WOULD BE TO HAVE BOTH BUT THE $ ISN'T THERE YET. WHAT I DO IS LANDSCAPING I.E SOD, INSTALLATION OF PLANT MAT. GRADING, AND I ALSO HAVE A GREENHOUSE BUSINESS SO I NEED TO LOAD AND UNLOAD TRUCKS. I LIKE THE BOBCAT SYSTEM BUT DON'T LIKE THE ATTACHMENT PRICES I KNOW I CAN RENT ATTACHMENTS BY THE DAY BUT THATS A HASSEL. BUT ON THE OTHER HAND A TRACTOR WOULD BE BETTER AT GRADING WITH 3PT IMPLEMENTS I DON'T KNOW. I CAN RUN A SKID LOADER WITH MY EYES CLOSED . IVE RENTED THEM WHEN I NEED ONE BY THE DAY BUT IF YOU DO THAT SAY 3 OR 4 TIMES A MONTH YOU JUST AS WILL BUY ONE AND MAKE PAYMENTS. RENT HERE IS 150.00 A DAY . LOOKIN FOR SOME HELP. WRITE ME BACK THANKS JARRETT

paul
02-03-2000, 12:02 AM
Jarrett<br>I own 4 skid steers and 2 tractors, the skid steers go out every day but the tractors we use just on the larger jobs, more than 1 acre. With the proper attachments, you can do much more work faster and better.<br>Skid steer<br>bucket: move dirt,rough grading and plants.<br>forks: move trees, sod pallets, large stone and brick.<br>tree spade: dig holes for plants.<br>rock hound or preperator:fine grading and stone removal. <br>bucket broom:job site clean up. <p>compact tractor<br>bucket: move dirt rough grading and move plants.<br>Forks: ? will not move a pallet of sod and limited on size of trees.<br>tree spade: none for compact tractors.<br>three point equipment: limited to fine grading.<p>I look at buckets on compact tractors as a wheelbarrow, slow to load slow to maneuver.<br>Skid steers will get more work done per day than any tractor.<p><p>----------<br>paul<br>

kountryscape
02-03-2000, 09:53 AM
thanks paul ...<br>what kinda skid loaders do you have with four you must have different sizes what do you look for . size wize small to fit threw gates for back yards or midium size or big .<p>i do res. and comm. so i dont know . what brand do you use i went to the farm progress show this year and saw a skid loader demo new holland was puttin on the show so you know who won but they showed good things to look for the case and cat machines wern't to stable going up hills and john deeres had a few problems to but they didn't have a bobcat in there im from deere country this is where the headquarters is . and alot of customers are deere employees . but on the other hand new holland seems to have its act together and i kind like bobcats i have a dealer for almost any kinda machine case new holland john deere bobcat new holland gehl mustang etc. what do you think of wide stance wheel base. and horse power i think id get a tree spade in the future so i need hydrulics what about the case x90 series ? thank for your help paul

paul
02-03-2000, 10:23 AM
Jarrett<br>I use two sizes one is the New Holland 555 which has been replaced by the 665 and the 783 which has been replaced by the 865.<p>I have tried the case and like them same with Bobcat, just haven't changed to the new mounting system. If you buy new all attachements will fit any loader. I like the long wheel base of New Holland but just about all new machines have a long wheel base: <br>Bobcat with their 773 and 873, Case with their xt line 75, 85, 90 ( they have hand controls my men like foot controls) <br>John Deere are just like New Holland but with Deere motors. <br>The tree spade that I talk about is just like a bucket but spade shaped for digging holes you just drive up too the spot for the tree and sink the spade into the ground tilt back and instant hole I use a 36&quot; spade but you can go as big as 40&quot;. <br>Also get a tooth bar for your gp bucket will save time when you have to dig out for walks and patios. I have found hardscaping to be the most profitable part of landscaping, ie: brick pavers,retaining walls, and natural stone walks and walls are where you the big money. For this yoou need a big machine some thing that can lift 2000-3500 lbs. All machines are rated at 1/2 tipping load at the bucket edge so you can lift more than the lable says. 1700 lbs safe lift is about 2900-3000 lbs with forks.<br>paul<br>

kountryscape
02-03-2000, 10:34 AM
so it looks like you went down in size for slid loaders i check your profile and saw your from chicago i was just at the mid-am show two weeks ago i looked at your homepage nice stuff i notice you had a kubota mini-excavator how do you like it someday i would love one of those as far a foot or hand control goes ive ran both i think its what you like foot control in the winter time it gives your feet something to do to keep warm! thank paul your help is great ..... jarrett

Matt
02-03-2000, 12:32 PM
Jarrett, when i began looking at what piece of equipment i was going to purchase i considered all the options. Each peice of equipment has its advantages and disadvantages. You can pretty much get the same attachment for each one, but asubstantial difference in price on most of them. We tried to figure out which piece was the most versatile and functional. With a skid steer you can only mount one attachment at a time where as with a compact you can have two. Granted you can haul other ones to the job site but if you only need two these can both go on the tractor i.e. fornt loader and backhoe, or whatever you want. The biggest reason that we choose to go with a compact is pure and simple the condition in which the turf tires will leave the property looking. Now this isn't to say that a skid steer will destroy a property but we have witnessed many a contractor leave a property looking worse than when they got thier due to the opration of the skid steer. We first bought a JD 855 with front loader and backhoe. The backhoe has a 9&quot; & 13&quot; bucket both work well for trenching and for digging bases for hardscapes. Because it had three point hitch you could purchases any attachment for it that you wanted provided it has enough horse power to run it. We have since traded the 855 in for the new 4400 and are extremlt satisfied with it. It has a higher lift on the front end loader to better load trucks as well as stack or move snow. We also have fork attachments for it to move palleted material and moving trees and anything else that can placed on the forks. We also have the new backhoe attachment for it with the 2 different size buckets. It also has three point hitch for other attachments and enouch horse power to run any thing that we are interested in running. You have to remember that the work you due will decide which one is best for you. Make sure that your local dealer is reliable in providing you with service as well as a replacement peice of equipment if your's has to go in the shop.<br>Matt

kountryscape
02-03-2000, 11:18 PM
ok what do you think of the toro dingo for doing landscaping i think it's a neat concept but if your going to buy thatyou might as well buy a skid loader does any one own one of these? how about a machine called a powertrac its made in virginia, its a ride on dingo type of tractor. just trying to hit all the bases. i need something more than a shovel and wheelbarrow and im tierd of renting equipment any ideas are helpful so far its one for compacts and one for skid loaders talk to you later jarrett

paul
02-03-2000, 11:55 PM
Jarrett<br>Missed the Mid-Am this year snow came and had to remove it. I own 2 excavators the Kubota Kx71 and a Tauch TB035, the Kubota will lift more but the Tauch will dig faster. We work around a lot of water , I can run the excavator right in the rivers (as long as its not too deep 2.5' or less) and move boulders or excavate for footings or set stone with them. We really went up in size we started out with the 555 new hollands (5000 lb. machines) then bought the 783's (7000 lb. machines) The 555's grade better but the 783 lift and carry more. We use two machinces a 555 and a 783 to install the 1500 tons of outcropping at the one site on my web page along with 3 men. it took the 68 working days to install the outcropping, fabric and gravel base. I started with compact tractors and I still use them but fitted out skid steers just work out better, I rigged our trailers so all equipment stays on them. Each trailer carries forks, spade, bucket, preperator and tooth bar. For some jobs I fit out the 555's with floation tires or the 783's with either rubber tracks or metal tracks, this keeps from marking the sites up too much. Any machine will make a mess of a yard if the operator doesn't think. I can change to any attachment in less than a minute with my skid steers you can't do that with a tractor. I have yet to see a compact tractor lift a pallet of sod or pallet of brick. I also thought about the backhoe attacment for either a tractor or skid loader but with either of them they are too slow or I just couldn't get them in places that I needed them,Some of the parks that we do have limited access or places that you can't run a rubber tire machine the mini-excavators just work out faster not to mention the winter work that I get with them.$$$ Tractors have their place in landscaping I just see them being limited to larger sites for primary grading,(to be finished with the preperator),discing or tilling, slit seeding, drill seeding and bed prepartion (mixing topsoil, mushroom compost and sand). One last thing Iron is cheap, help is not. Once you have paid for your machines they will do the work of ten men and not get tired, I use to grade home sites and install sod, I would go out with ten men, grade and lay 3000-4000 yds a day, now three men can do the same and in less time. As you get older skill and cunning over come youth and muscle.<p>----------<br>paul<p>

kountryscape
02-04-2000, 09:26 AM
hey paul your right about the using your head part. ive had people in business tell me buying equipment doesn't hurt you it helps. after all they don't call in sick and don't have half the paper work employees have. have you seen the bobcat with tracks on it what do you think ? im leaning toward skid loaders but tired skid loaders do rip up lawns no matter how hard you try to turn i use the back and forth thing it helps but if you have ideas toward that it would be some good advice your a big help thanks

mattingly
02-04-2000, 10:05 AM
I don't know if this has been mentioned yet or you even have this option available in your hometown but I heard that you can do a rent to own on the skid steers. It was in an issue of &quot;Lawn & Landscape.&quot; Detailed the benefits of it. It may be something to look into.<p>----------<br>Integrated Landscape Solutions<br>Lexington, KY

paul
02-14-2000, 02:54 AM
Jarrett sorry for the delay, anouther trick to stop marking up yards, plywood 1/2&quot; or 3/4&quot; cut in half length wise 5 or 6 sheets will do the same as rubber tracks. as for the Dingo toosmall if you are looking at it stick withthe compact tractor instead. from your first post you said that you have a 8N tractor use that for grading and look to a skid steer for loading and unloading just make it big enough to lift hat you need.<p>----------<br>paul<br>

kountryscape
02-14-2000, 04:20 PM
hey paul thats not a bad idea with using the 8n with a skid loader that would work, good idea on the plywood to after all the grass turns a little brown if you run it over one to many times jarrett

Lanelle
02-16-2000, 02:53 AM
This is one of the most informative discussions I've seen on this forum. I won't add much light on the subject except to say that I agree with Paul about the plywood. It makes a soft site accessible that you'd torn up completely otherwise. Also the customer will be so impressed that you care about the condition of their property that they'll tell others how careful you are.<p>----------<br>Lanelle<br>

Mike Stemler
03-04-2000, 04:47 PM
This is in defense of the Toro sized mini-skid steer loader. Altough we occasionally have to rent a back hoe or full size Kabota<br>we have been extremely happy with our decision to go with a compact unit. We have a Kanga and it has so many attachments all on one trailer towable with a 3/4 ton six cylinder truck. In the course of a day we often use 4 or five attachments. Especially good is the auger. The Kanga will out auger a tractor. though small it will let us place <br>rocks in backyards through tight gates up to <br>1100 lbs.(39&quot; wide). It's the same as the Toro Dingo but has a bunch of advantages over the Toro. Better digging, better dump angle, better bucket roll back. Basically it lifts more, dumps better, runs longer, and costs less. And for about the price of a tractor or full sized skid steer we have a trencher, 4-1 bucket, rototiller, leveler, and very agressive auger to 30&quot; diameter. We can transport trees up to 24&quot; boxes through narrow gates. We use it almost everyday we are on a job. It costs us about 20.00 to 30.00 a day. I've cut labor by a third on most jobs. It is the best tool we've ever owned or rented! I can always rent something <br>large when I need it. It seems the larger the unit the less versatile it is and for us the less we would use it.<p>----------<br>mike stemler<br>

EarthWorks
03-13-2000, 10:17 PM
Skid steer is the way to go. I have a case 1840, and 1845. I prefer the 1840 because of smaller size but often have to break down pallets of sod(it will not lift them). Tractor is better at grading but not as good at moving and loading. Turn around much quicker with skid steer. With experience grading can be done efficiently with skid steer. I have the following attachments: backhoe, buckets, forks, 3-pt adaptor, rock rake, trencher, sod unroller. I wouldn't be without my skidsteers. And if gate is too small take out a section of fence. Usually takes me 15 minutes.