View Full Version : Skid steer size recomendations

03-21-2004, 11:33 PM
I will be building a new home this summer so this seems like the perfect time to finally buy a skid steer. I will be using this to clear a 250' driveway through clay to my home site, backfill the basement, and finish grade the lot. In the future it will just be used for snow removal and the occasional chore.

It would be a plus if it was powerful enough to dig a 7' +/- deep hole which would allow me to bury an old shed that is on the property.

I would be a huge plus if the machine had a very high reach. My father has a Kenworth dump truck and I have access to free fill dirt if I can find a way to load it

Any recommendations on how much power I need and which used used machines are most reliable? I would like to stay under $11,000 but if I could get some rebates and good financing I would probably spend a few thousand extra to buy new and get a warranty.


Randy Scott
03-21-2004, 11:55 PM
Any skid-steer capable of doing what you want, isn't going to come cheap. Check www.machinerytrader.com for used machines. A new machine with enough HP to do what you want and a reach high enough to get into a quad axle truck will be well over $30K.

03-22-2004, 12:11 AM
Thanks Randy,

Thirty grand is way out of my league. If I buy new, I'm looking at about 17K max and it would need some good financing terms to finish the deal for me. I know Gehl has 0% right now.

The dirt would be from a large farm about a mile away. When they finished digging they had a few very large piles of dirt behind the property. I was thinking I could probably use the dirt to build up a small platform to fill the truck. I know I won't be able to fill the truck very full because it's so large (7 axles and 21' bed) but at least it's all free.

Are there any certain brands or models that are more prone to service issues? Is there an hour that repairs usually start to pop up on skid steers?

Thanks again

03-22-2004, 12:39 AM
Here's my brand pick in order of choice:

1. Cat
2. Bobcat
3. New Holland
4. Case
5. Gehl
6. Deere

I'm a Cat fan, can't go wrong with their engines or their engineering. Bobcat also makes an excellent machine, a little cheaper than Cat by about 2K in the 17K-20K price range. You're not going to find anything that will load a truck that big for 11K, it just won't happen, nothing reliable anyway. For about 17-18K you can get a used Bobcat 873 within 1500 hour range, that would be your best bet. I wouldn't buy anything with more than 1500 hours on it, things just go downhill from there and if it was abused, which skid steers can get abused, it'll be a nightmare.

03-22-2004, 03:38 PM
I'd agree on something like the 873. The 873 is 2200# machine with about 75 hp. You definitely need the capacity and power if you're going to do some serious earth moving. If you went smaller, like a 1500# machine (Bobcat 763) you just would not have enough. If you want to load a big truck you need a vertical lift path too. Your best options seem to be a used 873 or New Holland Lx885. I've had experience with both and they are both good machines.

New these machines are $25,000+. Your best option is to keep looking at used or mabye finding an auction or two. I would also look for a set of over the wheel tracks, as they are a huge bonus when you want to get down and move earth.

Randy Scott
03-22-2004, 08:07 PM
Originally posted by cmoore
Are there any certain brands or models that are more prone to service issues? Is there an hour that repairs usually start to pop up on skid steers?

Thanks again

You may want to read the thread just a couple down from here titled "skid-steers". You'll see my thoughts on "Junk Deere". Our new S250 Bobcat is being delivered tomorrow.

03-23-2004, 02:06 AM
Thanks for the info everyone. I have decided to forget about digging the hole and loading the dump truck. I figure I can have the basement guy dig the hole and then I can do the backfilling with whatever I end up buying.

Today I called around and talked to a few dealers. The cat dealer was the best on the phone. He said I could buy a new 2003 216 with a 4yr/4000 hr warranty for around 19K right now. I think he said a 226 would be about 2K more. He also said he would throw in at least 10 free equipment rentals if I do the deal. Right now there is a 2002 246 for $17,900 in a local trading paper. I will link the website but for some reason the pic isn't loading. In the paper it looked like brand new so I think I will call about this tomorrow.

2002 Cat 246 (http://www.auto-rv.com/default.asp?area=browsedetail&adname=BI1500991D)

Here is Daewoo that looks huge for a decent price. Anyone deal with Daewoo?

Daewoo 2060 (http://www.auto-rv.com/default.asp?area=browsedetail&adname=BI1490988D)

Tonight 2 coworkers said they would be interested in having their new yards finish graded by me if I purchase something in the next few weeks. It would be nice to find a few odd jobs to help pay it off.

Thanks again.

AL Inc
03-23-2004, 09:54 AM
cmoore, I'm also in the market for a skid steer and I saw your thread. I think if you are using a machine around your home, most any machine will last you a lifetime. There is one Daewoo dealer here on LI and I am seeing them everywhere now. The price is right and almost everyone I speak to likes them. If you go the Daewoo route, you are getting a bigger machine for the money.
I still haven't made up my mind yet, but I demo'd the Cat 257 and I wanted to buy it right then and there. Sweet machine.
Randy Scott pretty much killed the idea of the John Deere, he's been around a long time and I respect his opinions.Mike

03-23-2004, 05:38 PM
I would suggest a Bobcat or Mustang they are good solid machines that will get the job done,. I have used both make machines and they are very good solid machines. From what I hear they are priced better then many of the other makes.

03-24-2004, 01:55 AM
AL Inc,

After looking this morning both links I posted were to the same guy who is an equipment broker. He said the Daewoo was form a loca Daewoo dealer that started to sell Thomas and couldn't ubload the Daewoo model. To make a long story short he told me that he wasn't impressed at all with the Daewoo.

I'm going to call him tomorrow and see what he can find for me. If the Cat 246 wasn't sold today I think 17K would buy it. He said two guys made him offers but haven't come up with the $ yet.

03-27-2004, 07:58 PM
I'm going to deviate from the norm and suggest a Thomas. I don't think they're quite as expensive but they appear to hold up well, and the 173 has a really, really high hinge pin height. (It's second only to the Gehl/Mustang beasts.) It's a smaller machine, about Cat236=BobcatS175=Case 60XT=Deere 250, but it may be just the ticket for what you've mentioned. Not sure if there are any Thomas dealers in your area, though.

03-28-2004, 01:03 AM
Thanks for the input BobcatS250.

I have a local Thomas dealer but I have heard some bad things about him.

I have an equipment broker looking for a Cat 226/236 for me right now. He said I should be able to get into one for under 13K with somewhat low hours (under 700). Hopefully something will come up in the next few weeks.

03-28-2004, 08:37 AM
Look into JCB Also you might want to try to find a used JCB 520 Telehandler.I've got one It'll take any skidsteer attachment.It'll boom out 9ft and up 16ft.4whl steering so it dosen't tear up the ground and it rides alot nicer

03-29-2004, 12:47 PM
Tevi, thanks for the info I will look into that machine. I did some quick looking and they seem pretty expensive.

05-29-2004, 02:00 PM
I found a website called ironplanet.com and its an auction for just about any heavy equipment. There are many types of loaders from around the country and that you bid on. There is one s250 that would be just perfect for loading tandem dump-trucks.
The bidding starts at 10,500$ and increases by 500.00$. It has a 79'' bucket, new tires, Kubota v3300t engine. It only has 527 hours.

05-29-2004, 07:20 PM
Go witha smaller machine and just build a dirt ramp to drive up to load the bigger dump truck. Gonna take a while tho with the smaller bucket. Go rent a couple different ones and check em out. The rental market is way cut throat now, at least in my area. You can get a skid steer for half day rates. Line up yur work and have em deliver a couple. See what ya like.. if ya like it, contact the sales guy and ask for a week demo. Maybe a good used, low hr machine is the way to go for you.

05-30-2004, 05:12 PM
Also, check the rental dealers in your area. They might have good used models at a low price with low hours. My nearest dealers has a lot of t-190 and 763 models with attachments with low hours and prices. Ebay always has good models with low reserves and buy it know prices.

05-30-2004, 10:00 PM
Thanks for the new info everyone.

It looks like my loader has been put on hold because of the rising construction costs. I had a falling out with my first builder and in the month or so it took me to find another builder prices kept rising.

I may have lucked out anyway. A neighbor of mine has a large backhoe that I can rent fairly cheap whenever I need it. I think it is capable of the drive and will have no trouble with the septic.

Thanks again.