View Full Version : Best Skid Steer for Me?

Dig-it Landscaping
09-08-2004, 05:08 PM
What would be the best skid steer for me? I need something reliable that will be used to lift mainly dirt and rock for landscape installations. Also will be used to lift skids of pavers(3000lbs). I know that to lift that much weight i will need a large machine but i would prefer a smaller more compact machine even if i have to move 1/2 skid at a time. Cost is also a big factor. I would probably be looking for a piece of used equipment. How many is too many hours? I really like the ride or walk behind miniskid steer loaders. i was extremely impressed with the Eagle Finn that i rented with the CAT DIESEL but i am worried that one of those would constantly have the back tires off of the ground if i picked up a 1500Lb skid of pavers. Any help or opinions would be appreciated.

AL Inc
09-08-2004, 05:56 PM
For what you are looking to do, forget about the mini-skid or walk behind loaders. I'm not real familiar with them, but I believe they have an operating cap. of about 500-600 lbs. Lifting 1500 would be an impossibility. At 1500 lbs, I think you are looking at the Bobcat 753/130, Cat 216, New Holland LS160, Deere 240, etc.
I've learned it's best to spend the extra $ and buy stronger than you think you'll need, and you will appreciate it down the road. I've also learned to do the best with what I have, so if a used machine is the ticket right now, go for it. I would look for a machine that you can get parts and good service for. The hours may vary, I would rather buy a machine with 2,000 hours from an owner/operator than one with 1,000 hours from a rental house. Good luck with whatever you decide. Mike

09-09-2004, 08:16 AM
I am looking at new equipment also. (New as in possibly used to lessen financial burden.) Yesterday I came across eBay and found the user 'skidsteerstore.' I contacted him on a New Holland LS 160. They have others to choose from...but it is just an option. There is risk with anything mechanical over eBay but something to consider.

Thanks for the advice about buying larger than you think you will need. Comes in handy when you think past today and plan for tomorrow in todays growing housing market. (What a cliche'!)

09-09-2004, 11:21 PM
Those compact skids (Bobcat MT52, Dingo, etc) are pretty specialized pieces. They have an extensive line of attachments, but are pretty limited as far as capability goes. Sure they can get into small spaces, that's their niche, but a larger machine will allow you to have a much broader range of services. In the "off season" for us, or when things slow down on the installation part of things, we do alot of just skid steer work, usually a handfull of one or 2 day jobs that could bring in about 1K apiece. Do a few of those and you'll start chipping away at the initial cost of your machine. Just my .02

09-11-2004, 10:03 PM
I'll try to be short here, but you really don't want a small, walk-behind model. You'll need six trips to get from point A to B and each trip will take anywhere from two to four times as long as it would with a full sized skid steer of some sort.

If you need a machine to lift 3,000 pallets, then you really should consider getting that big of a machine. Unless you have experience breaking down the pallets and knowing how to split one pallet into two pallets (so you can carry the objects) without their falling through the fork openings, you probably want a 3000 ROC machine.

But... if you really want a 1500 ROC machine, there are a few that stand out in my opinion. I don't recommend going with a radial lift machine as they can be quite tipsy (especially if you are off-loading off of a flatbed). If you go with a radial lift machine, I suggest going with a 1750 pound-class machine, such as the Cat 236B. If you are used to hand controls, try the Case 40 or 60 XT (probably the 60XT). Bobcat doesn't have an offering in this category, but the S160 is the closest thing they have. If you choose to go with Deere, their 317 will do everything you need... potentially even lift the full pallet without tipping. (That's a maybe, not a definite.)

As for vertical lift machines: the only vertical lift model that is 1500-ish ROC that I can think of it NH, and I really don't have a very good image of their smaller machines. The larger Ls180 and Ls190 aren't back, but the 150 and 160 may be too small and slow for your needs. Their design seems to be shorthanded.

Let us know if you have other questions.

11-15-2004, 01:36 AM
Bobcats might not be the best loaders, much like the JDs are , but they are much better graders. I have a 753 and I wouldnt trade it in for anything since they are stable graders and dont get caught up like the JDs. The only other bobcat I would ever get other than a Bobcat is the cat.

11-15-2004, 07:42 AM
New Holland LS 190 and Case 85XT are what I use.
After getting used to the all hand controls on the Case I have come to prefer it. No more leg cramps...I'm 6'3".
It's worth getting the weight attachment for those unexpected wet pallets of mulch and oversized natural stone pallets and boulders.

11-15-2004, 08:09 AM
guys, this is something about the mini loaders.

just for referance they will pick up 2000lbs and move them, you just can't lift it high.
the large models have tip capacity's of 1500-1800 lbs.

the asv loaders are super sweet. a friend has the rc 60. with the weight kit he has no problem lifting pallets of retaining wall block 3500lbs.

11-15-2004, 08:41 AM
I have a '98 NewHolland LX865 Hight flow, with counter weights and wide Halk foam filled tires. I have pallets of pavers ever day. Off loading them from tractor trailers, stalking them are no problem at all. After 2000 hours on the machine it still has enough power and lift to stack 4000 lbs concrete blocks (2.5'x2.5'x6'). I can stack those blocks 3 high. The back is a little light if I hang the load to far out on the forks.

Keep in mind this is a big machine but its very stable. I have used many bobcats and they are great machines and very maneuverable but I liked how well balanced the new holland was. You can even load full sized dump trucks with its tall boom as well. With most the bobcats that I have used they always seem to be a little light in the rear. Since '98 I have put about 2600 hours on the machine and only have invested $1800 into rebuilding some of the pump valves since the boom was gradually slipping over time. $2000+ for new foam fills and countless attachment pins that break every so many hours. Since I bought the unit I have yet to rent a mid sized unit for those tight jobs...I just suck it up go a little slower and pay more attention while operating it.

I also have a brand new bobcat MT52 for those jobs where we cannot get larger equipment into those tight locations. So far the guys have tipped the little thing twice during excavating. Its a good machine to have for small jobs and takes the place of 1-2 laborers but is only limited to a lifting load of 500-700lbs. Plus your dump height is limited.

I have been thinking of replacing my Newholland and think the size and capability out weighs the maneuverability. With the larger unit you can lift more, load more, load dump trucks. Yes it is wide and heavy but it does everything a mid sized bobcat will do and more except is a little harder to operate in those tight spots. But its better to be safe than sorry. Plus who wants to have a mid sized skidsteer and have to rent a heavier unit every time you have to move heavy materials.

The only thing I would consider now is one of those skidsteer with tracks cause those skidsteers with tires suck when it rains all spring....You have to learn how to push yourself out using your forks or bucket. I am looking at the T190 but i want to know how expensive the tracks are to replace. Someone told me they are over $4000. That means I can go through two rounds of foam fills for that price.

What every you do go out and Demo the model before buying it. All machines have pro and cons just pick the one that fits your OPERATIONS and budget. Most have 0%-2.9% financing so its well worth buying new than a unit with 2000+ hours that will need some work.

11-15-2004, 12:10 PM
Mid-Atlantic, the MT52 is not designed to be a heavy-duty mini excavator. You should consider a 463 or Ls125 for that task, not a walk-behind loader. That's, well, unsafe practice to say the least. I'm not reprimanding (for I'm in no place to do so) -- but the safety of your operators is at risk.

I'll post more to this thread later. Have some thoughts going on. In the meantime, ciao, everyone, and enjoy the Monday!

11-15-2004, 03:23 PM
I think I had more questions than opinions... which is a change.

Treedoc1 -- how do you find the two machines? Do you use them on the same jobs? Which seems to have more power and stability?

YardPro -- what loaders were you referring to when you said that the mini-loaders could lift 2000 pounds?

Dig-It, did you decide on a machine yet?

Mid-Atlatic -- I wouldn't recommend a T190. It tends to be a little small for heavier digging or lifting. I'm not saying it's incapable; it's simply not as refined as its T250 brother.

Dig-it Landscaping
11-15-2004, 03:34 PM
haven't decided quite yet and probably have to wait for a few big contracts to come in before i buy anything. thank you everyone for all the help

11-15-2004, 08:43 PM
Trust me I am all for safety. I was not onsite when the unit tipped. I have never tipped a skidsteer before or had anybody that has. Its just this MT is really prone to tipping in a lot of situations where its not on perfectly flat ground. We only use that small MT for walkways and small patios behind townhouses and tight locations behind houses. Trust me if I could get a larger skidsteer which I already have in these sites I would rather do so. We looked at the mini skid steer from bobcat but the risk for damage to property what too great. You know how employees are. Lift capacity, lift height, hydraulic flow were all about the same between the smallest bobcat skidsteer and the MT. If you start to go larger then you whats the point since you have a larger unit.

11-15-2004, 10:51 PM
Lift capacity, lift height, hydraulic flow were all about the same between the smallest bobcat skidsteer and the MT. If you start to go larger then you whats the point since you have a larger unit.

You're correct. The MT52 actually has a higher tipping capacity than the 463. However, the 463 does offer the operator more stability and is a "larger" machine physically. The MT52, in my opinion, is much more of a wheelbarrow where the 463 is more of a compact skid steer. If I had to get through a gate and move material, I'd go for a 463 and not the MT52. Just an opinion.

As I stated in the other thread, I'm going to let myself simmer down a little bit. :sleeping:

Canon Landscaping
11-15-2004, 11:09 PM
I have a New Holland 98 LX565 and it has about 1400 hours on it and I have never had to do anything but change the tires and fluids. It has plenty of power it will pick up more than it will carry. I can't pick up a full pallet of sod and the rear gets light when you load gravel or wet dirt. I use it to grade, dig and run a Harley rake. I am going to buy a new LS180 in the spring the 565 just doesn't't have enough lift capacity for what need it for. I would recommend buying a NH or DEERE.

11-16-2004, 07:02 PM
Heres my skidsteer lifting a 3000lb toat of clay material for one of my tennis court jobs..As you can see the boom is extended and the rear tires are not stable and not bouncing up and down....Its a real stable well ballanced machine. My newholland has foam fills and counter weights so it can lift heavy loads.

For the price this is a real nice machine...

11-17-2004, 09:15 PM
I think I had more questions than opinions... which is a change.

Treedoc1 -- how do you find the two machines? Do you use them on the same jobs? Which seems to have more power and stability?

YardPro -- what loaders were you referring to when you said that the mini-loaders could lift 2000 pounds?

Dig-It, did you decide on a machine yet?

Mid-Atlatic -- I wouldn't recommend a T190. It tends to be a little small for heavier digging or lifting. I'm not saying it's incapable; it's simply not as refined as its T250 brother.

the ramrod has a tipping capacity of 1700, most of the others have tip capacities of 1500lbs,
this is at full extension.
the dingo rep swears that the 425 can lift a ton, not high, but enough to move it around.

i am in the process of demoing all of the mini's now.
so far have tries the 413and the sk300 (way too small), the sk 500 , the mt52. am waiting on the boxter, the dingo 425 and the ramrod

11-17-2004, 09:52 PM
The one thing with micro minis I still cannot accept is the fact that none of them can load a 1 ton dump truck from the ground without building ramps. that one function completely turns me off considering one, and we will keep our 463 until Caterpillar builds a 36" wide machine.

I have run Dingos before, and there is no way a 425 can lift 2000 lbs. It is not physically possible, and of you calculate the math, that will prove it.

I am not at all impressed with the MT-52. No power, cannot keep straight on a slope, barley turned a 24" auger on a slope planting job we did.

I'm going with the Cat 301.8 and an auger attachment so we can reach to where we want the holes drilled.

11-18-2004, 05:41 PM
the 2000lb was the salesman's hype.
i today had 1300lbs on a sk500 (the ditch witch mini track loader). picked up a pallet of slate and weighed it at my stone dealers.

started with 850 then went to 1300. at 1300 i could lift it all the way up and drive around.
with the add on operator platform i can see a 1500lb load with no problems.

the mini skids i have used can load a 1 ton no problems. that's what they are designed to work with. a full sized dump-- no way.

also, you are trying to compare them with the big bobcat's, case's etc.
they are not intended to compete against those.

we are buying a mini over a full sized for the following reasons.

small and light. easy to get around in small yards.

3psi footprint. NO TURF DAMMAGE. this is our primary concern.

much more versatile than a skid steer. cannot do as heavy as work but can do alot better with smaller, more detailed work.

can be easially transproted, behind a 1/2 ton, and a single axle trailer ( or In a truck if needed.

11-18-2004, 08:22 PM
If you go straight on and straight off turf, you are correct, no turf damage. Continual on and off even if in a straight line, you will trask turf as bad, if not worse and a wheeled machine. We have done it. Same as any rubber track drive machine.

11-19-2004, 01:22 PM
sure repeated traffic will
but you won't have the 3" deep ruts after one pass that will be left by the wheeled units.

earthwerks unlimited
12-25-2004, 06:03 PM
The accepted number of hours on a skid steer per year my dealer told me is 600. I compared a re-po'd New Holland LS180 that was two years old and low hours to a brand new one. The new one was a $45 more a month! And had a warranty! There is also depreication for Uncle Sam that figures into it to buying new vs. used (I have no idea how it works). Bigger is better. Don't even try a LS170 or smaller---not worth the trouble. I had a LS170-size model before this one and the difference is nite and day---plus this is turbo'd and has two speeds. And lately has been treated to an enclosed cab, cab heater, and tracks. You'll need at least a 3/4 ton to pull it. Machine and trailer weighs over 11,000 lb. Something else to think about: New Holland (which is owned by Ford) sells "ag" "blue" equipment to Ford employees and retirees at A-plan (like cars and trucks) costs. My dealer doesn't do it all the time but he sold me mine for A-plan cost, however I bought a new TC33D from him too at A-plan.

12-25-2004, 06:10 PM
Earthwerks, you don't do business in the northwest suburbs of Chicago, do you? There's another company by the same name and spelling that uses (used?) Case XTs.

earthwerks unlimited
12-25-2004, 08:14 PM
bobcatS250: Why, do I owe you money?

Naw, just kiddin'.

I'm a one-man-show out of SE Michigan (SW of Detroit). Legal name is Earthwerks Unlimited Excavating and Siteworks Company. There's something like 12 other co's in my county alone that sound similar that's why I have so much to my name. The only thing I have that is made by Case is a big DH5 chain trencher, all my other stuff is Ford/New Holland.

12-26-2004, 09:30 PM
^: ah, gotcha. I was trying to get ahold of the earthwerks here in IL to ask them about their Cases (seen a few excavating contractors/landscaping companies go to Case for SSLs) but never got the chance. Just found it curious that you had the same name and spelling.