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buying 1st/last skid steer

Discussion in 'Heavy Equipment & Pavement' started by bubbas45, Feb 21, 2008.

  1. bubbas45

    bubbas45 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 11

    Howdy, folks. I've been enjoying reading all your posts, trying to learn. I am planning to buy a skid steer for farm use, not for a business. We just bought 72 acres where we plan to build a house and barn and so on. It's been recently logged, so there are a lot of stumps and slash around. It's on the side of a hill, but not all hilly; for example, the 20 acres at the top where we will put in a pasture is fairly flat.

    What do I want the skid steer for?
    1) Grinding stumps in the pasture area. I don't need a hayfield, so I don't need to pull the stumps and fill in the holes. Couldn't afford to have an excavator come in if I wanted to, anyway. We have more time than money.

    2) Moving some of the slash around, general land clean-up.

    3) Moving rocks. This is NH, and we have granite galore. Again, land clean-up for pasture--it doesn't have to be like a billiard table--orchard area, and so on. Hopefully I can even dig out some rocks with the skid steer.

    4) Putting in fence. We are going to fence quite a bit of the property. I just bought a KingHitter Series 2 post pounder for that purpose.

    5) Anything else we can think of: drive maintenance, snow removal....

    We can't really afford a new skid steer; for non-commercial use I don't think it would make sense anyway. So I am looking at used. I have no experience with skid steers. I'm 6'2" and about 240-ish. Don't need fancy, but don't have to have Spartan, either. I don't need heat or AC, but don't mind them, either.

    Locally are a couple of decent, low-hour machines in my price range (under $20k): a Case 226B with joysticks and a Gehl 5640 with (?) t-bar controls.

    Any reason to prefer one over the other? I think the Gehl is much heavier duty, higher HP. I haven't used hand controls; I drove a NH LS175 the other day with joysticks and it was pretty simple.

    I just don't want to under buy, but I also don't want to get more just for the sake of getting more (okay, that's a lie, I do, but I shouldn't).

    Renting isn't a useful option. I need what I need when I need it, not when the rental office has it.

    I think all the dealer networks in NH are kind of a crapshoot, but I could be wrong.

    Any comments, recommendations, advice to run away from one or the other?

    thanks, bws
  2. oakhillslandscaping

    oakhillslandscaping LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 643

    hey bubba i live not to far away and my family used to own land in greenville NH, i have a new holland ls190 that i got from chappell, if you get a machine i would get it there they are pricey for used equipment but are great with parts and service, we also got an excavator from there and we are intending to get another one from there this summer
  3. Scag48

    Scag48 LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,067

    A CAT 226B and Gehl 5640 are 2 very, very different machines. The 5640 turbo's are a hoss of a machine, I have quite a bit of time in one. I have 800 hours or so in a Cat 216, which is almost a 226, great machines as well but comparing that to the Gehl isn't a fair game. I can tell you, the T-bar is fine for an hour or two but they wear you out. I'm a young guy and twisting those damn levers all day is hard on your shoulders, I prefer pilots.
  4. Lawnworks

    Lawnworks LawnSite Fanatic
    from usa
    Posts: 5,407

    I guess you mean a Cat 226B? I think you are going to need a high flow machine for the stump grinder. Have you demo'ed a Cat? I prefer the hand controls over yank 'ems and foot controls.

    Look at craigslist.org for some deals on skids... might have to drive a few hours to get a deal though.

    Check these new hollands out... they seem like a good deal. I know they aren't in your area but should give you a price comparison.



  5. Lawnworks

    Lawnworks LawnSite Fanatic
    from usa
    Posts: 5,407

  6. bobcat_ron

    bobcat_ron LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 10,101

    T-bars are the worst, you'll want to use another type of "bar" after work going at it all day in any thing that has rowing oars.

    NEUSWEDE LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Maine
    Posts: 1,147

    Gehl Offers the pilot controls on the 5640 turbo. I have them on mine that I bought last year. It is the best set-up. I would say if you have more time than money and don't need all the frills Gehl is the way to go. I do snow removal with a Deere 325 and a Cat 236B and I can run circles around the 236B.

    You might want to look at a track loader because using it constantly off road you will be able to handle the mud a bit better. I ended up getting over the tire tracks and will hopefully move to The VTS this year for off road conditions but I like the tires for snow removal and parking lot sweeping that I have.
  8. RockSet N' Grade

    RockSet N' Grade LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,454

    Pilot controls if you want to have hands and arms left to do anything with.......

    NEUSWEDE LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Maine
    Posts: 1,147

    How do you like your VTS tracks on your 5640? Ho many hours do you have on them?
  10. Lawnworks

    Lawnworks LawnSite Fanatic
    from usa
    Posts: 5,407

    I agree on the pilots. I have an old Cat 248 w/ pilots. I bought a T190 just to resell... I can't even stand to move the thing... once you go pilots you won't go back.

    One other thing, why do these New Hollands go so cheap? I would prefer a NH over a bobcat, but bobcats are always more money.

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