Comparison of Compact Utility Loaders

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by Grn Mtn, Jan 20, 2006.

  1. Grn Mtn

    Grn Mtn LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 863

    I've been renting Compact Utility Loaders, Mini-Excavators, Skidsteers and Tractors. Each type really has its area of expertise and all of them can do the job of the others to some extent. For me, a small (solo) landscape design/build operation, it is the Compact Utility Loader that has become my favorite. I like its ability to get into tight spaces(fence gates) and I can trailer it on my own trailer. I have used the Toro 300 Series Wheeled and 400 Series Tracked, with the buckets and the Backhoe option. I have also used Compact Power Prodigy (the little one rented at HD that comes with a trailer full of toys), using the bucket, auger, trencher, leveler.
    • Tractors: Need wide open spaces(farm) poor maneuverability. Slow bucket speed. Large and heavy. Great for mowing/brush hogging, box raking, transporting materials (forks)
    • Skidsteers: Very heavy, compacts soil. Tendency to tip/rock/bounce with sudden movement. Incredible strength/speed.
    • Mini-Excavators: Single minded(task) machine. The absolute best at ripping out Yews.
    • Compact Utility Loaders: Limited lifting capacity/dumping height. Light weight/easy to trailer, fits through gates, loads of attachments, works in tight areas.

    I compiled a Top 10 feature comparison of 4 machines I find interesting. The Toro because well its a Toro, the Gehl articulated mini loader because it articulates, telescopic reach, speed, the Boxer because the tracks are variable width, hydraulic flow rate, and the Ditch Witch because of the dedicated backhoe.

    CompactLoader_Comparison.jpg
     
  2. Mike Fronczak

    Mike Fronczak LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 301

    So what is your question?
    The data & comparison is intresting however. I have a Dingo 222 & wish it held just a little more(before tipping), was thinking about the Boxer, but the tip load is actually less. Thanks for the info.
     
  3. Grn Mtn

    Grn Mtn LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 863

    There was no question, I was just thinking out loud:)

    Mike look into the Boxer Brute. What do use your Dingo for? and what attatchments do you have?

    Model # Brute
    Engine Power: 27 HP
    Engine Manufacturer: Kohler
    Width: 42.5 "
    Weight: 1850 LBS
    Tip Capacity: 1750 LBS
    Hinge pin height: 69 "
    Travel speed: 4.5 MPH
    Operating Capacity, 35% of tip load: 613 LBS
    Operating Capacity, 50% of tip load: 875 LBS
     
  4. Vermeer

    Vermeer Inactive
    from Iowa
    Posts: 153

    GN Mountain

    If you could design a machine what features would be the most important out of all the ones you selected above?
     
  5. Grn Mtn

    Grn Mtn LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 863

    Well this is a tough one, but what I would choose I don't think would pertain to the larger landscape contractor. It would be a machine that could do many tasks well, yet be simple to maintain, and shouldn't have a cost more than $24,000. It needs to be small enough to maneuver through 36" gate openings, yet have as much lift capacity as possible.

    Why your at it how about a million dollars:p

    1. Tracked unit for low ground pressure and so you can drive it over trenches.
    2. 5" ground clearance or more with a smooth undercarriage.
    3. 24 HP engine or more BUT it needs to run on methanol.
    4. Attached to the rider platform is a hitch, so you can tow stuff. Lots of possibility's's here, new concept.payup
    5. Enough hydraulic power to spin a 36" auger.
    6. High gear for traveling speed, 4mph is just too slow .
    7. Like a skidsteer, connect the lift arms as far back as possible to increase leverage and use riders weight as ballast. Combine this with telescoping bucket so you can load a pick-up over the side.
    8. Keep weight under 2,500 lbs.

    My choice of attachments:

    1. 4-in-bucket standard with unit. I do lots of renovation and moving branches and ripped up bushes and sod chunks is a pain by hand.
    2. 8" and 36" augers for fence posts and large shrub/small tree planting.
    3. A device to carry strips of pavers without having to hand stack them. --Its all about saving time with arduous tasks.
    4. A winch attachment to pull out shrub stumps, but like a mini-excavator have a trench filler blade drop down so when your pulling the stump out the tracks don't slide across the yard.
    5. A 36" x 48" wide flat bottomed tilt-bed trailer to move lots of product in one shot.
     
  6. Grn Mtn

    Grn Mtn LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 863

    Who knew? I just checked out your S600TX:

    Weight of unit--------2,530 lbs
    Width of tread--------36"
    Operating capacity---500 lbs
    Tipping capacity------1,450 lbs
    Hinge pin height------80"
    Ground speed---------4.5 mph
    Engine----------------25 HP Kohler, G
    Hydraulic pressure---3,000 psi
    Hydraulic flow rate---13 gpm

    Those are great numbers, and the list of attachments is good also. I like the bucket that tilts, and tell me more about the mini-backhoe?
     
  7. Ted Smith

    Ted Smith LawnSite Member
    Posts: 6

    Just visited a trade show and seriously looking at the Ditch witch 350 or 500. I like thier track drives for not tearing things up so badly and they seem to be less expensive -- thoughts?...
     
  8. fishinman22487

    fishinman22487 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 194

    Hmm, I never knew Gehl sold a mini skid steer!!! Learn something everyday....

    Grn Mtn-
    I agree on a faster travel speed for the Dingos there soooo slow:(
     
  9. YardPro

    YardPro LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,563

    i spent a lot of time demoing the boxter, dw sk300 and 500, and the toro tx425...

    bought the 425, but liked both the boxter and the ditchwitch.

    be sure to demo units before making up your mind...
    the features on the boxter that i thought i would like turned out to be the reasons i did not buy it..

    if i had it to do over again i would have a very hard time choosing between the sk500 and the dingo....
     
  10. Grn Mtn

    Grn Mtn LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 863

    Couldn't agree more. This is how I've come to the conclusions so far. Yard pro did you end up with the Toro because of dealer support?
     

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