How to pick a skid steer

Discussion in 'Heavy Equipment & Pavement' started by MP350, Aug 30, 2004.

  1. MP350

    MP350 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 185

    I have never owned or operated a skid steer, but am now looking to buy a small used unit. What do a look for mechinically, motor wise& etc...? Looking for a unit to lift approx 500 lbs...what types of units to stay away from? Any input would be appreciated.
     
  2. Tigerotor77W

    Tigerotor77W LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Germany
    Posts: 1,891

    500 pounds? That's it? Anything about the size of a Bobcat S130, Cat 216, Case 1825B, New Holland Ls125 or 120, Bobcat MT52, will do.

    I want to elaborate a little more... but got to get going for the moment. Basically, the smaller units are compact skid steers built to fit in small spaces.

    In the meantime -- I would suggest taking a look in the other SSL threads. They might help a bit. Good luck!
     
  3. Tigerotor77W

    Tigerotor77W LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Germany
    Posts: 1,891

    Having taken another look at your original post, anything in the realm of a Bobcat 463 or 553 will suffice for your needs. The 463 should be enough as it lifts 600 pounds; the 950 lbs of the 553 might be more than you need (though it won't hurt). The MT52 is a stand-on/walk-behind unit that doesn't lift as much (520 lbs), but if you are really pressed for space, it'll be a bit better than the 463.

    There really isn't all that much out there in terms of the smallest skids. The Bobcats I mentioned and the New Holland Ls120 and 125 (125 is diesel and lifts a bit more than the 120, but mostly the same) are about it for sit-type loaders. (That is, ones with cabs.)

    There are, however, many companies that make stand-on machines -- Vermeer, Ditch Witch, Bobcat, Kanga, and Ramrod to name a few. Again, those are the stand-on types -- ones without a cab.
     
  4. MP350

    MP350 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 185

    I have a small tree service and don't do the large trees because I don't want to have to deal with employees. I was just wanting to get a small skid steer to help speed up some of the jobs I do. Was just trying to make sure I don't buy a lemon. But I do appreciate any information I can get.
     
  5. badranman

    badranman LawnSite Member
    Posts: 99

  6. Scag48

    Scag48 LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,068

    Sounds like you're more in the market for a used tractor. Now I'm assuming with a tree service you'll be working with clients that have established landscapes, a job that a tractor suits a little better, mainly because you're not going to tear the grass to pieces. Now, you can run skid steers on grass and not mess up the grass too much, and yes you can turn on the grass, but it's just slow and annoying with a skid and you have to think about every move you make. For someone that doesn't need a dedicated "earth mover" or serious attachment afficionado, I'd say a smaller tractor will do you just fine.
     
  7. Tigerotor77W

    Tigerotor77W LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Germany
    Posts: 1,891

    Scag48 makes a good point. A tractor may be more suited for your needs than would be a skid steer.
     
  8. MP350

    MP350 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 185

    I just picked up a Bobcat 553, 02 model with 700 hours on it. I wanted to put a grapple bucket on it but the weight of it takes up more then half of its lifting capacity. So I was looking on e-bay and a guy has a grapple attachment that mounts on the bucket but requires a flow control ( don't know what that is). Is this a good route to go, or any better ideas? Thanks
     
  9. Tigerotor77W

    Tigerotor77W LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Germany
    Posts: 1,891

    Flow control should be aux hyd where you can adjust the amount of flow going to the attachment -- that is, rather than on or off, you can feather in between.

    Smaller machines are limited in what they can handle attachment-wise. Be careful if you order the attachment. I would suggest renting one to see how it handles, then purchase it.
     
  10. cajensen

    cajensen LawnSite Member
    from Ok
    Posts: 13

    I bought the Bobcat construction grapple and it is nice to have ( I only use it on my land ) but I am getting frustrated by the aux. hyd. hoses. I have only used the Grapple for approx. 25 hours and I have busted the hoses 4 times plus broken of the metal pipes on the grapple itself.
    I also use Grouser tracks so there is not that much clearance,

    I thought I had fixed it by making a big D bracket ( 12 inches ) to keep the hoses out of the tracks but no such luck so now I am thinking about re-routing the hoses so the stay on top of the Grapple.

    Anyone else have these problems,
     

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