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Skid Loader Questions

Discussion in 'Heavy Equipment & Pavement' started by R.M Hanson, Jan 19, 2007.

  1. R.M Hanson

    R.M Hanson LawnSite Member
    Posts: 20

    I'm looking to purchase a skid this year for my landscaping business. Mostly my business is finish grading, and seeding and sodding around new homes. I also build a few retaining walls and do some general dirtwork and gravel hauling. Right now I use two tractors, and they work well for open areas, but small lawns and landscape job can be a challenge. I've decided to buy a skid loader to help grow my business, and make life easier. After looking at several makes and models, and demoing a few, I've narrowed the field down to a couple of contenders. My choices are either a Case 440, or a Mustang 2076. I like these machines because of their simple designs, compact size and decent power. My question to people who run these machines is how well do they handle pallets of material, like sod and landscape blocks and such? I never had and jobs needing materials moved while I was demoing the machines in question, and I only have experience running larger skids, like 90 & 95xt sized machines. I would like to stay with the smaller frame size skids if at all possible, just for maneuverability and ease of transport. I've also tried and looked at various CTL's, and ruled them out. They work well, don't get me wrong, but I feel the extra investment in both the purchase price and maintenance would be hard to recoup. Please feel free to let me know your thoughts and opinions about my equipment choices, and thanks for your input.
  2. Gravel Rat

    Gravel Rat LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 9,544

    Wait till KSSS will respond he will give you a idea how the Case skids are he lives and breathes Case equipment :laugh:
  3. ksss

    ksss LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 7,129

    OK I will.

    I don't know anything about the Mustang beside what you read. Never run one.

    The 440 is an impressive machine. I currently have 450 hours on mine. Great power maybe more power than it can put to the ground in some conditions. I really like the feel of the controls. Very reponsive. I just had my first warranty issue regarding the heater grid for the cold start. Relay went out. Cant imagine why. I have nothing but positive to say about the performance. I have a cab machine minus AC. The cabs are nothing to brag about. I actually like the cab in the 440 better than the one in the 465. Remember come trade in time the Mustang is not going to bring what a CASE will.
  4. R.M Hanson

    R.M Hanson LawnSite Member
    Posts: 20

    It's good to hear from someone who own's the machine I'm looking at. Right now I'm leaning towards the Case 440. Both the Case and Mustang spec pretty similar, and are very competitive in price. My family has been involved with farming and construction for many decades, and Case machines have always been durable and dependable. Do these machines have a new engine this year, and how are the new pilot controls? Smoothness of the controls and machine is a big concern of mine, because I sometimes have new operators and I need something smooth and easy for them to use. Maybe I'm just a little nervous becuase it is a fairly new model. I've had bad luck with new models in the past, as I purchased a John Deere several years ago and it was in the shop all the time. ( that's a whole story in itself) I think Case does a better job with their homework. I plan on putting about 400 hrs a year on my machine, so that's not a lot of use compared to some applications, but it beats renting or hiring subs. I plan to keep the machine for several years, so trade in isn't really much of a selling point to me, but it is to some people.

    KSSS- I read somewhere that you were looking for a source for a set of sturdy pallet forks. I bought a set rated at 6000 lbs when I bought my Deere several years ago. They are sold under their worksite pro attachments sold at JD SKid dealers. I've used mine for concrete removal, digging up stumps, and all kind of things they aren't meant for, and they are still in as good a shape as when I bought them. The same can't be said for the loader, it went to the trade in lot as soon as the warranty ran out.

    JDSKIDSTEER LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,163

    Deere offers a heavy duty 48" rail style pallet fork set for $1,368.00. They came out with them primarily for 280 ,332 and CT332 machines.:weightlifter:
  6. dozerman21

    dozerman21 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,170

    I have a set of those. VERY beefy.
  7. ksss

    ksss LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 7,129

    I will look at the JD forks. I use mine mostly for transporting rocks around the jobsite during rock wall installation. I just have not had a set that is beefy enough to hold up to that type of application. My last set was from Loegren and were a POS at least for what I do. I currently have a set of Bradco which is built better but not substantially. I just bought those this Summer we'll see how they last.

    I do not have the pilots. I very much like the servo controls offered in the 400 series. I was in AZ last year running prototype pilots systems for CASE but have yet to run the final product. They called in Nov. to come down to run them prior to release but I could not make that trip. So if you can get a demo machine with the pilots I would be interested to hear some feedback on the system.

    I believe this is the second year going on third with the new motor. I have to be honest I think this motor has better lugging ability than the 4-390. It is a little more forgiving when really lugging it. It takes a little getting used to as far as the power curve from the XT/4-390 models but the power is there. It has a kind of raspy exhuast note that I find irritating, not as throaty as the 390.

    If you get one let me recommend a couple options. Ride Control-if you have not run a machine with it is awesome and really increases productivity, two speed of course, foot throttle, if you plan on running attachments get the top of the line control handles. The remote battery terminals with the battery shut off is worth the money. I like the hyd coupler if you plan on using many attachments. It is a necessity if your getting a cab IMHO.

    Any questions let me know.
  8. R.M Hanson

    R.M Hanson LawnSite Member
    Posts: 20

    I thought I might share the quote I received for the 440 Skid steer. I thought that the price is very fair, and the dealer says it will take about 6-8 weeks to get a new machine once I order it. I have not tried the new pilot controls, but the dealer has a 440CT that a customer ordered that should be coming sometime in Feb. that I should be able to play with a little. I'm also glad to hear that the engines in these have a couple of years on them, with no problems from what I've heard. Here is how I priced my machine. There are a couple of things I may add, such as a 2 speed, and AC, as well as High flow, but the jury is still out on these.

    Base Machine w/single speed
    Manual coupler for quick attach
    Cab w/heat
    12 x 16.5 Galaxy Beefy Baby II
    72" low pro bucket w/bolt on edge (smooth)
    72" Digging bucket W/ bolt on teeth
    foot throttle
    ride control
    engine block heater/ grid control
    self leveling
    servo controls

    The list price on this came to be $43,712. The price they would sell it for is $32,950 which I felt was very fair. They also have some great finance deals right now. What do You guys think? I was also considering adding high flow to run a snow blower or Harley Rake, but both of these attachment are also made to run on standard flow. Two speed would also be handy for snow, as I have a 7' 1/2 Curtis skid steer plow to put on it for winter
  9. Scag48

    Scag48 LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,067

    Let me say congratulations for recieving 25% off list price, that's astounding! Usually if you can get 15%-20% off, it's usually too good of a deal to pass up.
  10. Dirt Digger2

    Dirt Digger2 LawnSite Silver Member
    from PA
    Posts: 2,396

    how much finish grading do you do with a skid loader?...not really the right equipment for the job unless your only grading 50'x100' lots...you might want to upgrade to a small dozer or atleast a CTL with a 6way dozer blade

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