Skid Steer Vs. Tractor with Box Blade for grading

Discussion in 'Heavy Equipment & Pavement' started by SouthernYankee, Aug 29, 2006.

  1. Scag48

    Scag48 LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,068

    To me, there really is no comparison between tractors and skids. There are some days where I think having a Deere 110 or a Kubota L35 would be nice, being able to take just 1 machine to a job and handle it all with 1 operator. Most jobs anymore our 216 and 303 end up on site at some point, we try to steamline our hauling operations with fuel prices, but it would be nice to have just 1 machine to handle most tasks. The really harsh reality is that an excavator will do 3X more work than the backhoe mounted on the back of a tractor, but it came at a cost. If you can afford both a skid steer and a mini excavator, there is no reason to own a tractor.

    Aside from that, there is no way a comparable size tractor would ever be more productive than a skid. They might be more versatile, enabling you to run across lawns easy and since you can get the same attachments as a skid steer you can argue that they are basically a swiss army knife, they can handle it all. But when it really comes down to getting a lot of dirt moved, tractors just don't keep up. We have a Kubota L3410 tha we use in the orcard and at our supply yard to load mulch, topsoil, etc.. We've had it 2 years, we could easily load it up and take it to a job and yet it never leaves the yard.
     
  2. olderthandirt

    olderthandirt LawnSite Platinum Member
    from here
    Posts: 4,900

    OK it will be simple contest and you will get your $$$$ as soon as you arrive, call from the airport and I'll even send someone to pick you up :laugh: :waving:
     
  3. AWJ Services

    AWJ Services LawnSite Platinum Member
    from Ga
    Posts: 4,276

    I invested close to 60K in a skid steer .
    Since Purchase my Tractor has out paced it income wise.

    Granted my Business encompasses alot of different operations.

    In The Atlanta area most of are lots are small and with a skid you end up going straight all the time to be able too prep the lot without leaving tracks.

    So for Finish work a Tractor is awesome.

    Roughing the lot in a Skid is hard too beat.

    I see 80% of the new construction companies use nothing but skids too landscape.

    KSSS speaks of production but for me being in the Landscaping end more so than the dirt moving end it always seems to be about the finished product rather than production.
    Not saying you can't have both.
    We lay mostly sod that ends up being cut too less than 2 inches and has to be smooth.


    The original question as I took it was finish grading the lot.
    I may however be wrong.

    He is in Texas so I am sure he is dealing mostly with the same type of lawns as I am.As I said before I have found I need both.

    On my Tractor I actually took a long I beam and have attachment points on it and use it for large areas that need too be flat.
    Use it with hyd side and top link and the results are amazing.
     
  4. ksss

    ksss LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 7,126

    Olderthandirt,
    It was a 980 I could still take ya, but the 992 thats just too much:weightlifter:.

    Its not to say quality is important. Its just for what the price has been beat down to at least here, you can't afford to spend 2 days grading an acre lot. The only way to make money is do a quality job and get it done quickly. If I thought a tractor would give me an edge I would own one. All BS aside if it works for you than use it. Different parts of the country work differently.
     
  5. Dirty Water

    Dirty Water LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,799

    I'll take you on Mac. You bring your 992, I'll bring a skid steer.

    The lot will be 2000 sq ft with a 1800 sq ft house on it.
     
  6. Gravel Rat

    Gravel Rat LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 9,544

    You guys wouldn't want to be a landscaper here pretty well 90% of the material moving has to be done by hand. To level area's out a good old rake and shovel does the job.

    One of my neighbours bought a New Holland tractor forget the size it must weigh around 2500-3000lbs. Anyhow going down his driveway with a bucket of topsoil the rear wheels broke traction so him and the tractor went for a wild ride down the driveway. He had the tractor in 2wd because he is running on concrete so soon as the rear wheels lifted no traction no brakes either :eek:

    He had a skid steer never had any problem with the steep driveway but he sold the skid steer. He bought the tractor afterwards its smaller and doesn't leave marks on the concrete also he missed having something to move stuff around with. But he did have to add weight to the tractor to keep it on all 4 wheels way more tippy than the skid steer.

    You don't see many tractors in the area they are way too limited to where they can go. A skid steer will go places a tractor can't a skid steer with tracks can go where a tractor wouldn't even tempt. Tractors are pretty much left on a farm its the only places you see a tractor where is flat and easy terrian.

    If you have to go into a real tough place or grade a tough place a mini or fullsize excavator is your only choice. It does take a long time to move material with a clean up bucket that only holds a wheelbarrow full of topsoil but it sure beats pushing a wheelbarrow. The blade on a mini does most of the grading and leveling it does take alot of time to get the humps and bumps out.

    For grading driveways etc its hard to beat a fullsize backhoe you put the front bucket on float and back blade you can get a good even finish.

    To get a perfect grade you need a grader or mini grader the longer the wheelbase of the machine more even the ground will be.

    Like I said earlier sometimes you just have to do it with a hand rake and have a few people helping you if you want it perfect break out the laser level.
     
  7. qps

    qps LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Indy
    Posts: 1,484


    Yeah but GR..you live on the moon..or least its a rocky as the moon:drinkup:
     
  8. qps

    qps LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Indy
    Posts: 1,484

    Just think how much faster you could go in a CAT:cool2:
     
  9. Gravel Rat

    Gravel Rat LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 9,544

    If you want a nice flat lawn you most likely have to build some kind of retaining wall and fill the area so its flat. Alot of hard work if you have to do most of it by hand.

    There are jobs where you have to carry material in empty 5 gallon oil buckets that makes my back sore just thinking about it :laugh:
     
  10. Bob Horrell

    Bob Horrell LawnSite Member
    Posts: 27

    I find this a very interesting topic. I have both a John Deere skiploader and a S250 bobcat. My John Deere has an 80 inch hiback commercial box scraper with hydraulic top and both tilts. The S250 uses an 80 inch commercial bucket and a 78 inch 4in1. The John Deere also has a 4in1 bucket.
    I do work for building contractors, landscapers, and homeowners. Although I do a lot of different kinds of jobs, I specialize in and am known for my finish grading. I think I am proficient with both pieces of equipment. I have several contractors that don't even ask me to bid jobs, they just give me an address and when I am done I send them a bill. If I wasn't somewhat proficient, I don't think this would happen too often.
    I find that some jobs are better suited to the skiploader and some to the skidsteer. Some are a toss up and either one would do a good job. The bottom line is that I use the skiploader twice as much as the bobcat. I can do a nice finish grade most of the time faster with the skiploader, especially if there is contouring involved. With the skiploader I can work both forward and backward with the gannon and contour a slope while moving by adjusting the top and tilt hydraulics. I can accomplish the same task with the skidsteer but it takes more passes and therefor takes longer. Also, there is always more time spent cleaning up after yourself with the skidsteer because of the damage done when turning, even when you carefully execute the job to minimize such damage.
    A year and a half ago I purchased the Loegering VTS track system for my S250 in hope that I would be able to use it on a lot more on my jobs. It did increase my usage of the S250, but I still find the John Deere skiploader more suited for the majority of the jobs.
    One of the things I do is build motocross tracks and I have found that nothing beats the S250 with the 4in1 bucket and the VTS tracks for this job.
     

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