The Famous Tractor or Skid Steer Debate

Discussion in 'Heavy Equipment & Pavement' started by DSLND, May 11, 2007.

  1. DSLND

    DSLND LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,205

    Hey Guys,

    Finally got a day off to go to my friends party tonight. Been busy out of the wazoo but thats what i want. In 06, i got briefly into small landscaping installs and this year i have done a lot too. In a couple years, i hope to be big enough into landscaping to be able to make the purchase of a serious tool. Now when i was thinking about this in the past, my first choice, was skid steer. My buddy has both a JD 3320 Compact, and a Case 1845C skid. I have run both and i love both machines. But i wasn't really thinking about all the benefits of each, just what i thought was the best. Heres what i have come up with so far for pro's/con's.

    Skid Steer:
    Pros:
    Less Space
    Great For Loading
    Great With Snow
    Less Trailer Length Needed

    Cons:
    Tears Up Turf in most cases
    Not many attachments available
    Can't see well behind

    Tractor:
    Pro's:
    Numerous Attachments
    Sweet Lights
    Comfy Chair
    Harder to tear up turf
    Can tow trailers
    Can not only load dirt but grade, till, etc.
    Can still get forks

    Cons:
    More garage/trailer space
    Not as easy to load dirt in my opinion

    Right now, i am leaning towards the tractor because i can offer much more with it rather than just loading, and moving that i could do with a skid. Things i could do are load, grade, till, spread seed, use forks, etc.

    What's Your Opinion?
    -Mitch-
     
  2. Kepple Services

    Kepple Services LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 374

    not many attachments availble for a skid??? There has to be 10X's as many for a skid than a tractor... With the AWS ones out there, the chance of tearing up a lawn is less now also, its all in how you operate it. You can do pretty much anything with either tool, you just have to pick one and go with it.
     
  3. Viseras lawn service

    Viseras lawn service LawnSite Member
    from 6
    Posts: 217

    Skid Steer:
    Pros:
    Less Space
    Great For Loading
    Great With Snow
    Less Trailer Length Needed

    Cons:
    Tears Up Turf in most cases
    Not many attachments available
    Can't see well behind

    Tractor:
    Pro's:
    Numerous Attachments
    Sweet Lights
    Comfy Chair
    Harder to tear up turf
    Can tow trailers
    Can not only load dirt but grade, till, etc.
    Can still get forks

    Cons:
    More garage/trailer space
    Not as easy to load dirt in my opinion

    A skid has many more attachments than a tractor, you can put any lights you want on a skid, if you know how to operate one, you can turn on turf with little or no damage.

    Skids can load, grade, and move alot of matierial quickly due to a zero turn.

    In my opinion a skid is much better for landscape uses due to its compact size, maneuverability, strength and versatillity.
     
  4. RockSet N' Grade

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

    Mitch.......There is a whole industry built around skid steer attachments. A skid steer is the swiss army knife of the dirt-involved industry. A tractor is also a vital piece of equipment and it too has its well earned place. Just kinda watch and see what folks are using and what they are using it for. Ask questions of the guys operating these machines and in time you will be able to start sorting out what will work best for you.......there is no right or wrong answer here, although each manufacturer spends countless millions trying to convince you otherwise. Good luck in your "sorting" process....we all go through it, and continue to go through it in order to grow and survive in an ever changing environment.
     
  5. Fieldman12

    Fieldman12 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,504

    I have read before there is way over 100 attachements for skidsteers. You name it and you can get it for a skidsteer. A tractor does not have near as many attachements and most are more focust toward ag. The problem with skidsteer attachments is they cost way, way more than attachments for a tractor. A tractor and a skidsteer both have there place but I can tell you a skidsteer is more handy for landscape. Really the idea situation is to have a tractor and skidsteer. I use both for landscape. The tractor I mainly use for the tillage and mowing. The skidsteer does the digging and lifting. I use the skidsteer far more than my tractors.
     
  6. DSLND

    DSLND LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,205

    Thanks for the responses! I have never really seen a skid steer with anything but a bucket and forks. I have heard that their attachments are really expensive. As of now, i am leaning towards a tractor, but we'll see later on. -Mitch-
     
  7. Scag48

    Scag48 LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,067

    I'd focus on getting out of high school before you go an bury yourself into a bunch of equipment. Just a thought. Rent equipment if need be or sub it out.
     
  8. Fieldman12

    Fieldman12 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,504

    The thing to remember with a skid though is it will dig where as a tractor and a bucket really will not dig that well even with 4-wheel drive. A skid will also be able to let you look closer at your work when digging. A tractor really was designed for just tillage and mowing. A skid just does dirt digging and grading work so much better. I would say if most places you plan on working at just need tilled with little dirt movement than get the tractor. If you have allot of dirt movement and digging than get the skidsteer.
     
  9. Dirty Water

    Dirty Water LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,799

    Also, try running a skidsteer newer than a Case 1845.

    Isn't there insurance liability issues with 14 year olds running equipment?
     
  10. YellowDogSVC

    YellowDogSVC LawnSite Gold Member
    from TX
    Posts: 3,759

    If I was thinking of getting a tractor to replace or compliment a skidsteer, I would seriously consider a Toolcat from Bobcat. Set up with high flow and cab and AC, you'll get your sweet lights and much more hydraulic hp than most tractors can produce not to mention a dump bed, ability to pull a trailer, have a person next to you for training (toolcat is 2 seater) and ease of taking attachments on and off. New toolcat has option of 3pt hookup with pto. Cons, low lift height and cost..
     

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