Track or Wheeled Skid Steer for Digging

Discussion in 'Hardscaping' started by 4 seasons lawn&land, Nov 2, 2009.

  1. 4 seasons lawn&land

    4 seasons lawn&land LawnSite Gold Member
    from NY
    Posts: 3,594

    I thought Id ask here if anyone digs for patios and sidewalks or driveways with a wheeled skid steer or if a tracked machine is really a must.
     
  2. zedosix

    zedosix LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,628

    Your best bet is an excavator, by far. Next best choice would be a tracked skidsteer. Skidsteer on tires will disrupt your base and create unwanted rutting. We use an excavator and tracked skidsteer together.:)
     
  3. DVS Hardscaper

    DVS Hardscaper LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,406

    SOIL TYPE


    Here in what they consider "western MD", we have mostly sand / silt soil. Some areas here also have clay. Because of the soil structure here, in most cases - a rubber tire machine works beautifully 95% of the time. And when we have a job that looks like it may get hairy - we factor in renting a CTL.

    Go a little south into northern virginia where TTHOMASS is, and the soil I've seen is mostly 100% clay. Every contractor with a skid machine has a skid steer with tracks.


    A CTL will certainly perform beautifully. And a 9,000 SF home would be nice too. But do your soil conditions and work site conditions warrant the need to spend all that extra money??? If so, then a CTL is the way to go.



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  4. tthomass

    tthomass LawnSite Gold Member
    from N. VA
    Posts: 3,497

    Yup.........for me its like this: Would you go to a drag strip with street tires or race slicks if you want best performance?
     
  5. 4 seasons lawn&land

    4 seasons lawn&land LawnSite Gold Member
    from NY
    Posts: 3,594

    I know for these specific jobs an excavator is the best bet. But for a machine purchase for me at this point I need something more versatile and have dug for sidewalks with walk behind track loaders but not sure how a wheeled machine with over tire tracks would perform for digging out a foot down. Ive never tried it with a wheeled machine.
     
  6. STL Ponds and Waterfalls

    STL Ponds and Waterfalls LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,177

    Drag radials:cool2:

    I'm with Zedo we use a mini x and a trackloader, but I sub my excavation to my buddy.
     
  7. DVS Hardscaper

    DVS Hardscaper LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,406

    a rubber tire machine will dig however deep you want. wanna dig 12-feet deep - than you can.

    A tracked machine is not intended to to out-dig. It's intended to out-traverse. Infact we used a CAT CTL that had FAR less breaking force than our rubber tire CAT. The reason is the pumps for the tracks rob hydraulic flow and guzzle horsepower.

    Ya know, it also boils down to operater skill. Back in June we had steady rain for most of the month. So we had this retaining wall we were building. The ground was sopping wet. To give an idea of the steepness of the hill - well, it was steep enough that the skid steer would have rolled over if we tried to go across the hill sideways. So all it took to get our rubber tire machine up and down the hill about 50 times was 1 bucket of gravel and an operator comfortable and skilled with the machine.



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  8. etwman

    etwman LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,454

    There's alot of things to factor in. Soil types, site disruption, costs, etc. Track machines are more expensive to operate, few will argue that. I have personally sat down and figured out the days we would have lost with having a wheeled machine versus a track machine. It pours rain all night long, we have a patio prepped in, and we need to move on. The track machine, hands down, will save us alot of days.

    Another example. Tree installation, especially in a wet fall, you can run accross lawns with a track machine and an auger long before you could with a wheeled machine.

    I'm a huge track advocate, but that's me. My theory is once you go tracks you won't go back. No tracks, no flats, no lost production time, greater lift capacity, and the list goes on. Once again, just my opinion.

    Buy at Loegering VTS, slap it on a wheeled machine, you'll have the best of both worlds.
     
  9. 4 seasons lawn&land

    4 seasons lawn&land LawnSite Gold Member
    from NY
    Posts: 3,594

    wow. I didnt know about those vts things. those are awesome. How much do they run? Do you have them?


    thanks for all the great info.
     
  10. etwman

    etwman LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,454

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