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Tractor Or Skidsteer?

Discussion in 'Heavy Equipment & Pavement' started by BASIC, Mar 5, 2003.

  1. BASIC

    BASIC LawnSite Member
    Posts: 83

    Hi guys,in the future I hope to be able to incorporate brush cutting,land clearing and snow removal in our new buisness.Which machine would be the better peice of equipment to use a skidsteer or a tractor?What size/horsepower woud be best?I know I you can get a skidding winch for a tractor,I don't know about a skidsteer?Thanks for any help you can give us,BASIC.
     
  2. coopers

    coopers LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,224

    Well, I don't know a whole lot but....if you're going to do brush cutting etc. it would be nice to have a mower obviously and that can go on either one but if you're going to do land clearing, that might be a little challenging in some circumstances with a skidsteer. So having the tractor with a backhoe attachment would be good. Really, if you'll do a lot of heavy clearing, a trackhoe with a thumb would be really convenient but it's all in the budget and size of job I guess. The snow removel you can just take off the bucket and put a plow on. Since I'm a fan of Kubota, I'll recommend one. An L35 tractor would be good. Backhoe attachment, snow plow attachment and the mower would be perfect. They're a nice strong machine and a nice size too.

    Blake
    WA
     
  3. coopers

    coopers LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,224

    Here's a few pictures of a guy on his L35. This is taken off of the tractorbynet.com forum.


    http://photos.yahoo.com/bc/bswallow...25/lst?&.dir=/heavy+equipment&.src=ph&.view=t


    http://photos.yahoo.com/bc/bswallow...25/lst?&.dir=/heavy+equipment&.src=ph&.view=t

    Here's a pic. of a cat mini trackhoe. Nice looking machine. Don't know how it runs though? This machine is actually near my house.

    http://photos.yahoo.com/bc/bswallow...25/lst?&.dir=/heavy+equipment&.src=ph&.view=t


    Another L35 backhoe with a snow plow

    http://www.tractorbynet.com/forumfiles/35-231117-Dscn0018.jpg

    http://www.tractorbynet.com/forumfiles/35-231121-DSCN0017.jpg


    Blake
    WA
     
  4. Scag48

    Scag48 LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,068

    The Problem with an L35 is that they're close to $30,000 or more. Honestly, I'd get the skid steer. Get a cab which will be better for snow removal, it will move more dirt, faster, period. Also, if you're not doing really heavy brush cutting, Bobcat makes the Brushcat. I don't have any experience with it, but from what I've heard it's a decent attachment that will handle saplings up to 2". For $30,000, you can get a brand spanking new Bobcat 853, I believe. I don't know what your prices are, but I believe that's about what I can get one for here. That doesn't include attachments, but they're gonna set you back some $$$ whether you buy a tractor or skid steer. Good luck.
     
  5. coopers

    coopers LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,224

    That's the unfortunate thing, they can be expensive. But, you'd think it would be worth the investment. Here's one for 23,900

    http://adcache.equipmenttraderonline.com/9/2/0/42311020.htm

    The only problem that I don't like about skidsteers is their way of turning. They can make a mess! What if you get stuck? If you so happen to get stuck in the L35 and you have your backhoe attachment on, then you'll be out in a jip. I don't know, there's a lot to think about and consider. How willing are you to put down say 24 thousand, if you ask around, is it really worth the investment? They (kubota) have very good machines. So....just have to do some research, go to your kubota dealer, go the bobcat or cat dealer to see the skidsteers.

    Blake
    WA
     
  6. Scag48

    Scag48 LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,068

    Bobcat's can get stuck. If you're in mud, get the tracks for them. Don't get the Loegering ones, they suck. You're right about the L35 being able to use the backhoe to get out, but skidsteers don't get seriously stuck that often. Turning is a problem in some places. I did a job this last summer where I had to move 20 yds. of gravel through a gap that was about 6 feet wide with a Bobcat 751 that was 5 feet wide, and then make a 90 degree turn and go down another narrow "passage". That would have been a challenge with a tractor, so they do have their place.

    -Coopers, where are you in WA?
     
  7. coopers

    coopers LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,224

    Scag48, I'm in Arlington. I see you're in Chelan. I go there every year for a week in the summer. Stay at Wapato. I love it over there.

    Blake
    WA
     
  8. coopers

    coopers LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,224

    Scag is right though, a skidsteer is great in tight places. I used a 763 to do our landscaping and I had the rockery on one side and our house on the other. Very tight. It 'MIGHT' have been able to have been done by a b21 kubota but who knows. You'll just have to find out what you want to do first. I've figured that I'll get a 580D backhoe first to start off, then I'll go from there. You can always rent, and when you get enough money and you are ready finacially, you can get the next machine that you use the most. Possibly a skidsteer or an excavator. You'll just have to see how many calls you get from customers on them wanting certain things. You may find that you won't need a skidsteer as much as you think. But, if you want to specialize in small/compact equipment work, then do that. It's a little broad what he (you) want.

    Blake
    WA
     
  9. Shadetree Ltd

    Shadetree Ltd LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 390

    I have no experience with a tractor but can offer some advice on the skidsteer and the brushcat. We have a 743 Bobcat that works very well for light duty work and snow removal. For larger jobs we just rent bigger machines, used an 873 (I think that is the model number) a couple of times last year and was pleased with its performance. Last month I had to use a Brushcat and was thoroughly impressed. Anything 4" or less was mulched up pretty good. When we started the job I had rented an 873 to run the Brushcat but could not get it up the incline to the area to be cleared. We tried everything but the length and weight of the Brushcat made it impossible. After 2 very frustating hours I called and had a T190 delivered. UNBELIEVABLE. Comparing it to the 873 was like comparing a Dingo to a full size skidsteer. The hill that I could not climb was a 10 second job for the tracks. I also noted that it had a much better ride and stability on slopes than any Bobcat I have run.

    Scott
     
  10. ksss

    ksss LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 7,126

    I obviously would lean toward a skid steer. There are several specialized attachments made for clear cutting. They will handle up to 8" trees. The Skid Steer needs high flow to run these attachments and they are very expensive but if your serious into that line of work they can handle it. Tractors have their place and although I don't own one I can see that they fill a need for some guys. My problem with them is when it comes to moving dirt/snow they are way too slow and in my opinion not versatile enough for the money.
     

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