what size bobcat do I need?

Discussion in 'Heavy Equipment & Pavement' started by kickin sum grass, Nov 24, 2005.

  1. kickin sum grass

    kickin sum grass LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 628

    I am looking for the smallest (lightest weight) Bobcat that will unload pallets of fertilizer/salt off of semi's. I can add rear weight for balance with no problem, so I need to know what size machine I can get away with.

    The dealer is pushing an s205 but I think that is to big. One guy told me his s160 will lift a pallet of fert ok. Whats you opinon based on your experience as to the smallest size machine I can get.

    I am trying to keep this as cheap as possible as to the cost of the machine and being able to haul it on a 7000 lb trailor. I am hoping not having to buy a bigger trailer for the machine.
  2. Tigerotor77W

    Tigerotor77W LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Germany
    Posts: 1,891

    How full/high are the pallets? Will you be doing anything else with the machine?

    I think you'd be set with a Deere 317 or 320... but with a Bobcat, you might have to go with the S205 or up.
  3. kickin sum grass

    kickin sum grass LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 628

    the skids are around 2000lbs maybe 3 ft high or so. The main use of this machine is to move pallets with light grading work occasionally.
    I know the s205 is the only one rated at 2000lb capacity, but I am looking for actual users that have smaller machines that will pick up the load. I am not lifting very high.

    The problem with the s205 is I was quoted 31,000 dollars and then I will have to buy a bigger trailor as well and that is out of the budget. Just looking for the smallest machine I can get that will move the pallets.

    I will look at the specs of the JD.
  4. Tigerotor77W

    Tigerotor77W LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Germany
    Posts: 1,891

    ksg, as you are looking for actual user commentary, I'll bow out... the main thing that I wanted to get across is that non-JD (and to some extent, NH) vertical lift machines are flattened-out radial lift machines. That is, every manufacturer's vertica lift *but* Deere has a system that moves the load out as the load goes up; Deere lifts straight up. Therefore, since you'll be unloading from truck-bed height, on a per-pound basis, Deere's machine will lift more. I can't say I'd always recommend a Deere skid, but this is definitely a situation where I would.

    Mathematically, if your pallets are 2,000 pounds, the S160 will barely be able to lift it (stability; hydraulically, I'm not sure) unless your friend threw on counterweights and was lifting uphill.
  5. Scag48

    Scag48 LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,067

    When lifting heavy loads it's better to have more machine than just barely enough. Things get very dangerous very fast if the load shifts or the site isn't 100% perfect for the load/unload.
  6. Squizzy246B

    Squizzy246B LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 837

    The bottom line is skid steer loaders don't make great fork lifts. If you are going to unload pallets off trucks on a regular basis...get a forklift, telehandler or loader. Skids will shift pallets around a site OK at anything up to 2 or 3 feet off the ground. Mine lifts 1& 1/2 times its ROC no problems. However, get the load up to eyeball level and will come unstuck exceeding the manufacturer's limits...it is that simple.

    I shift 550lbs blocks around regularly but have to be very, very careful when loading our truck. Level ground, increase tyre pressure etc etc. It sounds like you might be trying to cut one of those corners that you just shouldn't. Go second hand if you can't afford new and get a hold of the biggest machine you can and live a longer healthier life.
  7. freddyc

    freddyc LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 578

    I can tell you from skid steer experience hat the last 2 posts are spot on.

    I know you want to save the trailer money and so on but it's not worth your life.

    In short, any skid will lift more than their rating, but thats not the point. The point is that if the load is off center, or theres a 2" divit in the pavement, theres a very good chance you're going over. And adding weight to the skid isn't enough to take the changing conditions into account.

    Get a correctly rated machine or better yet, a forklift. Especially if you're doing it on a routine basis.
  8. bearcatlawn

    bearcatlawn LawnSite Member
    Posts: 32

    s175 bobcat will work. we use it to load skids of salt that weight 2400 lbs. but that is only a handful of times during the winter. i would rather have a forklift if we had to do it more often
  9. Gravel Rat

    Gravel Rat LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 9,544

    I have to agree a skid steer really doesn't make a good forklift for unloading trucks you really should have a small articulated loader something that will lift some weight.

    Something like a Kubota R420S or a R520S or I meantioned on another post a Waldon articulated loader the make good rough terrian forklifts.

  10. Dirty Water

    Dirty Water LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,799

    Why not pick up a spider fork lift?

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