Best Skid Steer for Me?

Discussion in 'Heavy Equipment & Pavement' started by Dig-it Landscaping, Sep 8, 2004.

  1. Dig-it Landscaping

    Dig-it Landscaping LawnSite Member
    Messages: 108

    What would be the best skid steer for me? I need something reliable that will be used to lift mainly dirt and rock for landscape installations. Also will be used to lift skids of pavers(3000lbs). I know that to lift that much weight i will need a large machine but i would prefer a smaller more compact machine even if i have to move 1/2 skid at a time. Cost is also a big factor. I would probably be looking for a piece of used equipment. How many is too many hours? I really like the ride or walk behind miniskid steer loaders. i was extremely impressed with the Eagle Finn that i rented with the CAT DIESEL but i am worried that one of those would constantly have the back tires off of the ground if i picked up a 1500Lb skid of pavers. Any help or opinions would be appreciated.
  2. AL Inc

    AL Inc LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,209

    For what you are looking to do, forget about the mini-skid or walk behind loaders. I'm not real familiar with them, but I believe they have an operating cap. of about 500-600 lbs. Lifting 1500 would be an impossibility. At 1500 lbs, I think you are looking at the Bobcat 753/130, Cat 216, New Holland LS160, Deere 240, etc.
    I've learned it's best to spend the extra $ and buy stronger than you think you'll need, and you will appreciate it down the road. I've also learned to do the best with what I have, so if a used machine is the ticket right now, go for it. I would look for a machine that you can get parts and good service for. The hours may vary, I would rather buy a machine with 2,000 hours from an owner/operator than one with 1,000 hours from a rental house. Good luck with whatever you decide. Mike
  3. GardenofWeeden

    GardenofWeeden LawnSite Member
    Messages: 50

    I am looking at new equipment also. (New as in possibly used to lessen financial burden.) Yesterday I came across eBay and found the user 'skidsteerstore.' I contacted him on a New Holland LS 160. They have others to choose from...but it is just an option. There is risk with anything mechanical over eBay but something to consider.

    Thanks for the advice about buying larger than you think you will need. Comes in handy when you think past today and plan for tomorrow in todays growing housing market. (What a cliche'!)
  4. Scag48

    Scag48 LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,067

    Those compact skids (Bobcat MT52, Dingo, etc) are pretty specialized pieces. They have an extensive line of attachments, but are pretty limited as far as capability goes. Sure they can get into small spaces, that's their niche, but a larger machine will allow you to have a much broader range of services. In the "off season" for us, or when things slow down on the installation part of things, we do alot of just skid steer work, usually a handfull of one or 2 day jobs that could bring in about 1K apiece. Do a few of those and you'll start chipping away at the initial cost of your machine. Just my .02
  5. Tigerotor77W

    Tigerotor77W LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Germany
    Messages: 1,892

    I'll try to be short here, but you really don't want a small, walk-behind model. You'll need six trips to get from point A to B and each trip will take anywhere from two to four times as long as it would with a full sized skid steer of some sort.

    If you need a machine to lift 3,000 pallets, then you really should consider getting that big of a machine. Unless you have experience breaking down the pallets and knowing how to split one pallet into two pallets (so you can carry the objects) without their falling through the fork openings, you probably want a 3000 ROC machine.

    But... if you really want a 1500 ROC machine, there are a few that stand out in my opinion. I don't recommend going with a radial lift machine as they can be quite tipsy (especially if you are off-loading off of a flatbed). If you go with a radial lift machine, I suggest going with a 1750 pound-class machine, such as the Cat 236B. If you are used to hand controls, try the Case 40 or 60 XT (probably the 60XT). Bobcat doesn't have an offering in this category, but the S160 is the closest thing they have. If you choose to go with Deere, their 317 will do everything you need... potentially even lift the full pallet without tipping. (That's a maybe, not a definite.)

    As for vertical lift machines: the only vertical lift model that is 1500-ish ROC that I can think of it NH, and I really don't have a very good image of their smaller machines. The larger Ls180 and Ls190 aren't back, but the 150 and 160 may be too small and slow for your needs. Their design seems to be shorthanded.

    Let us know if you have other questions.
  6. SouthernYankee

    SouthernYankee LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 789

    Bobcats might not be the best loaders, much like the JDs are , but they are much better graders. I have a 753 and I wouldnt trade it in for anything since they are stable graders and dont get caught up like the JDs. The only other bobcat I would ever get other than a Bobcat is the cat.
  7. treedoc1

    treedoc1 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 319

    New Holland LS 190 and Case 85XT are what I use.
    After getting used to the all hand controls on the Case I have come to prefer it. No more leg cramps...I'm 6'3".
    It's worth getting the weight attachment for those unexpected wet pallets of mulch and oversized natural stone pallets and boulders.
  8. YardPro

    YardPro LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,570

    guys, this is something about the mini loaders.

    just for referance they will pick up 2000lbs and move them, you just can't lift it high.
    the large models have tip capacity's of 1500-1800 lbs.

    the asv loaders are super sweet. a friend has the rc 60. with the weight kit he has no problem lifting pallets of retaining wall block 3500lbs.
  9. MidAtlantic

    MidAtlantic LawnSite Member
    Messages: 123

    I have a '98 NewHolland LX865 Hight flow, with counter weights and wide Halk foam filled tires. I have pallets of pavers ever day. Off loading them from tractor trailers, stalking them are no problem at all. After 2000 hours on the machine it still has enough power and lift to stack 4000 lbs concrete blocks (2.5'x2.5'x6'). I can stack those blocks 3 high. The back is a little light if I hang the load to far out on the forks.

    Keep in mind this is a big machine but its very stable. I have used many bobcats and they are great machines and very maneuverable but I liked how well balanced the new holland was. You can even load full sized dump trucks with its tall boom as well. With most the bobcats that I have used they always seem to be a little light in the rear. Since '98 I have put about 2600 hours on the machine and only have invested $1800 into rebuilding some of the pump valves since the boom was gradually slipping over time. $2000+ for new foam fills and countless attachment pins that break every so many hours. Since I bought the unit I have yet to rent a mid sized unit for those tight jobs...I just suck it up go a little slower and pay more attention while operating it.

    I also have a brand new bobcat MT52 for those jobs where we cannot get larger equipment into those tight locations. So far the guys have tipped the little thing twice during excavating. Its a good machine to have for small jobs and takes the place of 1-2 laborers but is only limited to a lifting load of 500-700lbs. Plus your dump height is limited.

    I have been thinking of replacing my Newholland and think the size and capability out weighs the maneuverability. With the larger unit you can lift more, load more, load dump trucks. Yes it is wide and heavy but it does everything a mid sized bobcat will do and more except is a little harder to operate in those tight spots. But its better to be safe than sorry. Plus who wants to have a mid sized skidsteer and have to rent a heavier unit every time you have to move heavy materials.

    The only thing I would consider now is one of those skidsteer with tracks cause those skidsteers with tires suck when it rains all spring....You have to learn how to push yourself out using your forks or bucket. I am looking at the T190 but i want to know how expensive the tracks are to replace. Someone told me they are over $4000. That means I can go through two rounds of foam fills for that price.

    What every you do go out and Demo the model before buying it. All machines have pro and cons just pick the one that fits your OPERATIONS and budget. Most have 0%-2.9% financing so its well worth buying new than a unit with 2000+ hours that will need some work.
  10. Tigerotor77W

    Tigerotor77W LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Germany
    Messages: 1,892

    Mid-Atlantic, the MT52 is not designed to be a heavy-duty mini excavator. You should consider a 463 or Ls125 for that task, not a walk-behind loader. That's, well, unsafe practice to say the least. I'm not reprimanding (for I'm in no place to do so) -- but the safety of your operators is at risk.

    I'll post more to this thread later. Have some thoughts going on. In the meantime, ciao, everyone, and enjoy the Monday!

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