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need advice on buying a skid steer

Discussion in 'Heavy Equipment & Pavement' started by SowGreen, Jul 23, 2006.

  1. SowGreen

    SowGreen LawnSite Member
    Messages: 14

    I'm looking at buying a skid steer for preparing yards to be hydroseeded. I've been contracting the work out but it is getting to be a headache. I live in Atlanta, Ga. so I pretty much have a ton of options. Some of the yards I do barely have any grass but there are some that are full of grass. I'll probably have to do some light grading and sometimes have to spread some topsoil. Anyone have any suggestions for me. Also, has anyone ever used the soil conditioner or tiller attachments from Bobcat? What's the best attachment for preparing a good seed bed? The guy I'm using now uses his bucket to remove the grass and a pulverizer to finish and it doesn't do a very good job and it takes him for ever. Thanks in advance.
  2. SowGreen

    SowGreen LawnSite Member
    Messages: 14

    Also, I drive a 03 f-250 6.0 diesel 4x4 Crew Cab and this is what I would be using to pull with. Any ideas on a good trailer.
  3. Scag48

    Scag48 LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,067

    First of all, you definately don't "need" a tracked machine, but you could get one if you had the funds to do so. Personally, I prefer a tracked skid (MTL/CTL) for final grading, but if you can't swallow upwards of $40K just for the machine with no attachments, a wheeled machine will do just fine for your purposes. When we bought our Cat 216, I thought it was the best machine we could ever own. Since then, the 277B sits in high honors when it comes to fast paced, high volume work and finish grading.

    Your F250 will handle a fairly good sized machine as far as towing goes, but I wouldn't recommend a machine over about 7000 pounds to be towed behind the truck. With that said, a machine of that size range should be sufficient for your needs. A Bobcat S205 is what I'd recommend, enough lift capacity to handle the occasional off-loading of materials and enough grunt to run a 7' rake.

    As for attachments, we use a Glenmac Harley power box rake that's way better than those cheap pulverizers. This is the real deal, no knock off stuff, although Woods produces very close to the same thing as Harley and I hear it is just as effective. I'd also suggest a 4-in-1 bucket as they are invaluable when it comes to site cleanup, etc.

    Trailer, get a tiltbed with at least 12K pound capacity if not 14K. You never know what you're going to run in to. We bought a 6 ton trailer last year and wish I would have gone with an 8 ton.
  4. SowGreen

    SowGreen LawnSite Member
    Messages: 14

    Thanks for the great advice Scag48. The reason I was thinking of a tracked machine is because most of the jobs I do are backyards and I have to drive thru the front yard. If the wheeled machines will do I would much rather spend less money. What do you think of the enclosed cabs with heat and air to avoid all the dust and heat exhaustion? I know they are expensive, but I think it might be a much needed expense.
  5. SowGreen

    SowGreen LawnSite Member
    Messages: 14

    It's late and I'm not thinking straight. I forgot to mention that I'm expanding my business and doing eroison control and silt fenceing. I'll be using the skid steer with a silt fence plow and probably be on some steep slopes and muddy terrain.
  6. Scag48

    Scag48 LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,067

    Steep slopes and mud can be tackled with a wheeled machine by putting some steel tracks on them. And my opinion on cabs with A/C is a YES! Our 216 and 303 do not have cabs, we penny pinched on these low cost manual-labor-replacer machines, but ordered our 277B with A/C and a full cab. When it comes to running a machine day in, day out, A/C is the only way to go. During the spring, we were in a pinch and I was working 16 hour shifts on the weekends in the 312, couldn't have been done without A/C. In a controlled atmosphere, we figure we are at least 20-30% more productive during 10+ hour shifts, which we see very routinely.
  7. AWJ Services

    AWJ Services LawnSite Platinum Member
    from Ga
    Messages: 4,281

    I work in Georgia all around Atlanta and Harley Rakes are not always your best bet.
    The ground here has tons of rocks and sometimes the Harley rake will bring a never ending supply up too the surface.:)
    I have a Harley rake and a modified Pulverizer .

    I would stick with Glenmac or Bobcat brand on the rake.

    The twisting and turning of a skid steer usually makes it hard too completely finish a backyard or a tight spot since every time you turn it screws up the soil.Takes some getting used too.

    My skid steer is really heavy and does trench the yards some when going across them.As long as you stay straight it is usually not too bad.

    I use a Tractor and a Skid steer for my work.

    Pretty much everything Scag 48 said is right on the Money.

    I demoed several tracked Machines earlier this year and just purchased my own machine last spring.
    I ended up with a Takeuchi TL 140 .

    Good luck and be sure too demo any machine and attachment before buying.
  8. AWJ Services

    AWJ Services LawnSite Platinum Member
    from Ga
    Messages: 4,281

    I ended up with a 24 Goosekneck.
    PJ Trailers makes it.
    Trailers for Less is were I purchased it.

    I can get My Tractor ,Harley Rake,Box Blade.Pulverisor and bush hog on it .
    Or My Skid steer ,Forks and Threncher .

    I live far enough out were it is nice too be able too bring everything with me when I leave.

    I hope too have a 30 foot soon and a new truck that will pull everything.
    I use a F-250 too pull it .
    I am however overweight with the TL 140 and trailer.
    Anything over 10k on the trailer in Ga takes special licensing.
  9. Fordsuvparts

    Fordsuvparts LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 517

    I would start looking for a Tracked machine online, I have seen several for sale around the country way under there retail prices. Mainly the Cat machines the 257, 277 and 287. I believe they where used in the hurricane clean up and several companies are looking at moving them out of there fleets. Somewhere between $15000 to $25000for a used machine with about 800 to 1000 hours. Scag48 is 100% right about the harley rake, make sure you get a good one, I have a bobcat power rake and it is used almost every day for us, and it sounds like we do a lot of the same work. We also run a 2006 Bobcat T190 with heat and A/C and It was worth every dime to spend the extra money, especially if your the one running it. The 2004 and later Cat 247 Is also a good machine and weight will be an issue on soft ground so i would look at a medium sized machine.
  10. SowGreen

    SowGreen LawnSite Member
    Messages: 14

    Thanks for all the tips guys.

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