1. Missed the live Ask the Expert event?
    Catch up on the conversation about fertilization strategies for success with the experts at Koch Turf & Ornamental in the Fertilizer Application forum.

    Dismiss Notice

Revisit Mini-Skid Discussion

Discussion in 'Tractors' started by G.L. In Ont, Jan 26, 2005.

  1. G.L. In Ont

    G.L. In Ont LawnSite Member
    Messages: 87

    Hi folks,

    I know this has been discussed before, but I was hoping I could get some new and revised input on this topic.

    I've been looking at the following brands/models in the mini-skid area, trying to compare features/functions, serviceability, ease-of-use, availability of attachments and above all, value for money:

    Toro Dingo - 220, 322, TX420
    Thomas - 25G, 25GT, 35G
    Ramrod - 800, 950, 1150
    Finn - Eagle 244
    Gehl - Advantage AL20DX
    Bobcat - MT52, MT55

    As you all know, there's nothing like honest feedback from someone that has used it (vs. speaking to salespeople :) ).

    My major application will be augering postholes, but would like it to be as versatile and as productive as much as possible, so am looking also at the bucket, cement bowl and snow blower attachments.

    A really BIG thank you in advance for your input and comments. I'd be really interested in any fencing contractors that might use both an auger and cement bowl attachment in the field.

    Cheers, GL.
  2. bcx400

    bcx400 LawnSite Member
    from PA
    Messages: 77

    I have a Ramrod 1150 rubber track machine. The right rear axle snapped at 40 hours (fixed under warranty). The same 'upgraded' axle snapped again just out of warranty, around 100 hours. The track tensioning mechanism sucks. I have thrown tracks enough times where I am really good at getting them back on in about 20 minutes.

    The hydraulic leaks are not too bad, just annoying. The machine loses power when it gets hot (this is very annoying).

    The machine works well, otherwise! And, no, I would not recommend purchasing a Ramrod.
  3. D Felix

    D Felix LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,898

  4. G.L. In Ont

    G.L. In Ont LawnSite Member
    Messages: 87

    Dan, thanks for pointing that out - have seen it before and it's very helpful. I guess one of the things I was really hoping for is a fencing contractor who has used a mini-skid and cement bowl attachment, but uses the machine also for digging, moving materials as part of a landscape operation .. and does some snow work too in the winter.

    We'll see what else comes of it.
  5. YardPro

    YardPro LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,570

    the dingo had it's first real workout this week.
    we bought a tx425 dingo just before christmas.

    today i had 2 HEAPING tandem dump loads at a house. it had rained so it was wet and heavy. the dirt is being spread around the perimeter of the house foe a 4" raised bed. the driveway side of the house (where the dirt is) has a fence blocking the way, so all the dirt had to go around the other side.

    I used the "light materials" bucket (10cuft.) and had it heaping. no tipping issue ( we added the forkster stand on platform). took me a little under 2 hrs to distribute the soil sroung the house.
    I had to take the SAME path around the side of the house every time. after hitting it with a fan rake, you'd never know i was there.

    next i stuck the forks on her and started throwing 3 cuft bags of mulch on the pallet that i put on the forks. i staked 3 YARDS (27 bags) and no tipping at all. now, some of them fell off in transport, i need a wider base platform ( modifications on he leveler/carryall begin monday...) but it carried it no problem.

    did a retaining wall earlier this week.
    had 1/3 of the pallet of wall on the dingo (1000lbs), and with me on the back it was no problem. with me off the back, it was rear end light for sure.......

    ripped out alot of shrubbery also this week with the 4 in one bucket.

    what a labor saver.....
  6. G.L. In Ont

    G.L. In Ont LawnSite Member
    Messages: 87

    Thanks YP -- that's the exact kind of stuff I was looking for.

    Have you had *any* issues with our TX425? It sounds like you really like it alot. I know this came up in the other post, but how is the ground clearance - are you getting stuck ever? Are the tracks gentle enough on grass? And finally, does the auger head swivel so that you can drill a plumb hole on uneven terrain?

    Oh -- cement bowl -- I assume you haven't used it before?

    Cheers, GL
  7. YardPro

    YardPro LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,570


    i have spent a lot of time on the two boxer's, the ditch witch SK500, and the tx425.

    I likes the SK the most, BUT toro put a package together that was $4000.00 less for the same attachments, and the unit itself.

    I am really happy with the dingo. the tx 425 has the wide tracks. thier track pattern is the best of all the skids. The sk turf track is just an X pattern waffle cut into the tread. Great on grass, but not much traction in the loose stuff.

    the dingo only offers a turf track. they do not even make the aggressive tread. The tracks are fine on turf, but bite well in the loose.

    you can't go making 0 turns, but keep it to a nice three point turn and no damage.

    have not had any issue geting stuck yet. can't see that as an issue unless you're in deep mud. the tracks really float over loose stuff ( i have been working on a bed that is 90% beach sand)and the tracks don't dig much if they "spin". So i really can't see it getting stuck easially.

    the added ground clearance of the SK is decieving. it has 2 more inches to the bottom plate BUT the wheel motors are only 2" off the ground. they stick out about 8 inches from each track. then a 1/$ inch elbow fitting comes out of the middle BOTTOM of the motor, where the hydrualic line goes up into the housing.

    the motors, elbow and hydrualic line are all unprotected, and dertact from any ground clearance the machie literature SAYS it has.
    I really liked the sk, and would have bought it had dingo not been so much less, but after using the dingo now, i am happy with it, and feel less like i picked the wrong machine.
    here's what i got with it.
    4 in one bucket
    larger light materials bucket
    sod roll layer
    landscape rake, scarifier
    bobcat adapter plate.
    forkster fold up ride on platform.

    we got all this for $19500.00
    the SK came in at $23250.00

    the units themselves were the same price, but the attachment prices made the difference.
  8. G.L. In Ont

    G.L. In Ont LawnSite Member
    Messages: 87

    YardPro, great info - thank you. I am up here in Canada and the prices are much higher. But, they are getting lower now because Canadian dealers so I'm told are buying directly from Toro US vs. Toro international.

    A 220 is $14,400 Cdn and auger drive is around $3,200. Haven't got a price of the TX425 yet, but am pretty sure it's around $19,000 just for the base unit.

    Any Canadians out there that may have had some experience in this area?

    YardPro, where you are probably doesn't get super cold, but any idea on how the Dingo may perform in colder climes?

    Thanks again, GL
  9. YardPro

    YardPro LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,570

    wind chill yesterday morning was 9 degrees.
    took longer to warm up, hydro's were sluggish for a few minutes, but then no problems.

    The 425 was $1*K or $19 K originally here as well. shop around, there is alot of barganing room in those prices.

    We did not even consider the wheeled units. the track units are much less dammaging for turf. They WILL get stck fairly easially. and i hate the controls. my thumbs cramp up after a few minutes of using them.
    also with the tracks no flats... ever.
    look at the boxer, Sk500 and dingo. shop around. demo them all.
    dealers will give you a better deal if they know you are demoing and shopping. prices will instantly drop several thousand.
  10. Rollacosta

    Rollacosta LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 331

    my problem with skid-steers is the attachment prices!! they are often the same price as purpose built stuff ,which imo works a lot better...ie the chipper and stump cutter for a bobcat is way too dear and does'nt work nearly as well as purpose built stuff..just my opinion on a few products i have seen demonstrated

Share This Page