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Skid steer or compact tractor?

Discussion in 'Heavy Equipment & Pavement' started by Mike Nelson, Apr 6, 2001.

  1. Mike Nelson

    Mike Nelson LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 416

    Looking to get a piece of equipment for our added landscape division.

    What would be more efficient a skid steer or a compact backhoe?

    Mike Nelson
  2. paul

    paul Lawnsite Addict
    Messages: 1,625

    High Mike, We beat this one up awhile back :)
    It seems some Guys and Gals who do a lot of work on existing lawns like the tractor/w loader better and some of us who do "New Construction" like the skid steers.
    Me I have to have both, skid steers move dirt, stone, sod..... faster than tractors. But tractors grade larger sites faster, plus don't trear up the grass on new lawns like a skid steer. A search on this subject will give you lots of info on it.

  3. Lanelle

    Lanelle LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,361

    That about sums it up. Evaluate the type of sites you work on the most to guide your decision.
  4. EarthTech Landscapes

    EarthTech Landscapes LawnSite Member
    Messages: 64

    i have always used skidsteers, But i do alot of new construction
  5. Mike Nelson

    Mike Nelson LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 416

    Thanks guys,
    It seems to me I better buy both :D

    I appreciate your time.
    Mike Nelson
  6. SLSNursery

    SLSNursery LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 442

    We ran with only a skidsteer for a long while. Seems as though you get more bang for your buck with a skidsteer v. compact tractor. The skidsteer can usually load better and provide more power than the tractor. That is, compact tractors for comparable prices might not be able to utilize equally large implements as the skid steers. Now we have a Kubota B21, which is nice, but really underpowered for most tractor type applications. Its great for towing an aerator, or using the included backhoe, but too small to pull a Harley rake, or other large implement.

    I think that since we didn't have a tractor, we learned to efficiently use our skidsteer on delicate operations, like spot touch ups on lawns, or moving around on new asphalt, etc. For us, breakout force and loading were very important. The skid steer won that competition. The compact tractor is now a handy tool, but still not relied upon.
  7. Guido

    Guido LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,087

    It can't get much simpiler than the last few posts. Rent both so you can get a feel for them, and what limits you have with both.

    You also have to decide if you'll be doing more new construction or maintenance since that is the biggest variable in this choice.

    Like Paul said, I'd say skidsteer, but we do mostly new construction and very little maintenance.

    Good Luck!
  8. SCL

    SCL LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 543

    Bigger skidsteers and smaller tractors:).
    This is what I'll add. Buy a really good skidsteer. Spend your quality money here. After that you can find a tractor for a reasonable price and use when you need it. I have both and they both have their place.
  9. Mike Nelson

    Mike Nelson LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 416

    Thank you all for taking the time to make up my mind.I thought a skidsteer would be better,but I figured that I would check with the experts.:D

    Now which kind? I know this is a loaded and unfair question.Right now I have my JD dealer giving me prices.I kinda feel partial to them only cause we have so my many JD's.There service is second to none.

    Thanks again
  10. paul

    paul Lawnsite Addict
    Messages: 1,625

    Mike I like New Holland, but Case makes a nice machine too look for one that lifts what you need, we use two sizes LS190 and LS170. Case stick with the XT85 or XT95 if you need to lift. John Deere I sold my new one I bought last year too many problems

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