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Skid-steer Questions

Discussion in 'Heavy Equipment & Pavement' started by LCPullman, Feb 8, 2008.

  1. LCPullman

    LCPullman LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 589

    Hi, I'm considering buying a skid-steer at some point this year and I was looking for some advice. I'll be using it for landscaping, (fine grading, distributing river rock/bark, helping out with wall building, etc.) I also will want to use it for snow clearing.
    Because of the snow clearing, I want a two-speed machine. It is also quite hilly here, so I want to get as stable of a machine as I can.
    I have NH and JD dealers quite close (8 mi), Case and Cat dealers (30 mi) and Bobcat and Gehl dealers (80 mi).
    Right now I am thinking of around $30000 for the machine and I'm glad to get machines that are some used, as I am not planning to put a lot of hours on (maybe 150-200 hours in a year).
    I'll be trying out machines when I can, but I was just looking for comments on your experience with machines, how stable they are, reliability, etc.
  2. cat2

    cat2 LawnSite Senior Member
    from Mi
    Messages: 891

    well for fine grading, i think you would want a radius lift machine. It doesn't sound like you will be doing any real heavy lifting. your john deere or new holland would be the most stable. john deere doesn't offer a 2 speed until the 325 and thet may be too big for what your doing. And they are not radius lift. The case would be though. But for those hours that you will be putting on i would get a used machine
  3. LCPullman

    LCPullman LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 589

    Why? Just trying to learn more.
  4. cat2

    cat2 LawnSite Senior Member
    from Mi
    Messages: 891

    You said snow removal, what are you going to be using? bucket, blade, snow blower? are you going to be stacking the snow?
  5. cat2

    cat2 LawnSite Senior Member
    from Mi
    Messages: 891

    the vertical lift is more for reach and is more stable when lifting heavy loads, because it doesn't move the load outward as you raise the lift arms
  6. LCPullman

    LCPullman LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 589

    I think mainly a snow pusher, though probably a bucket for some situations. Most winters I don't have to stack snow very high.
  7. LCPullman

    LCPullman LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 589

    I see what vertical lift is for, but is there going to be a problem with vertical lift when it comes to fine grading, or is vertical lift simply not necessary and thus not worth extra cost?
  8. BIGBEN2004

    BIGBEN2004 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 823

    For all day excavating and constantly fine grading a vertical lift just doesn't grade as well as a radial lift does. Not saying by any means a vertical lift won't fine grade because it will just fine. Just if you were buying a machine for heavy digging and grading go with the radial but for what you are doing either machine will do just fine.
  9. ksss

    ksss LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,162

    Radial lift tends to provide better visibility than does a radial lift machine. There tend to be more linkage with these machines and you would likely not be utilizing the capabilities of a vertical lift machine. Either way not a deal breaker just something to think about. The way your moving snow is also a valid question. I have snow pusher 8' it works best with a heavier skid steer to move snow efficiently with it. It also takes traction, will need to chain at least the back tires if not all four. If you plan on blowing snow than I would find a machine with high flow although it does not sound like you will be using a blower.



    Here are a couple machines in your price range and some what close to Wa.

    The 450 is big machine, very capable excavating skid steer. It would great on a snow pusher. The 440 is a little more nimble both have the same hp just the 440 is lighter and dimensionally smaller, both radial lift, both have two speed, ride control and cab with heat and AC, the 440 has hyd coupler which is very nice. The 450 is every bit as stable as a Deere or NH due to its longer wheelbase.
  10. KRtraxx

    KRtraxx LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 284

    I would agree with ksss.I think a long wheelbase radial machine would work best for what you want to do..And a 450 has some weight to it too that would make pushing snow a lot easier.Using a pusher or blade for snow removal is different than using a bucket..you need weight and traction to make it work right..If you need to stay smaller a 440 is a great option too...Just remember to get a cab and heat if your doing snow..**** cold without it..

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