Skid Steer VS Excavator

Discussion in 'Hardscaping' started by Prime Interlock, Dec 12, 2012.

  1. Prime Interlock

    Prime Interlock LawnSite Member
    Messages: 5

    Good day gentlemen,

    I use that term loosely ;). I am new in the business and thinking about a purchase down the line...skid steer or excavator?

    I'm thinking of going with Bobcat miniex 418 or the mini S70 with backhoe atatchment.

    What are your thought? excavator or skid steer and why?

  2. scagrider22

    scagrider22 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,272

    We use our mini way more than the skidsteer, so that will be my recommendation but others may disagree. I definitely would not buy a skid with a backhoe attachment they are not very productive, just rent until you can afford to buy what you need. It also depends on what kind of work you typically do.
  3. DVS Hardscaper

    DVS Hardscaper LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,623

    This topic comes up about 3 times a year.

    If you do a search you should find the most recent topic.

    It's important to consider a gazillion different factors. And in the most recent topic I've shared paragragh after paragragh after paragragh with my thoughts and experiences.

    If you can't find the topic, click on my user name and them click on "find all posts from" and sooner or later you'll find it.
    Posted via Mobile Device
  4. zedosix

    zedosix LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,665

    New in the business, what about playing it smart and using a wheelbarrow and shovel.
  5. alldayrj

    alldayrj LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,793

    I would lease both.
    But in reality those excavator attachments are garbage. I had one for a few years. Used it twice and it took me three months to sell it for 2500
    Posted via Mobile Device
  6. TomG

    TomG LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 674

    My opinion is always get a skid steer first. But there are a million things to consider. Our mini excavator was the most used piece of equipment this year. But you really cant do jobs productively with out a skid steer. (moving pallets, loading trucks, etc...)My question to you would be why do you want a machine so small? An S70 will only lift about 700lbs... I call those machines motorized wheel barrows. They definitely have there purpose but not really in hardscaping.
  7. Prime Interlock

    Prime Interlock LawnSite Member
    Messages: 5

    DVS: Will do, thanks.

    Zedosix: New in the business but not brand new.

    Tom G: Well, since I am staring out, residential clients are all I have. I do realize it's a small machine, but that's the beauty of it. I'm guaranteed to get into backyards with fences. Plus, the way they build houses these days (around my parts), you can touch both houses with your hands at the same time.

    Also, Tom, you seem like you have been around a few times. My current set up is a jacked-up 150, small dump trailer, a table saw, quick-cut and a 200lb bomag tamper. Plus all the hand-tool stuff, wheelbarrow's etc...In your oppinion, what is a good progression in terms of what do I buy first.
  8. scagrider22

    scagrider22 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,272

    Well after hearing that I would start by purchasing a truck first!
    Posted via Mobile Device
  9. Swampy

    Swampy LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,435

    Coming form a equipment operator's position, your trying to justify buying a apple or a orange. Both are required to do some task but not the same task. But from just reading your 2 posts, about working in backyards with narrow access that you can't back your trailer into the back yard to dump/load materials, your going to be doing a lot of "material handling" which is in my eyes the main function of a skid loader.

    Those backhoe attachments, we have them and seem to lose more paint to rust than use. Granted our MTOE is road construction we are still equiped to do general engineering ops, and out of the 6 years of service I've actually used it once just because we didn't have a backhoe yet and the SEE was broke down.
  10. TomG

    TomG LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 674

    Get the biggest skidsteer you can and maybe a trailer if you need it to haul it. That's what I tell everyone. I wouldn't be worried about fitting through fences. It will take you way less time to take a section out of the fence and put it back up and use a full size skid steer than to use a small skid and not take the fence down. I take down plenty of fences a year, its really not to difficult. If its chain link, factor in some money to get some one with the fence stretching tool (yes that real) because chain link is a b**** to put back up with out it. I do 100% residential jobs as well. And I'd say in the past 5 years we have rented a mini skid maybe steer twice.

    Take the money for a new S70 and buy a used full sized skid, the biggest one that you can haul and for your application. But its really hard for me to give you good advice, I have no idea what work, job sites, economy is in your area.

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