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Skid Steers & Ruts

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by SCAPEASAURUSREX, Jul 27, 2001.


    SCAPEASAURUSREX LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 835

    Any body have any good advice for someone new to using a skid Steer. Is there a trick to not leaving ruts every where you go. and digging in when you turn. I only have an LS160 its' a baby compared to what most guys use around here so I am assuming it's me that doesnt know how to do something ??? Help !!!
  2. Mike Nolting

    Mike Nolting LawnSite Member
    Messages: 10

    When you have to turn, pop it up on two wheels! Ha Ha.....
  3. ianc

    ianc LawnSite Member
    Messages: 49

    Don't skid when you turn - go back and forth approx 20' inching your way over to where you want to go - this only applies on grass - if on other surfaces just back drag on your way out

    most people try to do to much with a skid steer - bale in the big stuff and do the fine work with a wheelbarrow - I know a Wheelbarrow seems counter productive - but rip's n tears alot less
  4. greens1

    greens1 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 352

    All the skidsteers that I have ever seen leave ruts, unless the soil is so dry that it has turned to hardpan.

    I use a JD 750 with flotation tires for just this reason, I do a lot of renovation to existing beds and backyards. My 750 won't leave ruts but it has it's drawbacks as well, takes 3 times as long to turn arround for one thing.

    Unfortunatly I have not seen a machine that won't leave ruts and has a tight turn radius as well, although the Toro Dingo comes close. Oh well maybe one will show up next year.

    Good Luck,
    Jim L

    SCAPEASAURUSREX LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 835

    Thanks for the info guys.

    Hey Jim / greens1.. What do you mean by floatation tires. Are they just fatter or do they have a less agressive tread design.

    Someone was telling me I should get the tracks.. then someone else said those would make it worse ??? any thoughts on tracks ..

    Thanks again everybody for the great info..
  6. Stonehenge

    Stonehenge LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Midwest
    Messages: 1,276

    Tracks will reduce the psi's your loader puts on the ground, because the load is spread over more area. Just don't turn.

    If we have a small backyard patio, we excavate by hand, wheel stone in by hand (but we load 3 barrows at a time with the skidder), but we bring the brick back with the loader. We use 2' strips of plywood to run on.

    If the project is big enough, we just rut it up. Then we regrade and reseed. But the customer is aware of this beforehand. But the trick for us is to have turn 'points', where we try to go straight into the backyard, make one turn, then straight to the patio. That way many times we only have to repair where we made the turn.
  7. paul

    paul Lawnsite Addict
    Messages: 1,625

    First we use plywood to keep the tires from rutting use 2' sections 8' long of 1/2" or 3/4" to run on and a couple of full sheeets to make turns. Rubber tracks help in reducing the marks but turns are still hard to do unless you can make a very easy turn. Steel tracks will mark up a lawn fast! All machines will do some damage even wheelbarrows can too!

    SCAPEASAURUSREX LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 835

    Hey Thanks again Guys..

    Plywood sounds like a plan, But I guess from what I am hearing that I should plan out my route of attack carfully and limit myself to the same run each trip to atleast minimize the damage. Cool.. I feel alot more comfortable now.. Thanks again again !!!!!!!!
  9. ianc

    ianc LawnSite Member
    Messages: 49

    don't take the same path - use slightly diffferent paths
  10. Stonehenge

    Stonehenge LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Midwest
    Messages: 1,276

    Varying the path may work with lighter loaders, but with ours, that just results in a larger area of turf destroyed. :cry:

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