Thoughts on buying new vs. used skid steer?

Discussion in 'Heavy Equipment & Pavement' started by mrusk, Feb 8, 2006.

  1. mrusk

    mrusk LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,260

    It looks like i need to break down and buy a skid steer this year. Renting will cost me to much, and i never want to have to wheel barrel 14 pallets of versa lock into a back yard again.

    Here is the catch. I'm moving my business out of Jersey at the end of the year. I do not want to move with a big SS payment. I do not even know if the machine i will need here in NJ is what i will need when i move. Hell, i do not even know if i'll be doing the same thing when i move.

    Deep down i want a 257, but they are pricey. I figure my best bet would be to buy a used 236, 242, or 246 and sell it at the end of the year. If i find a good deal on a used one, it almost seems like i could use it for the year and sell it for only 2-3 grand less then i paid for it. I'd like a machine with under 500 hrs and pay 20-25k for it. I doubt i will put more then 450hrs on it in the season.

    What do you guys think i should do. Would i be better off buying a new Deere or NH in my price range and sell it at the end of the year, or would i loose less money buying a used cat?
  2. Gravel Rat

    Gravel Rat LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,544

    Probably your best bet is buy a used machine that you can pay off in 6 months to a year. You also probably don't want a machine that is going to nickle and dime you to death.
  3. miacharger

    miacharger LawnSite Member
    Messages: 68

    Who will do the maintenance? If a machine is relatively new and has low hours it is as good as new if it was properly serviced. An older, higher hour machine should sell for a lot less but will certainly start to require more attention and probably replacement parts. If you have a good mechanic or do the work yourself go for an older, cheaper machine. Otherwise newer is better. I agree with the advice to buy a machine that you can pay off in a year, but if you really need a skid steer i am sure that you can come out ahead buying either a new or used machine. Unless they sit they make you money.
  4. all ferris

    all ferris LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,309

    I bought a 863 bobcat 3 years ago. It was a 1998 with 1900 hours. I paid $12,500. I sold the maching(actually traded) for $12,000. During the 2 years I had the machine I put 300+ hours and a new starter on it. Now trust me, this machine more than paid for it's self. I will only buy used equipment and I will probably keep trading them in every 2-3 years so they don't loose too mush value.
  5. gammon landscaping

    gammon landscaping LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 553

    a new cat skid will drop in value some but not as bad as most brands i have a 236 cat we bought it when it had 300hrs on it at an auction for i think 18500 we have had it for 2 years now i think and it has 1020hrs now other than fluids and filters all we have had to fix is one quick coupler that leaked and the right joystick ass. and that was just because i drove it over an embankment and i went flying out the front and tryed to hold my 270 lb butt in it with the joysticks. and one set of tires .. so even if you are getting a machine with 7-800 hours you should have no trouble with the cat

    and i think if you buy used at a good deal you should be able to use it and resale it with litle or no loss

    if you buy new you are going to take a 5 grand hit right of the bat
  6. janb

    janb LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 254

    with the 1 yr exit strategy... determine your 'cost of funds' to set aside the capital (probably gonna take $15-25K) Try to find something used that you can keep under 1000-1200 hrs for good resale. Then choose the best looking, / best maintianed "Name-Brand" unit. (resale will be important to you) then spiff it at end of season and advertise broadly (before the snow flies)

    good luck, don't get too much capital tied up if you need to liquidate on short notice. You don't want to be on the tail end of a 'distressed sale' (i.e. a new machine might cause a 'Bath')
  7. GreenMonster

    GreenMonster LawnSite Silver Member
    from NH
    Messages: 2,702

    If you are looking to get out of the machine after the season, I think the advice above is the best. If you were to find a 2000, 2001 800 series Bobcat, you might be looking anywhere around 13-15K. Putting only 500 hours or so on it, you could prolly get close to what you paid.

    UNISCAPER LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,426

    In the scenario given, renting a machine won't cost you a dime if you recover the rental costs in the work you do. Figure a machine at a week of rent at a time and add it into the cost of doing business. Then when you move, buy what you need when you get your roots into the ground. Selling used anything is a pain in the a-ss and if it breaks then you have to fix iut to gert a dime out, and you don't need that crap right now.
  9. janb

    janb LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 254

    that's #1 advice, if you can get it to pencil, (hope so, try different rental scenerios, sometimes 1 -3 month is quite reasonable) save your capital, you may need it to fund a 'start-up' in new location. You don't want to pack equip around too far, it is a risk, and $$ AND if you move to a 'none-rust-belt', your NJ stuff would be tough to unload

    I plan to rent a tractor for the major mowing months "jun/jul" - it is ~$1500/month - $500/week - or $170/day Last year the mowing folks were $65-$80/hr, and all busy (and tractors all rented) Three full days will cover monthly rental fee!, 17 days of gravy (and someone else fixes the breakdowns) If I am busy enough, I will buy a tractor next year, (off season, when I can get a bargain) but I doubt it, money is probably better spent on 'specialty' equip, almost everyone has a tractor, so competition $$ are small.
  10. Scag48

    Scag48 LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,067

    I agree with everyone else, if you're not in for the long haul, just rent. I have to rent a 312 for a month this summer to do a job. Now I certainly could go out and buy a beat to hell $30K machine very easily, transporting issues aside, and I could cover the cost of buying the machine, but after that job, I don't need the machine anymore. Sometimes renting doesn't make sense, but in this case it sounds like the best plan.

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