What size of skidloader?

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by hoffmanlandscaping, Dec 20, 2003.

  1. hoffmanlandscaping

    hoffmanlandscaping LawnSite Member
    Messages: 68

    I've desided that in the spring I'm going to purchase a skidloader. For those of you that have experience with these what would you consider the optimal size (lift capacity, HP, ect.). I plan on using the skid loader mainly for moving material and light excuvation work. I do want to be able to run different attachments off of this machine also (bushhog, harley rake). When I do purchae one I'm planning on buying a used one probally around 12K. Thank you for your time!
  2. kris

    kris LawnSite Bronze Member
    from nowhere
    Messages: 1,578

    We have a new machine coming ... s220 bobcat. It is comparable to our 863 but it will lift a pallet of stone off the truck without having to take a few layers off.
    Really depends on the work you will be doing. We are design/build, mostly new homes or complete renovation of older ones.
  3. xcopterdoc

    xcopterdoc LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 752

    You'll have to decide which attachments you will be using and then that will dictate what size loader you will need. Your local dealer will be your best sourse of information.
  4. CNYScapes

    CNYScapes LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 916

    I use a 751 bobcat, In most cases it is the perfect size for loading material on the trucks and for light excavation work, but if your looking to lift more than 1250 lbs you need something bigger, I bought mine last yr for $9000 its a 1998. It will run pretty much every attatchment bobcat makes for it.:cool2:
  5. ksss

    ksss LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,157

    If I had to have one size machine I would aim for the 2000 + or - pounds of lift category. They are big enough to do a lot of work. They can dig in tough ground conditions and will move most pallets of block or sod plus they are easy to transport as opposed to the 3000 + category. I like to keep them narrow as possible. When your looking, remember that on some makes and models you can flip the tires to extend or contract the width of the machine. Some options I like are two speeds, ride control, high flow hydraulics. As someone said your attachments will drive the skid steer you decide on. I would locate the hydraulic flow requirements of the attachments you plan on using and use that as a guide for your machine. Skid steer attachment performance lacks if you can't push enough oil. Too much oil isn't good either. Vertical lift is nice if you need it, if you don't it isn't. Visibility is better in a radial lift machine, they tend to cost less to purchase and have fewer moving parts. Some machines that fit this description are CASE 1845C, and 70XT, 75XT Bobcat 863, 873 New Holland 180, CAT 246, 236. Deere 270. I would run as many different machines as you can to get a feel for what you like in a skid steer. Good luck, I would check Iron Planet (online auction) they tend to have a lot of CAT skid steers and they tend to go cheap (if you happen to like them).
  6. SCL

    SCL LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 543

    873-s250 Bobcat if you can afford it, otherwise 773-s? is a perfewct size for general work. I have a 753 which does 80% of what I'd like to do, but I always find a way.
  7. Peach

    Peach LawnSite Member
    Messages: 86

    I agree with the others - the 800 series Bobcat. The 750 just doesn't quite do everything -can't lift a pallet of block or stone off the ground.
    BTW Kris. We lift heavy pallets off a semi with the 800 Bobcat. It's a ride though. Kind of drag it off and slowly, hopefully, touch the forks to the ground...lowering them as fast as you dare. Takes balls and a rented machine lol.
    I'd like to hear some stories about bobcat mishaps. Once I couldn't quite reach a spot, while trying I tipped the machine, almost all the way over...found I could reach the work from my side. did the work, then righted myself. My crew had funny looks on their faces... I don't know why.

  8. ksss

    ksss LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,157

    Bobcats are popular. They have great marketing people and good dealer support. After that, IMHO they have little to offer compared to some of the others. I know that will offend all of the Bobcat owners here but thats how I see it. If buying used and you get a good deal on a clean machine I could see it. New paint to new paint thats another story. My main issues with them are (when compared with like machines) they are low on power, loud, way to much feedback in the controls and the hand controls have no "feel" and are slow to respond . Every spring Bobcat brings one out for us to Demo, but they don't run as well as the XT machines. I like the salesman but I can't see buying one. The S185 they brought out this last time was a terrible machine. No power, and went over relief so often that the hydraulics would almost continiously squel. The machine was an enclosed cab unit making it very loud when it went over relief. No one wanted to run it. We work our machines hard, moving at least 100 plus yard of topsoil per yard but yards with over 500 yards of material to move are not uncommon. Bobcats, at least the machines I've run, aren't made to run that hard. If they were they would be more powerful and wouldn't go over relief so easily. I do think they have the best cabs in the industry. It was good to see they finally have a ride control option. Of course its not a factory option its a dealer installed option. If anybody doubts me run an XT side by side a Bobcat and you will see what I mean. I guess the purpose of this post is to clarify that I mentioned the Bobcat in my above post because the guy in question wanted a used machine so I provided the models that corresponded with my ideas of a good size machine in a Bobcat. That said, I don't advocate a Bobcat unless the price is so right that it erases their short comings. At least as I see them.
  9. mtoms26100

    mtoms26100 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 3

    i have to agree with you. Bobcat is not the way to go. I have had two and got rid of them for case loaders. The hand controls offered no control at all. So we had them change over to foot controls. No good. One of my employees said "I cant thread a needle with my foot" . He is correct.

    They dont have much power and the small engines do not last as long as the loaders with the larger american made diesel engines. I currently have 2 case skidloaders with over 7500 Hours on them. Never done one thing to the engine. Cant ask much more than that.

    Most guys that like Bobcat dont know how to operate equipment. I dont know how many guys i see every year carrying snow around. Then they stop raise the boom all the way then dump the bucket . All seperate motions. What a waste of time
  10. kris

    kris LawnSite Bronze Member
    from nowhere
    Messages: 1,578

    I ran a case side by side and it was ok ..mtoms your comment about the guys running bobcats cant run machines is false...much like the rest of your post...i'd go head to head with you any time.

    Oh sorry mtoms ...I see your 24 ..would hardly be fair since I ve been in a machine longer than you are years old.

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