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Why skid steers over tractors?

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by 4 seasons lawn&land, Apr 22, 2008.

  1. 4 seasons lawn&land

    4 seasons lawn&land LawnSite Gold Member
    from NY
    Messages: 3,614

    Im new to Lawn care and spend most of my time in that forum but I'd like to get into landscaping eventually. Im just curious what the point of skid steers are when tractors are less money, why is that anyway?
  2. Mark Bogart

    Mark Bogart LawnSite Member
    Messages: 174

    Skid Steers are more maneuverable in tight situations plus you can lift more weight. You also have more control with a skid steer.
  3. shovelracer

    shovelracer LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,008

    2 different machines. For starters SSL's are more powerful, can lift higher, can lift more, run 50 attachments, and handle rough terrain. A tractor loader of the same weight cant even compare to a SSL. They can however tow and are less abusive to the terrain they travel over.
  4. merrimacmill

    merrimacmill LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 515

    They both have their place. Theres stuff both do better than the other. A tractor is nice to have, but for an "only machine" for hardscaping I imagine a skid loader would be a little more versitile.

    I have a tractor and find it very useful. I can put a landscape rake on the back and have a loader with a bucket on the front, then use both to spread dirt. This can't be done with a skid loader. Or I can have a salt spreader on the back, a loader with a bucket on the front for snow.

    IMO neither is better than the other, but it just all depends on what your uses are.
  5. AGLA

    AGLA LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,776

    I worked for a landscaper out west (Idaho) who had the same thought of getting more for less by buying a tractor. It sucked for anything other than wide open spaces and loading.

    By the way, it lifted more and it lifted a lot higher than a skid stear and it was more stable on hills. There are plenty of attachments available. I don't think those are good arguements against. But, the tractor sucked in close quarters where 90% of landscaping takes place. That is what really counts.
  6. Isobel

    Isobel LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 548

    I've used both, and SSL definitely have more manuverbility, but personally I like the stability of a tractor.

    Both have a fair number of attachments, so I don't buy into the thought that SSL are more versatile.

    The last thing I like about tractors over SSL's is noise. Even with Hearing protection, my head is still pounding after a day in a SSL, not so much with a tractor.
  7. Lawnworks

    Lawnworks LawnSite Fanatic
    from usa
    Messages: 5,407

    I would rather have my skid. I put 100 hours on a kubota l4330, and they are really nice machines. Thing is you have you have to buy a BIG tractor to lift a pallet off of a trailer. They also suck at moving large amounts of dirt. Even w/ a tractor w/ the hydro trans... a skid can spread dirt about twice as fast. Bush hogging and long transports is where tractors start to look good.
  8. AWJ Services

    AWJ Services LawnSite Platinum Member
    from Ga
    Messages: 4,281

    I personally think a good Tractor is as productive as a small skid steer in terms of landscaping and general use.It would have too be at least L series Kubota with at least 40 hp.They will move 2000 pounds skid forks.
    However there is no comparrison between a Tractor and a large skid.

    I have both(Tractor and Large skid).
    With the price of fuel I use my Tractor eclusivley for Finish work.
    It is fast enough for me and burns little too no fuel compare too the Skid.

    The attachments for a tractor and a skid steer are expensive so pick the right one first or you will be like me and buy everything twice.:)
  9. merrimacmill

    merrimacmill LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 515

  10. Isobel

    Isobel LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 548

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