If you’ve been thinking about buying a skid steer loader, you probably have a few questions. And the main question you might have is if they are all 4WD (four wheel drives). Skid steer loaders, also sometimes called skid steers, skid loaders, or just SSL for short, are usually 4WD, but some are AWDs (all wheel drives). The difference is slight, but there are some variations. For example, a 4WD can actually be an AWD, but an AWD is not necessarily a 4WD. Let’s take a closer look at skid steers and some of the other questions you may have.
What are skid steers used for?
Farming, landscaping, construction, and forestry services are the most common types of businesses that use skid steers. They are known for their maneuverability in tight spaces. Most skid steers come equipped with buckets for pushing, pulling, and loading various materials. But you can also get attachments such as backhoes, augers, trenchers, pavement millers, snow blades, cement mixers, grapples, and several more. And of course, each attachment serves its own purpose. A trencher, for example, might be used by construction crews to install drainage or lay pipe, and a rock grapple might be used by farmers to remove rocks from their land without removing soil.
What is the difference between a skid steer and compact truck loader?
Most of the time, when someone is thinking about buying a skid steer, they are trying to choose between that and a compact truck loader. They both serve some of the same functions, but the main difference is in how they move. And this is because skid steers are made with wheels and compact truck loaders have tracks. This makes skid steers much more maneuverable. They have something called a zero-turn radius, meaning they can make tight turns. Compact truck loaders have their advantages as well, though. They are made to use on rough terrains or slopes because their tracks give them more traction. This means they’re more stable than skid steers on rough terrain or in mud.
How to choose a skid steer
Choosing the right skid steer depends mostly on what you will be using it for, but the size of the machine can also play a part in the decision. For example, forestry services usually have specific size requirements for all their equipment as they are often maneuvering in tight spaces. Even though skid steers are known for their compact frame, they do actually come in different sizes. They are classified both by their weight class and frame size. The first class is 0-1,251 pounds and the last is 2,701 pounds and above. And their frame categories are small, medium, and large. Small frames are up to 1,750 pounds and under 50 hp. Medium frames can weight between 1,750 to 2,200 pounds and have between 50 and 70 hp. And large frame skid steers are any that are over 2,200 pounds and more than 70 hp.
But aside from size, there are a few other things to consider. For instance, what type of terrain will you be covering? Larger skid steers or different types tend to come with heavier duty tires than others. You’ll also want to consider whether you want vertical lift or radial lift on your machine. This will depend largely on the amount of lift height you need. Vertical lifts are generally offer higher lift and maximum reach. And last, but not least, you should consider the comfort of the skid steer, especially if you will be spending very much time in it. It’s important to sit in one, try out the controls, and get an overall sense of how comfortable and easy to operate it will be.