Five Things to Consider When Selecting A Skid Steer

Versatility is king on many job sites, with contractors needing machines that perform a variety of tasks on a project.

Enter the skid steer loader – one of the most versatile and maneuverable machines on any site. To maximize the return on your investment, you’ll want to make some important considerations into your business before you make a purchase:

  1. Size things up: Size is probably the most important decision to make regarding your skid steer purchase – not only the size of the machine, but also the size of the jobs for which it will be used. You want one that will be able to maneuver as needed if interior or tight spaces are expected, but also provide the right amount of horsepower and lift height for bigger jobs.
    1. Are you often working on smaller jobs? Remember the equipment’s size – and DOT regulations on weight – when it comes to frequently transporting it on a trailer.
  2. Level of lift: A skid steer is either a radial or vertical lift machine. Contractors using the equipment mainly for digging or work close to the ground would be better off with a radial lift. Vertical lift skid steers are better when most of the work is done at or above eye level.
  3. Consider attachments: What type and size of attachments will you be using regularly? Their weight and frequency of use will help you determine which skid steer is right for you. Ensure the machine you purchase is compatible with the attachments you’ll be using. Pay attention to the skid steer’s auxiliary hydraulic flow numbers – high-quality hydraulics will help maximize your machine’s horsepower and capabilities.
  4. How much horsepower: A skid steer’s horsepower is important when you’re considering how much traction it provides on the ground level. Although it used to be true that larger machines provided significantly more power, that gap has narrowed with modern technology. A 70-horsepower machine gets nearly as much traction as a 90-horsepower unit.
  5. Cab comfort: This may seem like a minor consideration, but workers who are comfortable in a machine perform their jobs better. An uncomfortable cab can worsen operator fatigue for workers spending long hours in a piece of machinery, resulting in costly, time-consuming errors.

For more information on how Carter Machinery can help with your equipment needs, find a local sales representative or call us at 800.768.4200.