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Author Topic: Tractor vs skid steer  (Read 2933 times)

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Offline CX3

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Tractor vs skid steer
« on: May 02, 2018, 10:41:15 PM »
Why is it that most guys are using a 4wd tractor over a skid steer? It seems to me the skid steer would be much more versatile in the woods?
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Offline Dave Shepard

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Re: Tractor vs skid steer
« Reply #1 on: May 02, 2018, 10:59:02 PM »
Until it gets stuck.  :)
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Offline Skeans1

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Re: Tractor vs skid steer
« Reply #2 on: May 02, 2018, 11:05:22 PM »
Weight and ground clearance are an issue with a skid steer, but theyíre a great tool in your tool box.

Offline thecfarm

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Re: Tractor vs skid steer
« Reply #3 on: May 03, 2018, 06:04:20 AM »
Does a skid steer have a rear PTO? Ground clearance,as said too. I have 18 inches with my tractor. With rocks I go over,a skid steer would have a hard time.
I could use a skid steer too.
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Online TKehl

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Re: Tractor vs skid steer
« Reply #4 on: May 03, 2018, 08:33:15 AM »
Agree with all above.

Love a skid steer clearing fence rows when the ground is hard.

Loading logs...  A skid steer can do it, but a tractor has surer footing.  Ours doesn't have a weight kit, and is only a JD 250, but getting a closeup of the ground tipping from just cedar scrub in a grapple is plenty to understand a SSL limitations.  (Oh, and always wear the seatbelt!   ;))

That and SSL are lousy at pulling loads out.  Can load and pull with a 4x4 tractor with loader.

If you go with a SSL, get a heavy one and a weight kit.  Maybe tracks.  The guys at Turner Logging seem to  love theirs, but it's in addition to skidders and only stands alone on very small jobs.  
Lucas 6-13+slabber, Mr. Sawmill bandmill, orange chainsaws, JD SSL, Case Backhoe, farm tractors, trailers, and 150ish acres of trees.  Fledgling woodshop with CNC router, laser engraver, Woodmaster 712, and a Berlin 108 moulder (project).  Oh, and a lovely (patient) wife and four offbearers.

Offline dsroten

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Re: Tractor vs skid steer
« Reply #5 on: May 03, 2018, 09:16:57 AM »
My father in law has a tree service type business (removal and pruning and the like), and uses a larger skid steer with a grapple bucket.  It works great and picks up most everything he latches onto.  But it won't reach high enough to load my log truck, so there's that.  I'm using a larger JD tractor (6430) at the moment to load with until I get my old prentice loader remounted on another truck.  

Another guy close to me that is doing some small-scale logging has been using a skid steer to skid logs with, but he seems dissatisfied.  I still skid some with a 4WD tractor (5410 JD) and homemade 3pt winch and it works but it's a little slow.  Its small enough to scoot around in woods but on a big stem it doesn't quite have the weight to really pull.  The larger tractor will really tug but is big and tall and I don't want to be busting glass out of it.  So now I have an older skidder.  But as has been said, each machine has its uses.     

Offline nativewolf

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Re: Tractor vs skid steer
« Reply #6 on: May 03, 2018, 09:33:54 AM »
Agree with all above.

Love a skid steer clearing fence rows when the ground is hard.

Loading logs...  A skid steer can do it, but a tractor has surer footing.  Ours doesn't have a weight kit, and is only a JD 250, but getting a closeup of the ground tipping from just cedar scrub in a grapple is plenty to understand a SSL limitations.  (Oh, and always wear the seatbelt!   ;))

That and SSL are lousy at pulling loads out.  Can load and pull with a 4x4 tractor with loader.

If you go with a SSL, get a heavy one and a weight kit.  Maybe tracks.  The guys at Turner Logging seem to  love theirs, but it's in addition to skidders and only stands alone on very small jobs.  
Turner Logging mostly uses his on the floodplains which are very open and rock free compared to the forest we have here.  Nice guy, very approachable.  He's going to the Richmond Forestry show in 2 weeks.
I have a massive tractor that is unarmored, use it to mulch but it gets hydraulics ripped off all the time.  I'd be worried about any skidsteer without a forestry package roaming around in the forest.  Even then it better be tracked, sort of a must have.  
Liking Walnut

Offline Stoneyacrefarm

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Re: Tractor vs skid steer
« Reply #7 on: May 03, 2018, 11:10:05 AM »
Another thing to think about. 
When pulling with a tractor you are going forward and not backwards like with a skid steer. 
Tracks wear out a lot faster than tires on a tractor do. 
I traded my skid steer in for a tractor 5 years ago and have no regrets. 
I finally bought a skidder to keep my tractors out of the woods to avoid the broken glass and hose issues mentioned above. 
Work hard. Be rewarded.

Offline reelman65

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Re: Tractor vs skid steer
« Reply #8 on: May 03, 2018, 04:56:07 PM »
Definitely watching this thread. I was thinking that a tracked skid steer would be best for non farming, field maintenance activities. 
75 Acres of hardwoods that i want to try to optimize for HW growth, health and habitat. Also interested in creating a few small stands of fruit/nut trees and sample of different native species

Offline moodnacreek

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Re: Tractor vs skid steer
« Reply #9 on: May 03, 2018, 06:21:56 PM »
A skid steer has to small a foot print. When you hit a mud hole the whole machine is in it. With a 4 whl. drive tractor the wheels are spread out more. In a yard the skid steer is much faster than the tractor.

Offline SNAFU

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Re: Tractor vs skid steer
« Reply #10 on: May 03, 2018, 08:47:25 PM »
skid steer does not like steep ground,real tippy going over backwards

Offline CX3

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Re: Tractor vs skid steer
« Reply #11 on: May 03, 2018, 09:47:02 PM »
I have a 648g3 skidder.  I was wanting to add a piece of equipment to the line up. I have a 2wd farm tractor with loader but want to replace it with either a skid steer or a 4wd tractor. It sounds like the tractor is the way to go. I definitely want something with a shuttle shift or power reversed type tranny. It would be checkers loading logs or hay
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Offline mike_belben

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Re: Tractor vs skid steer
« Reply #12 on: May 03, 2018, 10:12:02 PM »
In farm country a 4wd tractor with loader thatll handle logs is about 2x as expensive as the skid steer.
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Offline YellowHammer

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Re: Tractor vs skid steer
« Reply #13 on: May 03, 2018, 11:02:01 PM »
I have what CX3 describes, custom order New Holland, T4.95 about 100 hp, heavy duty front and rear end, dual pumps, hydraulic power shifter forward and reverse, and able to lift about double normal farm tractor capacity.  Thing about a tractor, it's designed to pull, and it doesn't matter if it's a plow, disk, or choker full of logs, something's going to happen when it goes into 4WD.
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Offline mike_belben

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Re: Tractor vs skid steer
« Reply #14 on: May 04, 2018, 07:39:31 AM »
Theres a guy in my area who logs with i believe that same model new holland 4wd with loader.  Its at my buddies shop getting front stub shafts pretty often.  The driver side inner that feeds power into the planetary set.  Sitting there now actually. 
Revelation 3:20

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Re: Tractor vs skid steer
« Reply #15 on: May 04, 2018, 07:52:48 AM »
It would be checkers loading logs or hay


Tractor wins on hay to.  Can't see around the DanG bales on a skid steer.  It's alright in a pinch for short distances, but I've got 4 young kids and not enough visibility in a SSL as it is...

May look into a skip loader or backhoe with removable hoe.  The perks are the loaders and front axles are designed for loading, not just an add on,  and will have better lift capacity for their size.  Plus they usually have shuttle shift or better.

Power reverser is nice.  Had that on my bosses tractor when I worked hog barns.  Too rich for our operation though.  :(  Our newest is a JD 2755 with 4x4.  :)
Lucas 6-13+slabber, Mr. Sawmill bandmill, orange chainsaws, JD SSL, Case Backhoe, farm tractors, trailers, and 150ish acres of trees.  Fledgling woodshop with CNC router, laser engraver, Woodmaster 712, and a Berlin 108 moulder (project).  Oh, and a lovely (patient) wife and four offbearers.

Offline Skeans1

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Re: Tractor vs skid steer
« Reply #16 on: May 04, 2018, 07:58:55 AM »
I have what CX3 describes, custom order New Holland, T4.95 about 100 hp, heavy duty front and rear end, dual pumps, hydraulic power shifter forward and reverse, and able to lift about double normal farm tractor capacity.  Thing about a tractor, it's designed to pull, and it doesn't matter if it's a plow, disk, or choker full of logs, something's going to happen when it goes into 4WD.
I agree to a point but AG is medium  duty compared to forestry same with construction. Just for example take a 200 size dirt excavator for dirt or farm itís be fine, now put in the brush you need all new pans, heavier side panels, cab guard or new cab, cat walks, boom, bigger longer under carriage, full rock guard is just the tip of the iceberg.

Offline chevytaHOE5674

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Re: Tractor vs skid steer
« Reply #17 on: May 04, 2018, 10:41:02 AM »
In farm country a 4wd tractor with loader thatll handle logs is about 2x as expensive as the skid steer.
Things are different all around the country. Because UP here in farm country a decent skid steer will cost you way more than a tractor. 

Case and point 3 years ago I bought this 100hp mfwd tractor with loader for 15k and have done nothing to it but use it daily. Loader will lift 5k lbs without any trouble. A skid steer with a cab and AC that will lift half that weight will cost you 25k plus around here.

As for axles breaking that is completely operator error. Put that guy in SS and watch how he would snap one of the tiny stub axles or wimpy chain drives.



Offline Stoneyacrefarm

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Re: Tractor vs skid steer
« Reply #18 on: May 04, 2018, 12:14:09 PM »
Nice tractor Chevy!!
For 15k ?
Thatís a sweet deal. 
Work hard. Be rewarded.

Offline mike_belben

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Re: Tractor vs skid steer
« Reply #19 on: May 04, 2018, 12:20:19 PM »
I agree, pricing is regional.  I could make a living hauling stuff from the north to the south if DOT would let me.  Pickups and junky cars are 2x more expensive here, go figure.  10k will get you a good skid steer every day here, 15k will get you a 2008 or newer track machine.  Older big 4wd loader tractors with cabs are 20k and up.  10k will get you a big 2wd loader but not 4wd.  Unless its a mahindra or some such toy.  Theres just so much hay and brush to mow.   Tractor demand is very very high.  Skid steer cant go on a lot of our ground most of the year.  Skidders start at 8k clapped out and go up from there. 
Revelation 3:20

Offline DDW_OR

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Re: Tractor vs skid steer
« Reply #20 on: May 04, 2018, 03:18:32 PM »
I have a 648g3 skidder.  I was wanting to add a piece of equipment to the line up. I have a 2wd farm tractor with loader but want to replace it with either a skid steer or a 4wd tractor. It sounds like the tractor is the way to go. I definitely want something with a shuttle shift or power reversed type tranny. It would be checkers loading logs or hay
my tractor is a 51hp Mahindra 5520 4x4

wish the Farmi winch had a receiver hitch

 

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Offline chevytaHOE5674

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Re: Tractor vs skid steer
« Reply #21 on: May 04, 2018, 03:55:47 PM »
There is a tractor jockey UP here that goes down to Missouri and hauls tractors north because he says they are way cheaper and abundant down there than in this region. He often makes 2x trips a week hauling cheap hay from here to there, then returns with cheap tractors and equipment from there.

Offline CX3

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Re: Tractor vs skid steer
« Reply #22 on: May 04, 2018, 07:28:01 PM »
Mike bring me one if those good 10k skid steers ill pay your fuel and a steak dinner
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Offline mike_belben

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Re: Tractor vs skid steer
« Reply #23 on: May 04, 2018, 09:52:10 PM »
Youll not like the impound fees i tend to incur!
Revelation 3:20

Offline CX3

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Re: Tractor vs skid steer
« Reply #24 on: May 05, 2018, 06:29:01 PM »
Man I'd jump on a good one for 10k seriously.

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Online 62oliver

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Re: Tractor vs skid steer
« Reply #25 on: May 06, 2018, 10:09:33 PM »
I used my old bobcat with a grapple bucket in the bush for awhile to pull out firewood, it worked fine for the small amount I burn in a year, but if it rained any real amount I could not even move out there because it was so greasy. Same with the 310c backhoe, mostly because it is so heavy in the back, it just did not get around very good out there either if it was wet.
The 240E TJ changed all that.
  But you are asking skid steer or 4wd tractor, I would say tractor for sure.
Ground clearance is a big one and in soft ground you can get into trouble with a skid steer real fast!!
I have a Case 90xt, it weighs about 9000lbs, I wouldn't want to be stuck in the bush with that.
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