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Author Topic: Info on skid steers  (Read 2948 times)

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Offline killerman

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Info on skid steers
« on: February 20, 2015, 12:34:44 AM »
I'm looking for advice on skid steers. I'm looking to buy one in order to dig a basement under an existing house, lift logs for my mill, and possibly a stump grinder and general farm use down the road. What I need to know is how much HP do I need? Torq?  Will standard hydraulics work or do I need more flow? What do I need to know when buying used? Would one brand be better than another for these tasks, Whats the max hrs do I want to see on a used ones. Tracks vs tires? Just everything someone who has never owned one before need to know.
thanks in advance.
TK 1400 and a Mahindra 5530

Offline slider

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Re: Info on skid steers
« Reply #1 on: February 20, 2015, 09:04:50 AM »
We picked up a nice low hrs 325 john deere a while back.62 hp std hydraulics.It is well suited for work around the mill.I am thinking it will lift around 5000 lbs.It was a great addition to my set up.Much faster for moving slabs than a fel for me.Be careful of not getting enough lifting capacity.
al glenn

Offline THUNDER BEAST

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Re: Info on skid steers
« Reply #2 on: February 20, 2015, 09:09:38 AM »
In the skid steer industry my research points to Bobcat as being the #1 brand sought after. For the descriptions of chores you listed I'd go with tracks. Obviously the units hrs. would be as low as you can afford, though a machine is only as good as it was taken care of. Good luck with your purchase.

Offline Chuck White

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Re: Info on skid steers
« Reply #3 on: February 20, 2015, 11:21:05 AM »
I don't know much about skid-steers, but I have heard that some models are a real bear to work on, that is, a lot more difficult than some of the other models!

Just sayin'.
~Chuck~
Retired USAF (1989), Retired School Bus Driver (2012), and now a Mobile Sawyer
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Offline pabst79

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Re: Info on skid steers
« Reply #4 on: February 20, 2015, 12:04:28 PM »
 Case, Gehl and Cat all make good machines, but as previously posted Bobcats are #1, a very good friend of mine has been a service manager at Bobcat for 20 years. Our company owns a S185, thats the first size that has a turbo, I would make sure you get one with a turbo for extra power, the work you describe lends itself to a tracked machine, if you don't have much experience operating skid steers you may want to rent a couple different machines before you buy! Lots of options and gadgets are available on all of them. Keep in mind the newer machines have lots of emission stuff on them and their price reflects that, mine is a 2006 and my buddy says its one of the last "good ones". It had 250 hours when we bought it and if I remember correctly we paid 21k. To give you any idea that same machine sells for about 30k, that's used with low hours today. You probably could get a nice Bobcat 773 or Case 1845c for way less but also with way more hours. Then if you decide you want a track type, prices range 20-70k depending on size and hours. Like I said, renting first will help you not regret a major purchase later on.  ;) 
4th Generation Plumber/Fitter who used to collect chainsaws,firearms and mostly useless iron things, now I mostly collect diapers that my wife throws off the deck...

Offline red oaks lumber

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Re: Info on skid steers
« Reply #5 on: February 20, 2015, 06:23:51 PM »
bobcat #1 really?  that brand would be my last choice  :(but i probably don't  have much experiance  :)
the experts think i do things wrong
 over 18 million b.f. processed and 7341 happy customers i disagree

Offline Brian_Rhoad

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Re: Info on skid steers
« Reply #6 on: February 20, 2015, 07:06:38 PM »
I agree with Red Oaks. I have a 943. I think an elementary schooler could design a better machine.

Offline POSTON WIDEHEAD

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Re: Info on skid steers
« Reply #7 on: February 20, 2015, 07:12:03 PM »
I've never owned one but I know the price of a new one has went sky high!
The older I get I wish my body could Re-Gen.

Offline red oaks lumber

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Re: Info on skid steers
« Reply #8 on: February 20, 2015, 07:39:07 PM »
to a goat the sky looks high ;D
the experts think i do things wrong
 over 18 million b.f. processed and 7341 happy customers i disagree

Offline NWP

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Re: Info on skid steers
« Reply #9 on: February 20, 2015, 08:45:43 PM »
bobcat #1 really?  that brand would be my last choice  :(but i probably don't  have much experiance  :)

X2
1999 Blockbuster 2222, 1994 Duratech HD8, 1997 Duratech HD10, 2011 Case SV250, 2000 Case 1845C, 1990 Peterbilt 378 w/ Hood 7000 loader, 2001 Chevrolet, 2005 Chevrolet, several trailers, and Stihl saws.

Offline Dave Shepard

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Re: Info on skid steers
« Reply #10 on: February 20, 2015, 08:50:50 PM »
The Case 1845C is the smoothest skid steer I've ever run, and I've run a lot of them in the last 30 years. All of the Bobcat's that I have run have not been very smooth, although I did like the T300 that I used to run. Until it ate the trailer it was parked on and had to be put down. :D It was traded on a big Takeuchi, which I never got to try out. The JD's I've run have been smooth for the most part, but I can't stand their straight up loader geometry. I did run one JD tracked machine that had all the charm of a dead carp. Really pathetic.
Wood-Mizer LT40HDD51-WR Wireless, Kubota L48, Honda Rincon 650, TJ208 G-S, and a 60"Logrite!

Offline stumpy

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Re: Info on skid steers
« Reply #11 on: February 21, 2015, 07:39:07 AM »
This is a "Chevy vs. Ford" debate, so the best you will get out of everyone is personal preference.  I own a Hew Holland 785 and here's why. 1) it is the easiest for me to get in and out of. 2) it's a mid 90's model so it has no electronics. which means I can fix just about anything that goes wrong with it. 3) it is "level lift" design.  New Holland was the first with this but now most have some form of it.
Woodmizer LT30, NHL785 skidsteer, IH 444 tractor

Offline Cedarman

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Re: Info on skid steers
« Reply #12 on: February 21, 2015, 08:40:21 AM »
I bought a used NH 785  with about 5000 hours on it.  It now has almost 15,000 hours.  Easy maintenance.  Have plug in heater, so it starts easy even below zero.  It is fabulous for moving cedar logs and bundles of lumber.
We have a couple Cat 277 and 287 on rubber tracks.  They start easy in cold weather and have much better mobility than the wheeled NH.  Downside is that the tracks need to be cleaned if it is going to freeze at night.
I know nothing about kittens or deer.
I am in the pink when sawing cedar.

Offline pabst79

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Re: Info on skid steers
« Reply #13 on: February 21, 2015, 09:09:53 AM »
bobcat #1 really?  that brand would be my last choice  :(but i probably don't  have much experiance  :)




 How silly of me, Bobcats are actually garbage, made of tooothpicks and elmers glue, don't buy one!
In all seriousness putting aside the hopeless brand debate, (that's why I listed other brands) , what dealers do you have close to you? A great deal on a machine won't matter if you can't get parts or service.
4th Generation Plumber/Fitter who used to collect chainsaws,firearms and mostly useless iron things, now I mostly collect diapers that my wife throws off the deck...

Offline okmulch

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Re: Info on skid steers
« Reply #14 on: February 21, 2015, 11:18:40 AM »
I own four Cats. Three track models ranging from 11 years old to 2 years old, and a wheeled one with Mclaren no air tires with steel tracks over them. Although Cat seems to be a little pricey if I need a part I can get it next morning in a drop box in my town. This saves a lot of time and money in the long run by being able to get things back up and running.  Plus Cat  and Terex are the only brands that have the type of tracks that work well in our application. Terex's are hard to get parts for in my area.
Bobcat ,Deere and the other brands track designs don't hold up well in our application and come off easily.
Rotochopper b66 track, woodmizer lt40, CAT 277b, CAT 268b, CAT 287c, CAT 277c, CAT299d2

Offline sandhills

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Re: Info on skid steers
« Reply #15 on: February 21, 2015, 01:36:15 PM »
Not going to get into the brand war here either, just my personal experience.  Bobcat is what I've primarily run (a lot) so always felt comfortable in one and never had any major issues.  I've ran an older case that I didn't care for much, hard starting in cold or warm weather and it was kept inside all the time plus plugged in.  I don't remember the model but I climbed into a big Cat with tracks in the dark and was working in tight quarters (salebarn, a lot of narrow alley ways and tight turns) and absolutely loved it for never running one before.  The same place also owned a much smaller Gehl and still does, I've never been able to get used to the controls in it and I've ran it quite a bit, but it has held up good.  I've never ran a New Holland, but in MHO try them out before you buy and see what you feel comfortable in, me personally, if I had the money it would be a Cat.  On a side note, digging a basement under an existing  house goes a lot faster if the bucket has teeth (just ask my BIL)  :D.   

Offline THUNDER BEAST

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Re: Info on skid steers
« Reply #16 on: February 21, 2015, 02:45:14 PM »
I have no stakes in this debate and really do not care, I stated that my research showed that Bobcat is the #1 selling brand of skidsteer type machine, and data was all I was using. Machinery Pete: Skid steer debate - Agriculture.com
www.agriculture.com Machinery Construction Skid Steers
Jul 11, 2010 - Greg Peterson Publisher, F.A.C.Ts Report Who makes the best skid steer? ... Below are links for eight of the top selling brands of skid steers. Greg Peterson
Publisher, F.A.C.Ts Report
Who makes the best skid steer?
This question caught my eye in an interesting thread going this week in the Machinery Talk discussion group.
So what do you think? Lot of factors go into forming an opinion on a question like this. Obviously, personal history you've had with various makes & models of skid steers would form the base of your decision. Which ones did you like? Why? What didn't you like about particular makes or models? Perhaps feedback you've picked up along the way from your friends, neighbors, dealers, etc.
I enjoyed reading the comments in the discussion thread. One good point more than a few folks brought up was the importance of dealer support and also the distribution network. Is it easy to find parts? To get proper service done in a timely manner?
Over my nearly 20 years of compiling auction price data I've had countless discussions with folks on the topic of skid steers. Guys looking to buy, looking to sell, trying to figure out what theirs is worth. You name it. In years of listening I've heard good and bad things about nearly every make & model out there.
But Pete, which skid steer do you think is best?
Ha, nice try. I'm not going there. What I can do though, is provide insight and facts into resale value on skid steers of all makes & models, just as one post from Wrangler Steve asked me to do in a related Machinery Talk question, "Pete, what skid steer holds its resale the best?"
Resale value is piece of the puzzle, its not the whole deciding factor in "who makes the best skid steer?" Take it for what its worth. Perhaps it can refine the conversation, or provide a starting point..."yes, its worth X, but what about&?"
As the question posed was so broad, "Who makes the best?," I decided to provide you a wide swath of our auction sale price data. Below are links for eight of the top selling brands of skid steers. I have included all the models we've seen sell at auction from 2006-2009 for each make.
One last tidbit I'll leave you with. Based on the raw data I have compiled over the last dozen years, here are the top four brands, listed in terms of number of items I've seen sold at auction:
- Bobcat (1,283 sold at auction)
- Case (736 sold)
- NH (538 sold)
- JD (425 sold)
At least in terms of volume, it isn't close. It's Bobcat by a mile.

Offline Stuart Caruk

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Re: Info on skid steers
« Reply #17 on: February 21, 2015, 03:14:42 PM »
Most any skid steer will work for moving stuff around the mill as long as it has a high enough lift capacity. Tracked loaders generally lift more for their size than wheels, since you'r pivoting around the front idle rather than the front tire, so you have more weight behind to balance the load. You stump grinder will suck on standard flow and shred on high flow. We just picked up a high flow Bobcat T320 and it makes our stump, grinder, brush mower, and trencher really productive tools, rather than just O/K tools.

Whoever had this machine before us notched out the rear door and added a receiver hitch. It's the handiest thing on a tracked Bobcat. This sucker goes anywhere, and now I'm building a log arch to hook into it. I was going to do it before but driving everywhere backwards to skid logs would have been such a pain. The receiver hitch is just such a simple idea. Wonder why you don't see more of them.
Stuart Caruk
Wood-Mizer LX450 Diesel w/ debarker and home brewed extension, live log deck and outfeed rolls. Woodmizer twin blade edger, Barko 450 log loader, Clark 666 Grapple Skidder w/ 200' of mainline. Bobcats and forklifts.

Offline redprospector

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Re: Info on skid steers
« Reply #18 on: February 21, 2015, 04:27:04 PM »
Hmm, where to start?
In the brand war, pick a machine that has a "good" servicing dealer close to you. Having said that; The only brand that I've had a bad experience with was Terex/ASV, I hope to avoid ever having another experience with them.
If you plan to run a stump grinder, or mulching head, you will definitely want high flow hydraulics. If you won't be using these attachments much, you'll have to weigh out the added cost.
As far as lifting logs, and how much horse power, I'd say figure out what you think you need, and then get a machine at least one size bigger. I've got a Bobcat T320 with 92 hp. that will lift a heck of a lot, and sometimes it's not big enough (especially on less than flat ground).
Max hours? That would depend a lot on what it was used for by it's previous owner. If it was used for general work (pushing dirt, moving logs, etc.), and was maintained decent, these machines are good for several thousand hours. I sold a Bobcat 863 with 5000 hrs. in 08. The guy that bought it sold it last year with 8700 hrs. still working good. If it was used in the mulching business then all bets are off. A lot of dealers figure that a 100 horse, high flow machine is only good for about 2000 hours in this line of work.
Tracks vs. Tires? Tracks have a lot of advantages, mainly stability and lift capacity. But they are expensive to maintain. I just put aftermarket tracks on my T320 at a cost of about $2500. I need to replace the sprockets and rear idlers to the tune of another $1200 real soon. Tires can be replaced one at a time for $150 to $200 a pop (depending on what you've got). If you choose to go with tracks, which in my opinion are the better option, check on the cost of wear parts for the undercarriage, some brands are way more costly to maintain than others.

Good luck!
1996 Timber King B-20 with 14' extension, Morgan Mini Scragg Mill, Fastline Band Scragg Mill (project), 1973 JD 440-b skidder, 2008 Bobcat T-320 with buckets, grapple, auger, Tushogg mulching head, etc., 2006 Fecon FTX-90L with Bull Hog 74SS head, 1994 Vermeer 1250 BC Chipper. A bunch of chainsaws.

Offline NWP

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Re: Info on skid steers
« Reply #19 on: February 21, 2015, 05:13:17 PM »
Something I've done on both of my machines is foam filled the tires. No more flats. Best money I've spent. Something to think about.
1999 Blockbuster 2222, 1994 Duratech HD8, 1997 Duratech HD10, 2011 Case SV250, 2000 Case 1845C, 1990 Peterbilt 378 w/ Hood 7000 loader, 2001 Chevrolet, 2005 Chevrolet, several trailers, and Stihl saws.


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