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How to Choose a Skid Steer and Use Them in Your Operation

If you’re looking for a piece of equipment that is somewhere between a forklift and full-on telehandler, you’re probably in the market for a skid steer loader. But just as with tractors, there are so many kinds of skid steer loaders that it is easy to get overwhelmed with your options.

 

Today, we’re breaking down everything you need to know about the best skid steers—from wheel type to job type.

 

WHAT IS A SKID LOADER?

A skid steer loader is a small piece of equipment that does a little bit of everything when it comes to moving things. The operator is placed between both lifting arms with the pivot point to the rear and the attachment plate ahead. There are some differences between models other than size as well. Two drive choices are wheels or tracks, each with their own strengths and weaknesses. Another choice when purchasing is a radial or vertical lift path.

Using a wide variety of attachments, you can do almost anything with this piece of equipment; your options are nearly limitless!

 

WHAT CAN A SKID STEER DO FOR YOUR FARM?

Skid steers are not just for construction sites or road work. They can do all kinds of things for your farm. Consider using a skid steer for any of the following things:

  • Landscaping

When you’ve got a big landscaping job, consider using a skid steer for things like removing stumps, spreading wood chips, spading trees, and transporting soil to the right place.

  • Digging

This function overlaps the others, but since it’s the most popular function of a skid steer, we mention it again here. It can do subtle things like dig out irrigation pipes; or it can smash through a parking lot to get to what’s underneath it. Just use the right attachment for the right job!

  • Snow-clearing

You can use a snowblower or a bucket to clear a parking lot or a driveway.

 

Agriteer carries a wide variety of used skid steers from reliable brands. Check out the money-saving options on our used equipment page.

 

 

WHAT DO YOU NEED TO KNOW BEFORE PURCHASING?

As you look around at new and used skid steers, you will see the following things being rated and talked about. Talk them over with a Agriteer representative, a farmer friend you trust, or even another skid steer owner if you have any questions before purchasing.

 

  • Operating capacity

This is also known as lift capacity. You should research how much the skid steer unit can carry, to determine if it is right for your farm and the jobs you have coming up.

  • Size

You can get small, medium, or large skid steers, but none of them are light. When it comes to skid steer weight, the smallest runs around 3 tons big, and the largest pushes 4.5 tons! So you won’t exactly be picking one up to put in on a truck to transport home.

  • Terrain

Skid steers are not great in the mud or rocks/uneven ground. They can drive over mildly uneven ground for a bit, but they like to stay pretty level for the most part. Tracked units will handle rough terrain with more ease than wheeled loaders.

  • How attached it can get

You can get almost any kind of attachment for any size of skid steer loader but be sure that you’re buying the right ones for the right jobs and the right loaders. You don’t want to get a bucket that will move more material only for it to not fit into the storage shed.

  • What kind of lift it has

A vertical lift is going to be better at reaching high-range things such as reaching over a dump truck to unload, whereas the radial lift (the more compact option) will have more reach which is useful for grading jobs or unloading flatbeds.

 

No matter which option you decide to go with, Agriteer has got you covered, with new and skid steers of all types.

 

SKID STEER SAFETY

Compared to combines and some bigger equipment on your farm, skid steers might look kind of cute. But they are still dangerous machinery, and you should use the utmost care when operating them. Here are some general safety tips:

  • Only operate if you are qualified to do so (check your state requirements for operating farm equipment).
  • Inspect the machine before you use it.
  • Inspect the machine regularly, according to your operating manual’s instructions.
  • Never leave it unattended while running.
  • When you park it, put the bucket on the ground.
  • When you drive it, make sure the bucket is low to the ground, but not dragging.
  • Make sure your load won’t cause the machine to tip over.
  • When working around other people, flag off your area or work closely with a spotter, so you won’t hit other people or equipment.
  • Stay seated while driving.
  • Don’t give anyone rides in the bucket.

 

CONCLUSION

As always, Agriteer has you covered when it comes to skid steers and any other loading machine you could want. Check out our selection of used skid steers, and let us know if there is anything you’d like to take a look at in person, such as used skid steer attachments.

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