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Compact Wheel Loaders

Discussion in 'Heavy Equipment' started by Greenmtboy, Feb 18, 2015.

  1. Greenmtboy

    Greenmtboy Senior Member
    from Vermont
    Messages: 372

    A couple questions for you guys that have used them and maybe some of you that have used both compact loaders and skid steers. I'll get to them in a bit.
    What I'm looking to do here is to is to gain visibility, have the ability to turn with a blade full of snow and increase productivity.
    I used my Cat 262C w/HLA 8'-13' SnowWing for comparison when I was doing my research. Obviously you can't do a direct comparison with a skid and loader but its a starting point. We who use or have used skids for snow removal know how agile they are and that makes them great for tight area's and the ability to spin around on a dime and head back the other direction all while having a respectable HP to weight ratio and speed. So, all that was important to me while doing my comparison (within reason). After comparing brands that are near by, Cat, Deere, Case and Volvo, I think I have it narrowed down to the JD 324J. It has the tightest turning radius in its class (12' 5"(out of the ones I compared) decent HP (73), heavy enough to keep it planted (13,404 lbs), good road speed (18.6 mph) and a respectable bucket hinge pin height (127"). Here are my questions to start. Will the JD 324J be more productive (that's a tough one to answer I know)? In a straight line push, will I miss the 9 hp less the loader has vs my skid (82 hp)? The loader being heavier, longer and that it articulates and has rear steering would you say it could handle a larger wing plow?

    Here is a spreadsheet I put together while I was doing my comparison.
     

    Attached Files:

  2. r.renterprises

    r.renterprises Member
    Messages: 31

    I used to use a bobcat s250 2 speed 73 hp machine with a homade 10' push. Bought a jd 244j 2 years ago i got a 10' push with a rubber edge on it. Not my first choice but i had it. The 59 hp loader uses half the fuel pushes twice the snow. I have sno tires on both machines. Visability is amazing and considering my 65 year old dad runs it he was ever so happy to get out of the skid. Also we cut our plowing time almost in half with this machine compared to the skid. I know the loader could easily handle a 12' push.
     
  3. 512high

    512high Senior Member
    Messages: 113

    I have a 2011 John Deere 244j, my lots are small this years so no pusher, we have used ALOT just stacking and relocating snow on site. With fairness to the Cat 906H, it does have an available travel gear option, which has a top speed of 21.5 mph or so, 244j on level ground, I have reached 20-22 mph, with that's said, I had trouble in my area finding a used cat with that feature, so the Deere it was! Also the "J" series is no longer , has been replaced by "K'' series.
     
  4. WilliamOak

    WilliamOak PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,986

    I've seen personally the difference between a 262c 2spd vs 906h, same size box the loader pushes more snow night and day. Plus stacks mountains compared to the 262. Granted not quite as nimble but that's really the only downside and why there's different machines at different sites. I ran fuel to both operators near the end of our 20" event a few weeks back and the guy in the 262 couldn't wait to get out whereas the one in the 906 looked more comfortable than me lol
     
  5. Triple L

    Triple L PlowSite Fanatic
    from Canada
    Messages: 5,988

    If you plan on cutting your time in half with a compact wheel loader your only kidding yourself, my s650 with a 10' live edge is only 15-20% slower then my 906h with a 9-15 wing plow, the skid was half the price, to be honest the skid is by far the best bang for the buck when you add snow tires...
     
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2015
  6. snocrete

    snocrete Banned
    Messages: 2,862

    Although we currently dont have a compact wheel loader in our fleet, I was going to mention the cost factor is significant.....along with sheer weight of the machines being compared. So this is not an apples to apples comparison imo.

    Comparing a S850 Bobcat to a 906 Cat (both w/ snow tires) would be more appropriate, maybe.?.......and IIRC, someone here on PS has done this & gave their feedback as to performance.

    I wont argue a compact wheel loader is more comfortable.
     
  7. Triple L

    Triple L PlowSite Fanatic
    from Canada
    Messages: 5,988

    The loader is absolutely hands down the most comfortable and easiest to operate, but cost-effective is hand to justify, I just bought a 110hp kubota tractor the other week because again, I simply couldn't justify another 90k loader... when a 55k tractor can plow the same amount of snow... for me I have one of each now and when you start looking at your return on investment it becomes interesting
     
  8. Greenmtboy

    Greenmtboy Senior Member
    from Vermont
    Messages: 372

    Thank you for your input.

    I did consider a 906H or 907H. I like the fact you can get high flow along with the work tool harness. But I really liked the turning radius of the Deere over 2' tighter. I will buy used when it comes time, I'll be patient and wait for the right deal.
    Thanks

    I might have to reconsider Cat, but the turning radius is bugging me. It takes over 2' more area, maybe it would be such a big deal but it sounds like a lot in tight spots.
    Thanks

    No, not thinking I'm going to cut my time in half, trying to be a little more versatile. It would be nice to have the added weight, wheel base to help windrowing in the bigger lots and still be able to do the smaller ones without it being a pain.
    Thanks
     
  9. Greenmtboy

    Greenmtboy Senior Member
    from Vermont
    Messages: 372

    I would agree, you can't do a apples to apples comparison.

    I agree, and I wouldn't dish out 90K, that would be ridiculous.
     
  10. r.renterprises

    r.renterprises Member
    Messages: 31

    I was not able to replace my skid completely with the loader i have some loading docks that are impossible to get the loader in to. We are looking to pick up a wacker loader to do cleanup and sidewalks. We are a 2 man operation so we need to boogie when it snows.
     
  11. 512high

    512high Senior Member
    Messages: 113

    *** Just an fyi!!!! I noticed the other day on the forums page(equipment for sale) there is a person/handle Patrick? selling a 08/09 cat906h with high speed option , for $50k, about 2,000 hrs, original owner, there are some pics...seems clean, and i think thats a good price, may cost $a few grand to get to vermont? not sure, anyways, im sure "triple" can advise more on a 906h, also i think his friend has a 244j, both great machines,
     
  12. edgeair

    edgeair Senior Member
    Messages: 597

    I would agree on the time thing. While I haven't owned a compact wheel loader, I have extensively demoed and used them quite a few hours doing snow removal a couple of years ago. It would all depend on your sites, but I would say 15% is a good rule of thumb, but if you are on a tight site, the skid will be more productive (with a similar plow being used).

    Comfort and visibility are no question better in the wheel loader. However, some of that can be mitigated with an air ride seat and ride control on a skid.

    For us, it came down to a wheel loader costing almost 2X a larger very well equipped skid steer. That, and the wheel loader doesn't replace a skid, whereas a skid can do just about anything a wheel loader can.

    As Triple said, a tractor with a blade basically replaces a wheel loader at much less cost, and you still could put something like a blower on the back - best of both worlds.

    Don't get me wrong, if you have the use for a specialized machine like the wheel loader and it fits well into your operation, they are hard to beat.
     
  13. John_DeereGreen

    John_DeereGreen PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,896

    We have a 244J with LD12 Arcitc on a site that had a skid (L175 NH) with 10 foot Arctic and a truck with 8' straight blade and wings. The 244 has replaced both and gets done about 10 percent faster than both those combined did before. It's a Wal Mart site.

    Hands down the loader for visibility, stacking, and ease of pushing larger snow loads. If it were a smaller or tight site, the skids would rule the roost.

    We could never replace all of our skids with mini loaders, but on the right properties they're awesome.