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Possibly Adding a skid loader, need advice

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by TomB...IN, Dec 3, 2013.

  1. TomB...IN

    TomB...IN Member
    from Indiana
    Messages: 32

    We are thinking of possibily of adding a skid loader to the fleet, and Im looking for some good input. Currently we subcontract for a large landscaping company. Each year they are throwing more and more at us (not that we are complaining) and saying they wish we had more equipment because we do a good job and are efficient with what we have. We have toyed with the idea of adding an older skidloader and are wondering what everyones thoughts are. Currently we are running 2 trucks with plows.

    We have found a couple of used bobcats, a 643 and a 743. What size (weight and horsepower) would you recommend? This would pretty much only be used for snow removal, so obviously we are looking at older and less expensive models (around $6000-8000).

    I work full time as a farmer and am pretty good with a wrench, so I have some decent confidence in finding a mechanically sound machine.

    Any and all advice on pros and cons of various brands/models (within our budget) is welcomed, again we are just trying to get a feel for if it would be worth it.


    Thanks alot guys,
     
  2. beanz27

    beanz27 Senior Member
    Messages: 984

    Go with the 743 minimum, I would go to a 753 personally. Get diesel, gas are underpowered and you`ll want more weight that the diesel gives you. Most guys around here run newer bobcats, S185-205 is what i see. That being said I would go for an 853.

    Older units you will have to trailer, newer ones have 2 speeds=less trailering. Just my opinion, take it or leave it.
     
  3. maxwellp

    maxwellp PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,112

    I use a 1998 Case 1840 Diesel 50hp works great. Heated cab. No two speed. I do not like foot controls for the bucket.
     
  4. TomB...IN

    TomB...IN Member
    from Indiana
    Messages: 32


    Thanks for the advice, I had a feeling anything below the "700" level might be too light and underpowered. I wish it was in the budget for something like the S series, but unfortunately, its not this year.

    I have to agree with the foot controls, Ive always run CAT loaders and have spent many hours in an excavator, so the pilot control comes natural to be. I will definitely look into the case. I just dont know much about other brands (other than Cat, but then were talking $$$)
     
  5. dodge2500

    dodge2500 Senior Member
    Messages: 229

    IMO it comes down to a few factors; how much per hour are they willing to pay, how many jobs/ how busy will this machine be with a normal 2-4 inch snow, what size pusher or plow do you plan on running? We run 2 skids in our operation that are both 90hp or larger and both 2 speed with arctic 10' sectional pushers. They can do the work of 3-4 trucks each or more. If the landscape company has the work to keep a larger/ 2 speed machine busy and the pay is descent, I would think you would be money ahead to go ahead and increase your budget to say 13-16k and look for a 65-85 hp cab with heat and 2 speed type machine. If th jobs are within a 2-4 mile radius, you will be covering more accounts with that one machine than you ever dreamed of with your two trucks. You do run into reliability issues and the issue of what you do in a break-down. We keep a good reliable two speed machine with cab and heat in town as a backup but I am assuming that is not an option for you. We rely very heavely on our machines and if we didn't have them, I would need at least 6 more trucks to take their place. As far as brands are concerned, we have a bobcat 763 that loads salt, a gehl 6640 as a backup, a gehl 7810e to push with, and a new holland l230 to also push with. They have all been good machines but the highest hour machine we have is 2500. Once you get a good skid, you will wonder why you didn't get one sooner. Good luck.
     
  6. beanz27

    beanz27 Senior Member
    Messages: 984

    If you want pilot controls look into ASV, mustang, or Gehl, all are good machines and cheaper than case. NH I dont like, stick out too far behind the operator.
     
  7. Chineau

    Chineau Senior Member
    Messages: 447

    Look for a 943

    I have two skid steer units a newer s-250 and a 943 both 70 plus horse power my self I would not go smaller they can push a full bucket of snow and scrap ice/hard pack well. The 943 is slow getting around but put it in a parking lot or a tight route and it is a real money maker, the advantage with the 943 and older units no computer to mess with if you cannot get help from the dealer.keep your bucket full.
     
  8. Antlerart06

    Antlerart06 PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,437

    Since your a farmer add a tractor It be faster on road between jobs
    unless your route is tight or you have place just for one

    I added a Skid to my fleet and its route is tight and close to the shop. Start of the route 5 little lots and 6 driveways and at end of the route is my biggest complex. From the shop to start of the route is less then a mile and to end of the route is 1.5 mile to the complex from the shop.
    My tractor will go farther away in less time then my skid can travel.
     
  9. beanz27

    beanz27 Senior Member
    Messages: 984

    Much better idea, just make sure you have front wheel assist, you`ll wish you did if you dont. A JD 6420 is perfect or another 120hp area tractor. Big enough to help on the farm yet manuvurable enough for snow with better visibility.
     
  10. WIPensFan

    WIPensFan PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,486

    Guys, how's he going to afford a 120 HP tractor when he's looking for a $6-8k skid steer?!?!

    OP, 743 Bobcat would be fine to start out with. Put a 7' snow bucket on it and away you go. I had a 743B that I did snow with for yrs. Never fixed it other than new tires a couple times. Had open cab when we bought it new(horrible for snow!)then we put a soft cab on it( I was still cold and I couldn't see a damn thing!)then we had the dealer install a full cab and heat...(BRILLIANT!!)
     
  11. Antlerart06

    Antlerart06 PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,437

    He said he is a farmer And around here a farmer has tractors Use what you got. Don't buy something that you already have sitting around
     
  12. Silverstreak

    Silverstreak Senior Member
    Messages: 168

    773

    i picked up a rusty 773G for 7700 last year, 2500 hours

    the thing has been great, paid itself off in one season, good all around machine, good lifting height (can load a triaxle) and lift a good bit (1700 lbs)

    with cab and heat, std controls

    youll find one if you look hard enough

    Before Paint
    [​IMG]

    After $50 in Paint
    [​IMG]
     
  13. WIPensFan

    WIPensFan PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,486

    You said "add a tractor".
     
  14. Antlerart06

    Antlerart06 PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,437

    Yes add a tractor to his fleet of 2 trucks I didn't say buy a tractor

    Since he is a farmer, he should have a few tractors sitting around to add
     
  15. Chineau

    Chineau Senior Member
    Messages: 447

    Silverstreak did you disassemble and sand blast the machine for paint it looks awesome.
     
  16. Silverstreak

    Silverstreak Senior Member
    Messages: 168

    just took the tires and side covers off, i needle scaled as much as i could, sanded and wire brushed what i couldnt reach, but it at least looks better and stops the cancer for another year or two

    here it is finished

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2013
  17. 94gt331

    94gt331 Senior Member
    from usa
    Messages: 293

    Skid looks awesome good job!