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Pros and Cons of a Skid Steer, Tractor, etc.

Discussion in 'Heavy Equipment' started by Rico T., Feb 19, 2011.

  1. Rico T.

    Rico T. Member
    Messages: 37

    Well, I figure this is a good place to ask these...I'm a newbie still gathering information on the whole snow plowing industry, and I have questions about "heavy equipment"...

    What are the pros and cons of a skid steer or tractor versus a truck? I mean, I can see the obvious points like maneuverability and the ability to stack higher, but what else? At what point do you say "A skid steer would work better than a truck here."? And lastly, if you're cleaning up a commercial lot with one of these, is that included in your plowing agreement or is it more of an "extra service" type thing?

    Sorry for all the questions. Like I said, I'm gathering information... :D
     
  2. Xforce 1

    Xforce 1 Senior Member
    Messages: 109

    If all your accounts are in the same area, I would use a skid (2 speed). As far as "cleaning-up", I would say that would be your hourly charge. If its a bid job, make sure you put in that the lot will be cleared unless there are obsticles (cars etc) in the way. If this occurs, extra charges will be applied for a "return clean-up" or just have it in your bid to cover it. Thats what we do but most of our accounts are by the hour. Trucks are good for longer runs. Its really what type lots/accounts you have. Apartment complex-skid, access roads-truck, big open lot-tractor with a pusher. IMO. Hope this helps
     
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2011
  3. Greenmtboy

    Greenmtboy Senior Member
    from Vermont
    Messages: 372

    So if distance is a concern, where do you draw the line? If your lots are 10 mins. apart by truck, are you better off plowing with a truck vs a skid or tractor?
     
  4. Rico T.

    Rico T. Member
    Messages: 37

    Thanks for the reply; good information! :salute: Now, you provided the examples of an apartment complex and an access road, and I completely understand the reasoning on both of those. However, when doing an open lot, what benefit(s) does a tractor offer over a truck?

    EDIT: I would also be interested in an answer to Greenmtnboy's question above...
     
  5. Xforce 1

    Xforce 1 Senior Member
    Messages: 109

    IMO, keep in mind this is what we do, it seems to work the best for us, it may or may not for you. My answer to his question is a tractor can mobilize at a halfway decent pace so the "line" decision will have to be made by you. I would not get to where it takes over 20-25 min to get from one end of town to the other if you see what I'm saying.In an open lot, what seems to work the best for us is, depending on just how big, is a truck/plow and a tractor/pusher. The truck windrows a few rows and the tractor takes the windrow to the end of the lot while the truck makes another. Now, saying that, I own the co. and I use a 100 h.p. tractor with a 10' IST protech pusher. Also I have a 70 h.p. tractor with a no name 10' pusher and we both run 17 (commercial) accounts combined by ourself with no truck or skid. They are in another part of the area. I had to send my trucks to an area that consists of quite a bit of mobilization for some new accounts. So both pushers are together in 2 of our bigger lots and they break up for the remaining 15 in this area. Another thing is, do you already have this equipment or do you have to buy it. You'll have to consider your accounts on what is the most efficient. You can pick-up a decent truck/plow off of CL for 4-5k sometimes. I run cattle so I already have my tractors and skid for them so if you live in town and have no need for a tractor or skid through the summer, truck may be your answer. You can always use a truck. If you do live in town and need a skid to push, look at leasing for the winter. :drinkup:
     
  6. Omran

    Omran Senior Member
    from KY
    Messages: 265

    if they are 10 minuts a part and you have many of them then stay with truck, because loading and unloading is pain in the a$$ in winter.
     
  7. Xforce 1

    Xforce 1 Senior Member
    Messages: 109

    AMEN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!:salute:
     
  8. Greenmtboy

    Greenmtboy Senior Member
    from Vermont
    Messages: 372

    Yes it is a pain, but if a skid is that much faster then a truck it would be worth it. Right, Or does the time of loading and unloading eliminate the advantage of a skid?
     
  9. cretebaby

    cretebaby PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 4,162

    Unless that is 10 minutes on the freeway it really won't matter and you wouldn't bother loading it.
     
  10. Omran

    Omran Senior Member
    from KY
    Messages: 265

    I agree with you on the skid is always faster, I honestly use my bobcat all the time and only time i use the truck if it is a come back to clean where parked cars were sitting, but I still hate loading my skid on frozen ramps.
     
  11. Rico T.

    Rico T. Member
    Messages: 37

    Forgive me if this seems like a dumb question, but how would the temperature affect the difficulty of loading a skid steer? :confused:
     
  12. magnum1

    magnum1 Senior Member
    from ID & ND
    Messages: 249

     
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2011
  13. Omran

    Omran Senior Member
    from KY
    Messages: 265

    well to be honest it is a ***** to load and unload in cold weather, but I try to keep the trailer as clean as possible, I had many times to be very carful not to slip, especially that my trailer is one of the duel tandem 8 wheels and it is higher than other trailers.
     
  14. Rico T.

    Rico T. Member
    Messages: 37

    Well my question was more like, how would it be any more difficult to load it in winter than it is in summer? Or is it just about being uncomfortable in the cold?

    Also, does anyone know what the laws are in Illinois regarding driving a skid steer on a street?
     
  15. EliteSnow&Ice

    EliteSnow&Ice Senior Member
    Messages: 129

    Any advice on buying a used skidsteer. What should I look for and what should be the max hrs on a machine?
     
  16. sp6x6

    sp6x6 Member
    Messages: 58

    I only have a skid for my construction co.I used to have a truck w-v blade. I am a part timer,that is having to rely more on snow lately.I loose alot of jobs to trucks , because of mobility cost. I mainly residental drives, the longer the better. I network w/friends w/trucks, when theycant handle big storm or run out of room. I have also had to touch base with clients more , because they loose my info since I AM USUALLY called for deep snow. I run 8' snow bucket and 6' blower, thinking of a plow for my jeep or truck.
     
  17. sp6x6

    sp6x6 Member
    Messages: 58

    I bought a mid frame size new, gold package, and thought I had everything. Been very happy done alot of work and have a few attachments.If I DID IT AGAIN, I would go good used and larger frame,hp. I would also get hiflow and 2-speed. I have a s185 and plan on getting a 205 set up that way, I would go bigger, but do not want to invest in larger attachments, that I ALREADY HAVE SUCH AS A HOE, etc
     
  18. rob_cook2001

    rob_cook2001 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,181

    It all depends on what you plan on using it for other than snow BUT I would not buy anything smaller than a 185, a 205 is a great size machine and a large frame 250-300 will flat out move some snow. Make sure to get a machine with 2speed, a cab and heat. The year and condition of the machine play into this but I personally will not buy one with over 1000 hours. Check all the pins and bushings.
    Good luck