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skid loaders

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by yankeeborn, Mar 5, 2003.

  1. yankeeborn

    yankeeborn Junior Member
    Messages: 3

    I'm the new kid on the block and have a question for you pro's - I'm starting out and I've been looking at two brands of skid loaders - What do you guys think about Gehl 4835's and also New Holland LS170's? Good or bad experiences for moving snow.... Thanks for your help. Dave:waving:

    from NJ
    Messages: 196

    Hey , Welcome aboard.... I have a new holland LS160 , same thing as the 170 minus the turbo.... IT works good for snow, at least on smaller commercial lots... I was told the largest blade or pusher is an 8 footer , so if your doing large lots, you may want to look at an LS 180 or 190 ... as far as Gehl goes , no experience on them, but have also not heard anything bad.. they are just not available by me , only ones I have access to are the bobcats, new hollands , and if I want to drive for an hour and a half Caterpilllars..... But the New Hollands are a nice machine, they have a bit longer wheel base than the bobcats so they are a little smoother. I think they are more comfortable and have better traction and performance in the mud, compared to a bobcat..

    from NJ
    Messages: 196

    Dave, I think the most improtant thing is make sure the dealer for whatever make you want is local , friendly and able to provide repairs and parts redilly...( like that dilly ) LOL...
  4. Qualey

    Qualey Junior Member
    Messages: 10

    This is a touchy subject:)

    I leased or demo'd several different types of machines before I made a purchase. Here is what I found (my opinion)

    Gehl...inexpensive, but it shows in comfort and features. nice loader arm design. We have one with 5000hrs, nothing but routine maint.

    Cat...garbage!!! I had a 246 and found it to have dated, inefficient lift arms, WAY overpriced. Does have a very nice cab, controls, pilot drive design

    New Holland...similar to the Gehl, but much nicer load arms. Priced right, nice engines. I almost bought one

    John Deere....very similar to the New Holland but more $$$

    Bobcat...the Marlboro/Budweiser of skid steers. Not cheap, but tried and true. Loved the A300 4 wheel steer, and almost bought it instead of what I ended up with. They have a bulletproof engine, great parts availability, great service, but a fairly dated control layout and drive system.

    I needed a machine with 3000lb lift capacity. I wanted a heated cab and something good in the snow. I bit the bullet and coughed up major cash (still coughing and will be for a while) to purchase an ASV 4810. (www.asvi.com) While overkill for general maintenance, it is great for winter use and moving the granite/stone products we work with daily. The track design exerts 3psi (from a 9000lb machine) and is good to the lawns. Not for everybody, but I love it.

    I think either machine you are looking at will be a good investment. Demo each as much as possible, or better yet, rent one of each for a month. Make sure you get enough lift capacity, or your dead in the water.

    Good luck!

  5. myo

    myo Senior Member
    Messages: 193

    Welcome aboard Yankeeborn...

    How does the track design work on snow? How will running it on pavement affect the tread? Nice machine!

    Thanks Mike
  6. Qualey

    Qualey Junior Member
    Messages: 10


    It is great for the most parts on snow, just like a snowmobile due to its ground clearance. However, on icy sidehills it will slide if you're nor careful. No siping on the tracks. The tracks are designed for long term asphalt use, but replacement is expensive. Our sister company has 2 of these things and just had to replace a set of tracks after 3 years of granite/woods use. They weren't worn, they had tread separation and were prorate warranteed.

    I an getting a 100" bucket for it. This will work better than the 72" I am using for snow removal because its larger, and wider. Now the tracks pick up snow and make a mess, but the wider bucket should prevent this.

  7. Pelican

    Pelican 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,075

    I can't comment on the Gehl, they aren't strong in sales in my area.

    I've run my friend's year old New Holland LS190 and I've got to say I'm not impressed. He bought it for the vertical lift feature, but it won't lift a fully loaded bucket of item 4 to full height. The dealer checked the pump pressures and said they're OK, and that this is a common problem with this machine.

    The controls are antiquated compared to more modern machines. They are of the old Case style, are stiff and require strong wrists. I can't imagine running it a full day.

    He's got the comfort cab options, fully enclosed and insulated. The engine doesn't make a lot of noise, but the drive motors are horrendous! Again, after a full day's operation, this will add a lot of fatigue. I don't know how much of this is common with the LS170.

    My preference is the Cat, I've got a 248. They have vertical lift versions available, plus tracked versions. I don't think you can beat the controls for ease of operation, and the cab is quiet, you can run all day without ear protection depending on your attachment.
  8. Plow Babe

    Plow Babe Senior Member
    Messages: 218

    We have a Bobcat 863 and are happy with it. One thing that was important to us was getting a two-speed, so we can drive 12 mph instead of 6 mph. The new Bobcat 4-wheel steer seems like an innovative idea, too, although we don't have experience with it. We also have an old Hydramac, which is somewhat lacking in the comforts that are built into the newer models, but it is a real tank, very strong. This will raise some eyebrows, but for plowing, we put good studded truck snow tires on the Bobcat. It gets much better traction without having to chain up. We put the regular skid steer tires back on for the summer. Take your time checking out the different options out there, keeping in mind what you will be using it for and the features that are most important to you. Local dealer support is important. Welcome to the business, and we wish you the best!:)
  9. UHLGS

    UHLGS Junior Member
    Messages: 13

    We've got a New Holland Ls180, with the heated cab & all that stuff. We modified a one yd bucket by building up the sides & top to accomodate almost 2.5 + yds. Has really worked well. Last storm we tried out a Blizzard plow just to test the idea of a plow with a skidsteer; great combination!. We've got the weight kit plus some extra. Machine has no problem lifting a full skid of pavers or retaining wall block. Best feature; the suspension seat. Regret we didn't get; the two speed option
    welcome to the site; good luck with whatever machine you pick.
  10. UHLGS

    UHLGS Junior Member
    Messages: 13

    We've got a New Holland Ls180, with the heated cab & all that stuff. We modified a one yd bucket by building up the sides & top to accommodate almost 2.5 + yds. Has really worked well. Last storm we tried out a Blizzard plow just to test the idea of a plow with a skidsteer; great combination!. We've got the weight kit plus some extra. Machine has no problem lifting a full skid of pavers or retaining wall block. Best feature; the suspension seat. Regret we didn't get; the two speed option
    welcome to the site; good luck with whatever machine you pick.
  11. Land Design

    Land Design Member
    Messages: 31

    looking in the next year or two myself to buy and since no one has replied about gehl i will share my opinion.........

    I have run the 5625/35 , and the 6625/35. I have used the machines for heavy demolition, landscaping, and this winter tried a 5635 with a 8ft. pusher on it. As far as lifting capacity I have never had a load in landscaping/demolition that i couldn't lift in the bucket(loose material, don't lift pallets). Controls: The "T" arms are what i run from the rental places and they are ok, kinda hard on the wrist after long days but you can get bobcat controls i think. comfort: its a skidsteer, enough said...........although i would like to try one with a suspension seat. The breakout force i have found is fitting for landscape from these machines. Finally as far as pushing snow goes i'm not sure. The short stint i spent with a 5635 and the protech i was not impressed. I think maybe if the machine had a 2 speed for more power / speed during pushing it would be better. Over all i mostly sat and spun alot trying to push, i expected more from the machine. maybe a tracked model or studed tires would due better. Overall i think they are tanks, especially with the demolition i ran them pretty hard. hope this helps!

    Land Design :drinkup:
  12. Land Design

    Land Design Member
    Messages: 31

    for what its worth i also ran the asv 4810 on a job this fall, older machine and truly an amazing machine, its float system on loose ground is great

    Land Design
  13. paul soccodato

    paul soccodato Senior Member
    Messages: 430

    i own an NH ls170,
    before i bought it, i was renting/using bobcat's, mustang's, and gehl's.

    their all great machines, but it depends on personal preference, job requirements, budget, etc...

    from my experience's, the bobcat's are unstable, under certain condition's. (all skid-loaders are, some more than others)

    the reason i bought a new holland, i demo'ed it for a week, and i was really impressed with the stability, brute force, and power.

    another main reason was dealer support. bunch of great guys.

    the best advice i can give you is, to make sure you're going to have the dealer support. it's important.

    also demo the machines, side by side (if possible), under real "work type" conditions.
  14. Daryl

    Daryl Junior Member
    Messages: 22

    Plow Babe

    Can you elaborate on using truck tires on your bobcat. What type do you use? Can u use those tires for loading snow or only use them for plowing? Are the tires rated for the weight? Interesting idea.
  15. Plow Babe

    Plow Babe Senior Member
    Messages: 218

    The tires we put on the Bobcat are 33-12-50-16.5 Kumho mud terrain tires and we had them super-siped and studded. We looked for the least expensive, stud-able, aggressive mud terrain tires that we could find. (on the Internet, from the Tire Rack) They are a 50 psi rated tire, and we usually run them at about 45 psi. Our Bobcat weighs 7600 pounds. We figured that if the tires were rated for a 3/4 ton pickup with empty weight of about 5500 pounds, then put a full load on it and run down the road at 65 mph, then they should be fine for the Bobcat, and the weight for loading snow is not an issue. We have used it with a 1-yard snow bucket. Also, you will not be building heat in the tire like you would driving a truck down the road at higher speeds. We also got some rims that don't have as deep of an offset as regular skid steer rims, and this widened the stance of the machine by about 8" giving more stability. Steve said that the one "drawback" is that they get too good of traction once you get onto bare pavement.;)
  16. digger242j

    digger242j Senior Member
    Messages: 672

    I've always understood that the issue with running truck tires on a skid steer is sidewall strength. By skidding you are putting a lot of sideways load on the tires. I imagine that on snowy pavement that problem would be minimized, but I'd also imagine they wouldn't hold up very long once spring arrived and you started using them in the dirt.

    The drawback of too much traction on dry pavement is probably a symptom of a lack of sidewall stiffness. I'll bet it gets real bouncy as you try to turn, because the sidewalls are flexing more than with tires specifically designed for skid steers.
  17. Plow Babe

    Plow Babe Senior Member
    Messages: 218

    As I mentioned, we put the regular skid steer tires on for summer work, but for plowing, the sidewall issue is not a problem. As far as that goes, just take a look sometime at what kind of a workout these truck tires are getting out 4-wheeling and rock crawling - you want to talk about sidewall pressure! If they can take that, they can take a workout in the snow. We put over 600 hours on them in a winter season and have never had a problem. And again, this is a personal decision and everyone has to decide what is best for them in their application, but even if we blew out all four tires in a season, that is $600. One residential season account pays for that, and we do a lot of steep driveways that the regular skid steer tires would not have enough traction to do, and we would have to chain up, then remove the chains for the other accounts, because people don't like the chains tearing up their driveways. We are much quicker and more efficient using these tires, and it is well worth the risk of having to replace them more often, although this has not been the case - they have held up just fine. It is the same principle as using a bigger plow than what the truck is rated for. They will tell you not to put anything bigger than a 7.5 blade on a 3/4 ton pickup. Some of the broader minded dealers will go up to 8-ft. We have used a 9-ft with wings on a Blazer or Bronco for years. Sure, we probably have replaced more u-joints than we would have using a smaller plow. But is it worth it? Most of the contractors around here that do residential have all they can handle at 30 to 45 accounts. Three of us take care of 250, and we do a good job and have happy customers. You do the math.
  18. 66Construction

    66Construction Senior Member
    Messages: 315

    We have an Ls180...it's a work horse but it bothers my knees a lot when I'm in it for a while, I'm only 22 so I don't think it's my knees?? Anyone else have that problem?? Other then that I can't say anything bad about it. It has a 12' pusher on it and as long as you plow with the storm and dont try to push 10" it's amazingly productive. Lots of power, we broke up plenty of old banks and stacked up a lot of ice boulders with it. Love the 2 speed option.
  19. plowed

    plowed Senior Member
    Messages: 344

    I too have an ASV, the 2810. Great machine! It has both high and low flow hydro, which is nice. I can run any of about 100 different attachments, hammers, etc.

    Like Matt said, they are more money than a traditional skid steer, but I feel it's worth it.

    The machine can ascend and descend steep grades where other machines would be on their backs. It has a great load capacities. Overall, I'd buy another one if I was looking again.

    Good Luck,

  20. yankeeborn

    yankeeborn Junior Member
    Messages: 3

    Any of you guys familiar with the CAT 226 OR 236 ? I'm looking at both - with an MA9 configuration. Your thoughts? Thanks, Dave:waving: