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Wheel Loader vs. Skip Loader

Discussion in 'Heavy Equipment' started by Rat_Power_78, Jan 5, 2013.

  1. Rat_Power_78

    Rat_Power_78 Senior Member
    Messages: 175

    Looking to add one of these to the fleet. It would mostly be used for loading bulk materials in the summer, with only occasional use during winter to push back piles. We would be loading anything from a tandem dump to the occasional customers pickup. I would like to have the option to put pallet forks on the machine also, which I believe is possible with either machine in some way or another. Looking at something like these:



    Anybody have experience with anything similar? I know the 920 is old, but I see old CAT's still in operation around here and the dealer (Ziegler in Rochester) in the area have an outstanding reputation for both parts and service.
  2. SSS Inc.

    SSS Inc. PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,373


    We have a older 545 that we use to load trucks in the summer. For what we use it for the guys jump out of the truck, load then back in the truck many times a day. Getting in and out of a wheel loader would get a little tiring. The skip loaders are nice machines. You don't see many in our state as most guys have a skid steer if they want something smaller than a wheel loader. Its not going to have the power or capacity of a bigger machine (obviously) but they can get the job done. Parts are not a problem, Carlson tractor in Rosemount can get whatever you need. That machine came from our state and several come up for auction every few months. They usually go for around 15k so the price is good. We have been looking for another as well and almost went to look at that one.
  3. Rat_Power_78

    Rat_Power_78 Senior Member
    Messages: 175

    So having enough reach to load a tandem with a skip loader wont be an issue? Do they seem to have enough power and traction? How do they do pushing up gravel piles, etc? I think I am leaning in that direction, mostly because I think something like that 545 would be a lot more versatile. It will be replacing a NH 3045 that we outgrew practically as soon as we got it and hopefully will mean a lot less hauling our S250 off jobs just to load a truck.
  4. Antlerart06

    Antlerart06 PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,437

    That 545 you posted is over price I seen few those sell around here for that price with half the hours
    I know different areas stuff sale different from the pics I wouldnt give more then 14k

    Looks like need rear tires

    For power wise should have plenty power for loading snow and rock
  5. SSS Inc.

    SSS Inc. PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,373

    You will have no problem loading tandems, we do that all the time. Plenty of reach. Its nice to load trucks because the bucket is way out front as compared to a skid. We load a lot of granite chips used for chip sealing asphalt and it loads tandems more evenly than a skid steer by far. It also takes about half of the buckets to do so. I think guys would find they like the skip loaders a lot but with skid steers having so many options you just don't see as many skip loaders anymore. Based on everything you have mentioned I think you will find you like it. For your application I would say these will be easier to work on than a wheel loader. Just my thoughts. Good luck.
  6. Rat_Power_78

    Rat_Power_78 Senior Member
    Messages: 175

    SSS, thanks for the info.

    Looks to definetly need tires, going to have to check into that if I go for that particular one.
  7. viper881

    viper881 Senior Member
    Messages: 450

    Those prices looks very high for what ive been looking at in michigan. the wheel loader is what i would pick over the skip becuase of the resale.
  8. buckwheat_la

    buckwheat_la 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,254

    That wheel loader will go forever, better turning ability, and it probably weighs more too.
  9. Rat_Power_78

    Rat_Power_78 Senior Member
    Messages: 175

    It is definetly on the high end for the 545, but then it seems way nicer than anything else around here that I've been finding.

    Yep no doubt about longevity with the wheel loader, and probably still be worth the same or close to it several years down the road as long as its maintained. Any idea on ground speed on either of these?
  10. tread lightly services

    tread lightly services Member
    Messages: 89

    looking at those prices damn!! i would buy another skid with the high reach arms, no brainer that equipment is pretty old..
    anything bigger than a s175 should load a tandem no problem.
  11. Rat_Power_78

    Rat_Power_78 Senior Member
    Messages: 175

    The downside to another skid is the same irritating issue with one skid: our loading yard is gravel therefor any turning means tearing up and rutting up the gravel. I will not be purchasing another skid at this time, rather something that either steers or articulates (no, that does not mean something like an A300).

    Skip loaders are uncommon and as this one was owned by a municipality it was most likely maintained regularly and may have the service records to prove it. In my opinion, that is worth something. It does appear to need tires and I do think the price is a bit high but thats what negotiation is for.

    The 920 seems at first overpriced for that old of a machine, however, part of that is the fact that it is a CAT. Say what you will about buying a name, in the case of Caterpillar, at least in my area, dealer support and parts availability cant be beat or even come close to by other brands. Would I spend that kind of money on another brand of iron that old? Very unlikely. Would another brand be cheaper? Almost certainly. I feel that you get what you pay for, whether it be up front in cash or later on down the road when something breaks. A smart man once told me it doesnt matter who's name is on it, they all break down. What matters is service and support when that happens.
  12. DGODGR

    DGODGR Senior Member
    from s/w co
    Messages: 639

    For what it's worth, I always liked those old Ford skip loaders. I do think that it will not load high side tandems nearly as well as a loader. As I recall, the low frame profile made reaching the center of tandems tough. Someone has already posted that it's no problem. It's probably been about 15-20 years since I ran one so maybe my recollection is wrong. Either way I'd be a bit concerned about truck loading with no weight out back. It will be pretty tippy unless you put a box blade, or something heavy, out back.
    I'm not sure why you are opposed to an A300. It will load tandems (not nearly as good as a loader though), will not tear up the ground when turning, will skid steer with the switch of a button (should you want to), will plow snow, or push dirt, better than any other skid steer. I'm not sure about price of a used one though. I doubt that you will get one for $18K but I have not been looking for one either.
  13. goel

    goel PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,079

    Lots of implements you can run on a skip loader. You can also get a drag box scraper and pull and push snow at the same time.
  14. Rat_Power_78

    Rat_Power_78 Senior Member
    Messages: 175

    I think it has weights on the rear wheels, and if that isn't enough, the tires could always be filled. My opposition to an A300 is mostly budget related, and to a skid steer in general simply because I already have an S250 and I really don't want a second skid right now. I am 99% sure that a skip loader is what I will be going with due to the fact that, while it does give up some ability to load as well as a wheel loader, my theory is it will more than make it up in versatility since it has a 3-point. Add to that the fact that I have several 3-point attachments already, and it gets harder to justify something that can only load (even though the equipment-loving kid in me really wants one). I have not yet gone to look at this particular Ford, or any other skip loader yet so a lot of this is speculation and theory at this point.
  15. SSS Inc.

    SSS Inc. PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,373

    We've got a Gannon blade on the back of ours as well as wheel weights. Again, we load tandems and triaxles all the time.
  16. Rat_Power_78

    Rat_Power_78 Senior Member
    Messages: 175

    I found a youtube video of another one showing how high the arms lift and after seeing that I have no doubt it would load my truck with ease. I'm guessing the wheel weights will be plenty, but like I said, there is always the option of filling the tires or hanging something off the 3-point. Just a matter of getting over there to look at it and finalizing the sale of my tractor.
  17. SSS Inc.

    SSS Inc. PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,373

    I forgot to mention we do have our tires filled as well. I think its a bit overkill for just loading.

    Someone mentioned plowing with one: My dad started the plowing side of our business in the 1960s using a Ford Industrial tractor with a box blade. He always commented on how well having a box on the back scraped and dragged extra snow along.
  18. Rat_Power_78

    Rat_Power_78 Senior Member
    Messages: 175

    Well it looks like the 545 is sold, although the guy has yet to pay for it. So I guess its back to searching for me. I looked at a mid-90s JCB loader yesterday. The size looked right and the price was decent I think, but it would mean giving up the versatility of the 3-point...
  19. gd8boltman

    gd8boltman Senior Member
    Messages: 324

    Did you ever consider a

    telehandler. No 3 pt., but far better all around then any skid loader, road speed of 19 much more operator friendly, and will easily load any truck. Here is ours, best all around machine we could ask for. They are not easy to find used, but if you look hard enough you will find one.

    photos 1-2011 018-13.jpg
  20. Rat_Power_78

    Rat_Power_78 Senior Member
    Messages: 175

    Always thought one of those could be handy, but way out of my budget I'm sure.