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Looking for some advice on skidsteers.

Discussion in 'Heavy Equipment' started by PerfiCut L&L, Dec 24, 2005.

  1. PerfiCut L&L

    PerfiCut L&L Senior Member
    Messages: 178

    Its a little early, but Im starting my shopping now for the spring and want to pick up a bobcat with a bucket. Mainly for our landscaping jobs, (stone & topsoil) and possibly snow removal next season.

    Ive never owned one and have been cautioned about the maintenance expenses associated with them. What has been your experience with these machines and whats their reliability history like? Any Common problems, or expected expenses?

    I need something thats capable of lifting about 1800-2200 lbs, any recommendations? One final question (for now) :) rates? What sort of rates do you charge for the use of something like this?

    Thanks in advance for your help.
  2. Craftybigdog

    Craftybigdog Senior Member
    Messages: 238

    Ill have a John Deere 317 for sale the 1 of April. Its loaded and right now has 140hrs on it. I bought it last Jan 2005.
  3. dirt digger

    dirt digger Senior Member
    Messages: 619

    company i work for has a case 1840 and a takeuchi compact track loader. if you can fork over the extra cash up front i would go with a compact track loader. they are far more stable, reliable, powerful, and can go almost anywhere. the skid loaders are good for dry dirt and yards, but put them in deep mud and they really struggle. Get the pilot controls too...direction in the left joystick and loader control in the right. The old style twin sticks are ok, but your wrists start to hurt at the end of the day. I would not get anything with foot controlled bucket. You start going in rough terrain and you need your feet to brace you, the last thing you want to do is accidently dump your bucket when you're going down a steep hill..any other questions just ask and i can try and help.
  4. bobcatuser

    bobcatuser Junior Member
    Messages: 10

    If you are looking for a 1800 - 2200 ROC machine I would recommend a Bobcat S185 with counterweight kit or a S220.

    The S185 is a good machine for getting into backyards (with offset wheels it's 60" wide) add the counter weight kit and you can move full skids of turf but not most skids of pavers. You shouldn't have a problem trailering a S185 behind a heavy 3/4 ton with 10,000 # trailer, With the S220 or similar machine you will need a 1 Ton dually with 12,000 # trailer.

    The S220 has 2 spd. travel which is good for production on paved surface like parking lots or sub divisions. This option makes a huge difference over a standard skid steer.

    Bobcat loaders are usually problem free to at least 4000 hrs with regular preventative maintenance.

    Charge out rate is roughly operating cost of machine plus operator wage with a 30 percent margin for the owner. example operator wage $25 Hr / Machine expense's $25 Hr / Owner $25 Hr = Charge out rate $75 Hr. Move charge extra and minimum 4 Hr. charge out per job.
  5. PerfiCut L&L

    PerfiCut L&L Senior Member
    Messages: 178

    Thanks bobcat user, a lot of useful information their.

    Im using a 3/4 ton truck, with a 12k hitch, of course no matter which machine I chose, Ill have to buy a trailer for it. Would the S220 be capable of moving paver pallets?

    Right now, Im not planning to use it for pavers, but perhaps it would be worth the extra $ for the ability late down the road. Just something Ill have to consider.

    Thank you.
  6. bobcatuser

    bobcatuser Junior Member
    Messages: 10

    Pavers weigh between 2000 to 3000 pounds per skid. If you will need to move them on a regular basis the S300 or T300 is the machine for you.

    For most of the work I do my S185 is more than enough and I consider it the best machine for the price. I have a 74" (1 Cu. Yd.) snow bucket that is useful for moving bark mulch and compost based soil. For general purpose work i would recommend buying a 4 in 1 bucket.
  7. Plowfast9957

    Plowfast9957 Senior Member
    Messages: 280

    Perficut just a quick comment. if you go with a machine to heavy (over 10,000 trailer) you need a CDl. Just in case you dont know or dont have one. big trouble if you get caught.
  8. DWuerf3

    DWuerf3 Junior Member
    Messages: 2

    Bobcats are the best

    I have had a 773 for 6 years now and it does eveything I have ever needed it to do in my Landscape/snowplow business. I am now looking a new S205 looks like it would fit your needs.
  9. dirt digger

    dirt digger Senior Member
    Messages: 619

    not to get off topic but the trailer can be over 10,000 as long as the combined trailer and truck does not exceed 26,000. this is for PA anyway, i pull a 12,000 trailer with a f-350 and its fine. Its when i pull the 12,000 trailer with a 17,500lb F-550 that i have to drive extra careful not to get pulled over...i doubt the local cops would do anything, but the state cops may know that it's illegal.

    ADMSWELDING Senior Member
    Messages: 397

    Repairs I Have Done

    Have repaired broken joystick control in a thomas w/ 70hrs have repaired damaged pin bosses in john deere machines bucket lips and wearbars on all of them incl/bobcat. Damaged hydraulic tank on 1845 case due too solid tires and demo work.I don,t own a skidsteer just do repairs but if i had the money for one i,d buy bobcat.attached is a photo of a edge adaptor on a 763 i cut off and redid for a customer


  11. salopez

    salopez Senior Member
    Messages: 876

    In Maryland you need a CDL to trailer anything over 10k LBs, not matter what you pull it with. which means you are really only allowed to tow 8k LBs due to the weight of the trailer. and S185 should work great or get a used 773 which is the same machine for the most part.
  12. itsgottobegreen

    itsgottobegreen PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,351

    I just bought a used bobcat 773G (with cab and high flow) basically a S185. Great machine. Lots of power.

    But look at spending $20,000 or more for a used bobcat with a cab. Trust me. Run one with a cab once and you won't ever buy another other with out a cab. My bobcat 600m sucks due to a lack of a cab.

    No matter what you buy as long as it has a kubota diesel in it. You won't have any problems.

    BTW since I am in Carroll county you can always sub the work to me. $75 an hour 4 hour min. :rolleyes:
  13. Precision Lawn

    Precision Lawn Senior Member
    Messages: 334

    i have a 1 ton truck and tow a 41 foot travel trailer and it weights 12,000 lb and dont need cdl. so why would you need it with a trailer towing a skid steer
  14. drmiller100

    drmiller100 Senior Member
    from idaho
    Messages: 119

    i'd be curious to learn how a 773 can pick up a pallet of rocks.

    i can't even get a 773 to unload a pallet of sod from a semi trailer. maybe my sod is different out here??????

    tracks are for sure better in the mud. but everyone seems to agree that the only tracks that work in the snow are the ASV or Cat tracks.

    i had an L555 deluxe, worked great. old though. upgraded to a 75xt case. it runs an 8.5 foot wide snow bucket. i'd bet the 773 wouldn't hardly pick the bucket up empty.

    a big used skid steer costs no more then a small one. get too big, and they become too big to tow effectively. go too small, and they don't get the job done.
    As far as maintenance costs, there are almost none. skid steers are amazingly tough. an occasional oil change, sometimes a weird thing like worn wire or frayed hydraulic line.
  15. Plowfast9957

    Plowfast9957 Senior Member
    Messages: 280

    travel trailers are exempt for some reason. same with RV's and U-hauls. Anyone can get behind the wheel of a motorhome but a trailer over 10k or a truck over 26k you need a CDL
  16. salopez

    salopez Senior Member
    Messages: 876

    right travel trailers are exempt. cargo trailers over 10k cdl required.
  17. Precision Lawn

    Precision Lawn Senior Member
    Messages: 334

    True if they both weight over 26,000 lb and if your truck is over 10,000 lb you need dot stickers for it if you use it for making money.
  18. salopez

    salopez Senior Member
    Messages: 876

    I believe you will at least need MDOT for anything over 10k lbs reg. as a commercial vehicle. one thing you can do is get a truck with a 26k gvw and put the machine on it. If you have something like a chevy 5500 you can carry the machine and not need cdl.
  19. Precision Lawn

    Precision Lawn Senior Member
    Messages: 334

    that's right you do need a mdot sticker but remember if that truck has a md dot sticker you can't drive it out of maryland
  20. BobcatS250

    BobcatS250 Member
    Messages: 51

    Some good questions. First, it depends on which 773 you have. The F-series will have lower ROC than the G-series. Second, the 773 isn't really an optimized lifting machine... Deere machines are. The 317 will outlift the 773 or S175 or S185 any day, but the Bobcat will allow you to see the tires with the boom arms down. With a standard bucket ("standard" as defined by the manufacturer of the machine when rating the machine's load capacity), the 773 will be able to lift either 3,400 pounds or 3,900 pounds before tipping. With pallet forks, you will reduce that significantly; say, to around 2,400 pounds before tipping. That's simply a function of how the vertical lift moves the load. I can explain if you want, but we'll leave it like this: the 773 won't be able to handle a full pallet of sod at standard configuration.