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Question for Skid Steer users

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by ChicagoPlower, Jan 30, 2015.

  1. ChicagoPlower

    ChicagoPlower Senior Member
    Messages: 147

    I'm seriously thinking about using Skid Steers in a couple townhome complexes next season. I'm currently using trucks, but the turning, stacking, narrow roads etc. is really a pain in the a**. My questions are if I purchased a diesel Skid Steer, is it a necessity to plug in the engine block heater? The two sites they would be parked at have no access to a power source. Another question I have is how do the gas Skids do plowing? I would like to buy a gas engine Skid, I just don't know if it's a smart idea.
    Thanks for any help
  2. kimber750

    kimber750 PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 4,679

    Never plug in mine and it always starts right up. Big problem I see with the gas skid steers is they are generally smaller machines, equals less weight, equals less snow you can push.
  3. ChicagoPlower

    ChicagoPlower Senior Member
    Messages: 147

    Thanks for the info kimber, another question I had was how the maintenance and general reliability of a Skid Steer compared to trucks you've owned.
  4. seville009

    seville009 Senior Member
    from CNY
    Messages: 877

    I plug mine in just so that it warms up quicker, but otherwise it starts fine.
  5. ratherbfishin

    ratherbfishin Senior Member
    Messages: 205

    Most I believe have glow plug warmers. Mine 763 does and starts right up on the coldest of days!
  6. snocrete

    snocrete Banned
    Messages: 2,862

    AFAIK, its been yrs since a gas powered SS has been made..?..and regardless, as someone else mentioned, most gassers are light/low powered machines....on top of that, the few gas SS's I've ever been around sound obnoxious as hell...I don't think customers would be to fond of it...

    Comparably, SS's are much more reliable & easier/inexpensive to maintain than a truck.
  7. xtreem3d

    xtreem3d PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,548

    This is sort of tongue n check but have you ever tried to start a gas lawn mower in the dead of winter? .I had 2 friends who bought gas versions with Wisconsin engines and they were always having issues starting in the cold
  8. WIPensFan

    WIPensFan PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,594

    Depends how cold it gets. I would feel better if it was plugged in. You'll be way happier with skid steers. Who's making gas skids?

    MIDTOWNPC PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 4,555

    I've had a lot of older and newer rentall machines and
    It's hit and miss. S185s have always worked no problem
    A300 with keyless kicks out after it rolls over a few times and doesn't fire. However same machine with key will allow guy to crank it more and it will fire. S750 has had fuel filter issues a lot. Water in fuel warning.

    Additive in the fuel is key

    I have had this problem lately;
    Machine starts fine. We work it and temp gets really cold.
    It goes to bed warm and the windchill kicks in. The machine "sweats" and it frozen and iced up pretty bad

    No hydro but we have fired a generator and plugged it I for a bit. Longest hour you have ever waited. The other trick is hose on the exhaust of truck to engine bay of machine for a bit. That's extreme
  10. leigh

    leigh 2000 Club Member
    from CT
    Messages: 2,342

    Mine will start in any temp,bought a block heater and never installed it.Even my old bobcat 743 would start in very cold temps,just had to hold the key in glowplug preheat for about 90 seconds!used to count to 90 before I would try to start it.In my opinion any piece of equipment is more reliable than any truck.My skid is 15 years old now and it sits around and always starts and runs with minimal basic maintenance.Forget gas powered,you're looking at a dinosaur!
  11. ChicagoPlower

    ChicagoPlower Senior Member
    Messages: 147

    Thanks for the info guys, it really helps never having owned one . You're right about the gas engines. I did some quick research and it looks like only some small 90's models were available in gas. Now comes the countless hours of figuring out which brand, size, hour amount is going to fit my budget of something used in the mid teens. I actually like it.
    As far as the plow, watching video of the Kage setup is pretty awesome.. can't wait.
  12. Brad3403

    Brad3403 Senior Member
    from Alberta
    Messages: 392

    I picked up a couple of Kage's this year. Pretty happy with them for the most part. I'd recommend minimum of a 70hp machine. Cycling the glow plugs works pretty well. You could also try a solar battery charger so that the battery is always charged and you have maximum battery power when trying to start it. I also use lighter weight oil for the winter. As a fail safe, keep a length of dryer vent hose and a tarp with you. If you need to warm up the engine you can run the hose from you're truck exhaust into the engine compartment and throw the tarp over it to hold in the heat like a previous poster suggested.
  13. alldayrj

    alldayrj PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,108

    Echoing everyone here ive never plugged mine in. Never had a problem starting it in the teens. They will crush a pickup in terms of reliability. Change fluids and filters, batterys, grease them. Tires. Thats it. No ball joint, u joints, springs etc. the only downside is comfort. I like to let my guys run them for 24 hrs, illstay in the pickup
  14. ChicagoPlower

    ChicagoPlower Senior Member
    Messages: 147

    Even if a used machine is in excellent condition with impeccable maintenance records, is there a ballpark amount of hours that you guys wouldn't feel comfortable with.
    Once again, thanks for all the great info
  15. leigh

    leigh 2000 Club Member
    from CT
    Messages: 2,342

    My 1999 has 1900 hrs.I'm always on the lookout ,1000hr machine max for me.These little machines aren't like loaders,2500hrs and up,starting to show their age.And never buy a machine that's been painted!
  16. ChicagoPlower

    ChicagoPlower Senior Member
    Messages: 147

    I think I might be pushin my budget closer to 20k. I would love to buy a new one, but using it exclusively for snow removal makes tough to justify the cost. It looks like I'm gonna be doing alot of driving to look at solid units, there's just not that many out there. Oh well
  17. WIPensFan

    WIPensFan PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,594

    I disagree, there are tons of low hr machines. Check dealership inventory and machinery trader. I would recommend a Bobcat S185, you can find a nice one for 20k.
  18. John_DeereGreen

    John_DeereGreen 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,919

    Hours don't scare me. The application and maintenance in that application does.

    I'd much rather have a 5000 hour machine that's been on a dairy farm its whole life and smells like cow ****, than a 2500 hour demo machine that looks nice but all the mechanics have been beat to **** with a hammer and scrap bucket.

    With that being said, look into leasing. We have 2 Cat 242D's that we pay 349 a month for up to 500 hours a year. Can't own one for that.
  19. leigh

    leigh 2000 Club Member
    from CT
    Messages: 2,342

  20. NLMCT

    NLMCT Senior Member
    from CT
    Messages: 148