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Skidsteer recommendations

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by SDLandscapes VT, Jan 24, 2013.

  1. SDLandscapes VT

    SDLandscapes VT Senior Member
    from Vermont
    Messages: 315

    We are thinking about bringing in mulch in bulk to our shop rather than going to vendors as we have up to this point--we will need a rubber tire shop skid steer to load the truck and it will also do time in the winter--loading our truck for hauling and potentially some pushing with a kage or similar.

    The truck sides are 107" from the ground--we need a hinge pin max height a minimum of 110" and a vertical lift machine would be preferred.

    What is the best VALUE machine in this category and where are some alternate locations to find this machine--not dealers, not machinery trader
  2. Antlerart06

    Antlerart06 PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,437

  3. Italiano67

    Italiano67 Senior Member
    Messages: 645

    Craigslist- not just in your area
  4. snowplowpro

    snowplowpro Senior Member
    from NJ
    Messages: 926

    I like bobcat the best john Deere is nice but expensive
  5. hatefulmechanic

    hatefulmechanic Senior Member
    Messages: 228

    If you are looking at a rubber tire machine, stay away from the Cat ones. The wheelbase is too far apart to be able to cleanly spin around on hard surfaces, they hop badly on dry pavement.

    Bobcat machines are very well built, some people love the AWS versions while others have had nothing but problems.

    JD has some good machines but will typically be pricier than a Bobcat. I can't think of any others (Takeuchi, Mustang and Gehl are all track machines that I know of).

    You can typically find decent deals on Craigslist, but I do agree that you should be looking at south of the rust belt if you want a machine that is going to last for you.

    I own a Cat 252B and it is horrendous on dry turns, to the point where I am either selling/trading for a track machine or installing a set of tracks on it.
  6. blizzardsnow

    blizzardsnow Member
    Messages: 83

    EBay. Or a Ritchie brothers auction (they are global and WORTH a trip to the one closest to you. RBauction.com. ). We have always had good luck with New Holland. Their design makes them suitable for lifting.
  7. siteworkplus

    siteworkplus Senior Member
    from mass
    Messages: 514

    I disagree w/ your opinion on Cat skidsteers

    Yes, they are more expensive to buy and repair(not by much) ,but the parts availability is second to none

    Plus resale value is better(IMO)

    The wheel base provides more stability when loading and lifting

    As far as dry turns try sawdust (from a mill or cabinet shop) as it acts like grease and a leaf blower cleans it up in minutes

    The track machines are great(same issues w/ dry turns) but make sure the tread pattern is snow/ice friendly.The tighter and smaller the grousers are the better(go figure)

    P.S. Is that a picture of you in your profile?
  8. hatefulmechanic

    hatefulmechanic Senior Member
    Messages: 228

    I use the machine in the woods with OTT steel tracks when pulling logs out for firewood operations, it is very stable due to the wheelbase in that situation.

    But its kinda hard to put sawdust down on the half dozen HOA's I service when doing mulch and stuff, plus the tires track the concrete up badly even going straight. I can trade it or sell and get back more than I have in it, and put it toward a tracked machine, which is likely what I will wind up doing.

    Even if that is the case, it is gonna still be the same color and have that big black sticker on the back :)

    And yes...that is me in toddler beard stage. It's almost a teenager now....
  9. siteworkplus

    siteworkplus Senior Member
    from mass
    Messages: 514

    I would recommend the287or 297 if you can use the extra HP

    Steel undercarriage for you is a must IMO

    The track tread is not the best for icy conditions(especially around parked cars) if your plowing lots and such, but still better than wheels

    I have a 277B that i love but have to be careful where I run it as it has the ASV undercarriage and it can get pricy to repair

    Still the best ride of all tracksteers out there and an animal in the snow
  10. siteworkplus

    siteworkplus Senior Member
    from mass
    Messages: 514

    For about 10G's the make a track conversion kit for your wheeler, but i think it reduces your speed somewhat or so I'm told
  11. Big Snow Balls

    Big Snow Balls Member
    Messages: 40

    New Holland For sale

    I have a NEW HOLLAND LS180 for sale, It is a 2001 hi flow, 2 speed, cab and heat, 2700 hours, weight kit, I just spent $1400 on a service, new starter, battery, seat, all fluids and filters changed, $16,000 with the new tires or $15,000 with a different set of tires that are about 50%. I use it for exactly what you want to do. Loads trucks at shop in the summer and plows in the winter. Call me if your interested 219-712-0224 I can email you photos
  12. snocrete

    snocrete Banned
    Messages: 2,862

    With the bed sides being 107in, 110in hinge pin height is going to be a struggle loading "full" each time. I would be looking for something with a hinge pin height of closer to 118in or more....that way your not fighting so bad, to empty your last few buckets when filling the truck full. Also, I'm not sure if you ever need to move pallets of salt around(or anything else palletized that weight)....but I would imagine any machine you find that has a hinge pin height of around 110in, is not going to be able to move such things.

    I your situation, a Bobcat S185 or S205 would be my choice....but some would say I'm biased:waving:
  13. SDLandscapes VT

    SDLandscapes VT Senior Member
    from Vermont
    Messages: 315

    Re; Snocrete

    I understand about the loading--for hauling snow we occasionally use a Cat 257 HPH = 110" and a Case 1845 and a Case 70XT

    the 70xt is the easiest to use with the Cat being second. The 1845 with the radial lift and the shortest hinge makes for quite a challenge. I really like the ASV tracks for the snow and for most landscaping work but cannot justify them to simply load trucks in the yard.

    In the bobcat line I have many hours in a 185, but felt it might be too small and was looking more at the 250

    but your insight intrigues me--by value i m looking for the machine that is the simplest that accomplishes what I need at a price we can justify as almost entirely overhead

    (we don't budget for snow) since everything we do now is either hourly or by the "push" so our landscaping operation would have to justify and cover the purchase and ongoing expense
  14. snocrete

    snocrete Banned
    Messages: 2,862

    FWIW, I just looked up specs, and found Cat 257 HPH = 121in....1845 Case HPH = 116.75in....I didnt look up a Case 70xt, but would guess its close to 120in (+/- a couple inches).

    If working by the hour, then I would lean more towards a 185 than a 250....as much as many people would like to think otherwise(including myself), most contractors/customers arent gonna pay you more for a S250 over a S185...and the S185 will have a cheaper cost of operation.

    Regardless of what you get, I'd suggest getting 2speed.
  15. GMD1984

    GMD1984 Senior Member
    Messages: 123

    bobcat s850 141'', bobcats will never let you down, parts are almost always in stock. service and warranty is super. but i would all way recommend a track machine over tire due to the fact tracks last longer its more stable, dose not do as much lawn damage as tires do.
  16. Antlerart06

    Antlerart06 PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,437

    I have a Gehl 3825 its 58'' wide and it hop badly on dry pavement
    Reason Skidsteers do that Its the tires you run
    I have a set solid rubber tires They dont hop
    But the traction sucks offroad and they rides rough
    To me its like turning on Ice with solid tires on dry pavement
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2013
  17. snowjoker

    snowjoker Senior Member
    Messages: 283

    I have a cat 226.. and recently ran a NH 170... I can tell you the cat will out work the NH hands down.. But the NH had a faster ground speed. Both machines were close to age and hours I believe. Cat has a bigger cab than the NH. Both had pilot controls. but the NH would not lift a bucket of stone at an idle.. My cat has a material bucket on it which probably holds 50% more than the NH had and it lifts it full easily at idle..
  18. hatefulmechanic

    hatefulmechanic Senior Member
    Messages: 228

    Tires have some bearing, but the track width vs. wheelbase is the main deciding factor.

    I have literally ran the same wheels and tires on my 252 on a Bobcat S185, and not had any hop issues.

    ASV makes a nice set, and I was initially going to go with that, but my machine does not have a two speed, nor does it have AC, both of which are good enough reasons to me to upgrade. Plus going for a larger HP machine so I can push a 1016 SLA

    297 is the machine I have spec'ed....would rather get a decent used one than shell the cash out on a brand new one though. As far as tracks go, I would have a set of snow tracks for it, still debating which one would be the best for it.
  19. snocrete

    snocrete Banned
    Messages: 2,862

    While your statement about parts/service is also true for me about BC....I would say that is more of a "dealer" issue, than "brand". Which is something no one has mentioned(dealer support). This may be something for the OP to keep in consideration.

    Track machines cost more to own/operate....and from what info he has given, a track machine is NOT the way to go for his operation.

    IMO, an AWS skid w/ turf tires is just as easy on turf as a track machine (better in some cases)....and would be a better option for the OP over a track machine. But again, it comes with a higher cost of ownership/operation. So from what info he's given, I would suggest a standard tire machine.

    This is true, but a short/narrow foot print doesnt help matters

    Maybe so at idle....but once in the throttle a 170 NH will lift much more than a 226 Cat(have my share of hrs in both)...170 NH also lifts higher, and with more reach. IMO, NH & JD have the most underated ROC's on paper.

    While I would rather own/operate a Cat over a NH...the fact Cats hyd system allows them to do that, is not a big factor imo....rarely do I ever "work" at idle:rolleyes:
  20. siteworkplus

    siteworkplus Senior Member
    from mass
    Messages: 514

    Saw a couple of nice ones at Milton Cat in milford ma the other day

    I know the service mngr and sales weasel pretty well over there

    Let me know if I can help in any way

    dont use the snow tracks in the woods, too soft and wont last