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Skidsteer vs. backhoe

Discussion in 'Heavy Equipment' started by 90plow, Feb 10, 2014.


Which machine for all season use?

  1. Backhoe

  2. Skidsteer

  1. 90plow

    90plow Senior Member
    Messages: 739

    Looking at changing things up for this year. Thinking about switching from a skidsteer to a full size backhoe (580 Case or similar). Thoughts are that the backhoe could outperform the skid steer in loading trucks, plowing snow, and has the ability to go on the job and dig as backfill and can be driven on the road site to site to clean up. Love the skid steer but sometimes it feels to small.
  2. icudoucme

    icudoucme Senior Member
    Messages: 367

    Sounds like the backhoe is the winner! I have both. I love my skid steer for plowing, grading, clearing, brush cutting, and soft terrain work. However I rarely road it cause of the travel speed.

    You hit all the great benefits of a backhoe! It also weighs more so you can get a bigger pusher!
  3. goel

    goel PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,079

    for everything you have listed backhoe wins. Skiddys have there specialties also tho
  4. edgeair

    edgeair Senior Member
    Messages: 597

    As the others indicated, each does have their specialty. Loading trucks - I would actually give the advantage to the skid steer (as long as its a large frame machine with a good high lift) with a snow bucket. We can load circles around a backhoe with our large snow bucket, especially in the tight spaces.

    Plowing, open spaces advantage backhoe. Tight spaces - skid steer. Backhoe definitely has the better road speed. However, if you do need to trailer it, you need a much more substantial trailer for a backhoe.

    Skid steers have come a long way in comfort with air ride seats etc. Again it all depends on the intended use. I'd have a hard time doing without a skid steer for its versatility.
  5. ServiceOnSite

    ServiceOnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 950

    Having a mini excavator and 2 skid steers i have no use for a backhoe. To me it just seemed like a backhoe sucked at both jobs that i needed it for.
  6. BladeBlowBucket

    BladeBlowBucket Member
    Messages: 92

    My Vote Goes to the Skid-Steer !

    Back-hoes Are a service machine ….Great for the City works yards, and it works for Roading them they are quicker than a 2spd Skid ! …..

    But that's where it ends for me as the pro's of that machine ….. They Suck at loading trucks, especially the 580 you speak of, the lift height is not great …. manoeuvrability is horrible with the hoe sticking out back ….. and as a trenching machine a PITFA …. as SOS posted the better solution is a small excavator & skid-loader combo.

    A Skid-steer is a much more versatile machine with availability of all the different attachments, especially when it comes to Land-shaping ….. THE KEY is to have the right size skid to suit your business's needs !

    A few years back I loaded out 300-22 yd double loads of dirt (Tandem w/12yds & pony w/10yds) this 580SE on site was slow it spun out every time (2-wheel drive model) just to fill the bucket and Barely able to lift over the side boards ….. no reach into the centre of the box (alot of flipping the bucket to get the dirt out)
    Next similar job I did it with my large frame vertical lift Skid-steer, the guys I was loading were very sceptical at the site of my skid …… The first guy had these shinny New side boards on, he walked over to me and asked if they would still be there after the job was done ? …… They were, and not a mark on them either ! …. they were very impressed, especially with the speed, also adding that they had to cut me back a couple of scoops due to being over loaded (my loading bucket had a struck Cap of 36 cu.ft, heaped was close to 40) my loading bucket is much larger than Most all general purpose Back-hoes.
    Back in the 70's & 80's the Back-hoe WAS THE MACHINE to own ….. Now with all of the modern day skids around, there are hardly any Back-hoes around in the stables of the General contractor …… JMHO …. Cheers
  7. peteo1

    peteo1 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,660

    For all season use I'd take a skid steer. More versatile and more nimble in tighter spaces. A backhoe does have its place though as others have said.

    ABDIRT Junior Member
    Messages: 14

    I have a JD 310SG and a Cat 236B. The backhoe definitely has it's purpose and I love it but, the skid is what gets used the most.
  9. Mr.Markus

    Mr.Markus PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,783

    I likem backhoes...580 sl sm are powerful heavy built machines with great visibility and travel speeds. It is an operator loaded question though... I don't do a lot of digging anymore but as a 1 man op it was always easier to have it all in one machine. I still find them more fuel efficient than some of the nimbler compacts too. My new L5740 Kubota is a pig roading and blowing snow. I don't like bouncing around in a skid or climbing in and out.
  10. Antlerart06

    Antlerart06 PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,437

    Like every body say backhoe has its place

    My first year with a skid and its a time saver I don't think I would trade it for anything only wish now I bought bigger plow for the lite snow falls

    If I move to replacing my skid I would go with a mini wheel loader That Gehl offers
  11. MatthewG

    MatthewG PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,400

    Just keep the S300 for now