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Tracks or wheels on skid steer?

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by johnstra, Aug 24, 2007.

  1. johnstra

    johnstra Junior Member
    Messages: 14

    How do tracks do in snow country. I live in the mountains and I need good traction. My neigher has a skid w/ wheels and it does ok if he chains up. I don't know anybody that's used tracks in snow.
  2. jps601

    jps601 Junior Member
    Messages: 3


    Tracks will definetly go better than just the stock tires in the snow. I run grouser tracks. In the snow they go great but on ice they tend to spin a lot but better traction then a tire. I have also slid the whole machine sideways on ice since the tracks turn into giant iceskates and skate you sideways if your caught running across an incline.
  3. RipT

    RipT Senior Member
    Messages: 184


    Chained-up skid-steers do pretty well in snow and hardpack & ice. The more aggressive tire-over steel tracks do pretty well also if you are on non-paved surfaces. Some may mar or damage paved surfaces however.

    Rubber tracked loaders can be better than tires in fresh snow, but can be pretty hairy on other-than-flat hardpacked or icy surfaces.

    Check out my earlier post http://www.plowsite.com/showthread.php?t=46737 regarding clamp-on cleats for Compact Track Loaders. Looks like only available in 12" & 18" and designed for Bobcat tracks at the moment, but probably will fit some others. Watch the snow video....pretty impressive.

    If you are looking to buy a used machine mainly for snow, I would look for a good mid-sized (45-55 HP) two-speed, heated cab, rubber-tired model and get full set of chains. A suitable machine should be in the $10 to 12K range. Used blowers are going to be harder to find, but a new 6 ft Quick Attach 2000-series would run around $4,600 delivered, with the appropriate hyd motor for the flow of whatever machine you get.

    I use a 3/4 T PU for most of my mile-long dirt road at "only" 8000 ft for past 12 years, but now have a QA blower for a PT-1845 articulated wheeled tractor with open cab for the real big stuff, drifts, and clean-up. Got a slightly-used Bobcat Toolcat with same series QA blower plus a plow for another property up in BC, Canada.

    Where abouts are you in the mountains? Sounds like you may be a neighbor of Scott, a regular here?

    Good luck.
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2007
  4. johnstra

    johnstra Junior Member
    Messages: 14

    Thanks Rip. You've provided me with a lot of good information over the last several days. I'm in the Wet Mountains, near Rye and San Isabel. On a map, look SW of Pueblo.

    I'm still leaning toward a skid steer. $10-12 seems lower than I've been seeing - I guess it depends on the number of hours on the unit. I'd prefer to get one with less than 2000 hrs. I'll have to look at the QA blowers.

    Thanks again,
  5. RipT

    RipT Senior Member
    Messages: 184

    John, We are still "sort of" neighbors.....I'm just outside of Bailey. A few years ago we were looking at places further from Denver and looked at several in the Westcliffe area.

    Two-speed will be hard to find in an older small/mid-sized machine and really not neccessary in your case. High-flow would be nice, but again not neccessary as long as you get a blower properly sized for the flow you actually have. Best off getting unit with a heated cab, but there are retro-fit cab enclosures available. Snowmobile suit and face mask just won't cut it on a regular basis!

    The asking prices you are seeing may be wishful thinking on the part of many sellers.....should be a good time to see how hard a deal you can drive. While you can often do best with an individual, I would bet many dealers & rental yards are feeling pinched right now and may go lower than you would expect, especialy if you can pay cash. May be able to get a 3 or 6 month powertrain warantee thrown in if you try real hard.

    Get someone you know who knows the brand/models you are most serious about to give it a good inspection before buying though as they all have their weaknesses and many are hidden. You can do fine with 3/4 worn out tires also since chains will do you the most good anyway in snow/ice. For your purposes, most any brand would be worth considering, but so long as there is a dealer in Pueblo or even the Springs, you should be good.

    I've dealt with Brad for over $10K of attachemnts at QA.....parhaps he will take a few $$ off if you tell him I refered you.

    Good Luck......
  6. forestfireguy

    forestfireguy PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,276

    We have both and they both have a place, I think Rip hit all the big points ecept one, if you really need to stack snow a track machine is far superior as you can drive up piles a tire machine would bog in. Hope my 2 cents is helpful......
  7. crazymike

    crazymike Senior Member
    from Toronto
    Messages: 639

    useful tip, park your tracked machines on a few 2x4s or the like to prevent the tracks from freezing to the ground. The tracks heat up when in use, then melt the snow on them and they can freeze to the ground.