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Why plow w/a skid steer instead of a truck?

Discussion in 'Heavy Equipment' started by Plowin in VT, Jul 30, 2008.

  1. Plowin in VT

    Plowin in VT Senior Member
    Messages: 233

    I can certainly appreciate a skid steer when it comes to stacking snow and turning on a dime, but why put a plow on one instead of on a truck?

    I know that someone will correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't a ss slower than a truck, has less hp than a truck, and weighs a lot less than a truck, so wouldn't I be able to clear a lot more snow with a truck?

    If it's a large ss w/a 10' pusher, and is dedicated to one large site I could probably see using one, but please, help me figure out why I'm seeing more and more of them being used in smaller lots and/or being trailered from location to location by a truck that could probably do the job just as well and just as fast.


  2. Camden

    Camden PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,604

    Like I mentioned in a different thread yesterday, I've got a 7.5' Meyers on my skid and I love the versatility. One of my accounts is a rental company with a fenced in parking lot. If I use my truck to do it I'll be there for an hour. If I use the skid it's half that much. My truck just can't maneuver in an enclosed area the same way the skid can. :dizzy:

    I also love the fact I can put some down pressure onto the blade when I'm trying to clean up areas that have been driven over and packed down. I do that a lot at the gas stations, banks and doctor's offices that I have.

    And without question the biggest downfall of using a skid is that it's slow when going from location to location. I don't trailer mine around. I only use it on the properties that are located close to each other. For everything else I use pickup trucks.
  3. Plowin in VT

    Plowin in VT Senior Member
    Messages: 233

    Thanks Camden. How far will you drive your skid from site to site? A couple hundred yards? A mile or two?
  4. hydro_37

    hydro_37 PlowSite Veteran
    from iowa
    Messages: 3,790

    Another advantage of the SS is the ease of changing from the blade to a bucket to stack your piles higher or move the piles left by the plow.
  5. Camden

    Camden PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,604

    On a typical snowfall I'll do about 10 places that are all within a mile of each other. However, last year we had some major storms so I ended up using it on almost every account that I have just so I could move piles around.
  6. 1SicVic

    1SicVic Junior Member
    Messages: 13

    I do 4 large apartment complexes and sometimes especially at night with cars all over the lot the SS is alot easier to get arount the crowded lot then my Ranger. and the ease of stacking snow cause there are only certain places in the lot i can put the snow.
  7. Sno4U

    Sno4U Senior Member
    Messages: 480

    Why Use a skid steer?
    Well when u have a truck your really only 50% efficient b/c you only plow going forward. Well, with a SS your almost 100% efficient b/c U turn around and plow going back too!
    A SS is a piece of industrial equipment- a truck is a vehicle. What do U think can plow the most hours in a row w/o breaking down?
    Sure, a SS is lighter BUT, it has true 4 wheel drive!
    We have a campus style account and plow many times working around cars, w/ a SS U work your way rite around a car (plenty close) in about 3 motions, where as a truck takes ALOT more work to do the same thing and it still won't be as good b/c U simply don't want to get THAT close!
    Also when one does stupid things, like backing into a dumpster w/ a P/U truck, there will be considerable damage to the truck (mine cost almost $3,000-replace R/R 1/4 panel) ...with a SS you might scratch the paint, thats about it!
    My only thing rite now is the unit I have DOES NOT have a 2 speed-if I did I would be alot faster!:yow!:
  8. xtreem3d

    xtreem3d PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,548

    snow4u hit on alot of good points....if you think about what a skid steer is designed to do, lift , dig, jackhammer, concrete plane ect then think about what it does when pushing snow, it just drives forward, very easy on the machine
    think about a truck, constant forward /backward, changing gears all the time , applying the brakes nonstop, heavy weight sticking off the front end, battery drain...it's almost a no brainer that plowing w/ trucks is old school. we still use them on smaller jobs that get comuted to and we use them for salting but we are trying to get away from plowing w them. i think you'll hear that most guys think a skidsteer can out work at least 2 trucks. ours are New Holland 2 speeds (tires/not tracks)and they are working out great
  9. Ramairfreak98ss

    Ramairfreak98ss PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,931

    How many mpg do most of your skid steers go that you guys are running with plows on them? I know most specs on 2 speed skids or tracks are ~5mph low and 8-10mph high.

    Ive heard some state disadvantages with track skid steers vs 4 tire skid steers, with some of those more aggressive tread patterns out from CAT and ASV that are REALLY knobby, unlike the JD/New Holland one that has a lot of flat blocky looking knobs on it, how can they not grab good traction?

    Wouldnt a track loader with a 7-8' plow on the front turn and manhandle the snow pile easier than a 4 wheeled skid? Ive never personally plowed or stacked with them before so i have no snow removal experience with them, id love to hear all of your comments though :)
  10. Zodiac

    Zodiac Member
    Messages: 76

    SSLs are great for small compact places with obstructions.

    At work I use my truck in the yard, it's big and open, and takes a 1/4 of the time than if I used an SSL or even a dozer.
  11. xtreem3d

    xtreem3d PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,548

    i believe my new holland goes 6mph in slow and about 12 in high. i have found just the opposite of zodiac but his may not be a 2 speed. on 2 equal lots my single speed bobcat w/ a 10ft pusher outworked my 8ft plow truck easily in our first snow last year which was 8" you especially notice the difference as you go farther across the lot and the plow truck starts to build big windrows
  12. JK828

    JK828 Junior Member
    Messages: 18

    A skid steer will make more money moving snow than it will sitting at your shop during a storm. If you have it, use it.
  13. ducatirider944

    ducatirider944 Senior Member
    from Iowa
    Messages: 469


    I will put up my 90XT with a 10' pusher box up against any truck clearing lots. It will out push any truck and it can even hang if not out push a back hoe with a 14' pusher. A back hoe that is big enough to push a 16' pusher box will move more snow but that is about it. Skid loaders are about the best for moving snow unless you have a really long lot with out a bunch of islands.

    I use my truck to wind row a pile till I can't move over 3/4 of my blade width, then I move over to the other side of the wind row and start over. I let the guy running my skidloader take the windrow down while I make another. This works very well. Trucks work great for moving snow into rows but boxes take it to a pile.

    One full pass with my blade leaves a pile that is 30" x 30" x 10'. One full pass with a pusher box leaves a pile that is about 40"x 60" x 10'. Not much of a comparision is it?
  14. JD Dave

    JD Dave PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,194

    Ummm, I don't think there the best but they work well. A 14 ft pusher pushes twice the amount of snow as a 10 ft, so you'd have to be twice as fast to compete. I will agree that a 2 speed skid will plow alot more snow then a pickup but a single speed, it's debatable. Not trying to start a fight Brad, just adding to the discussion.:drinkup:
  15. illiniplower

    illiniplower Member
    Messages: 70

    I think SS are the way to go. I have a CASE 1845C with cab and heater. I have used it the last two years and love it. This year I am mounting a blade on it to use for plowing around gas stations which will be very handy and still have my endloader to stack snow with.
  16. Peterbilt

    Peterbilt Senior Member
    from IA.
    Messages: 745

    From reading this post, I am seeing that alot of you guys are using a SS to "Move" snow piles from one place to another.

    How can you be efficient when you are doing this? Put the snow where it needs to be the first time. Then if you have to gain more space, push it higher. But if you have some account that doesn't know any better then good for you.

    I use ASV track loaders with box pushers. Love them. I can push 2 to 3 times more snow with them than a truck, I can push twice as fast as a larger bobcat with a 2 speed, and I will road them wherever we need to go. But usually I try to keep them in a location where they can do 3 to 8 accounts on thier own, with no support equipment.

    I will not pull them any where in a snow storm, but after, after for the custom extras I provide, they get loaded up and drug all over town.

    another thing is that, a machine is only as good as the operator. operator A, might run a route in 3 hours and forget things, and operator B might do the same with no mistakes.

    Hope I helped.

  17. ducatirider944

    ducatirider944 Senior Member
    from Iowa
    Messages: 469

    Oh come on lets get into a ring and duke it out you old goat! lol My 90XT is a 2-speed as I think all that were built after 2001. When they first came out it was an option but then it came standard on 90xt's and an option on 85xt's
  18. JD Dave

    JD Dave PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,194

    Well you didn't put up much of a fight. LOL:drinkup: What is the top speed of a 90xt?
  19. fireside

    fireside Senior Member
    Messages: 726

    I run a Cat 226 with a blizzard 810 ss.(10 mph single speed limited production unit) I do several lumber yards and parking lots loaded with islands. I have found my skidsteer will cut my plowing time in half or better at these locations. They work great around all the tight areas to clean up close to all the lumber piles and loading docks. We have limited snow piling locations so we are able to plow and stack at the same time.The only drawback is on long pushes with heavy snow we have problems with traction so we open up with the trucks then finsh with the skidsteer.
  20. Ramairfreak98ss

    Ramairfreak98ss PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,931

    How heavy is the skid your using? Would something like the Cat 287/297C track loaders be better or worse due to the tracks? Im assuming a 7k skid wouldnt grip as well as one thats 10-11k?