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Everything You Need to Know About Skid Steers

posted by Chris Valentine

Do you need a versatile machine that can be used for various construction projects? What you need is a skid steer loader. Today we’ll be discussing what a skid steer loader is and what it can do for you.

So keep reading to find out more about these compact yet powerful construction machines. By the end of this article, you’ll probably want this machine for your business and you’ll start looking for a skid steer for sale.

What is a Skid Steer Loader?

A skid steer loader is a compact truck with a pair of arms on the front. These are used to attach various tools to it. The skid steer is a lightweight truck that can move easily and it can either be integrated with four wheels or two tracks. This versatile machine is used for the following:

  • Clearing snow
  • Landscaping
  • Digging and trenching
  • Construction of buildings
  • Excavating

The attachment options allow the skid steer to be used for these projects. However, the standard attachment for the skid steer is a bucket that’s used to lift rubble or heavy objects from the ground.

What to Consider When Buying a Skid Steer

If you’re looking for a skid steer for sale there are some aspects you need to consider first before you can purchase your machine. In this section, we’ll be talking about the different sizes of skid steers, their specs and what attachments you can use for your projects.

The Skid Steer Should Match Your Requirements

Fortunately, skid steers come in a variety of sizes and capabilities. One machine might have a superior engine to another skid steer. The power and performance of these machines vary so you must select a skid steer that matches your requirements.

Firstly, you’ll need to consider the work that the skid steer will be doing frequently. For example, will you be using it for lifting jobs or are you looking for a machine that can dig or drill holes in the ground? The speed of the machine also needs to be taken into consideration as well as its hydraulic capabilities. Certain attachments will require high flow hydraulics so factor in this feature too before you make your final pick.

What It Can and Can’t Do

Skid steers are designed for specific tasks. Unfortunately, they don’t have telehandlers with extended hydraulic booms used to lift objects to place them on a higher level. A skid steer is also not suitable for levelling out a large hill.

What a skid steer is capable of doing is sweeping up dirt from sidewalks and parking lots, shovelling dirt or snow & scooping up materials. A skid steer can make short work of these tasks but you must be realistic about what you want this machine for because it may not match other construction abilities that you require to be done.

How to Inspect a Skid Steer Before Purchasing It

The Quality of Its Hydraulics

The lifting and moving capabilities of a skid steer are powered by its hydraulics. If the hydraulic system isn’t working correctly the machine won’t be able to manoeuvre the bucket efficiently. Check the hydraulic mechanisms for any leaks or swelling pipes. Inspect the power it produces when lifting the bucket.

Turn on the Engine

Before making your purchase, turn on the machine so you can hear the engine. The sound should be smooth and there shouldn’t be any clattering noises.

Inspect the Structure of the Skid Steer

You should inspect the entire structure of your skid steer for cracks, dents and other types of damage to ensure that it will serve its purpose without breaking down.

Check the Tires

The tyres of a skid steer are extremely robust because they’re designed for heavy-duty work. Whether you’re buying a new or used machine, always check the quality of the tyres to ensure they won’t go flat or decrease the performance of the skid steer.

What are the Specifications?

Lifting Reach

Skid steers will have different reach capabilities. So how far do you want your machine to reach? A vertical skid steer has consistent forward reach when lifting materials and it can stretch higher than other types of machines.

The Skid Steer’s Load Capacity

Certain skid steers can lift as much as 272kg or even 317kg but this is suitable for small lifting jobs. If you want a more powerful machine consider a skid steer with an engine of 100HP that’s capable of lifting half a ton of weight. It’s always best to get a skid steer that has a larger load capacity in case you need to use it for heavy-duty work.

Attachments that Can Be Used on a Skid Steer

  • Grapple
  • Blade
  • Fork
  • Auger
  • Snow shovel
  • Bucket
  • Sweeping broom

Final Thoughts

Will you be purchasing a skid steer for your construction company? Or perhaps you simply need it for maintenance such as sweeping or moving snow. Whatever you need a skid steer for you won’t be disappointed with your purchase and now you know how to identify the ideal investment.

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