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Skid Steer Loaders: What are they? What benefits do they provide?

bobcat s770 bucket cob f fc full - Skid Steer Loaders: What are they? What benefits do they provide?

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Last month, we discussed using your yearly budget wisely and some of the different things you could purchase to do so. One of the categories we highlighted was equipment. This month we want to highlight one of our favorite pieces of equipment: skid steer loaders.

Versatility and Precision since 1957

Skid Steer Loaders, or skid steers for short, were created in 1957 with an original purpose of cleaning out a turkey barn. Skid steers get their name from the way the vehicle is driven. The skid steer uses differential steering to make turns. This means that the wheels or tracks only drive forward. Each side of the skid steer has its own engine and controls. Turns are made by adjusting the speed of either side of the skid steer, causing the vehicle to “skid” in the direction you would like to turn. This type of steering allows for very crisp turns that are useful in tight spaces illustrating the precision the skid steer is known to provide.

Today, skid steers come in many sizes and are used across numerous industries for a range of tasks including demolition, snow removal, road maintenance, land clearing and excavation.

The versatility of a skid steer is illustrated in its origin — going from a turkey barn cleaner to a piece of equipment used in so many ways is a heck of a journey and part of the reason it needs to be highlighted.

Skid Steer Attachments

Skid steers often use a bucket as the main attachment, however there are several other attachments available to perform other tasks as well. Dozr does a good job of breaking these options down and we used their list to highlight some different skid steer attachments.

Material Handling/Digging:

Buckets

Buckets allow the skid steer to move more material efficiently. Different types of buckets can be used for different tasks like shoveling or digging.

Grabbing/Moving:

Grapples

Grapples allow the skid steer to grab and move larger objects like debris from construction sites.

Clearing/Cleaning:

Sweepers, Augers, Saws and Pullers

The skid steer can use attachments for multiple types of clearing. Augers are good for plowing through tree stumps and hard soil. Saws can cut through trees and brush to clear land and pullers can pull smaller stumps, trees and posts from the ground. Sweepers are good for removing loose dirt and debris from surfaces.

Lifting:

Pallet Forks

Pallet forks are a very common tool used across countless industries. Forks give the skid steer the capability to lift and transport pallets of different sizes and weights. Essentially turning the skid steer into a forklift when needed.

There are many more attachments for skid steers as well that could be useful for many tasks. Some of those options are highlighted by Equipment & Contracting here.

Do you use a skid steer in your current operation? What is your favorite skid steer attachment? Let us know in the comments.

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