How to buy - Skid-steer loaders

The wide range of models available means you must consider the tasks required, says Sally Drury.

Q: What types of skid-steer loader are available?

A: Remote-controlled models, ones you stand on like the Boxer, ones you sit in such as Bobcat and JCB, mini, compact, wheeled and tracked.

Q: What type do I need?

A: It depends where you are working and what you are hoping to achieve. Obviously you need sufficient weight and power to undertake the tasks required. Never underestimate the horsepower required for landscape and construction jobs and look at the hydraulic flow rates if using attachments such as breakers or trenchers.

Skid-steer loaders are very manoeuvrable and ideal for working in tight spaces - but you need to get it into the work area. Stand-on machines are ideal where it is necessary to negotiate narrow entrances. Remote-controlled machines are suited to bank work and other situations that might put the operator at risk or where weight needs to be kept to a minimum. Choose cabbed machines where access allows and where there is lots of work to do in all kinds of weather. Wheeled units come into their own where there is a lot of travel, whereas tracked machines tend to be better when ground conditions are soft and traction is an issue.

Consider the accessories you might need now and in the future. Some skid-steers offer operation of non-construction kit, like flail mowers or turf layers, to further extend their versatility.

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