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Machinery Pete: Skid steer debate

Agriculture.com Staff Updated: 07/12/2010 @ 4:11pm

Greg Peterson
Publisher, F.A.C.Ts Report

Who makes the best skid steer?

This question caught my eye in an interesting thread going this week in the Machinery Talk discussion group.

So what do you think? Lot of factors go into forming an opinion on a question like this. Obviously, personal history you've had with various makes & models of skid steers would form the base of your decision. Which ones did you like? Why? What didn't you like about particular makes or models? Perhaps feedback you've picked up along the way from your friends, neighbors, dealers, etc.

I enjoyed reading the comments in the discussion thread. One good point more than a few folks brought up was the importance of dealer support and also the distribution network. Is it easy to find parts? To get proper service done in a timely manner?

Over my nearly 20 years of compiling auction price data I've had countless discussions with folks on the topic of skid steers. Guys looking to buy, looking to sell, trying to figure out what theirs is worth. You name it. In years of listening I've heard good and bad things about nearly every make & model out there.

But Pete, which skid steer do you think is best?

Ha, nice try. I'm not going there. What I can do though, is provide insight and facts into resale value on skid steers of all makes & models, just as one post from Wrangler Steve asked me to do in a related Machinery Talk question, "Pete, what skid steer holds its resale the best?"

Resale value is piece of the puzzle, its not the whole deciding factor in "who makes the best skid steer?" Take it for what it’s worth. Perhaps it can refine the conversation, or provide a starting point..."yes, its worth X, but what about&?"

As the question posed was so broad, "Who makes the best?," I decided to provide you a wide swath of our auction sale price data. Below are links for eight of the top selling brands of skid steers. I have included all the models we've seen sell at auction from 2006-2009 for each make.

One last tidbit I'll leave you with. Based on the raw data I have compiled over the last dozen years, here are the top four brands, listed in terms of number of items I've seen sold at auction:

- Bobcat (1,283 sold at auction)
- Case (736 sold)
- NH (538 sold)
- JD (425 sold)

At least in terms of volume, it isn't close. It's Bobcat by a mile.

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