Skid steer loaders

Agriculture.com Staff 01/10/2007 @ 8:30am

Compact size, maneuverability, and ability to easily switch from a wide range of attachments make a skid steer loader one of the most versatile pieces of equipment on a farm.

  • Physical size.
    Measure the openings -- both width and height -- through which the device needs to fit (gates, alleyways, barns). A typical skid steer ranges in width from about 3 feet to over 6 feet. Heights are usually between 5 and 7 feet.
  • Dump height.
    How high do you need the loader to lift? Dumping height is the distance between the pivot point and the arms of the loader and the bucket. It can range from around 8 feet to over 10 feet.
  • Lift capacity.
    This is also known as operating capacity. What will you be lifting with your skid steer? Determine a weight range appropriate to the chores for which you'll be using the machine. Be aware as the lift capacity increases, so does the physical size of the machine.
  • Tires.
    Pneumatic (hollow rubber filled with air or polyurethane foam) and solid rubber tires are the main choices. When choosing a type, factor in where the machine will be used. Air-filled tires are best at smoothing the ride and are the least expensive. However, you run the risk of more flats. Foam-filled are impervious to flats but are more expensive (around $400 per tire). They are also heavier and can put more strain on the transmission. Solid rubber tires are thinner and never go flat, but they offer the roughest ride.

  • New Holland
    the L170 features a turbocharged, four-cylinder, 50-hp New Holland diesel engine, 1,765-lb. rated operating capacity, 90 inch dump height, and Super Boom linkage. MSRP from $26,850 to $36,500.

  • John Deere
    Model 317 is equipped with turbocharged, four cylinder, 61-hp Deere diesel engine, 1,750 lb. rated operating capacity, 114-inch dump height, Quick-Tatch hitch, and vertical lift boom. MSRP from $22,000 to $25,000.

  • Bobcat
    The S175 loader features a turbocharged, liquid-cooled, 46 hp diesel engine, 1,750-lb. rated operating capacity, 91-inch dump height, and vertical-path lift arm. MSRP is $26,000 (includes standard bucket).

  • Gehl
    Model 4840E has a Deutz 60-hp engine, 1,900-lb. rated operating capacity, 89.5-inch dump height, Hydraloc System, self-leveling lift action, All-Tach Attachment System, and choice of controls. MSRP starts at $26,383.

Compact size, maneuverability, and ability to easily switch from a wide range of attachments make a skid steer loader one of the most versatile pieces of equipment on a farm.

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