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Machinery Pete: Skid steer debate

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

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

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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