What to look for in a skid steer

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skiwest

Member
Joined
Feb 22, 2006
Messages
20
A general question in what I should be looking for in a skid steer to do some land clearing and construction. For construction its bare land so trenches for sewer and water lines and while I'm at it power too. Some excavation for a foundation though the first building will be on piers. Also hve to put in a long driveway and pull lots of stumps. This is the type of land that it will be used on.
IMG_3024.JPG

Will be working over several years so thought that a skid steer was the best route. Also can use for snow clearing in the winter. At the Bobcat dealer the said something in the 1800lbs capacity range an S175 or S185 for example. The stumps aren't that big , 10' for pine and 12' for poplar. One salesman suggested getting a small dozer and a cheaper skid steer. But I'd rather get a better machine.
As I'm not going to be putting that many hours on it I'm not going to buy new. But a don't want a fixer upper that is not reliable. Was thnking 1998 to 2002 for years with less than 4000 hours. Does that sound about right?
Where to buy?? Been scaning the skid steer dealers, Bobcat, Case, Cat and there does seem to be quite a premium over auctions, is it worth it to buy from a dealer? Who makes the best or most reliable? Heard the Case and Gehl ( Mustang) are good.
How about hoe attachments?? like this one
100_0120.JPG

I know that will take a lot more time but I was thinking I coould modify to use as a crane during construction.
Thanks for your input
 

500K_773

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 5, 2004
Messages
342
I can see it and its pretty.
Some day I will learn how to post pictures? I can do red X's real good now
Jim
I use my 773T all the time to clear land and dig foundations. I even built a custom bucket for removing stumps and roots. Here's a few links to threads about the bucket and pictures of the one I built and the one Sterlcan built.
http://www.skidsteerforum.com/DesktopDefault.aspx?tabid=54&frmView=ShowPost&PostID=963
http://www.skidsteerforum.com/DesktopDefault.aspx?tabid=54&frmView=ShowPost&PostID=526
http://www.skidsteerforum.com/DesktopDefault.aspx?tabid=54&frmView=ShowPost&PostID=2231
http://www.skidsteerforum.com/DesktopDefault.aspx?tabid=52&gallerypage=0&path=Root%20and%20Ditch%20Bucket
http://www.skidsteerforum.com/DesktopDefault.aspx?tabid=52&gallerypage=0&path=Root%20bucket%202
Personally, since I use my machine for hire and not just personal use, the 773T (now S185) would be the smallest machine I would recommend. I would try get an 800 series (863 / 873 or S220 / S250 / S300) sized machine because they have a little more weight and can offer more traction while pushing and have more auxillary hydraulic flow for attachments. Right now I am thinking of purchasing a S250 or S300 myself.
As far as the water and sewer lines go, rent a backhoe or compact excavator. If you live in an area where it gets cold, you'll want the lines down below the seasonal frost line. Here in Alaska, water lines are at least 10' below ground level and septic tanks at least 4' below ground level. Most backhoe attachments for skid steers will only dig 8' to 10' and would have to move the machine every 2' because of the limited reach. If dirt falls in out of your reach, you'll have to dig it out by hand or from the side since you can no longer reach it from the end of the ditch.
 

skiwest

Member
Joined
Feb 22, 2006
Messages
20
I use my 773T all the time to clear land and dig foundations. I even built a custom bucket for removing stumps and roots. Here's a few links to threads about the bucket and pictures of the one I built and the one Sterlcan built.
http://www.skidsteerforum.com/DesktopDefault.aspx?tabid=54&frmView=ShowPost&PostID=963
http://www.skidsteerforum.com/DesktopDefault.aspx?tabid=54&frmView=ShowPost&PostID=526
http://www.skidsteerforum.com/DesktopDefault.aspx?tabid=54&frmView=ShowPost&PostID=2231
http://www.skidsteerforum.com/DesktopDefault.aspx?tabid=52&gallerypage=0&path=Root%20and%20Ditch%20Bucket
http://www.skidsteerforum.com/DesktopDefault.aspx?tabid=52&gallerypage=0&path=Root%20bucket%202
Personally, since I use my machine for hire and not just personal use, the 773T (now S185) would be the smallest machine I would recommend. I would try get an 800 series (863 / 873 or S220 / S250 / S300) sized machine because they have a little more weight and can offer more traction while pushing and have more auxillary hydraulic flow for attachments. Right now I am thinking of purchasing a S250 or S300 myself.
As far as the water and sewer lines go, rent a backhoe or compact excavator. If you live in an area where it gets cold, you'll want the lines down below the seasonal frost line. Here in Alaska, water lines are at least 10' below ground level and septic tanks at least 4' below ground level. Most backhoe attachments for skid steers will only dig 8' to 10' and would have to move the machine every 2' because of the limited reach. If dirt falls in out of your reach, you'll have to dig it out by hand or from the side since you can no longer reach it from the end of the ditch.
Thanks for the input. I don't have to go down that deep for frost , around 4 feet, so a hoe might work. Propertys a bit remove so don't want to renting a back hoe every time I want to put in a trench.
So 1850 lbs you would think is a min. Interesting. There is auction coming up with a Case 2105 which has a 3000lbs capacity. Would that be over kill? At that capacity shouldn't I just buy an older back hoe and have one machine to do every thing?
I have been told to forget about a skid steer and just rent a back hoe for pulling stumps. But if I have a skid steer with the hoe attachment shown above with a 2000lbs cap skid steer wouldn't that work pretty well. Again not huge stumps.
 

skidsteer.ca

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 20, 2006
Messages
3,853
Thanks for the input. I don't have to go down that deep for frost , around 4 feet, so a hoe might work. Propertys a bit remove so don't want to renting a back hoe every time I want to put in a trench.
So 1850 lbs you would think is a min. Interesting. There is auction coming up with a Case 2105 which has a 3000lbs capacity. Would that be over kill? At that capacity shouldn't I just buy an older back hoe and have one machine to do every thing?
I have been told to forget about a skid steer and just rent a back hoe for pulling stumps. But if I have a skid steer with the hoe attachment shown above with a 2000lbs cap skid steer wouldn't that work pretty well. Again not huge stumps.
I've pulled many stumps with my old 753 (1300lb capacity) and a backhoe attachment. Small aspen stumps up to 6" come out in a swipe or two. 12" ones should take you a about 3 to 5 mins each. I dug the roots out all a round a 36" stump once, took 2.5 hours though , but had to get a larger machine (would have been a mean pull for the largest skidsteer, I had a 40000 lb log skidder to use) to pull it from the hole. As for machine size, many people like the 1700 to 2000 lb class, because they can do some serious work and still be trailered with a pickup. But I've done some serious work with my 553 as well. Not that it would run a hoe like my 909. Here hoes need to dig 7' plus to get under the frost,so my 553 is to small for that. I personally would not have a 553 as my only machine, Even the max lift of my old 753 (2600 lbs) was not enough ocasionally. But this all depends on the indvidual. If they made nothing bigger then a 753, it would still be a great asset to have one around. I like my 773 1750 roc machine, and would not go lighter. Unless weight for trailering, or physical size limit you (machine won't fit in your ....) I'd go for a mid to larger size. Say 1500lb roc or up. I'd only conside one of those bobtach backhoes, (like you pictured) if your soils are are dry and firm. With the "tough" clay here, but the time I moved and skided the loader every time I dumped spoiled I'd be stuck, and the yard would be ruined. I don't think they would have the breakout force either. The ultimate would be a mini excavator as well, but not in my $$$ range. If your budget allows I'd step up to a real backhoe attachment. Used ones can be had in the 3500 to 5000 range, and any machine in 1300 lb class and up can run one . A large excavators is the ultimate for stump removal, if some near has one it may be worth the $100 or so a hour to have them come for the day and be done with it, if you have hundreds of stumps Ken
 

Tigerotor77W

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 29, 2004
Messages
268
Thanks for the input. I don't have to go down that deep for frost , around 4 feet, so a hoe might work. Propertys a bit remove so don't want to renting a back hoe every time I want to put in a trench.
So 1850 lbs you would think is a min. Interesting. There is auction coming up with a Case 2105 which has a 3000lbs capacity. Would that be over kill? At that capacity shouldn't I just buy an older back hoe and have one machine to do every thing?
I have been told to forget about a skid steer and just rent a back hoe for pulling stumps. But if I have a skid steer with the hoe attachment shown above with a 2000lbs cap skid steer wouldn't that work pretty well. Again not huge stumps.
If you could find a used Cat 246 or 246B or 248 or 248B; a Case 70XT or 440; or a used Bobcat S220, I think that's the best size for your needs.

A word of warning: there never existed a Case 2105 skid-steer loader.
 

skiwest

Member
Joined
Feb 22, 2006
Messages
20
If you could find a used Cat 246 or 246B or 248 or 248B; a Case 70XT or 440; or a used Bobcat S220, I think that's the best size for your needs.

A word of warning: there never existed a Case 2105 skid-steer loader.
Sorry I mistyped , it was a Mustang 2105.

Thanks for your input.
 

skiwest

Member
Joined
Feb 22, 2006
Messages
20
Sorry I mistyped , it was a Mustang 2105.

Thanks for your input.
Ken, soil is basically gravel after you scrap away topsoil so shouldn't be tough digging. Trees were cut two summers ago so by the time we get on land in spring will be two years old.
Not going to take out many stumps a one time , for now just enough for road and cabin.
 

skidsteer.ca

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Joined
Jan 20, 2006
Messages
3,853
Ken, soil is basically gravel after you scrap away topsoil so shouldn't be tough digging. Trees were cut two summers ago so by the time we get on land in spring will be two years old.
Not going to take out many stumps a one time , for now just enough for road and cabin.
Our aspen/poplar stumps here rot quite a bit in 2 years and come twice as easy after a couple years. Any machine 1300 lb class and up would work imho, I guess it just comes down to how much you want to invest and how heavy of a machine you want to own. The heavier the more it will bulldoze but the harder it will be on the lawn later if you need to cross it, and the bigger the truck / trailer to move it. I had never given it much though until I owned my 773, but it was 1000 lbs heavier than my 753, and on the same size tire. It sunk alot sooner when the ground was soft. Just common sense. Of course it will lift more and push harder. It all comes down to which features are pluses to you and which one are not, and price. I know its hard to rent when you are a owner type person (and not near a rental center) but driving one is truly the best way to evaluate the features any brand many have and assess its value to you. Also some brands have lighter weight machines then others and some are more stable (think long wheel base) on slopes. My 553, and 753 had to be backed up hills with a empty bucket, because there is no weight on the front end untill the bucket is loaded. (it will just rare up on its hind wheels) Where as a newer deere or new holland loader (and others) allways have some weight on both front and back ends , loaded or not. But tend to wear tires faster when making corners Regards Ken
 

skiwest

Member
Joined
Feb 22, 2006
Messages
20
Our aspen/poplar stumps here rot quite a bit in 2 years and come twice as easy after a couple years. Any machine 1300 lb class and up would work imho, I guess it just comes down to how much you want to invest and how heavy of a machine you want to own. The heavier the more it will bulldoze but the harder it will be on the lawn later if you need to cross it, and the bigger the truck / trailer to move it. I had never given it much though until I owned my 773, but it was 1000 lbs heavier than my 753, and on the same size tire. It sunk alot sooner when the ground was soft. Just common sense. Of course it will lift more and push harder. It all comes down to which features are pluses to you and which one are not, and price. I know its hard to rent when you are a owner type person (and not near a rental center) but driving one is truly the best way to evaluate the features any brand many have and assess its value to you. Also some brands have lighter weight machines then others and some are more stable (think long wheel base) on slopes. My 553, and 753 had to be backed up hills with a empty bucket, because there is no weight on the front end untill the bucket is loaded. (it will just rare up on its hind wheels) Where as a newer deere or new holland loader (and others) allways have some weight on both front and back ends , loaded or not. But tend to wear tires faster when making corners Regards Ken
Well ended up with a Gehl 7800 which is equal to a Mustang 2105
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