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compact loader vs skid steer

Discussion in 'Compact Wheel Loaders' started by barklee, Jul 28, 2010.

  1. barklee

    barklee Senior Member

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    This question has probably been asked before but im going to ask again...
    Why are compact loaders more popular in Europe than skids? It seems there are obvious pros and cons to each machine but i would like to hear a die hard loader operators opinion. I have never ran a compact loader so i have no idea what they are all about, i was hoping someone could explain
    thanks
     
  2. Digger Dan

    Digger Dan Well-Known Member

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    Funny that, I have been considering the same, I would like to have a skidsteer cause I know how they operate, fit on jobsites but I have been interested in the Kubota 420 sized for awhile now... wonder what advantages it would have over a skidsteer if any...
    How are the small loaders at snow removal?
     
  3. heavylift

    heavylift Senior Member

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    i'll pick a ctl any day over wheels....all weather capable....

    wheels you may get 180 days to work a year... but those tracks will go 365 days if you wanted...

    and you'll get yea... nay on both sides...

    Snow... I ran a 247 cat... for snow removal... with a tooth bucket.... just cause it works better for me... snow I prefer the tracks...

    grading slabs with sand.... well the laborer can almost stand and watch when using a tracked machine...

    the low ground pressure tears up less so you working.. LESS...
    Wear on the tracks ... well it depends on how you treat the machine.... 1st set when I was the only operator...1900 hours.... then after the machine left for everyone to use 1100 hours.... when they bought it they were told to expect 1000 hour for the track..

    I ran the thing on every surface your can think of... from asphalt ... concrete ... spreading rock ... sand .... tensar rock... even built crane pads with 4" rock.... broken concrete...

    Auger cast piling clean-up... that ctl is the more better than the bestest machine for the job... they glide right over all the hoses that are used... when running back and forth cleaning the spoils...

    they will spin on a dime... but that just weasr stuff out quicker whether they're tracks or wheels

    WELL there's my Dimes worth...
     
  4. heavylift

    heavylift Senior Member

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    read it wrong... I read it as compact track loader ...
    little loaders have their place ... but for the size I would I would still pick a ctl

    I think we had the littlest Volvo rented once... it's bucket wasn't much bigger than the247... the only advantage ... it loaded trucks a bit easier..

    that's about 2 cent for the little loaders
     
  5. shooterm

    shooterm Well-Known Member

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    Compact loaders are better for the logistic side of a job. Forklift operations, short moves, site trailer transport. I used to blow them of as worthless tell I started using them at my new job. CTLs for a construction company with alot of equipment get lost in the tweener spot. I'd much rather have a wheeled two speed skid for everything but final dirt grading for seeds and sand work. Instead of driving through the mud with a ctl you should consider fixing it first.
     
  6. powerjoke

    powerjoke Senior Member

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    are you talking about a rubber tracked skid steer or a Small track loader like a 939 Caterpillar?

    EDIT: I just realized this was in the compact wheel loader thread so im guessing that your talking about something like a 904 vs a 256 or S300 etc? and although im not in eruope I hope that I can still answer the Question....the reason I dont have one is simply because of the cost and the used availablity of them. I would like to have one for snow work and light jobsite stuff but it's not going to compete with a 928 or 924 etc. when it comes to loading trucks

    Pj
     
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2010
  7. KSSS

    KSSS Senior Member

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    I have run the Takeuchi compact loader and the CASE 321D. I really like them. Great visibility, very comfortable. I think there is a place for them, its just that for me they are way too expensive and they are not quite as good at multi tasking as a skid steer. So they cost more, harder to keep busy but dam they are sexy.
     
  8. therealjohnboy

    therealjohnboy Well-Known Member

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    i ran a TCM 810a for around 3000hrs it was a great work horse lighter footprint than a skid as in it didnt tear up turf etc could lift near on 2 ton and was just as fast as a wheeled skid. I went from that to T190 for the multi tasking ability plus wheeled loaders dont handle poor traction like a skid but they also ride great saving your body. they are ideal in landscape yards where loading and shifting is the key role as for why Europe is more into them ?? not sure I guess its a case of how the job has always been done by loaders so small job = small loader
     
  9. therealjohnboy

    therealjohnboy Well-Known Member

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    I got 3500 hours out of the tyres and they were only 50% but put fresh ones on for a winter contract it had 5000hrs on it when I sold it and they still were around 85%
     
  10. nickbowers

    nickbowers Senior Member

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    Loader is a lot faster if you have to room to move. If it is in a compact space you will be much slower.
     
  11. DGODGR

    DGODGR Senior Member

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    I have not run an articulating loader smaller than 2 yards so I can't really say how the compacts work, first hand. Having run the larger units I do know how they work and what to expect from that design. When I purchased my last Bobcat I did have the Volvo, and Cat salesman try to push compact loaders on me. The reason they suggested the comp. loader was because I was looking at the A300 Bobcat. I decided to stick with the A series Bobcat (traded in an A220). I could not see paying the money for, what I considered to be, less versatility. With the A300 I feel I get the best of all worlds. Articulated steering (which we almost always use) allows me to grade around corners, and I can manuever without tearing up my work. When the need arises I can flip a switch and make turns where a loader simply could not. So far, I have gotten 2200 hours on the OEM tires. I paid less than $50k, brand new, with all the bells and whistles. This is obviously expensive when compared to most skid steers, but not when compared to a compact loader (or a CTL for that matter). I am sure the comp. loader will load a truck better, but the A300 does OK at that job. I would think that the comp. loader would road between jobs better and be more comfortable over all, especially getting in & out. I have spent very long days/nights in the A300, plowing snow, and while it was manageable, I would prefer better creaure comfort.
     
  12. Marc V

    Marc V Member

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    I've read all of the comments and I have to say that I've owned and operated a Kubota R420 for 10 years and I would not trade it in for anything except another compact loader. I do everything with this loader , using both the gp bucket and a set of forks. I am a contractor who does alot of differing jobs from carpentry to earth work. Framing, retaining walls, moving pallets, backfilling, moving whatever,... the 420 has never let me down. I use it in combination with a Kubota KX121 excavator and an EZ Screen 1000B. I keep all of my work inhouse. There are a few shortcomings of the 420 though. If you plan on running attachments off of the aux hydr.s the 11 gpm falls short of the min 15 gpm that most skidsteer attachments need.. You should get the ss plate attachment quickchange that is available thru Kubota as it will open up a world of options to you regarding attachments. On any hydra attachments, talk to the company directly. I wanted to run a Harley Rake on my 420 and even though the gpm's were low, Paladin's rep( Harley's parent co) said they had come up with the necessary mech.s to run a 5' rake and a 6' broom off of my machine. After all of this time, the only mechanical problems I have had have been a few blown seals which cost about $500 to replace. Pushed snow all last winter with it for the first time without a problem. Had a combo 8' pusher/plow on it along with a temp winter cab. Had to add aux fuses off of the battery to handle the additional work and safety lights. If and when I buy another Kubota, I would buy the 520 with a full cab. The 520 puts out 15+ gpm on the aux hydr which solves alot of problems.
     
  13. icestationzebra

    icestationzebra Senior Member

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    I previously worked for an OEM that made small articulated loaders. What I was told was...
    - The loader preference is greatest around Germany & Austria
    - They are often roaded, and obviously can go faster than a skid
    - They often work in very old buildings with narrow doors. (I know, anything over 75 years is old here but not "over there")
    - They often work in very old buildings with low roofs, that is why the small loaders have folding ROPS
    - better visibility to sides and rear
    - better adept at moving bales, unloading trucks, etc. (more stable unless turned)
    - they are better at towing small wagons, etc.
    - they sometimes put attachments on the back, such as salt spreads
    - generally quieter at the operator ear

    ISZ
     
  14. laketreefarm

    laketreefarm Well-Known Member

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    The articulated wheel loader was invented by Schaeff in Germany in the 1930's. Way before skid steers were introduced by Melrose (pre-Bobcat) and Mustang in the 60's. I have used both and a compact wheel loader will outwork a skid in almost every situation except deep mud. Wheel loaders are a lot more operator friendly and will last years longer in daily use. I have 4 wheel loaders and my oldest is a 40+ year old Waldon that's a tank and still works every day.
     
  15. icestationzebra

    icestationzebra Senior Member

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    Curious who says that the articulated wheel loader was invented by Schaeff? They may be the first compact machine? The Frank G. Hough Company Hough's first wheel loader came to market in 1939. It operated with a gravity powered latch mechanism. Over the next decade, Hough introduced numerous innovations. In 1941, Hough released the world's first wheel loader with hydraulically-operated arms. In 1944, they released the first wheel loader with hydraulically-actuated bucket tilt, which allowed operators to tilt the bucket while approaching a pile of dirt to obtain a full load, a common practice today. Three years later, in 1947, Hough released the world's first hydraulic four-wheel drive wheel loader. And in 1950, Hough released the first wheel loader with planetary axles, a torque converter, and a powershift transmission.[2]

    In 1952, the Frank G. Hough Company was sold to the International Harvester Company. For the next 30 years, International Harvester would produce wheel loaders under the Hough brand name. In 1982, the International Harvester Company was acquired by Dresser Industries. Dresser elected to discontinue the Hough brand. Dresser would eventually merge with Komatsu in 1988, forming the Komatsu Dresser Company.

    ISZ
     
  16. icestationzebra

    icestationzebra Senior Member

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    I would agree in general, but I have found that small compact loaders (Gehl, Wacker, etc) are almost worthless in snow removal on concrete/asphalt. The front end is so light that the rear wheels just keep going straight - of course chains, fluid and wheel weights help offset this problem.

    Small articulated wheel loaders are also less stable on slopes because the CG moves around so much. Not a problem for good operator's, but a potential BIG problem for the inexperienced. I had one operator who was my best driver, ~20 yrs old with >300hrs on the machine, lay it over on the side. It may look like a toy but it can still bite you! Found out the hard way why I always made them wear their seat belt! :cool:

    ISZ
     
  17. icestationzebra

    icestationzebra Senior Member

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    Another claim at being first :)

    Perhaps one of the most significant milestones in the evolution of the wheel loader was the introduction of the articulated frame. Mixermobile Manufacturers in Portland, Oregon first pioneered this technology in 1953 with the Scoopmobile Model LD-5,[9] In 1944, Hough went on to manufacture a loader with the first hydraulically actuated bucket tilt. This gave the machine the ability to control dumping and the operator could approach a bank in low gear and scoop a full bucket by tilting the bucket back during loading.[10] In 1947, Hough would advance wheel loader development once again when the company developed the world's first four-wheel drive hydraulic wheel loader the HM Model.[11] The model is still considered the forerunner for the modern wheel loader.

    Mixermobile Manufacturing can be credited with introducing the first wheel loaders with hydraulic motors when it developed the Model H wheel loader in 1952 and the Model HP wheel loader in 1957. These loaders had a single centrally mounted bucket arm.[12]

    The Tractomotive Corp., founded by Van Dobeus, was another company to introduce the hydraulic wheel loader to the U.S. market. This involved fastening a hydraulic wheel mechanism with hydraulic power to the bucket crowd. This development transformed the wheel loader virtually from a re-handling machine to a digging machine.[13]

    ISZ
     
  18. laketreefarm

    laketreefarm Well-Known Member

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    Articulated history

    Karl Schaeff company was formed in 1919 to manufacture mining equipment in Germany They first produced steam powered excavators. In 1936 they produced the first articulated loader for use in coal mines. Currently their are the 3rd largest company in Germany and merged with Terex in 2001. The Schaeff line is now all branded Terex. That said the company has outgrown it's ability to service or have enough dealers that are familiar with all their product lines, now over 200 companies. They just bought ASV compact loaders and Royer Screeners in 2008.
     
  19. oldtanker

    oldtanker Senior Member

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    http://www.bobcat.com/our_company/50th/products

    The Skid Steer was fist made in the 50's by the Keller brothers in thier blacksmith shop for a local turkey farmer. The Otter Tail County Museum, Fergus Falls Mn. currently has that machine.
    The first Skit Steer (4X4) as we know them today was produced under the Melroe name after they partnered with the Kellers. I owned the 6th one off the line produced in 1960. I know this because the grandkids bought it from me to restore and place in a Bobcat museum. No way of knowing if it was the first 4X4 becuase at the time they produced both the 200 and 400 on the same line and they were numbered as they came off the line. The company didn't keep good records at the time.


    Rick
     
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2010
  20. laketreefarm

    laketreefarm Well-Known Member

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    machine history

    Last three posts were important histories of the equipment we all use today.
    Maybe we should add a forum for machine histories? I remember first seeing and then testing a Melroe skidsteer in the 1960's at the West Virginia State Fair. Rough riding and noisy but they could dig! On small jobs could run circles around my JD 350. made me reconsider what I should be using. I bought a AC 540 all hydro articulated in 1975 w/dropoff hoe to replace my venerable JD 350 and I was sold on articulated machines from that point on. We now run 5 and a Muck.