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Skidsteer VS Mini Excavator

Discussion in 'Mini Skid Steers' started by Snatch, Feb 19, 2006.

  1. Snatch

    Snatch Member

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2004
    Messages:
    19
    Occupation:
    Civil Engineer/ Contractor
    Location:
    Montserrat
    Guys,

    I am thinking of purchasing one of the above. Which one is more versatile. Can the typical mini excavators excavate through relatively good consolidated earth.

    Thanks
    Snatch
     
  2. Steve Frazier

    Steve Frazier Founder Staff Member

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2003
    Messages:
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    Location:
    LaGrangeville, N.Y.
    You will need to focus on the type of work you expect to do to determine which would work better for you. As far as versatility, the skid steer can be asked to do a bigger variety of jobs simply due to the number of attachments available for it. There are well over 1000 different types of attachments for skid steers, each suited to do a different type of job. From rock picking to moving pallets, loading trucks to blowing snow, there isn't much a skid steer can't do.

    The compact excavator will excel at trenching, and can do a few other jobs as well with one of the few attachments available for it. There are brush cutters available, and augers for post holes and planting too. Demolition is a strong point to with a thumb or hydraulic hammer.

    It will really depend on how focused you want your work to be.
     
  3. cat320

    cat320 Charter Member

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2003
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    Location:
    Stoneham,MA
    Well skid and a mini perfect combo.

    I think like steve said there is many jobs that each can do it's just you have to figure out what you will need it for. but one realy compliments the other.
     
  4. Coastal

    Coastal Senior Member

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2006
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    321
    Location:
    BC, Canada
    I have both, and my skidsteer gets used about half the amount of time my excavator does. But, when I need the skidsteer, it is very valuable to me and I couldnt imagine not having it. I would look at getting an excavator, and a cheaper skidsteer for support like moving excavated materials in or out, large surface grading etc.
     
  5. bobcatuser

    bobcatuser Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2005
    Messages:
    89
    Occupation:
    Excavation Contractor
    Location:
    Richmond BC
    I would recommend renting both machines, try them out to see what is best suited for the work you're doing. Some equipment dealers will take the rental payment and put it toward the purchase of a machine if you decide to buy after renting.
     
  6. CEwriter

    CEwriter Senior Member

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  7. FullMetalBucket

    FullMetalBucket Active Member

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    Location:
    Port Dover, Ontario, Canada
    That's a great link. You tend to get creative when you've only got a 5' bucket! I've got to make up a list now.... really like the backfill auger and the Breakout Beak.
     
  8. Squizzy246B

    Squizzy246B Administrator

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    Occupation:
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    Location:
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    Coastal stole my post;)

    Thats my operation...now. The mini-x clocks the hours about 4 to 1 over the skid...but the things the skid does I couldn't do without. I started out with just the skid but overall I think an excavator is more versatile...just not as agile in many tasks.
     
  9. jazak

    jazak Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2006
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    Location:
    NJ
    Like said above rent them both out and see which one works best for your needs & which one will work the MOST. You can always rent when you have a need for a specific machine.
     
  10. smalltime

    smalltime Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2005
    Messages:
    104
    Location:
    wv
    I have both & the skid gets used very little compared to the excavator. If you can only buy one, a skid steer with a hoe is not a bad combination. I have dug miles of ditch & footers with the hoe my skid steer, not as fast or easy as the excavator, but it will do it.
     
  11. jhill

    jhill Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2007
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    Location:
    Thumb of MI
    I have both and they get used about equally. I started off with the Mini Ex but I do as much landscaping and dirt moving as I do trenching. I shop really hard when i am looking for stuff and I got both machines each with less then 1500 hrs on them for around $16,000.
     
  12. jmac

    jmac Senior Member

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2006
    Messages:
    740
    Location:
    Central NY
    Before I had a dozer or excavator I had a skid steer. Found out real fast that just a skid steer was limited as just a mini ex is limited. If you live in a booming area with lots of new home construction than just one machine could work. Find a niche and stick to it like retaining walls, concrete work, or pavers. If you live in a area that is not building alot of new homes than you have to do alot of things from trucking, excavating, dozer work, putting in lawns, drives, septics, new homes, drainage work etc. A mini ex is great for specific jobs as a skid is. I used to use a skid steer for grading but found a dozer is best. Coundn't move enough dirt fast enough. I used a mini ex for small excavating jobs but what do you do if you start to get alot of larger holes to dig. Then you need a trailer and truck to move machines around with. If I was to start all over again I would start with a dump truck, than a trailer, 16,000 lb excavator rubber track, 18,000 dozer, skid steer, and a Backhoe in that order. With this mix of machines you can do just about any job. Don't forget about all the small stuff, tampers, had tools, demo saw, chain saw etc. I though that I could do smaller jobs with just a skid steer but not enough work so had to get to a size that I was able to compete with the others. Here every landscaper, or mason has a skid steer and mini ex.
     
  13. jazak

    jazak Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2006
    Messages:
    331
    Location:
    NJ

    Yep, its the same way here. In order to get good work here & a decent amount of it you need to be good at what you do at what you do or offer alot of different services.
     
  14. jmac

    jmac Senior Member

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    Location:
    Central NY
    I agree with this except that if you offer alot of different services you have to be good at all services offered to compete with the company that specializes in one or two.
     
  15. Electra_Glide

    Electra_Glide Senior Member

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2004
    Messages:
    273
    Location:
    Western Pennsylvania
    I agree 1000% with everything jmac said. This is exactly the situation I presently find myself in. Last year my work was split about 50/50 between skidsteer and mini-ex. Since I only own a skid, I had to rent a mini-ex. This year I was trying to focus more towards jobs for the skid (to improve my profit margin), but I can't seem to find enough work.

    My heart says to "tough it out, and better days will come", but my wallet says it's time to get out...:(

    Think about the services you want to offer, and the market you're in. This should drive your decision about what to buy. Goin' out and lookin' at iron is the fun part, but once you own it, it needs to work for you, and be putting money in your pocket.

    Joe
     
  16. jmac

    jmac Senior Member

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    Location:
    Central NY
    Well thanks Joe, that doesn't happen every day ya know! I learn from hard nocks, had no one to tell me what to do or how to do it. I started from scratch. The most important lesson is that no matter what: it is hard to start a new company. Sorry to hear you are considering packing it in. You have two choices really. One is to quit and sell your stuff. Two is invest more money in advertising, equipment etc. to try and get to a level that will pay the overhead. I was going thru a slow down in July but April and June had more work than I could do and then July came along and nothing. Had to run my dump truck for a few days (trucking for someone else sucks) just to keep some money coming in. Then the phone rang and walaa work. How bad do you want to hang on and how much can you get into debt doing it? Tough question only you can answer. It is a very big investment in the dirt moving business and getting bigger. I know guys that have gone and put up every thing to stall afloat just to get past the slow times. Even the biggest companies have slow times.
     
  17. KSSS

    KSSS Senior Member

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2005
    Messages:
    3,446
    Occupation:
    excavation
    Location:
    Idaho
    I think a skid steer and a mini ex have probably equally important roles in my operation. I added a 160 excavator last year and it has worked out very well. The 465 is large enough to move the material around the holes when its needed. I have my foot in the door on the large jobs and I still do all the smaller work with my 12K mini and smaller skid steer that I built my business doing. The key is diversification. It smooths out the slow times. With a good skid steer you can be as diverse as you have money to buy attachments. A mini is also priceless if your in that smaller market. The days of making a living on just a skid steer have been over for a long time (exceptions being some type of specialty application). You have to be able to provide a complete service and to do that you have to be able to dig. There is no getting around that.
     
  18. ongrademike

    ongrademike Member

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2007
    Messages:
    12
    Location:
    LONG ISLAND NEW YORK
    Both of these machines work hand to hand together.If you do alot of residential excavation say like a house extension in a back yard alot of the times you can not get a truck in to load excess material after backfill and final grade with a mini excavator. Unless you pull and keep flipping the dirt or push with the blade and this is not good for drive motor or track longevity.My company has both types of machines.If you can not afford to buy both machines weigh out each ones advantages to suit your needs for the time being. Also to take into consideration Track type loaders have many advantages and do amazing stuff that a rubber tire skid steer can't.:usa
     
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2007
  19. Mr. Cutterhead

    Mr. Cutterhead New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2007
    Messages:
    2
    Location:
    Surrey
    Mr. Cutterhead
    Probationary Member




    Join Date: Aug 2007
    Location: Surrey
    Posts: 1 New attachment for bobcats and skidsteers

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Hey Guys,
    Love my job and just got a new toy to add to your machines. Little cutterhead mills hard ground for trenching, planting, light demolition.

    We have 14 other similar units sold worldwide for mini excavators up
    to 130 ton units. Very successful in mining and construction.

    This is the first unit to address the 25 - 38 lpm (6.6 - 10 gpm) market.

    If this is inappropreiate for a forum, please forgive as I have never used one before. Just thought you may be as interested in new toys as I am.

    All the best. Work safe.
     
  20. Sims68

    Sims68 New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2007
    Messages:
    3
    Location:
    Herrin, Illinois
    If it were me, I would do my best to get both if at all possible, even if it meant that I may have to go with older models of both. Just as everyone has said, a skid steer is limited but that is only because of the size of them, and you will use an excavator more, but you will most likely need to do things to support the excavator that it just isn't set up to do either. So I would suggest trying to go with older equipment in order to get both.