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Skidsteer VS Mini Excavator

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

  1. Paul W

    Paul W Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2007
    Messages:
    48
    Location:
    Steamboat Rock, Iowa
    I own both..... A Bobcat 334 excavator and one each Bobcat S150 and T200 Couldnt stand to be without any of them. The excavator is the money maker. The skid loaders are the support machines. Skid loaders are more versatile because of all the attachments that can be used on them but they arent made for trenchwork and I do a boatload of that..... Yes, you can put a backhoe attacment on a skid but dont show up and figure you are going to get anywhere near the same kind of money for it I do with an excavator. I think they are pretty limited on depth and so slow..... Maybe they have changed since I last checked on them but I didnt like the idea of having to change seats to move the machine, lotta wasted time. I do a lot of septic tanks and laterals and all the time I would be moving from skid seat to hoe seat would be a joke..... Depending on soil type my average lateral length is 300-400 feet. Thats a bunch of seat changes! The add on hoes just never really caught on around here..... Good advice givenabout maybe getting into some older equipment so you can have both..... Paul
     
  2. totalloser

    totalloser Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2008
    Messages:
    64
    Occupation:
    Groundwork/Fabrication
    Location:
    Albion, CA
    You might consider an AG tractor if you are limited to one machine. I did that years ago. Jack of all trades if you aren't in a hurry. I got a mini excavator, and now it sees the most use, and am looking to buy the matching skid steer, as the Ag machine is not too maneuverable, or fast. Ag machines can put nearly anything on the back, and you still have the front end loader, so it's like having two machines. Very practical if you are working on your own dime.
     
  3. Sparffo

    Sparffo Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2008
    Messages:
    223
    Occupation:
    Demolition contractor
    Location:
    Finland
    i would go for both also!

    But if you can't afford both at the moment, then you just have to decide witch one would have more usage? you can't comare those machines, they are still copletly different, built for different pourpouses...
    Ok you can buy a digger attachment for your skid steer, but it's like using a mini excavator for moving dirt = not so effective :ban

    i don't know about the States, but here in finland the S-T digging attachments are a thing of the past, totaly over run by miniexcavators...

    But the digger attachment has one benefit! it digs deeper and with better force! but thats it, the fact of that you can't turn around makes it alot worse, and if you can fit the skid steer with digger, then a 5 ton miniexcavator will also fit, and it REALLY spanks the digger anytime!

    buy something usefull the competiton doesn't have! then you will have a lot of work ;)

    I think that before buying equipment and investing money, you should know what you are doing and what posibilities you have!
    othervise you are jumping of a cliff, without knowing whats under ;) you might make it...
     
  4. xalexjx

    xalexjx Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2008
    Messages:
    51
    Location:
    Upstate, NY
    Go for the mini excavator first! You will use it a lot more then you think. The skidsteer is very handy but not quite as practical in some situations.. Once you get the excavator start saving for a skidsteer because the combo can be very handy to have.
     
  5. KSSS

    KSSS Senior Member

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2005
    Messages:
    3,446
    Occupation:
    excavation
    Location:
    Idaho
    If it is one or the other I would pick the skid steer. A mini is seldom a stand alone machine in my opinion. It would depend much on your type of operation though as to which would be more important. A 7500 pound mini is easy to rent most everywhere as is a skid steer.
     
  6. humboldt deere

    humboldt deere Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2008
    Messages:
    223
    Occupation:
    general building and engineering contractor
    Location:
    N.california
    the first machine I bought was a 35 size mini and I did alot with that machine I have a mini and a skid now, but if I had to ditch one it would be the skid. If you do mostly trenching and steep work,get the mini, if you do more grading and loading get the skid.
     
  7. kb9nvh

    kb9nvh Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2008
    Messages:
    65
    Location:
    bloomington, IN
    I'm curious, wouldn't a backhoe like a case 580 serve both purposes? Or it it just too big for some jobs that the skid steer and mini ex can do?
     
  8. trenchman

    trenchman Member

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2008
    Messages:
    20
    Location:
    NE Wisconsin
    I have a mini ex with a normal digging bucket and a large ditching bucket for loading, grading and transporting material. this works really well for me since I don't need a skidsteer on most jobs. just use the mini for it. The bucket isn't as big as a skidsteers but not having to haul 2 pieces of equipment to every job sure is nice.:)
     
  9. Sparffo

    Sparffo Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2008
    Messages:
    223
    Occupation:
    Demolition contractor
    Location:
    Finland
    but if you have to move 50 tonnes of material 25m, which is not much on most jobs. then it really sucks to carry with the excavator...
    in places where you can "throw" material with the bucket (short distances) it's effective to use the excavator.

    but if you do your jobs on a hourly rate and do not have employees, then it's a good way to employ your self for a longer time, as long as the customer pays.

    a 7 series bobcat carry the same amount of dirt as a 10 ton excavator...

    we use both machines, but i would go for the excavator first any time!
     
  10. AusDave

    AusDave Senior Member

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2008
    Messages:
    292
    Occupation:
    Self employed
    Location:
    Australia
    JCB 1CX versatility

    Hi all.

    What about one of these https://www.heavyequipmentforums.com/Forum/showthread.php?t=8672

    Regards AusDave
     
  11. Bubba

    Bubba Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2010
    Messages:
    106
    Occupation:
    Locomotive Engineer, Property Management, Clearing
    Location:
    Lagrange Georgia
    I all depends on the amount of money you want to spend. If you got plenty of it then get both because you can certainly use them depending on what you got to do. But if you are limited on the funds and want to best of two world I would go with the skid steer vs the excavator. With the skid steer you can dig a ditch, or a hole and do it quicker. I only have a skid steer (Bobcat T200) and if I need to lay pipe I just rent a mini X.
     
  12. Jim Dandy

    Jim Dandy Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2009
    Messages:
    172
    Location:
    VA
    My vote is if only one go with a 35 size mini with a hydraulic thumb. That combo is on every job I do and racks up the hours. I have been taking down trees and using the Mini to help push the trees certain ways and feed the chipper. Even used the Mini this winter clearing sidewalks ( I had a flat cutting edge welded to old teeth to dig footings to get ice off of the sidewalks in an apt complex). Was laying 8" ductile iron pipe and used the mini where we were crossing other utilities and to bring the pipe and valves to the large trackhoe and to backfill and level for the trench compactor. To me it is the swiss army knife of excavating.
     
  13. Bigjake3887

    Bigjake3887 New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2010
    Messages:
    2
    Location:
    Fredericksburg, va
    I'd say I'd have to agree with coastal. I have both too, and most of the time I'll use my mini x, but the skidsteer is no doubt a vital support unit.
     
  14. Allgood

    Allgood Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2009
    Messages:
    131
    Location:
    Indiana
    I know this is an older post, but I too would say I use my mini X more than my compact track loader. If you have a tractor with a FEL, I would definitely say go with the mini-x and later, if you can, pick up a skid steer. For digging and moving dirt where I can't get a dump truck, using my mini-x and 100 hp tractor with a 1 yard FEL bucket on it makes for pretty quick work.
     
  15. jonmor

    jonmor New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2011
    Messages:
    3
    Location:
    France
    Buy a JCB 1CX, or I think its a JCB 208 in the US. It is about 2,8 tonnes with a loader bucket on the front and a back hoe on the rear and it is a skid steer. I have one a great machine if you can get it cheap. And you only need to tow on machine.
     
  16. Allgood

    Allgood Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2009
    Messages:
    131
    Location:
    Indiana
    Yup, different machines on different sides of the pond. Keeps it confusing.
     
  17. DrJim

    DrJim Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2011
    Messages:
    172
    Occupation:
    General Dentist, including Implant Restorations
    Location:
    Oak Ridge TN
    I have been around skid steers since 1972, and never even saw a 4-in-1 combination bucket on a skid-steer on any job site. For site clean-up--rocks, broken blocks, dirt clods, bushes, etc., it was most common to have to push against something to pick these up, have a laborer or two pick up and toss that stuff in to the skid-steer bucket, or worse, jump on and off the machine to do that yourself. My Bobcat dealer loaned me ("demo'd") a combo bucket to me, and after about 3 minutes I knew I had to have one-- $ 2,800 or whatever it was suddenly seemed cheap. I can slick a work site up without ever leaving the seat. As a pure grapple, a small 4-in-1 is not a substitute for a true grapple bucket. I have one of those, too. The 4-in-1 will grab and pull up fence posts, bushes, and small trees. I have ripped out hundreds of feet of farm fence in what seems like a few minutes with the combo--open, grab, pull, and continue down the line. Never get off the machine.

    Like the guys say, it depends on what you are doing. For small construction site lift-and-carry, you need a skid steer--you can't lift and carry with a mini-ex. Get a standard tooth bucket for digging and a smooth-edge 4-in-1. If you are around tree limbs and brush piles, get a grapple bucket, too. With the proper technique, you can grab and carry huge piles of tree limbs in a single swipe. The grapple bucket allows my Bobcat 773 to drag huge trees around, in minutes--grab the tree by the butt or stump, lift it a few inches (and never mind if the rear tires come the ground), and back up. Instant log skidder.

    On the farm, we have installed a mile or so of water line. I have a 36" x 6" trencher for the skid. It's good for my soil type, and I can stand it more or less straight down and carve out square holes to set valve boxes. We hired a tractor-loader-backhoe to dig through the rocky areas and to install the larger culverts in the creeks and ditches.

    The main attraction of the mini-ex's is their versatility, size and weight. The smaller ones can ride on a 10,000 or 12,000 lb trailer behind a 3/4 ton pickup. But their size is a disadvantage, too. That's why some of the guys put more hours on them--for bigger jobs the bigger backhoes are 5x faster. The jobs we thought of using (renting) the mini-x, we were far ahead to hire the backhoe man and pay him by the hour.
     
  18. bsebastian

    bsebastian Member

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2011
    Messages:
    7
    Location:
    Iowa
    You need to figure out which would come in most handy and fully utilized before you purchase... you can always rent the other
     
  19. vcolper

    vcolper Member

    Joined:
    May 10, 2011
    Messages:
    7
    Occupation:
    Engineering Manager
    Location:
    Puerto Rico
    I just purchased a JCB 1cx/208s and seems great to me. It has both, loader in front and backhoe in the rear, great visibility all around.
    My 2 cents

    Vic
    Guayama, PR
     
  20. Orgnoi1

    Orgnoi1 Member

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2012
    Messages:
    19
    Occupation:
    Telecommunications
    Location:
    Upstate NY
    I like the post about renting both machines and seeing which you may actually "need" more... I really considered getting a mini-excavator but the more I thought about it the less I really could find much of a personal use... I dont use my machines for business purposes... it steered me away from the purchase and onto better options...