Skid steer or compact tractor?

Gearhead660

Feeling the Heat
Dec 20, 2018
373
Southern WI
I have an older skid steer and looking to upgrade. Torn between getting a newer skid steer or tractor. I do lots of loading, pushing and such so a bucket is a must. What do you have/prefer and why?
 

Gearhead660

Feeling the Heat
Dec 20, 2018
373
Southern WI
Buy a tractor keep the skid steer...
Next
Then I have to come with justification for needing a tractor and skidder...let me know if you have an iron clad one! :)
 

Dataman

Minister of Fire
Sep 10, 2018
779
Newport, Wa
Next door has Skid Steer with Bucket. He takes hours and hours to do snow removal. I run twice down our driveway (1000ft) and done in 30 min. We also have bucket on front. 3 Point is very useful. We have plow, 6ft rake, 2 place bottom plow for Fire Break and Portable SAM for Annoying Overflights (just kidding). I have Tons more room for snow removal vs pushing it off driveway. Have to be snow from hell to not have room to throw it 25-30ft.
 

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JimBear

Feeling the Heat
Dec 15, 2017
485
Iowa
Then I have to come with justification for needing a tractor and skidder...let me know if you have an iron clad one! :)
Put a 3pt mower or garden tiller on it. Easier to move the splitter around with it. The skid steer will be safer handling firewood & pushing snow with. The skid steerr has depreciated out, both are tax deductible. Be creative, embellish a little if you need to. Lol
 
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Jazzberry

Minister of Fire
Dec 17, 2014
645
Next to Yosemite
I saw a skid steer with a snowblower clamped on the bucket but hooked up to the hydraulics. It was crazy fast. Crazy maneuverable. If I was gonna do snowplowing for a living or part time job that would be my easy choice for a similar setup.
 

Socratic Monologue

Burning Hunk
Dec 2, 2009
194
WI
We have a Kubota BX2350. I like it a lot.

I use the loader (with a bucket extension from BXpanded) for firewood hauling when I'm too lazy to sled it out of the woods, along with a carry-all on the three-point. For snow removal, the loader and a back blade. In summer, 60" mid mount mower on the lawn, and the loader for mucking out the barn, turning the compost pile, hauling mulch and wood chips, and hauling slash. I have a ball mount for the three point for moving our 16' flatbed trailer more precisely than using the pickup (like backing it into the garage).

The loader only lifts 600 lbs max, and that only safely with the ballast box on the three point -- this is the biggest shortcoming vs a skid steer, I think. I'd like to spear bales with it, but it can't lift them.
 

Ashful

Minister of Fire
Mar 7, 2012
15,715
Philadelphia
We have a Kubota BX2350. I like it a lot...
The loader only lifts 600 lbs max, and that only safely with the ballast box on the three point -- this is the biggest shortcoming vs a skid steer, I think.
If I can be a jerk and paraphrase what you just said, it’s “my tractor is too small, and that’s why skid steers are better than tractors.” :)

I’ve never owned a skid steer, so I can’t offer a fair comparison. But I can’t imagine preferring one over a tractor for typical homeowner / landowner chores. The implements for tractors are simpler, cheaper, and very available. I have a quick-change front-end loader with an HD bucket, a plow that goes on the quick-change loader, a 3-point snowblower, a 3-point seed and fertilizer spreader, a 3-point plug aerator, another tow-behind plug aerator, a 3-point rotary mower, a 3-point boom sprayer, two walnut harvesters (one push frame, one tow-behind) and probably a few other implements I can’t remember at the moment. Heck, my prior tractor even had a belly mower, and I had the mid-PTO and required hydraulics installed on this machine for the same, even though I’m not using it for mowing right now. I can’t imagine doing all of these tasks with a skid steer, it appears to be just a dedicated loader machine, with respect to most chores I have around here. They’re also hell on your lawn.
 

Socratic Monologue

Burning Hunk
Dec 2, 2009
194
WI
If I can be a jerk and paraphrase what you just said, it’s “my tractor is too small, and that’s why skid steers are better than tractors.” :)
I think a more accurate paraphrase would be "Holy cow, I can do so many things with this awesome machine and all the implements! There's merely one thing it can't do, but if a person wanted to move mountains, they'd get a dedicated mountain-mover." :)
 

Bad LP

Minister of Fire
Nov 28, 2014
1,228
Northern Maine
Two totally different animals. Without a high flow kit and tracks I wouldn’t think about a skid steer.
JD 4720 was my choice. 56 PTO HP. Loader, Cab, 84” inverted snow blower. 72” rotary cutter, forks and logging winch.
3 pt attachments are less money and plentiful on the used market that are not all beat to hell.
 
Sometimes a tractor is too long/big to some things that a skid steer can do.(Turn in it's own footprint)
 

salecker

Minister of Fire
Aug 22, 2010
1,130
Northern Canada
Then I have to come with justification for needing a tractor and skidder...let me know if you have an iron clad one! :)
Ironclad...
I am a guy and i need them both Arh Arh Arh (in Tim the Tool Man's voice)
You only live once
The right tool for the job
For the lady's if that is the issue..
How many_______ (purses,shoes,jewlerys,ect) do you have?
It dosn't mater how you try you will not enjoy any of your hard earned money once they start throwing dirt on your grave.I used to work hard long hours for my family. Last spring May 31st they got in a car and left. Basically the reason i worked hard and saved money was for family.Now it's just me and if i want something that is going to put a smile on my face,i am going to get it.
 

Bad LP

Minister of Fire
Nov 28, 2014
1,228
Northern Maine
Ironclad...
I am a guy and i need them both Arh Arh Arh (in Tim the Tool Man's voice)
You only live once
The right tool for the job
For the lady's if that is the issue..
How many_______ (purses,shoes,jewlerys,ect) do you have?
It dosn't mater how you try you will not enjoy any of your hard earned money once they start throwing dirt on your grave.I used to work hard long hours for my family. Last spring May 31st they got in a car and left. Basically the reason i worked hard and saved money was for family.Now it's just me and if i want something that is going to put a smile on my face,i am going to get it.
Damn.
 
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Archer39

Feeling the Heat
Sep 23, 2009
287
Pottstown PA
If your primary use is ground engagement work and moving heavy objects get a skid steer. If you need a machine that can do multiple things at a reasonable price get a tractor. Skid steer attachments can be expensive.

if you do go the tractor route and plan on doing any serious work get a one with a minimum 40 hp. Any less and you will be regretting your decision if you use if for any major work.
 

duramaxman05

Feeling the Heat
Aug 17, 2014
446
Perryville, Mo
They both have there place. It all depends on what you are going to use it for. Are you interested in a track or wheel machine? Makes all the difference offroad when wet. Mud and wheel skidsteer dont work. Tracks are an almost must for that. You could keep your skidsteer and get a set of metal tracks that go over the tires and also get a tractor as well. Attachments are endless for a skidsteer. If you get a tractor with front end loader and it has the skidsteer quick attach, you can use the attachments on both. Our farm has been throwing around the idea of getting a skidsteer, but we have 3 tractors with front end loaders. I am fortunate for having the tractors we do. Makes cutting wood pretty good. I myself would like to have a mini excavator. I have used one to cut wood and also split it. The place I used to work, the owner wanted me to make a wood splitter for it. So I did and all I can say is worked awesome.
 

Ashful

Minister of Fire
Mar 7, 2012
15,715
Philadelphia
If your primary use is ground engagement work and moving heavy objects get a skid steer.
Could you elaborate on this? I’ve never seen anyone pull a plow, disc, middle buster, or aerator with a skid steer.

I think skidsteers are great as an FEL, if you don’t mind tearing the hell out of whatever lawn or other surface you’re working on. They’re also better for running large augers, if you’re planting posts or many trees (I’ve planted 110+ large trees on this lot in the last five years), due to typically larger hydraulic pump volume. But for nearly every other chore a homeowner or landowner will ever do, the tractor is better, cheaper, and more versatile. Esp if you’re going 40hp+ HST, then even pump capacity becomes almost a non-issue.

Around here, you can pick up tractor implements in great shape used, from many larger homeowners who might have only used them a few times per year. Typically any skid steer (SSQA) implements are beat completely to hell, and often still manage to sell quicker than you can get to them. In fact, I just picked up another completely unused 60” plug aerator yesterday, on the cheap, paint isn’t even off the tines!
 

Gearhead660

Feeling the Heat
Dec 20, 2018
373
Southern WI
You all may have me leaning towards a tractor. Current skid steer doesn't have aux hydro and i want to get attachments to do tasks. Main reason for the want to upgrade.
Been looking at the offerings of compact tractors, handful of brands but they all seem to look the same, just different colors. Same company making different brands? Any to steer clear of?
 

Kiotick4010

New Member
Jan 5, 2019
28
UP
I had a John Deere wheeled skid steer for ten years. Great, useful machine with the exception that it didn’t work well near the lake or in the soft sand. Also, being an open front cab, and having a regular construction bucket and foot controls, it wasn’t great for snow removal, as snow dumped accidentally into the foot well froze the pedals.

Traded it in for a 40 hp compact tractor with a front mounted blower and cab.

Great for snow removal, and works a little better by th lane, ut inferior to the skid for dirt work, firewood, and moving logs or pallets.

I ended up buying a tracked skid steer (CTL), and find it Superior to the tractor for everything except driving long distances.

Snow blowers are available for the CTL as are bush hogs, and visibility for fork work is superb.

I am considering selling my tractor.
 
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can't you rent skid steer attachments ?
 

Rob711

Feeling the Heat
Oct 19, 2017
345
Long Island, ny
I’m fortunate to live next to family that has both. A bobcat753? Has wheels but now sports bolt on tracks with rubber pads. Also have a newer new holland tractor with loader. The new Holland is smaller bucket can lift 700. Lbs.
If I was the one purchasing either I’d go for tractor. It can do 85% I need to do. Light grading, spreading material. Of course moving firewood.
The skid steer can do all this too plus with the pallet forks lift pallets of firewood. As stated the skid steer really rips up everything it goes over even if just going straight. The tractor can drive over the lawn and turn without much damage.
 

Ashful

Minister of Fire
Mar 7, 2012
15,715
Philadelphia
Also, if you’re willing to spend skid-steer sort of money, you can buy a tractor that will easily lift pallets on front forks. If you‘re sticking with smaller/cheaper tractors, then you can still get 3-point forks that will easily lift 1000 lb. or more.
 
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ben94122

Burning Hunk
Sep 4, 2017
117
California
I have a tracked skid steer(Cat 259D) that I love. It doesn't tear up the ground much unless you spin it in place. My property is all fairly steep, and a conventional tractor would flip over on the sidehills--the wide tracks and low center of gravity on the CTL make it ideal. I have a plow blade for it and studded the tracks, so I can plow uphill at 10mph; clear the driveway with one pass down then one pass back up, pushing the berm the whole way up. I also use it to split logs: I have a splitting bit for the auger and can split 20' log lengths by drilling into the side of the log. Then lift on the auger, buck, and split the rest of the way by hand. Grapple/forks for moving logs and firewood cages (IBC totes).
 

Kiotick4010

New Member
Jan 5, 2019
28
UP
My tracked skid steer is pretty easy on the lawn too. Not as good as the compact tractor, but reasonable. It takes some practice to control the urge o make tight turns. Arced turns don’t tear anything up, but sometimes expediency overrules common sense.

Skid steer or CTL is hands down better for fork work. Visibility is much better, as is lift capability and hydraulic system precision.
 
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Sawset

Minister of Fire
Feb 14, 2015
980
Palmyra, WI
Most heavy construction, farming operations, arborists /firewooders and landscapers, who need to get in get out and move quantities of bulk materials, most around here have a skid steer first. Tractor loaders work for multipurpose use, loading, pulling, pto work, especially the pulling and pto. A skid steer has no pto, and generally can't pull. But it makes jobs go quick if a lot of bucket work is needed.
Tractors are designed to pull and transfer power from the engine (traction engine) with a bucket as an after thought. A skid steer is designed around the bucket.

I do lots of loading, pushing
 
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