For example, a homeowner or contractor working on an established lawn might be best served with a tracked machine that will cause less damage - and less rework - to the lawn, saving time and money. Or, much like the small skid-steer loaders, a mini track loader is an excellent way to access narrow or tight areas, such as through a backyard gate or in between buildings built closely together.
The 272D XHP and 299D XHP high-flow models make 106 hp and 277 lbs.-ft. peak torque. Rated operating capacity is 3,600 lbs. for the 272D XHP and 3,185 lbs. for the 299D XHP at 35 percent of tipping load. Operating weight for the 272D XHP is 9,304 lbs. and 11,647 lbs. for the 299D XHP. Hydraulic systems deliver 40 gpm of flow at 4,061 psi, producing 94 hydraulic horsepower.
Applications that require the extra horsepower, such as dozing work, are also a good fit for large skid-steer loaders. "Basically, the large-frame skid steers are going to do the heavy lifting for a contractor," says Zupancic. "When they need a big machine to do the hard work on a big site, but they still need maximum manueverablity and versatility, they'll turn to a large skid steer."
One size does not fit all when it comes to skid steers. Bigger is not universally better, while smaller units come with their own limitations and maintenance details a savvy purchaser shouldn't overlook. It's important to consult skid-steer size charts to take into account three major variables: A unit's engine model, its horsepower and its rated operating capacity (ROC).
Jobsite dimensions are one of the greatest factors to know to fit the skid steer to the job. "Understanding physical limitations of the work area often dictates the class that may be used in the application," says Dennis Turney, Hyundai Construction Equipment. "The next consideration would be the lifting height or dumping height requirement, along with the capacity of the job. Finally, hydraulic capacity needs to known in order to operate any hydraulic attachments.
Usage: Consider all the details of your project and what you expect to use the skid steer for, from loading and hauling to drilling, boring or excavation. How many hours a day will the steer be used, and what are the operating load weights or capacities you'll need to match expected workloads? Does your desired unit have an engine model and horsepower fitting your projected use?
The Melroe brothers, of Melroe Manufacturing Company in Gwinner, North Dakota, purchased the rights to the Keller loader in 1958 and hired the Kellers to continue refining their invention. As a result of this partnership, the M-200 Melroe self-propelled loader was introduced at the end of 1958. It featured two independent front-drive wheels and a rear caster wheel, a 12.9 hp (9.6 kW) engine and a 750-pound (340 kg) lift capacity. Two years later they replaced the caster wheel with a rear axle and introduced the M-400, the first four-wheel, true skid-steer loader. The M-440 was powered by a 15.5 hp (11.6 kW) engine and had an 1,100-pound (500 kg) rated operating capacity. Skid-steer development continued into the mid-1960s with the M600 loader.