Skid steer loaders, the "Swiss Army Knives" of machines, use a wide range of mechanical and hydraulically powered attachments to accomplish varied tasks. Skid loaders, having sophisticated auxiliary hydraulic systems, are compact, highly maneuverable, and range in rated operating capacity (the weight that can be safely lifted and transported) from 500 to more than 4,000 pounds.
There are currently eight different models of Cat skid steers. Loaders are available with a net flywheel power capacity ranging from 47 hp to 106 hp, and a rated operating capacity from 1400 lbs. to an impressive 3700 lbs. Some models are equipped with Cat C3.8 and Cat C3.3B DIT turbocharged engines for additional power and performance. All Cat skid steer loaders are designed for easy serviceability, so you keep your machine properly maintained and in peak operating condition at all times.
"Find out as much as you can about the job the skid steer is being put to," says Zupancic. "Get an idea of the dimensions of the site - especially the minimum dimensions. The worst thing for a contractor is to feel his rental provider hasn't given his business enough thought and has recommended a machine that won't fit within the most vital dimensions of the jobsite."
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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."