Zupancic says it's all about the size of the site and the use the skid steer is put to. "These construction and jobsite applications require a little more power and bucket size, but are still in a confined enough space that contractors cannot bring in the big machines," he explains. "Sometimes the operator doesn't need the extra muscle of a larger skid-steer loader and finds it more economical to have a 50- to 70-hp machine."
The conventional bucket of many skid loaders can be replaced with a variety of specialized buckets or attachments, many powered by the loader's hydraulic system. These include backhoe, hydraulic breaker, pallet forks, angle broom, sweeper, auger, mower, snow blower, stump grinder, tree spade, trencher, dumping hopper, pavement miller, ripper, tillers, grapple, tilt, roller, snow blade, wheel saw, cement mixer, and wood chipper machine.
Some of the biggest names in the world produce skid steer loaders, including Bobcat, New Holland and Kubota. Consider a Boxer mini skid for domestic and small-scale applications, or invest in a powerful John Deere or Caterpillar loader for commercial use. Even if you choose to buy a second-hand machine, you have the peace of mind that comes from knowing you have bought something built to last.