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.
The first three-wheeled, front-end loader was invented by brothers Cyril and Louis Keller in Rothsay, Minnesota, in 1957. The Kellers built the loader to help a farmer, Eddie Velo, mechanize the process of cleaning turkey manure from his barn. The light and compact machine, with its rear caster wheel, was able to turn around within its own length, while performing the same tasks as a conventional front-end loader.