Designed for the toughest jobs in the roughest conditions, a Cat skid steer can be the workhorse of your operation. With big iron features and operating capacities ranging from 1,400 to 3,600 lbs., its stability and lifting performance provide excellent material handling. The new generation of Cat skid steer loaders feature improved controls, greater fuel efficiency, and a wide range of tooling options.
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.
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.
An extended reach design uses multiple hinges and parallel lifting bars on the loader arm, with the main pivot points towards the center or front of the machine. This allows the loader arm to have much greater operating height while retaining a compact design, and allows the vertical movement to be less of an arc and more straight-up vertical, to keep the bucket forward of the operator's cab, allowing safe dumping into tall containers or vehicles.
"Interior demolition is a good example where these machines excel, as the machine is small enough to access the inside of a building, yet powerful enough to use a hydraulic breaker attachment to demolish concrete and then switch to a grapple to remove the debris," says Rostberg. "Accessing in-between houses built closely together or through backyard gates and fences is another prime example of the usefulness of this size machine."
Skid steers are dual-powered through their diesel engines and hydraulic pumps and systems. Hydraulic systems use pressurized, or hydraulic, fluids to power their associated machinery, rather than other fuel sources or the raw flow of materials. They're a vital component to your machine's overall output and getting the best skid for your project operations and budget.
A skid-steer loader can sometimes be used in place of a large excavator by digging a hole from the inside. The skid loader first digs a ramp leading to the edge of the desired excavation. It then uses the ramp to carry material out of the hole. The skid loader reshapes the ramp making it steeper and longer as the excavation deepens. This method is particularly useful for digging under a structure where overhead clearance does not allow for the boom of a large excavator, such as digging a basement under an existing house. Several companies make backhoe attachments for skid-steers. These are more effective for digging in a small area than the method above and can work in the same environments. Other applications may consist of transporting raw material around a job site, or assisting in the rough grading process.
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."
Cat offers some of the latest electronic, computer-analyzed fleet communication software and oversight in the industry. Using both remote and on-site technology, a Fleet Management Solutions Package provides security and maintenance reports for all included equipment, as well as production and efficiency reports to maximize your skid steer outputs better.
A skid-steer loader can sometimes be used in place of a large excavator by digging a hole from the inside. The skid loader first digs a ramp leading to the edge of the desired excavation. It then uses the ramp to carry material out of the hole. The skid loader reshapes the ramp making it steeper and longer as the excavation deepens. This method is particularly useful for digging under a structure where overhead clearance does not allow for the boom of a large excavator, such as digging a basement under an existing house. Several companies make backhoe attachments for skid-steers. These are more effective for digging in a small area than the method above and can work in the same environments. Other applications may consist of transporting raw material around a job site, or assisting in the rough grading process.
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