Bobcat S595 Skid Steer Loader

Published Feb 13, 22
5 min read

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Their smooth operation is a bit more forgiving than the rougher ride of a skid steer. Tracks also cause less disruption to the ground, reducing site clean-up time compared to a skid steer. Once the basics are understood, it’s time for a closer look at what separates the skid steer and the compact track loader.

Not just true in the real estate world, location comes into play as a deciding factor between a skid steer and compact track loader because each machine is designed to perform its best in certain conditions. Skid steers are great on harder surfaces like concrete and asphalt, especially when equipped with hard tires.

While location is perhaps the most important factor in choosing a skid steer or compact track loader, it’s not the only one. Like any decision, a machine has to make sense on the bottom line, which is why cost considerations are the next area to examine in this debate. Operating and ownership costs vary between skid steers and compact track loaders.

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The only differentiating part is tires vs. tracks, and both of those should be checked on a regular basis – tire pressure on skid steers, track tension and adjustment on CTLs. A pro tip for checking track tension: resist the instinct to make them too tight. A little sag in the tracks is good, as overtightening can lead to undercarriage issues and accelerated track wear.

The price tag of a compact track loader is higher than a comparably-sized skid steer. And the biggest wear item of a CTL, the tracks, is more expensive than skid steer tires. Evaluating long-term costs, compact track loaders have a bit of an edge. Despite a common misconception, tracks last several hundred hours longer than skid steer tires, in comparable operating situations.

Although it’s not a complicated piece of equipment, there are several things to consider when selecting one. Use our buying guide to help you purchase the best skid steer loader for the job. A skid steer loader was originally built with a steerable rear wheel. The compact machine pivoted on its own length.

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This was accomplished by distributing the loader’s weight unevenly – so that one side was heavier than the other. The wheels on the heavier side of the loader counter rotate. This pivots the loader so that the two wheels on the other side skid in the direction of the turn.

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It’s meant to handle small jobs quickly and efficiently. You know, the stuff you could do by hand, but really don’t want to. Skid steer loaders are fairly safe to operate. You are seated in a protective cage. The machine is not likely to tip over since it has a low center of gravity.

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Your job is to determine specifically what tasks you need your skid steer loader to manage. Is most of the work low to the ground? Or will you need to lift and load items at a high point? On small job sites, the speed of the machine likely doesn’t matter.

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The type of work you will do determines the type of attachments you will use. Some attachments require more power – or only fit larger machines. You need to understand what each model skid steer loader you are considering can and cannot handle. It’s always tempting to go with the lowest price.

Some fly-by-night equipment dealer selling lesser-known brands isn’t going to be there when things go wrong. You know that things always go awry on the job. Ensure that you are working with a reputable equipment dealer who is willing to put all the commitments they promise in writing. Once you determine the specifications that meet your requirements, compare models from well-known manufacturers.

This causes the bucket to arc forward a bit during the lift. The vertical lift option does not cause the bucket to arc. However, it is a more complex system. We recommend discussing the differences with a technician or equipment dealer to understand which boom system is best for your application.

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Most have pneumatic rubber tires with side walls that are thickened. Solid rubber tires are a good choice for challenging terrain. Foam-filled tires offer greater puncture resistance. Typically, the heavier the tire, the higher the price. Cab options for skid steer loaders include cage style and glass enclosed. Every skid steer has a steel safety frame.

Side-opening doors are available on skid steers that have a single boom arm. Larger skid steer loaders may be available with climate control. The power of the skid steer loader’s engine is based on horsepower (hp). Smaller machines have less than 50 hp. A mid-sized skid steer is between 50 hp and 70 hp.

This simple machine can come loaded with a lot of fancy technology. CAT offers SMART technology to optimize the performance of their attachments. Bobcat has an information management system to handle all the data software collects about the machine. This level of technology makes sense for large operations that manage a fleet of equipment.

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As described in the hydraulics flow section, an enhanced hydraulics flow package that’s needed to run a large power mulcher requires a bigger machine. Other compatibility issues include power, weight, and load capacity. Here are some popular attachments to consider: This is the most widely used skid steer loader attachment.

The frame is as important as the struts. Bobcat’s line of forks are carefully tested to ensure they will last for years. John Deere 332G with rock breaker attachment A blade attachment is typically used for shallow digging. You can doze, grade, and level a site in preparation for asphalt pavements or landscaping work.

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There are variety of options for snow-handler attachments for your skid steer loader. A simple angled blade creates a path through the snow. You can handle clearing the biggest snow piles by adding an auger collector. This will blow the snow on either side of the skid steer loader’s path.



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