A skid steer saves manual labour costs and represents the kind of heavy machinery investment for global infrastructure projects needed to stimulate the world economy. At first glance, a skid steer resembles a forklift or a small excavating machine.
Sometimes called a skid steer loader, a skid loader or a bobcat, this rugged vehicle can perform many more tasks than loading such as breaking, digging, flattening, grabbing, lifting and raking.
Skid steers can also accomplish these difficult tasks in tight, hard-to-access conditions where larger heavy-machinery vehicles simply aren’t feasible.
This flexible and versatile machinery equipment is often used in business sectors including agriculture, construction, forestry, industrial manufacturing and mining. Examples of heavy-duty tasks that skid steers perform range from clearing farm fields to demolishing old buildings.
Skid Steer Manufacturers
Construction and utility equipment makers build skid steer loaders for customers around the world. Manufacturers include the Bobcat Company, Caterpillar, Deere & Company and Canadian company Thomas Equipment Inc. which was founded in 1943.
Large Variety of Skid Steer Sizes
Diesel-fuelled skid steer models ranges from smaller skid steers that can glide easily through a doorway and pivot within the confines of a barn stall, to larger and more powerful 100-plus gross horsepower turbo versions that can lift well over two tons.
Skid Steer Attachments
What makes the skid steer unique is its ability to be transformed into more than a dozen different types of heavy machines through replaceable attachments. Attachments are designed to accomplish specialized jobs.
Below are some examples of skid steer loader attachments and the work processes they can perform.
- Angle broom or bucket sweeper attachment for heavy-duty cleaning
- Backhoe attachment for excavation tasks close to walls and obstructions
- Dozer blade attachment for pushing, grading and reshaping the earth
- Hydraulic breaker attachment that can deliver up to 1,200 blows per minute to break up hard materials like concrete and rock
- Hydraulic spreader attachment for spreading salt or sand on ice during the winter as well as fertilizer, grain or grass during warmer weather.
Other Examples of Skid Steer Attachments
Other attachments are used for such diverse applications as demolition, truck loading and fence-hole drilling.
- Industrial grapple bucket attachment rips out walls and other barriers
- Pallet forks attachment for handling bulk material in bags or on pallets
- Post hole auger attachment to bore accurate holes for fencing even in the toughest ground conditions
- Power box rake attachment for tearing up old sod while removing stones and debris
- Trencher attachment for digging trenches from 2 to 6 feet deep.
Perhaps the most versatile skid steer accessory is the 4-in-1 combination bucket that digs, pushes, drags and grabs such heavy loads as large bolders and rocks.
Skid Steer Equipment Saves Money
An investment in a durable and reliable skid steer actually saves their corporate and individual owners money.
That’s because the cost of buying an attachment for a skid steer is much less than the purchase price and maintenance costs for a new piece of specific heavy machinery like a bulldozer or an excavator.
Skid Steers Ideal International Investment
Ilan Danieli, Chief Operating Officer of Osiris Corp, recognizes the seriousness of the current global slowdown, yet sees strong opportunities for skid steer products around the world even in this challenging environment.
According to Mr. Danieli, skid steers represent back-to-basics values, and that “Tough economic times call for value and performance and no frills product lines, especially when it comes to heavy equipment.”