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skid steer instead of tractor
has anyone considered using a skid steer for property mainteance instead of a tractor?
i have a cab air 60HP tractor - but a tree just fell on it - and i am afraid the insurance company is going to total it out.
i am considering replacing it with a JD 317 compact track loader - used with less that 1000 hrs - I can get a 5' brush mower - and then a tiller as well...
I know its not a complete replacement for a tractor - but it would be very handy at fixing roads, and doing fence repair work - as well as food plot prep.
anyone here own one?
I know a few guys who built 3 point mounts for them on quicktatch plates. You can really work up a plot quickly with a disc mounted on the front.
I have both, olebuck. I have a 4020 John Deere tractor as well as a Bobcat 863 skid steer. Each one has certain capacities that are best suited for their respective applications. I guess it would depend on how many acres you’re talking about. If doing only a few acres, I don’t think it would be that big of a difference, however, I would hate having to till my food plots (12-15 acres) with only the skid vs using the tractor and varying implements for that job. Likewise, it is WAY more handy to use the skid for clearing new plots, fixing trails, grubbing out trees/stumps, fence repairs, etc. plus, IMO, doing those things with a tractor and a loader bucket is harder on that equipment, than using the skid for them.
If you go with the skid, I would HIGHLY recommend looking into a stump bucket as one of your attachments. Extremely versatile attachment. I use mine extensively.
As noted above, big acreage with a skid is a pain. But, skid steers are incredibly handy for a lot of other tasks.
I just can’t see any benefit to a skid steer over a 4wd tractor with a front end loader for plot work and general farmland maintenance.
Implements, parts, and service should be easier to find for a tractor too.
Skid steer will beat you up and would not be as good as a tractor.
Skid steers blow a 4wd tractor out of the water for the things they are intended for. But for general property work IMO they don’t really compare to a 4wd tractor, not to mention that your cost on both the actual unit and implements are generally speaking far less on the 4wd. They’ll also keep their value better, again, generally speaking
A track loader is not nearly as rough on you as wheeled loader. Mine is wheeled and I wish it was on tracks, but it would have been considerably more $.
Take a look at the Bobcat Toolcat does everything a tractor and a skid steer will do
I don't own a skidsteer but I have used them plenty and they are sweet little machines - for what they were designed for. They were not designed for farming. Sorry.
Both have a purpose - And I own both. Skid is the bomb for "making new" not so much for planting... Skid - Tracked is 100% better. My humble opinion having more than 100K tied up in iron.
track loader is head and shoulders better for this type of work than the wheeled machines. They are fast and maneuverable. The hydraulics tend to be better then they put in tractors. of similar sizes. That would be my first choice. I work on jobs where they are building athletic fields. From starting the site work to finish. We're talking large areas. They all use skid steers with tracks and wheels. I have yet to see any of this work done with a 4WD tractor.
For food plots buy a tractor with tiller if you need to move a bunch of dirt or trees etc. rent the skidder.
On my place we use a skid steer for certain tasks but much of my land is wet and "STUCK" is what you can get. Badly! Tractor can too but not as easily or as bad.
I have both, use the track loader way more than a field tractor. Get the loader.
I couldn’t do without my tractor, but then I have a JD 310 backhoe also. Used to have a Cat D5 dozer but when I sold my other place I didn’t use it much so I sold it too. My tractor bucket comes in handy for small stuff, but there’s a world of difference between it and my backhoe, they’re not in the same league. I wouldn’t mind having a skid steer, but wouldn’t use it enough to justify it.
I have two tractors
a 50 HP 4x4 FEL and a 60 HP 4x4 FEL Cab ( the one the tree fell on)
the insurance company is going to repair it - so it went to the dealer for a new hood and radiator etc.
Probably going to trade the 50 HP for a cab and air - and sell the 60HP when it comes back from the shop - and start looking for a compact track loader...
Olebuck your first post never mentions two tractors so if you already have a tractor then by all means get the skidsteer and your life will be complete.
well the 50HP is actually my dads - of the 720hrs on it - i have probably put 500... since he has used my cab tractor he has his mind on getting one himself.
Getting into a cab tractor was the best move I ever made. I can trim limbs better than I can suffer the heat and being covered up in pollen and crap.
Depends on what you are going to do. Tractors are meant for field work and skid steers are built for the rest. Digging, lifting, moving, grinding, etc.
Using a front end loader for anything other than light, loose material is dangerous, ineffective, and hard on your equipment.
Like Joel says. Doing 'field' or 'woods' work? Buy what you'll use most, contract for 'occasional' jobs. Our club has used a (rented) skid-steer for brush clearing, controlling 'invasive' species and it's great for that. We contracted a guy with a heavier unit and a 'forest mulching' head to clear several acres of wood debris after logging. We _own_ a tractor with assorted attachments for tilling, planting etc. etc.
Understand the post is years old I agree with the posts above. For tilling and planting food plots a tractor. For moving rocks, brush and more demolition type work rent the Skidsteer.
Of course owning both is nice if you can justify it
I've been using a Kubota tractor for the the plot tilling the last 3 years. I have used it to dislodge a few big boulders out of the ground and remove them. I think a lot has to do with knowing the tractors do's and don'ts....what it's limitations are. From my use.....more hydraulics and less tractor works pretty good on the boulders.
I have both. The biggest mistake I see made is getting a tractor that is really too small for the tasks at hand. Of course a 1/2 acre of food plot is much different than doing 40 acres or so. In any event, I enjoy my skid steer on wheels, and tractors.
I bought my Deere 450h dozer 8 years ago for 22k, I had a guy offer me 35k for it last week. I guess heavy equipment is in high demand and short supply these days like everything else. Pretty good investment to clear your entire land then make a 13k profit.
Pat I’m in the construction business and I have told a bunch of folks to buy a good used piece and use it then sell it. This suits some, but not all. Good move if you can maintain equipment and keep it in good shape. Bad move if you can’t mechanic at all and are rough on stuff. Probably still a good move even if you have to hire someone for maintenance as long as you buy right.
I don't food plot (yet), but my dad has an 85 horse cab tractor that is super handy with implements behind it like a brushhog or box blade, etc. Super annoying to do a lot of loader work with it (if you're a desk weenie like me, your left leg gets tired of clutching that sucker all day long). Plus not handy at all around trees or brush. Cab sticks way up there and the mirrors grab every limb they can. I REALLY want a compact track loader since I already have access to the tractor.
i started this post a couple years ago. i have since bought a 65HP cab tractor and sold it and bought a skid steer.
just recently bought a 2021 John deere 317 G compact Track Loader. its an awesome machine, and the multiple attachments are awesome. there are things both machines can do, but they both have there place. one thing i really like about the track machine is the low ground pressure. i can get into places with the tracks that a tractor could never go. i have planted two food plots with the CTL, i will have more input as i use it more.
Used track loaders for sale in decent shape (relatively low hours) are rare around here.
used equipment is tough to find period. that is why i ended up buying a new one.
Ouch, that machine is not cheap! Sweet setup. Do you have to drive backwards when tilling?
i Fabbed up the skid steer plate on the back of the disk, so i push it forward. usually go back and forth and the ground is really nice and smooth - plus i can ally down pressure to really get it down deep.
also mounted the seed spreader on the front with a 2" receiver hitch.
Interesting. I would think for tilling jobs where you want a fluffy soil the tracks would compact the soil. I've never seen that done before, pretty ingenious.
i've never seen it before either. i just couldn't afford a tiller so i came up with this. the ground pressure is less than 4lbs per square inch - so it really doesn't pack it that hard.
Track loader is great for building new plots,etc but I have way more hours on my tractor.