How To Choose The Right Skid Steer For Your Worksite

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Working on a job site means that you need the right equipment to get the job done.

In fact, a skid steer may be the equipment that you need, because they are small, easy to control, light, and versatile pieces of construction equipment that can make your job easier and help you deliver on time.

Having skid steers isn’t uncommon, but having the right one is what’s important. Here is how to choose the right skid steer for your worksite.

Think About Size And Horsepower

Horsepower is crucial when it comes to great machines. Only consider buying a machine with higher horsepower than you need if you are thinking about adding attachments, and dealing with heavier work.

Still, this doesn’t mean that you should focus only on the largest horsepower machine available but instead consider other factors, such as cost, transportation, and lifetime ownership costs. Know what you need!

Skid steers can range from less than 6,000 pounds to more than 9,000 pounds. The pushing power and tractive effort for the job will always determine the needed horsepower.

For example, if you need skid steer for the site prep, then you should focus on a strong engine and horsepower.

Think About Your Job Surface

Certain wheel loaders will work better than others on different types of terrain. For example, compact wheel loaders will work best on hard and more flat surfaces. They aren’t designed to handle rocky ground or soft mud.

On the other hand, compact track loaders are carefully designed to operate on these surfaces. The tracks are designed to glide over the top of challenging surfaces, which makes them perfect for crossing snow, sand, and other hazards – this is just something to think about and compare.

Tracks may be more versatile, but are also more expensive to replace, which is the main reason why they are more expensive to maintain.

Lift Type: Radial Vs. Vertical

Do you need a radial or vertical lift machine? If you are not sure, check their features below and see what could serve your purpose better.


Radial lift machines are great for ground-engaging applications. They feature better digging, moving forces, and breakout.

Radial lift machines provide better and wider reach at mid ranges, which make them the perfect option for loading and unloading off smaller vehicles or platforms.

Radial lift machines are also great for loading and unloading pick-up trucks and objects of that or similar size and weight.


Vertical lift machines offer greater lifting heights and far greater reach opposite to radial lift machines.

Their arm design keeps the load closer to the cab for added stability and capacity. This design allows more stable material handling.


When it comes to choosing the best skid steer you need to think about controls.

For traditional skid steers, the pedal and level controls are common forms of controls you will find. However, in more modern types, you will find utilized joystick controls.

What’s good about them? They require less force., which comes in handy on a long day on the worksite.

Other Factors To Think About:

  • Rated operating capacity
  • Attachment performance
  • Operator comfort and automation

The Bottom Line

Consider all the features a skid steer offers and what are the benefits that come with it. If you are working on dangerous job sites or crowded ones, improved visibility may be a significant drawcard.

This is why it’s important to consider all the features, think about ground all the time, and other features that may help you decide whether a skid steer suits your needs and what type.

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