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Tractor or Skidloader

Discussion in 'Firewood, Heating and Wood Burning Equipment' started by sawjunky23, Oct 14, 2018.

  1. sawjunky23

    sawjunky23 Just here for the free beer!

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    I’m in the market for a piece of equipment. Obviously in a perfect world, I would want both. I plan on using the machine for various tasks around the acreage firewood, dirt work, loader work, moving pallets, snow removal etc. In my mind a skidloader would be just as good if not better at most tasks. The downside is ground clearance if I needed to go into the woods with it. To me a skidloader seems like it would be handier in tight areas and is built heavier than most compact tractors of similar price. Am I missing something? It seems like you read about tractors way more often on this site.
     
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  2. wrx-snowdrift

    wrx-snowdrift ArboristSite Operative

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    My 2 cents. Unless you need a PTO or to be able to pull tillage equipment go with a skidloader. For the tasks you’ve described a skid loader is a lot better than a tractor/loader set up.
    As far as your concern about ground clearance, it is amazing what a skid loader can go through. A 2WD tractor in the woods, mud and snow is pretty sad compared to a skidloader. A MFWD tractor would do better but I doubt it would be better than a skidloader. I don’t have much experience with tracked skidloaders but maybe they do better in the Woods. Although I feel like I’ve heard tracked machine suck for pushing snow.
     
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  3. Waltzie

    Waltzie ArboristSite Member

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    If your woods are fairly dry, a skid loader hands down.

    More stout, more lifting, more hydraulic flow, more maneuverability and the cab will keep branches off your head.

    The only benefit to a tractor is the three point, and pto for attatchment.... and easier on/off if your old and fat like me.

    Waltzie
     
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  4. Waltzie

    Waltzie ArboristSite Member

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    Certain track styles suck to plow snow with on asphalt, but avoid tracks in general due to the higher operating cost. OTT tracks may be a good fit for occasional use.

    I have over 10,000 hours in skid steers, some of that in woods brush clearing/firewood grabbing. Never been stuck in the woods.

    If you get stuck, just use your bucket to push yourself backwards to get out.
     
  5. sawjunky23

    sawjunky23 Just here for the free beer!

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    I was planning on getting a wheel loader and maybe some OTT tracks down the line. I don’t really have my own woods but have a few places I go to cut. This year dry anything has been tough to come by. It’s snowing here today.
     
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  6. rancher2

    rancher2 ArboristSite Guru

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    You are opening of a can of worms. I myself wouldn't live with out my skid loader S-750. I put 150 to 200 hours a year on mine and most of those hours are in the timber cutting trees with a hyd saw and a grapple fork cleaning up brush. I also use mine on the farm for post hole digging and snow removal and dirt work. I also have a zero turn for mowing and tractors for doing other work. Out of my friends that are what I would call acreage folks only one has a skid loader and no tractor just a zero turn for mowing. Most of them need a loader and a way to do some rough cutting mowing out of there main yard so they own a tractor with a loader and three point mower and move there snow with it also. They can move a little dirt also it they have a large dirt job they call me or rent a skid loader. We worked trees in the timber for years with a loader and tractor but after getting the first skid loader more than 20 years ago I wouldn't live with out one. I don't even own a loader for a tractor any more wasn't using it enough so I sold it probably 10 years ago.
     
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  7. sawjunky23

    sawjunky23 Just here for the free beer!

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    Thanks for your input it is much appreciated? Why am I opening a can of worms?
     
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  8. ChoppyChoppy

    ChoppyChoppy Addicted to ArboristSite

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    Skid steer for sure.

    Will well outlift any compact tractor... hell most can probably lift a compact tractor!

    My S250 will lift about 5000lbs. It does have liquid filled rear tires (about 250lbs) which helps.
     
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  9. MNGuns

    MNGuns [INSERT COOL STUFF HERE]

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    Both.......I have a skidsteer and can make an argument for either. The skidsteer is compact, easy to manuever, etc. The tractor would be better suited to running a winch and skidding any kind of distance.
     
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  10. sawjunky23

    sawjunky23 Just here for the free beer!

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    Agreed but I can’t fund both right now
     
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  11. muddstopper

    muddstopper Addicted to ArboristSite

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    The one thing I dont like about SS is going up steep hills without anything in the bucket. They will flip over backwards in a heartbeat. Everybodies needs are a little different and a case can be made for either machine. I dont have a need for a dedicated loader so for me a tractor with loader makes more sense
     
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  12. farmer steve

    farmer steve outstanding in my field, 5150

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    it's almost like an oil thread or which Saw is best thread.:laugh: Although you can buy a lot of different attachments ($$$) for a skid loader, a good MFWD tractor w/ loader may be more versatile in the long run. price wise a low hour (under 1,000) skid loader around here is around 32 grand. used tractor around 25K. i use my tractor with a rock bucket on it to haul wood all winter long and dragging logs out of the wood. 20151118_144359_resized.jpg
     
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  13. Ryan'smilling

    Ryan'smilling Addicted to ArboristSite

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    Personally I'm a tractor guy, but to be fair I've only spent very limited time in skid steers. I love the visibilty that a tractor gives you. I feel pretty blind and claustrophobic in a skid steer. The skid does give you a good view of the bucket, but otherwise it sucks. I also much prefer how was it is to get on and off a tractor versus having to climb through the loader on a skid.

    Skids are definitely more robust, but they also tend to tear up the surface you're working on. In some places that's no big deal, but sometimes it requires repair.

    Lastly, a tractor can carry and use two implements without having to stop and switch. I love being able to skid logs with my farmi winch, then load logs on a trailer with my forks. Or skid a few logs to the tractor, pick up a fork full, skid in a few more, lift the winch and go, carrying logs front and back.

    Neither are cheap, but there's definitely some very capable economy type tractors from most manufacturers that offer great bang for the buck. My Kubota mx4700 cost $24,500 brand new. It's a great machine in the woods and very handy around the farm. It'll lift a ton on the forks, and a little more on the three point.
     
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  14. sawjunky23

    sawjunky23 Just here for the free beer!

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    Agree to Disagree on it being similar to an oil thread. So far lots of valid points have been made for both. Now if I asked for opinions on brand that might be another story altogether. Haha
     
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  15. sawjunky23

    sawjunky23 Just here for the free beer!

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    I guess the uphill thing was something I hadn’t thought about. My lot is pretty flat but some of the places I might use it are not. I really don’t foresee using PTO in the future but you never know I guess.
     
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  16. Ryan'smilling

    Ryan'smilling Addicted to ArboristSite

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  17. sawjunky23

    sawjunky23 Just here for the free beer!

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    That is quite the bucket you have on your tractor! The loaders I have been looking at are 40-60hp used like late 90’s early 2000 stuff I’m looking at spending between 10k-12k. The compact tractors in that ranger are a little more expensive but typically newer. They are also considerably smaller than yours.
     
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  18. Mustang71

    Mustang71 Addicted to ArboristSite

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    I would think that if snow removal and and loader work are a big part of the work you will be doing then a skidsteer will work much better. Also the physical size of a skidsteer might be better too. But a tractor would probably be a better machine to buy if a pto is needed or say you want to use a box blade and the loader.
     
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  19. Ryan'smilling

    Ryan'smilling Addicted to ArboristSite

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    If you're thinking about used equipment, a couple things to think about: skid steers suck to work on. They're super compact, which is great for using them in tight spaces, but it means that everything is jammed in and tough to access. Compared to a tractor anyway. Also, skids are designed for commercial use. Many of them have been used hard by employees in a construction or landscaping setting. Just something to think about when looking for used.

    Also, there are new tractors for a little more than your budget. Look at the Kubota L2501 and Kioti ck2610. Sometimes you can find very good financing options on new rigs. Dropping 12k on something used versus financing 15 or 18k is something to weigh carefully.
     
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  20. Nick Kent

    Nick Kent ArboristSite Member

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    From what you described, I’d go for a tractor. Skid steers get stuck very easily. I had the opportunity to run a bobcat T750 the other day. For such a heavy machine, it doesn’t mangle the ground much at all. Where I was, a wheeled machine would have been stuck in a second. A tractor would have been ok though. The tractor is more versatile, but it will just take you longer to do the tasks.
     
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