Skidsteers, also commonly referred to as skid loaders, are compact, diesel driven rigid-chassis landscaping and construction vehicles that use a pair of powered hydraulic loader arms to provide multiple versatile labour assisting capabilities via interchangeable working attachments, the most commonly used being a loading bucket. Skid steers have fixed axis wheels and tracks so rather than achieving rotation by turning the wheels, they steer by creating a difference between the rotational speeds of the wheels or tracks on either side of body.
Skidsteers are very versatile, high utility light to medium duty machines that can provide general lift and load capabilities that can greatly speed up and reduce jobs involving rough manual labour but also do so much more by employing interchangeable attachments.
They are utilized in a variety of construction and maintenance applications like digging for grading and landscaping, loading material and clearing minor tree or landslide debris or removing snow from driveways and walkways. They can be used in conjunction with other earthmoving equipment that can create loose material loads for them to haul or even participate in general digging themselves. They can come in handy anywhere that powerful lift capability is required in a compact package.
There are many different kinds of skidsteers that offer a variety of features and are available in a number of configurations.
Skidsteers can be equipped either with wheels or with tracks. Wheeled skidsteers are better suited for relatively unchallenging terrain that might be encountered in more common, daily work situations however may face significant challenges where traction and terrain compressibility issues become a significant concern for reliable operation. This is where tracked skidsteers shine, offering far better traction and stability in muddy, bumpy, unstable work conditions.
Skidsteers come in 3 general size classes ranging from around 1500 to over 3000 pounds. Larger skidsteers are better prepared to handle more demanding workloads and can accept bigger attachments and are thus more generally versatile however they are more expensive to rent and to operate and do have a harder tight fitting in tighter working conditions. By contrast smaller skidsteers are much more maneuverable and much cheaper to rent and operate but may leave you unprepared for job site situations that require heavier duty capabilities.
A major part of the versatility of skidsteers is their ability to accept various powered attachments for their lift arms. Skidsteers can accept attachments like augers, saws, cement mixers, pallet forks, tillers, snowblowers, backhoe buckets, and of course regular loader buckets. As such they are ideal utility vehicles for filling multi-varied job sites roles.