Skid Steer Comparison Guide

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Thu, 02/23/2023 - 8:00am

Built to provide your operation with power and performance, John Deere Skid Steer loaders are capable of preparing sites, handling chores, and moving landscaping materials with ease. Maximize your versatility and productivity by adding one or more attachments, with over 100 models available. Continue reading to learn how to choose the right skid steer for your operation.



What is a skid steer?

A skid steer, sometimes called a skid loader, is a versatile, powerful, compact machine used frequently in agriculture and construction. Built with a small, boxy frame and hydraulic arms, attachments are easily interchangeable and increase the use cases. Their small frame makes skid steers ideal for operating in tight spaces with effortless agility and maneuverability.


What can skid steers be used for?

John Deere skid steers are versatile and can be used for various things in agriculture, landscaping, and construction. General uses include digging, grading, handling materials, and snow removal. In landscaping, skid steers are used for things like tilling, mowing, and planting and are also helpful when building things like retaining walls or fences. Excavating trenches, digging foundations, and grading are common skid steer uses on construction sites. Skid steers are also helpful in agriculture when hauling material, removing silage, and general dirt work around the farm.


What are the different types of skid steers?

Koenig Equipment offers two types of skid steers, wheeled and tracked.


Wheeled Skid Steers

Wheeled skid steers are generally smaller, allowing them to be more maneuverable than tracks. Being more maneuverable makes wheeled skid steers ideal for working on finished surfaces or tight spaces. Wheeled skid steers offer higher top speeds, making them efficient when traveling a longer distance. If most of your work is on concrete,  the best choice is a wheeled unit.


Tracked Skid Steers

Tracked skid steers, sometimes called compact track loaders, are equipped with rubber or steel tracks instead of wheels. The tracks offer better traction and stability than wheeled skid steers, especially on slopes and muddy or rough terrain. Tracked skid steers are not as maneuverable as wheeled skid steers but prevent damage on soft surfaces due to their reduced ground pressure.



What features should I consider when selecting a skid steer?

When looking at a John Deere skid steer, there are a few key features to consider to ensure your purchase can help you with all your tasks.


Operating capacity

The weight a skid steer can lift, carry, or push is known as the operating capacity. When choosing a machine, it is essential to make sure you consider all the tasks you plan to accomplish so the operating capacity can meet your needs.


Lift height and reach

If your tasks include loading and unloading materials, machine lift height and reach are important to consider. Consider current and potential future situations when choosing a lift height and reach. If you know you will be loading and unloading a lot, a machine with a higher lift height will be a better option.


Engine power and speed

Performance and productivity rely on the machine’s engine power and speed. Higher power machines will cost more but offer increased speed and efficiency to your operation.


Types of controls

Operators need to be comfortable and confident when running a skid steer. Certain models offer standard hand pattern controls and switchable controls, which allow operators to switch the bucket and drive controls to the opposite hand. Make sure to choose a control option the primary operator is most comfortable with.


What attachments are available for skid steers?

Part of what makes skid steers so versatile is the addition of attachments. There are a wide variety of attachments available for skid steers.

  • Buckets are available in different shapes and sizes, designed for general purposes or digging.
  • Auger attachments help with drilling holes in the ground for things like fence posts, footings, or trees.
  • Hydraulic hammer attachments break up rock, concrete, or asphalt.
  • Forks help lift and carry pallets of materials.
  • Grapples easily pick up or move bulky items like brush, logs, or rocks.
  • Trenchers are an option when digging narrow trenches for irrigation pipes or utility lines.
  • Mulchers make cleanup easy by grinding up stumps, brush, or trees into mulch.
  • Snowplow attachments are available to clear sidewalks, driveways, or parking lots.


Where can I find more information on John Deere skid steers and skid steer attachments?

Our expert staff at Koenig Equipment is available to help you find the right John Deere skid steer and attachments for you and your operation. Whether you are looking for a new or used skid steer or want to add more attachment options to your fleet, Koenig Equipment has the knowledge and inventory to help you make the right decision.


Additional Resources:

John Deere Compact Wheel Loader vs. Skid Steer vs. Compact Track Loader

How Long Does Compact Construction Equipment Last – Is it Worth a Repair?

Can a Small Skid Steer Help My Landscaping Business?