ADVrider

Go Back   ADVrider > Fluff > Shiny things
User Name
Password
Register Inmates Photos Site Rules Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rating: Thread Rating: 11 votes, 5.00 average. Display Modes
Old 01-03-2010, 08:38 PM   #16
JR Greenhorn
Gnarly Adventurer
 
JR Greenhorn's Avatar
 
Joined: Aug 2008
Location: Litchfield, MN
Oddometer: 335
At work, I have access to both skid-steers and compact track loaders, all-wheel-steer (AWS) skid-steers, Toolcats, compact tractors, and compact telescopic handlers with skid-steer attachment interfaces on them.

Of them, the best machine for snow removal is by far the skid-steers. The compact track loaders are pretty much worthless for pushing snow from a paved surface. Also, the track loaders are ridiculously slow. You can't be a skid-steer with the 2-speed option for snow removal.

The PTO-driven snowblowers (either front or rear) on the compact tractors are more efficient because of the direct drive vs. hydraulic. Then again, it's nice to not have to replace shear bolts when you "find" something under the snow (it's nice that hydraulics just stop without damage--usually).

For just pushing snow with a blade or a snowpusher, my favorite is actually our telescopics (Bobcat V417's). Visibility kinda sucks compared to a skid-steer (except to the rear and left side), but with all-wheel-steer it's downright amazing how nimble these machines are working in tight spaces, and without tearing things up. A little more weight and a lot more speed potential than a skid-steer makes all the difference for pushing snow. Also, you can pile it much higher if need be.
The depth perception thing can be kinda tricky when doing precise work with the business end (seems like there's a blind spot everywhere you look), but it's nice to be able to extend the boom and not have to reposition the machine when doing things like loading trailers with a pallet fork. That's especially useful when working on rough/uneven ground.


In our yard at work, by far the most-used machines are the Toolcats. They give up a bit to skid-steers on certain abilities (especially lift capacity), but the overall balance of capabilities on a Toolcat is unique. Without question the one machine I'd want to own at home. I guess I haven't had one in deep, nasty mud yet, but they do fine in the slop holes where the water collects in our yard.
You can't beat a Toolcat for putting in fence posts. Put the posts and tools in the box and an auger on in front, and pile two guys in the cab. One vehicle, easy to get in and out of all day.



The AWS skid-steers have kind of a unique balance of capabilities as well. For me personally, I struggle to get the hang of the joysticks with steering and travel movements that are different to a standard skid-steer (that is the machine moves differently than I'm used to from certain inputs, so I have to "think" my way through motions too much). The nice thing is you can flip a switch between AWS mode and skid-steer mode, which for me means skid-steer mode all the time until I have some reason to fumble with AWS in an attempt to not tear something up. I guess if I'd force myself to run AWS all the time I might actually get used to it someday, but that'd be too easy, now wouldn't it?




You mentioned grading; would you be using a dozer blade of some sort, or an actual grader attachment?
We've got graders, dozers, box blades, and buckets on-hand at work, but the guys that work the yard usually use a soil conditioner (dirt surfaces, very little gravel). It does leave a nice surface to drive on, but it tends to invite excessive dust, especially if you repeatedly soil condition the yard like they do at work.
JR Greenhorn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-03-2010, 11:50 PM   #17
P B G
Beastly Adventurer
 
Joined: Mar 2008
Location: Greater Chicago
Oddometer: 9,999
No doubt a skid steer is a handy tool, and they do remove snow rather well, although a bit tediously if you are using a bucket, instead of a blade, lots of jockeying.

I've always found operating skid steers over uneven terrain annoying, they buck and bang around, particularly if you are trying to go very far. But they get in small spaces and turn tight, and can lift very high compared to small tractor FEL's.

Rubber tracked loaders I have always viewed more as earth moving equipment, than farm equipment, so I don't have experience with them. I'd be curious what the track life is compared to tire life on skid steers, and the relative expense differences in replacement/interval.

On your hobby farm do you need ground engaging equipment, or hay/silage equipment? As mentioned skid steers won't do that, tractor with FEL however does do the farm duty, with sacrifices on the loader work. But benefits on ride quality, as well as ground speed. On 40 acres maybe not as big of an issue, but 25 minutes one way to get out to a field is annoying.

Not to harp about tractors, but you can get a large number of 3 point implements for not much cash, where as anything skidsteer always seems to rob the bank.
P B G is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-04-2010, 11:56 AM   #18
farmerger OP
Snowed in Adventurer
 
farmerger's Avatar
 
Joined: Feb 2006
Location: Chase, BC
Oddometer: 512
Sounding like the skid steer is the way to go. I really appreciate the details in the replies, wow!

When I bought my tractor I thought much like you fellows supporting the tractors, but 40 acres, 15 of which is treed, a creek through it to boot, requires a smaller tractor. Thing is the smaller tractors do not have the hp to do much lifting, digging, etc, and I have found myself doing this more often than actually using the tractor to work the pastures, as its too weak to plow with and there is not enough land to hay.

Anymore thoughts please keep them coming, but I think the hunt for the skid steer is on.
__________________
Crashin' like Ewan!

Billy Connolly - "If women are so bloody perfect at multitasking, how come they can't have a headache and sex at the same time?"
farmerger is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-04-2010, 01:20 PM   #19
JR Greenhorn
Gnarly Adventurer
 
JR Greenhorn's Avatar
 
Joined: Aug 2008
Location: Litchfield, MN
Oddometer: 335
It might be somewhat obvious from my post above, but my area of focus is attachments. What are you thinking about for attachments for your skid-steer, or maybe what kind of specific tasks do you have in mind for it?

Being so attachments focused, it's hard for me to think of the skid-steer itself as the tool. You can't really cut grass with a bucket, you can't clear snow with a pallet fork, so you can see what I'm getting at.



One nice thing about the skid-steer attachments world is rentals. For a more expensive attachment that you might only use a time or two each year, you can just rent the attachment when you need it and still be money ahead compared to renting a dedicated machine for that task.
JR Greenhorn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-04-2010, 01:47 PM   #20
farmerger OP
Snowed in Adventurer
 
farmerger's Avatar
 
Joined: Feb 2006
Location: Chase, BC
Oddometer: 512
Quote:
Originally Posted by JR Greenhorn
It might be somewhat obvious from my post above, but my area of focus is attachments. What are you thinking about for attachments for your skid-steer, or maybe what kind of specific tasks do you have in mind for it?

Being so attachments focused, it's hard for me to think of the skid-steer itself as the tool. You can't really cut grass with a bucket, you can't clear snow with a pallet fork, so you can see what I'm getting at.



One nice thing about the skid-steer attachments world is rentals. For a more expensive attachment that you might only use a time or two each year, you can just rent the attachment when you need it and still be money ahead compared to renting a dedicated machine for that task.
That is the bonus about the skid steers. I already checked out the local available rental equipment, and almost everything I would use only occasionally like a mower or a bush hog is for rent. I think I am just going to go with a bucket for now, but will add a snowblower as soon as possible. Then an auger and finish it off by adding a 4-in-1 bucket. This is starting to sound expensive.
__________________
Crashin' like Ewan!

Billy Connolly - "If women are so bloody perfect at multitasking, how come they can't have a headache and sex at the same time?"
farmerger is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-04-2010, 02:28 PM   #21
KLboxeR
Back in the game again
 
Joined: Jan 2006
Location: Chester County, PA
Oddometer: 3,650
Hey, no worries



Get the machine that suits ya'

Some of us that are big on the tractors have just been down both roads, but only you are the one to determine what best fits your situation. Just offering a different POV.

Good luck with it. Buying a new machine is always fun
__________________
Chris
KLboxeR is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Share

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On

Forum Jump


Times are GMT -7.   It's 02:59 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.5
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright ADVrider 2011-2014