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Slightly O/T advice on usefulness of skid steer as yard machine around machine shop

When I first started out in business I bought a 30HP Ford 1900 4x4 loader tractor for my forklift. I thought that would be versatile.

When I leased a shop with a mezzanine I bought an old Hyster forklift. I immediately sold the tractor as it was almost never used after that. The forklift was that much more useful than the tractor.

I have a few farmer friends that prefer larger skidsteers for everything and even when they have good forklifts, they don't use them for much.

I think it's kinda what you're used to. Skidsteer VS forklift are very different to operate. Not many people are really proficient at both.

I'm good with a forklift. I don't have to think, everything is automatic. When I'm in a skidsteer I'm in full concentration on what I'm doing, especially with foot controls.

I think it's the opposite with guys who grew up running skidsteers and tractors. They get on a forklift and everything feels wrong.
 
Or you could make your own multi-purpose machine from scratch. Several years ago, i decided i needed a machine that could move dirt, plow snow, split wood, and move pallets, machinery, and stock around the shop. I considered a skid steer, a tracked loader, and a wheeled articulated machine.

The skid steer and tracked machine lost out due to their propensity to damage either paved or unpaved surfaces. I ended up building an articulated 4-wheel drive machine that could navigate on all surfaces without damaging them, and easily complete all the above-mentioned tasks.
 

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Skid loader is a lousy fork lift !

We have cranes, loaders, fork lifts, and a ( Swinger) hydraulic articulating loader
sized and powered like a typical skid loader.
I wouldn't trade it for all the skid loaders in North Dakota ! !
 
Or you could make your own multi-purpose machine from scratch. Several years ago, i decided i needed a machine that could move dirt, plow snow, split wood, and move pallets, machinery, and stock around the shop. I considered a skid steer, a tracked loader, and a wheeled articulated machine.

The skid steer and tracked machine lost out due to their propensity to damage either paved or unpaved surfaces. I ended up building an articulated 4-wheel drive machine that could navigate on all surfaces without damaging them, and easily complete all the above-mentioned tasks.
Clearly you have way too much spare time.
 
Clearly you have way too much spare time.
Actually, it took over 2 years to build the bare machine, and another 3 years to build the accessories. At the time I was working quite a few 60-hour weeks with over half of the time spent on the road. There were many late nights and weekends spent drawing, sourcing parts, cutting, welding, and fabricating.
 
Actually, it took over 2 years to build the bare machine, and another 3 years to build the accessories. At the time I was working quite a few 60-hour weeks with over half of the time spent on the road. There were many late nights and weekends spent drawing, sourcing parts, cutting, welding, and fabricating.
You certainly live up to your name "Project Nut".
That's quite an impressive achievement.
Bob
 
In my experience skid steers are lousy at moving anything other than dirt and stone in tight quarters. Even the tracked ones tear up the ground and those treads are not cheap to replace either. Short wheel base makes them very tippy and the general bad visibility has already been mentioned. You could give me one and I'd trade it in straight away for a Lull or similar type all terrain forklift. The ones with 4 wheel steer will turn very tight circles. Put the bucket back on your Kubota and go back to using it as a light tractor.
 
Actually, it took over 2 years to build the bare machine, and another 3 years to build the accessories. At the time I was working quite a few 60-hour weeks with over half of the time spent on the road. There were many late nights and weekends spent drawing, sourcing parts, cutting, welding, and fabricating.
pics?
 
Please keep in mind that we are currently using a kubota tractor with forks on the end of a loader. I'm pretty sure the skid steer can pivot in half the distance - probably much less. I get the whole digging up the gravel thing - no big deal - smooth it back out when you're done.
need to remeber the whole back end of a skid steer slides over also when turning, so you need a much wider path then a forklift uses.
digging up the gravel isn't a big deal, just cant get in and out easy when forks are raised on it in certain heights. and never go under one when raised to get out, hydraulics do fail, when they do its quicker then anyone can react be it the bucket cyl or lift.
moving things around in my shop with it is a pain as most skid steers are much wider than a pallet is. mine is 84" wide, so basically a full trailer width vs a forklift at just wider then a 42 or 48" pallet. that alone make maneuverability much nicer for moving things around.
 
Moving machinery in tight places requires some finesse, you won't get that with a skid steer. One wrong twitch on the lever or pedal and you've wrecked something expensive.
 
versatile yard machine.
Thats all there good for, pushing cow poop, dirt, snow etc.
Use in place of forktruck....not in a shop environment. Outside moving pallets of stone ,hay bales etc yep.
Been there ....... done that...... no skid here now.
If I'm desperate I borrow my buddies bobcat on tracks......still a nasty rough ride.
 
A skid steer is not a loader tractor, nor is it a forklift. They are wonderful for skid steer type work. Mostly they are better than a loader tractor. Sometimes they are better than a forklift. I use a smaller (1200 lb rated) skid steer in my shop and while it is very handy it is NOT I repeat NOT an OSHA approvable concept. There a forklift or overhead crane is a far far better idea. Skidsteers are better for reach forward than forklifts, forklifts have more lift for their size. Skidsteers are far more nimble than a loader tractor, but a loader tractor will typically have better traction and can do PTO, drawbar, or 3 pt work that a skid steer is not suited or capable of. A great many of these newer skid steers have horrible visibility and I am leaning more toward recommending a smaller articulated wheel loader.
 
A skid steer is a great rough terrain forklift for anything on a pallet you don't mind picking back up and restacking on the pallet. Visibility is impossible to the back, bad on the sides, and poor in front. And you can't get out with the lift arms in anything but nearly full down. I have forklifts, a tractor with bucket forks, and a skidder. The skidder would be first to leave if something had to go. I'd find a snow blade for the Kubota.
Kubota has a snow blade.
 
The skid steer will be more maneuverable, but the tractor is likely much smoother riding with the load. Also no matter what you stick on the front of one a forklift will run circles around you all day long doing forklift work. All that said I own a skid steer and would hate to not have one available, but not for forklifting.
 
Catch with a skidsteer is the load comes back over the cab if you try to get elevation.....and the machine becomes rear heavy ,and can easily go over backward .........a very risky machine for fork work with an inexperienced operator.............The controlls have improved greatly in modern ones ,but if you buy an old 643 or an old Case 1845 ,then operating them can be very hairy for a beginner.
 








 
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