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  1. #1
    Veteran Member
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    Oct 2006
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    Default skid steer or compact?????

    So, we're expanding the business (aka putting yet more money into it ) and adding manure removal. We've done a couple already and purchased a dump trailer and added height to it (manure doesn't weigh all that much). For the first couple we rented a skid steer and well, a skid steer is awesomely fast for loading and getting into and out of tight spaces. For the last couple we just loaded up my MF1433 with FEL and did it that way, pretty slow, but it worked, we made money.

    So, we were going to just buy a skid steer and go with that, but lately since we've gotten the cabbed TN75DA, we've noticed how really nice it is to have a cab. (and we've had an incredible run of bad luck with both tractors being down some days and having to push jobs, people hate that). So, it occured to me yesterday, what if we got a smaller cabbed compact (currently look NH TC45DA, but ignore the NH for now and think general) that we could use for both manure removal and as the 2nd tractor and relegate the open platform MF to backup duty and jobs where it's well suited.

    Cost for either is about the same.

    Skid Steer: very fast to load, small, easily fits in dump trailer, no cab, only useful for manure loading or getting a materials handling job (not our main business, but it happens once in a while). Good for leveling, putting in arena's, etc, but again, no gauranteed work. Manaure business is still small at this point. SS's can tear up the ground if you aren't careful.

    Compact cabbed tractor: slower to load manure (although we'd probably get a hydrostatic drive, which should speed it up). Slightly more money, more useful as back up to existing tractors and the cab is much more capable when mowing. Easier on the ground than a SS.

    Thoughts????????

  2. #2
    Veteran Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
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    1,561
    Location
    Central Lower Michigan
    Tractor
    Kioti DK40SE

    Default Re: skid steer or compact?????

    We know a nearby business that does nothing but manure handling and uses a compact tractor with good results. Major considerations for them were weight (able to pull with a 1/2 ton pickup and not overloading trailers that aren't that big) and getting into tight areas. I think only the former is a plus for the compact tractor.

    Have you thought about getting a skidsteer with a cab and getting a front mower, power rake and tiller? I would imagine that would be a good ticket for doing a variety of tasks in pastures/paddocks too small for the tractors to be very maneuverable. I sure wish I had a skid steer in addition to my tractor.

  3. #3
    Gold Member Slacker's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Posts
    491
    Location
    Durham, NC
    Tractor
    Farmtrac 360 TLB

    Default Re: skid steer or compact?????

    Peope use skidsteers to bush hog in this area (front mount, hyrdo drive). It could be a backup to the backup for bushhogging. You got a rifle rack in that NH cab? :-)

  4. #4
    Platinum Member
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Posts
    655
    Location
    Thornburg, VA
    Tractor
    JD2305

    Default Re: skid steer or compact?????

    I'd agree with those guys - get a cabbed skid steer with the pertinent attachments. Not as good at brush hogging, but a capable backup nonetheless. Especially in tight areas. If you're looking to grow the business, diversifying is the way to go. Why put all of your eggs into one basket?

  5. #5
    Super Member
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    Apr 2000
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    6,301
    Location
    central New York
    Tractor
    all makes and models

    Default Re: skid steer or compact?????

    Focus is the key here! I'd stick with the tractor as all attachments could go from one to the other and Skid steers would mean a whole new line-up of attachments other then the loader for flexibility. That is unless the profits are that good.

  6. #6
    Veteran Member
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    Oct 2006
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    1,212

    Default Re: skid steer or compact?????

    Just a FYI, getting a skid steer with a cab requires you to go to a pretty big (6') skid steer (NH 180+)
    Yes, you can get a cab in smaller ones
    WITHOUT A/C
    Hmmm, no thanks, I don't need a sauna today.
    And big skid steers are
    a. bigger
    b. significantly more money.

  7. #7
    Platinum Member BarryinMN's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
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    860
    Location
    Minnesota
    Tractor
    JD, Allis-Chalmers, Zetor

    Default Re: skid steer or compact?????

    I bought a narrow frame low hour Deere SS this year 33hp.

    Has it's own set of small attachments that allows me to do small scale things much faster even load loose materials in the gator box. 1st task is rock picking, it is slower than my ag tractor but I can see the rock bucket edge & leave the topsoil in the field.

    It turns out to have the same 3 cyl Yanmar engine as the gator & lawnmower.

    Made the irritating hydro whine noise go away by adding a roof mount radio with headset.
    Veneer Tree Farmer

  8. #8
    Elite Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
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    3,114
    Location
    Virginia
    Tractor
    1949 farmall, 1961 Fordson Dexta, 1986 Duetz Allis, 2001 Kubota.

    Default Re: skid steer or compact?????

    All the dairy farms around here use to have smaller utility "barnyard" tractors and now all use skid steers.

    marl
    red tractor
    blue tractor
    green tractor
    orange tractor
    too many impliments to list

  9. #9
    Super Member _RaT_'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2000
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    5,814
    Location
    Northern CA.
    Tractor
    Push mower, Snapper 21" 6 shovels, 2 rakes, a pick, 2 pinch bars, a post hole digger (two handle type) and 2 wheel barrows that handle like a Porsche.

    Default Re: skid steer or compact?????

    After operating skidsteers for years, I would probably never purchase one once I drove a tracksteer. No comparison. Far less ground disturbance, stability, traction and the ability to work in areas that would stop a skid steer in seconds. The ground loading is usually less then 5 psi. The next closest thing to a skid steer will be a tractor with HST.


  10. #10
    Platinum Member familyman's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Posts
    592
    Location
    Perkiomenville, Pa
    Tractor
    Kubota L2800DT

    Default Re: skid steer or compact?????

    RaT beat me to it.
    A mini trackloader looks like the way to go. ASV and Cat use the same undercarriage, which is claimed to have the lightest footprint in the industry. These all-rubber units are not supposed to last long in rocky soils (ie., real dirt work) but might fit the bill for you. I've read (here) that sitework contractors are not liking the short lifespan of these rubber tracks (due to use in rocky conditions) and many are hitting the used market cheap. Maybe give the manure biz time to grow, then re-evaluate your needs? I've run skidsteers on my jobsites and implement swaps are rediculously fast, and so are the machines. If it weren't for the cost (no disposable income laying around), I'd swap to skid/tracksteer myself now.
    How big is a stall? That could limit your choices. What kind of turning/turnaround space is there in the horse barns?
    By the way, what do you do with the manure?
    Kubota L3800HST, LA 463 FEL, Woods BH80-X backhoe, Befco 6' BB, Woods RM59, Woods LR72
    I work, therefore I am.

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