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  1. #11
    Veteran Member magicheater's Avatar
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    Jul 2009
    Posts
    1,668
    Location
    central Wisconsin
    Tractor
    Kubota B7800, B26 TLB

    Default Re: Skid steer -vs- Compact Tractor

    I will agree with prior posters. A tractor is better suited to your "bucket list". If you have more than 10 acres, especially more than 20, a tractor of 35-40 HP would be sufficient. The kubota L39 would seem to be a perfect fit and generally the loaders are beefier. Once you get your Timber tract under control you could opt for a smaller "maintenance" tractor. Kubota does hold their value and the way the money supply is going a tractor may not be a bad investment!
    Working to increase the scope of the small tractor experience, one quick attach at a time.

  2. #12
    Veteran Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Posts
    1,481
    Location
    SW Indiana
    Tractor
    Ford 1920 4x4 (traded in on Kubota). Case 480F TLB w/4 in 1 bucket, 4x4. Gehl CTL60 tracked loader, Kubota L4330 GST

    Default Re: Skid steer -vs- Compact Tractor

    I have both a tractor and a tracked loader (skid steer with two rubber tracks instead of 4 tires). In addition to the good points made by the others:

    1) if your property is large, it takes a much longer time to travel it with a skid steer. And they ride rough. 2) a tractor has good visibility toward the sides and back, fair visibility toward the front. The skid steer has excellent visibility forward, poor visibility to the sides, and the rear is blind. This is a real disadvantage when manuevering in tight quarters.

  3. #13
    Veteran Member Rustyiron's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Posts
    1,360
    Location
    Lakes Region, Maine
    Tractor
    M 9540 Kubota

    Default Re: Skid steer -vs- Compact Tractor

    One thing to consider is the type of soils and the topograghy of your land. Generally a tractor is better in the muck. I have a 110hp skid steer and a 9540 kubota. They each have their place. Many here would be suprised what a SS with (over the tire) steel tracks will do in the nasty stuff, but they also only have only about 10in. of ground clearance for the rocks and stumps. Not considering your operating conditions, the SS will run circles around a tractor for loading. digging, clearing, post holes (down pressure) and stacking logs. But all those SS attachments are built several times more "beefier" (and it will cost you) than most small Cat I tractor attachments, and the loaders on tractors are, IMO really for chores and not designed or intended for much more. But I still say get your start with a tractor and buy as much HP as you can afford, the bigger the tractor, the harder it is to "overload/work" it, and we all do that! no matter what size!
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails -april-snow-graderblade-004-jpg  
    ]We need more people to WORK for a living and less people to VOTE for a living!
    (proven on 11/6/12)

  4. #14
    Elite Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Posts
    2,687
    Location
    Earth
    Tractor
    Deere

    Default Re: Skid steer -vs- Compact Tractor

    A tractor is like a swiss army knife, it does everything you can imagine at a very reasonable price. Albeit, none of it is done perfectly. A skid steer is like a part of that swiss army knife, but in it's perfected form and about 3 times more than a swiss army knife (aka tractor). If you're willing to shell out a lot of money, a skid steer is a viable option. But for me, I get by perfectly fine with my tractors....

  5. #15
    Super Member crazyal's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
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    5,928
    Location
    Northern Vermont

    Default Re: Skid steer -vs- Compact Tractor

    How much money do you want to spend? If you're budget is limited then a used SS that will fit your budget may have lots of hours on it and possibly worn. It's not something I would buy if I wanted a piece of equipment that'll last me a very long time. Most SS are built very strong but they are bought by contractors who need to work them to get their money back out of them.
    Kubota L4240,Case 580K backhoe, Case 450 Dozer

  6. #16
    Super Member 94BULLITT's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Posts
    7,592
    Location
    Frederick County, VA
    Tractor
    Kubota BX2360 & L4240 HSTC

    Default Re: Skid steer -vs- Compact Tractor

    Quote Originally Posted by freddymac63 View Post
    I'm a tractor novice looking for advice on the best suited machine for my application, skid steer or compact tractor. I have a fair sized timber tract that requires the following work:
    • clearing property lines of timber & brush. Dirt work required for fencing
    • Install fence
    • mowing firebreaks
    • improving old pond, constructing new pond
    • improving roads, installing ditches and water bars
    • piling up timber slash

    I estimate it will take me 50 years to accomplish all this so I need something that will last also!
    Both are vary capable machines. Attachments for a skid steer are more money and harder to find used. A skid steer with a forsety cutter would be nice for clearing the property line but a tractor and a rough cut and a will do the job. You are going to need a good chainsaw. I think a skidsteer would be better with a post hole digger because you have down pressure and it would be easier to get into place. You can get a post hole digger for a tractor and a downpressure kit. Both should do the job of mowing a firebreak but a roughcut is cheaper for a tractor but I do like the idea of the mower in front of the skidsteer. A skidsteer would be better for building and working on a pond. Both can be used to improve roads but I think ditch may be easier with a tractor. Both could be used with a grapple to pile up timber slash. If you went with a skidsteer you can rent attachments for them. I guess it depend on how much money you want to spend.

  7. #17

    Default Re: Skid steer -vs- Compact Tractor

    No ambiguity here! Buy the tractor, rent the SS.

    thanks for the advice, I'll start looking.

  8. #18
    Elite Member
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Posts
    2,972
    Location
    Knoxville, TN
    Tractor
    Bobcat CT225

    Default Re: Skid steer -vs- Compact Tractor

    I don't have any experience using a SS, but I do have experience browsing price lists on the Internet, and the difference between hydraulic-powered implements for a SS, and PTO-powered implements for a tractor, is something like 3x to 4x. On top of that, you can get lightly-used three-point implements for a tractor all day long; SS implements are much rarer, and you are likely to get something that has been dogged out by a commercial user. Unless you have a lot of money to spend, or have a very specific use for the skid-steer (like you're loading gravel all day long), get the tractor. The tractor is a much better general-purpose implement.

  9. #19
    Veteran Member Deere Dude's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Posts
    1,121
    Location
    Hee Haw He!!, TN
    Tractor
    John Deere 3720

    Default Re: Skid steer -vs- Compact Tractor

    I have limited experience with a skid steer but they are a pain to get in and out of, if you are a big guy. They are terrible riding in. I used a John Deere 250 which is a medium sized one and there was very little room to put your feet in it and the process getting in it was memorable. Every move to get in or out had to be choreographed. After a couple days on that scooping, carrying and traveling my body was shot.

    I have noticed a compact tractor it is much easier to get in and out of, more room inside the work area, a lot smoother riding, higher ground clearance and attachments are fairly reasonable. Road speed is much faster and it is easier to cruise over the the neighbors to visit. CUT's are much better on a lawn than a SS. SS are no doubt better for contractor usage, but I'm not a contractor.
    JD 3720 with R4s
    X740

  10. #20
    Platinum Member Notforhire's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Posts
    817
    Location
    Southwestern Virginia
    Tractor
    JD 5055E

    Default Re: Skid steer -vs- Compact Tractor

    Quote Originally Posted by Rustyiron View Post
    One thing to consider is the type of soils and the topograghy of your land. Generally a tractor is better in the muck. I have a 110hp skid steer and a 9540 kubota. They each have their place. Many here would be suprised what a SS with (over the tire) steel tracks will do in the nasty stuff, but they also only have only about 10in. of ground clearance for the rocks and stumps. Not considering your operating conditions, the SS will run circles around a tractor for loading. digging, clearing, post holes (down pressure) and stacking logs. But all those SS attachments are built several times more "beefier" (and it will cost you) than most small Cat I tractor attachments, and the loaders on tractors are, IMO really for chores and not designed or intended for much more. But I still say get your start with a tractor and buy as much HP as you can afford, the bigger the tractor, the harder it is to "overload/work" it, and we all do that! no matter what size!
    I couldn't agree more. I would look at Utility size tractors, or Industrial Utility if you can afford it, rather than a CUT. Ag. loaders are material handlers, and not realy designed to dig.
    Do a search on " How do I straighten out my loader lift arms?" and you will see what I mean.

    Bill

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