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  1. #1
    Platinum Member bdog's Avatar
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    Mar 2004
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    671
    Location
    Texas
    Tractor
    John Deere 4440

    Default Ditching my tractor for a skid steer

    I never thought I would be contemplating this as I have had tractors pretty much my whole adult life. However it seems my needs may have changed. Right now I have a 95hp cab tractor with a FEL and I live on seven acres. The only reason I have such a large tractor is that I need the FEL capacity as I am always unloading pallets and other things that can be 3,000 lbs plus which rules out most compact tractors.

    Years ago at my previous properties I was into plowing the land, planting hobby crops, having to shred weeds, etc. My current property could be described as an estate I guess meaning I don't plow any of it I just mow grass with my ZTR mower. I do use a box blade on occasion to dress up some gravel areas but other than that pretty much all I use the tractor for is the FEL. I have a skid steer mount PHD already, pallet forks, and the bucket.

    The tractor I have is nice and does what I need but it is large and clumsy. I think a skid steer would do everything I need and would be so much more nimble and more useful for landscaping tasks around the property.

    I thought about buying a smaller skid steer in the 10k range that could lift maybe 2k lbs and keeping my tractor for the heavy lifting but then I thought why not sell the tractor and buy a large skid steer (30k maybe) that can do everything? I figure I can sell my tractor for 20k so the net effect is 10k out of pocket either way.

    Just wondering if anyone has made the switch from a tractor to a skid steer and how it worked out for them.
    1980 John Deere 4440 with duals
    2006 John Deere 322 compact track loader

  2. #2
    Super Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    9,392
    Location
    somewhere usa
    Tractor
    Deere 110tlb, 4520, x749, L130

    Default Re: Ditching my tractor for a skid steer

    Did you also consider a fork lift for the pallets? I would think that in your area without alot of slopes it might be a good choice and you can get them alot cheaper than skidsteers or tractors. I recommend you check on a good used fork lift as you could buy one for less than $10,000 keep the change and keep the tractor too.

  3. #3
    Platinum Member bdog's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Posts
    671
    Location
    Texas
    Tractor
    John Deere 4440

    Default Re: Ditching my tractor for a skid steer

    I did consider a forklift but it would have to be a all terrain type as I am not working on concrete for the most part. Also I see the forklift as limited to pretty much one use. With a skid steer I can do pallets, throw on the bucket for dirt work, dig post holes, etc.

    For the most part my problems with my tractors size aren't so much when I am unloading pallets rather they are when I am trying to do other things around the property with the loader and bucket.
    1980 John Deere 4440 with duals
    2006 John Deere 322 compact track loader

  4. #4
    Veteran Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Posts
    1,098
    Location
    Boston
    Tractor
    L3700SU

    Default Re: Ditching my tractor for a skid steer

    I have a Cat 246 and a kubota L3700SU. They both have their benefits. The Cat is brutal on the lawn, but is WAY faster grading and moving material. If I had to pick one or the other... I would keep the Cat

  5. #5
    Gold Member Localmotion's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    417
    Location
    La Romana, Spain.
    Tractor
    New Holland 50-86 / Siromer 204S / Case CK-28 / Cat 302.5 / Nissan L35.09

    Default Re: Ditching my tractor for a skid steer

    Another thought - why not go for a smaller tractor with FEL and also rear mounted forklift - not the fixed linkage type, but proper mast with stabaliser wheels. Around here lots of the contractors use them at harvest for getting the boxes out our orchards / vineyards, often fitted to relatively small tractors.

    A skidsteer is a great tool for the right job - but I find they are not great when it comes to proper field work.... when mowing etc... the fixed wheel types cut up the grass when turning and lack the comfort of a tractor for long periods of work (only my opinion / preference of course).
    Fiat-NH 50-86vi, Siromer 204S; Ebro 44; Case CK28; Cat 302.5; Nissan L35.09

  6. #6
    Bronze Member mowin's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Posts
    85
    Location
    upstate ny
    Tractor
    JD 3320

    Default Re: Ditching my tractor for a skid steer

    It sounds like for your use a CTL would be the best choice since your not using the tractor for tilling, mowing or harvesting.

    Get a track machine(CTL) over a wheeled one. less dammage to the lawn. Skids will dammage the lawn when turning. Track are a little easer on the lawn, and they do much better in the mud.

    A 95hp tractor is ALOT of tractor for 7 acres of land. I'm thinkin a skid and a smaller CUT would be the best of both worlds.....

  7. #7
    Veteran Member RDrancher's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Posts
    1,687
    Location
    Sanger, Texas
    Tractor
    New Holland TC35D, Case TR320 CTL

    Default Re: Ditching my tractor for a skid steer

    The biggest drawback I see for any skid steer is the same thing that makes them so maneuverable...the "skid" part. One SS that I've run that works pretty darn good with a lot of lifting power is Bobcat's A300 with all-wheel steer. It can also be locked into "skid" mode for tight spaces and for running over the tire tracks. Even used, they're not cheap though.
    John

    My Work & Stuff Photo Thread: http://www.tractorbynet.com/forums/p...to-thread.html

    Slow is smooth, smooth is fast.

  8. #8
    Bronze Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Posts
    58
    Location
    Goochland, Va
    Tractor
    Bobcat 773

    Default Re: Ditching my tractor for a skid steer

    I went with a 2K lb lift skid steer to manage my property and can't imagine giving it up for a tractor with a FEL. The only thing I would prefer a tractor for is bush-hogging, but you don't need a FEL or 95hp for that.

    Go with something like an older Bobcat S300 - you will be glad you did.

  9. #9
    Super Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    9,392
    Location
    somewhere usa
    Tractor
    Deere 110tlb, 4520, x749, L130

    Default Re: Ditching my tractor for a skid steer

    Quote Originally Posted by bdog View Post
    I did consider a forklift but it would have to be a all terrain type as I am not working on concrete for the most part. Also I see the forklift as limited to pretty much one use. With a skid steer I can do pallets, throw on the bucket for dirt work, dig post holes, etc.

    For the most part my problems with my tractors size aren't so much when I am unloading pallets rather they are when I am trying to do other things around the property with the loader and bucket.
    Well a skidsteer might work for you just be aware that turning and unloading on your gravel area will make a mess every time you use it. Same thing on your lawn areas too, that would be my main opposition to a skid steer. You might also look at a compact wheel loader such as a kubota 420 or better 520 this would be good for all terrain use with forks or bucket. I used a friends 520 last summer helping him move pallets of stone to the back of a house we were working on. Much easier to navigate through the trees with than my 110tlb. While the 520 did flatten out the Fescue it did come back within two months and looks good now.

    Just throwing out some other options to consider.

  10. #10
    Platinum Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Posts
    708
    Location
    Northern, NJ
    Tractor
    Kubota L45

    Default Re: Ditching my tractor for a skid steer

    I borrowed a skid steer for 2 weeks this past summer when my kubota was down with a blown hydraulic line. I couldn't wait to give it back! Oh my goodness, all the skid steer did was destroy everything in sight! It was IMPOSSIBLE to operate without destroying everything. My pavement was riddled with rubber marks (not to mention the "hopping" nature of turning on pavement). My lawn was destroyed no matter how ginger I was on the controls. I wanted my tractor back the whole time. The skid steer has no place on an "estate".

    ac

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