Skid Steer’s for Landscape Design in Sacramento
Choosing the Right Skid Steer for Your Landscape Projects
Skid steers are versatile machines and are often used by contractors for a variety of landscaping operations. Not only do they offer easy maneuverability with Over The Tire Tracks or Solid Skid Steer Tires, but they are also great for lifting and hauling mulch, plants and pavers. Skid steers can be used to prep soil, grading, trenching, digging holes and sweeping. In snowy regions, contractors can use skid steers to clear snow. Skid steers and mini excavators are popular in landscaping operations as they help boost performance and productivity on a job site.
Due to the vast array of options and add-ons like mini excavator rubber tracks available when it comes to picking a skid steer or mini excavator, it is important to consider a few factors before investing in one.
Below are some factors you should consider before making a decision on the best skid steer for your operation:
- Rated Operating Capacity (ROC)
The operating capacity of a skid steer is the load at which an operator can safely lift and operate the machine without it nose-diving or flipping over. For skid steers and mini excavators, the rated operating capacity is calculated as 50% of the tipping load. You can begin to compare skid steers and excavators in the same size class once you know the ROC of the loaders. Based on the job site requirements, you can pick the best skid steer with an appropriate ROC for the job. Note that for rubber track loaders, the ROC is 35% or 50% of tipping load. Also, keep in mind that the ROC is not an indicator of the machine’s lift force capacity.
Engine or horsepower is another factor that you should consider before purchasing a skid steer for your landscape operations. Horsepower, for one, plays an important role when it comes to traction. Horsepower also drives skid steer attachments and powers hydraulic pumps. Keep in mind that horsepower by itself does not determine the overall performance of your skid steer. Other factors like torque, machine weight and the hydraulic system play a crucial role in the efficiency of your equipment.
There are two types of lift models you can choose from – radial or vertical. With radial, the skid steer bucket is lifted in an arc or radial movement. If you plan on using your skid steer for operations done at eye level or below, such as digging, a radial lift is most appropriate. A radial lift also provides extended reach in front of the loader. A vertical lift model moves the bucket in a vertical path. This model is perfect for lifting loads to higher heights. Other advantages of a vertical lift arrangement are an increase in ROC (when comparing with a radial-style skid steer of similar size), an increase in the dump angle and more reach at the top of the lift cycle.
- Hydraulic Power
In addition to engine power, hydraulic power is also a crucial consideration to take into account when picking out a skid steer. Hydraulic horsepower is especially important in the performance of work tools and attachments such as cold planers and trenchers. These work tools use up a high amount of the skid steer’s overall available power and thus require a high-flow hydraulic system.
- Operating Weight and Dimensions
Consider the job site’s size and requirements before deciding on whether to buy a large, medium or small skid steer loader. Using a large skid steer on a small site or a small skid steer to navigate a large job site will most likely reduce efficiency and overall productivity. Think about whether or not you’ll be navigating tight spaces as well as how the skid steer will be transported to job sites as they are heavy machines to haul.
Once you consider these factors, you put yourself in a better position to picking the right skid steer for your landscaping operations. Always consult a professional if you have any questions regarding the skid steer that would work best for your operations.