Originally, the first skid steer loader was designed as a tool for cleaning turkey barns, now it is indispensable heavy-duty equipment. Skid steer loaders are versatile machines with a wide range of types and attachments, enabling them to perform tasks in construction, roadwork, landscaping, civil engineering, agriculture, and material handling. The multifunctionality of skid steer loaders is undoubtedly one of the reasons for their widespread popularity. If you’re interested in learning more about this powerful compact machine, let’s now delve into everything there is to know about skid steer loaders.

In addition to the mentioned small, medium, and large skid steer loaders, there are two types: wheeled and tracked skid steer loaders.

Wheeled skid steer

Wheeled skid steer loaders have strong maneuverability, allowing for 360° turning in place and flexible steering. However, they have higher ground pressure and can get stuck or slip on wet, muddy, or soft soil. Therefore, they are more suitable for operations on hard surfaces such as highways and indoors.

Tracked skid steer

Tracked skid steer loaders have excellent off-road capabilities, high climbing ability, and are less likely to sink or slip on wet, muddy, or soft soil. They are less affected by terrain and offer better maneuverability. While tracked skid steer loaders can also perform in-place turning, it is not recommended due to the significant wear it causes to the rubber tracks.

Attachments for different tasks in skid steer loaders

Here are some common attachments, just to name a few:

Backhoe: Used for excavation, soil clearing, foundation digging, or deep digging tasks.

Grapple: Used for transporting large or irregularly shaped objects such as trees, rocks, or debris.

Snow blade: Used for clearing snow on roads, parking lots, and sidewalks.

Box blade: Used for landscape grading and ground leveling, such as road maintenance, site leveling, or creating level surfaces.

Pallet forks: Used for transporting and stacking pallets, bales, and other items.

Broom: Used for sweeping debris, dust, and litter from work areas, roads, and sidewalks.

Trencher: Used for digging trenches and channels.

Saw: Used for cutting wood, trees, or other materials.

Common brands

  • CAT
  • Bobcat
  • Kubota
  • John Deere


What is the price of a skid steer loader?

The price varies depending on several factors such as brand, model, type, and features. Generally, smaller and lower-powered skid steer loaders are priced in the range of tens of thousands of dollars or euros. On the other hand, larger and higher-powered skid steer loaders can exceed hundreds of thousands of dollars or euros in price.

If you are considering a used skid steer loader, the price is usually relatively lower, but it’s important to consider factors such as the machine’s condition, usage history, and maintenance records.

Should I rent or buy a skid steer?

You can consider the usage requirements. If you have infrequent usage needs, renting might be a better option. Owning a skid steer loader comes with high costs, including equipment price, maintenance expenses, and insurance. Renting provides more flexibility. However, if your projects are long-term, purchasing may offer a return on investment and save on rental costs across multiple projects.

What else should I consider when choosing it?

  • Load capacity and lift height to ensure it meets your job requirements.
  • Maneuverability and ease of operation to improve work efficiency and operator comfort.

Read: Tricks To Buy Skid Steer Loader | Wheel Or Track Loader?

Can I use aftermarket parts for my skid steer?

It depends on your budget. While the safest answer is to use original parts, your question suggests some hesitation. Aftermarket parts for loaders are now available with OEM quality and compatibility assurance. They can be cheaper than the original parts and still function properly. If you prefer aftermarket parts, be prepared to invest some time to ensure you are getting value for your money.

Keep everything in mind

With numerous skid steer loaders available, it can be challenging to choose the right one. If you’re unsure of the type of loader you need, clarify your requirements, work environment, and tasks. A loader that meets your needs will provide a good return on investment.

If you already have an older loader that can still be used for a few more years by upgrading components, you can consider purchasing either original parts or aftermarket parts based on your budget. If you’re interested in aftermarket loader parts, you can consider FridayParts. It is an online store with over a decade of experience and a growing customer base, where you can find the parts you need and seek expert assistance when necessary.