Skid steer loaders work well in many different capacities. There are many attachment options as well. With attachments, it’s easy to use this equipment for a number of tasks on a job site. Renting construction equipment can save a lot of money. This is especially true when it comes to equipment with so many attachments available.
What Is a Skid Steer Loader?
A skid steer loader is a piece of construction equipment with attached lift arms. The arms provide the place to attach all types of tools or attachments. With attachments, this engine-powered piece of equipment is extremely useful. Some of the skid loaders have hydraulics to deliver more power. The power is helpful when lifting heavy loads or using other attachments. The weight balance from the front to the back also improves the safety of the skid steer loader. Certain loaders are available with all-wheel drive for rough terrain.
Skid steer loaders come in various sizes and capacities. The lift options are radial and vertical. The net power ranges from about 48 horsepower up to nearly 100 horsepower. Other variants include:
- Breakout force
- Rated operating capacity
- Tipping load
Attachments make it easier to handle many tasks on a construction site with a skid steer loader.
An auger is one of the most popular attachments for a skid steer loader. It simplifies the task of digging a precise hole. The corkscrew shape of the auger digs deep into the ground without damaging the soil around it. It comes in basic, heavy-duty, and extreme duty options. The best one for the job will depend on the conditions of the ground. Other factors include the size of the hole and depth needs. The rotation is powered by a direct drive, chain, or planetary drive. The chain drive is the least powerful. However, for most digging chores, it will work well.
Those working on a construction site often need a better way to lift and move heavy materials. These include building materials, dirt, and soil, or other pieces of equipment. Using a general-purpose bucket attached to the skid steer loader is a helpful option. Buckets are available in various sizes, weights, and styles, including a bucket with bolt-on teeth that offers better scooping power. The standard widths are 60, 72, 78, and 84 inches.
Bulldozer blades are useful for plowing, bulldozing, and moving heavy materials that are difficult to pick up and move. There are various sizes and styles available, so it’s easy to find a blade that works for any construction project. A dozer blade can also grade and level the ground in preparation for pouring concrete or laying a foundation.
Some construction companies choose to use bulldozers for these tasks, but attaching a dozer blade to a skid steer loader is a cost-effective option. A supervisor can also save time since he or she won’t have to spend additional time training laborers on how to use separate pieces of equipment.
Attaching a backhoe to a skid steer loader enables the operator to dig a trench. The attachment is available with large-capacity bucket sizes and heavy-duty cast teeth that can dig through hard, packed soil. The connection between the digging cylinder and the bucket allows the dirt to move into the bucket for easier moving. Common uses for backhoes include digging drainage ditches, utility trenches, basements, and footings. You might also use a backhoe as part of a concrete demolition project. In an outdoor setting, a backhoe is helpful for maintaining embankments and slopes for landscaping and construction jobs.
Skid steer loaders are useful in construction sites as well as in other capacities. For example, a farmer or rancher might use a skid steer loader with a bale spear attached to lift and move heavy hay bales. Certain styles of bale spears are for square bales, but other options can easily handle both square and round hay bales. An optional extension allows for easier stacking of hay for storage. The spear goes through the hay to lift it on the attachment. It also holds it in place as you drive around the property.
Brush Chipper and Mulcher
When a construction site is overrun with overgrowth of plants and weeds, it can take a lot of time to clear the space. With a mulcher attachment for the skid steer loader, removing vegetation is much easier and faster. Mulchers also come in various widths, ranging from about 40 inches to 84 inches. After removing the vegetation, the next step is disposing of it properly. With a brush chipper attachment, you can chop the overgrowth into smaller pieces. These small pieces are helpful for ground cover, mulching to encourage plant and tree growth, and other uses.
With a saw attachment for the skid steer loader, cutting becomes a much easier task. Saws are especially helpful in demolition and road construction. Use saw attachments for cutting road expansion joints and asphalt patches. Saws also work for utility trenching. Available options make cuts ranging in depth from 18 to 24 inches. Those working in other industries could use saws as well. These include waste and recycling, forestry, mining, and landscaping.
Snow Blower and Plow Attachments
When the winter season hits, many construction and maintenance companies find their business slows down dramatically. This is especially the case in areas with cold and snowy winters. Smaller companies can take on more work by offering additional services, such as snow removal. Apartment complexes, businesses, and HOAs are often looking for snow removal services to keep their clients and tenants safe. Simply attach a snow blower or plow attachment to your skid steer loader, and you can easily offer this service.
Snow blowers work well when you’re dealing with a lot of snow. A snow plow can clear a path on a sidewalk or road for safer walking and driving. If your company would like to offer this service, renting snow equipment for the winter is an affordable way to pick up extra business.
Construction, farming, and even landscaping jobs can all benefit from a trencher attachment. This powerful and balanced tool can dig straight, narrow trenches in various depths. Even small skid steer loaders can support trenchers that dig up to 10 inches in width and 36 inches in depth. Larger options can dig trenches up to 12 inches wide and 60 inches deep. Common trenching needs include utility lines, drain pipes, footings, and irrigation sprinkler systems.
A broom also called a sweeper attachment, is helpful for cleaning or clearing the ground. A broom attachment typically has heavy-duty poly or steel bristles that move around the cylinder. You can also choose a broom with a sweeper bucket. With a bucket attached to the broom, you won’t have to scoop up the piles left behind. These attachments are used to clean sidewalks, parking lots, and docks, as well as the floors in warehouses and other industrial settings.
On a construction site, you might use the broom to scrape caked mud from the road or driveway. Hydraulic-powered brooms clean quickly and efficiently. Some people also use the broom to spread materials evenly across a job site.
In a warehouse or other industrial setting, you might need to lift and stack pallets of products. Instead of investing in a forklift for your commercial location, simply add a pallet attachment to your skid steer loader. The attachment is especially useful in a warehouse because staff turnover can be high. Training new team members on how to use multiple pieces of equipment take a lot of time. When you only have one main piece of equipment, your staff will learn it quickly and feel confident when using it.
Various attachments, like the pallet fork, make it easier to use the skid steer loader for many functions. A pallet fork is available in several sizes: 42, 48, and 60 inches. This attachment has two prongs sticking out from a flat, vertical base that supports pallets and keeps them steady when moving and stacking.
Over the past few decades, renting construction equipment has become more popular among companies and contractors of all sizes. Nearly half the equipment used on construction sites is rented. It’s nearly impossible for one company to own every piece of equipment. There are a number of necessary pieces to handle the work on every job site. Skid steer loader attachments are just one example of the number of options available. Buying every attachment could cost a company thousands of dollars. However, spending that kind of money often won’t deliver a great return. In most cases, each piece won’t be used at the same time.
Renting these attachments gives access to what is necessary at the job site while saving the company money. Renters also have access to the latest options in the industry, instead of having to continue using outdated equipment the company owns. BigRentz offers construction equipment rentals, spending the time and money needed to make sure every rental item is in good condition.