Choosing the Right Skid Loader for Your Operation

Since its invention in the late 1950s, the skid steer loader has become one of the most popular heavy equipment types. These agile, versatile machines can handle a wide range of loading, material handling, earthmoving and digging tasks with ease. Their compact design and smaller footprint enable skid steers to maneuver in confined spaces.

The Cat® Rental Store in your area offers several skid steer loader models for rent by Caterpillar, the world's most recognized and respected heavy equipment brand. Cat skid steers combine power, efficiency, maneuverability and safety in one easy-to-operate machine. A skid steer rental is ideal for bolstering your fleet to meet increased demand, replacing a unit that's undergoing repairs or meeting any other temporary need.

How to Choose the Best Skid Loader

While all skid steers can perform the same tasks, you'll find a few differences between models. Here's what to consider when you're choosing a loader for your applications:

  • Size: Not all skid steers are the same size. A bigger loader will deliver more power, although it may not perform as well in tight spots. A larger machine may also accommodate work tool attachments more efficiently.
  • Lifting mechanism: Skid steers come in radial-lift and vertical-lift configurations. The latter option is likely the better choice for performing tasks above eye-level due to the extra lift height and bucket reach. A radial-lift unit works well for fine grading jobs.
  • Cab: The comfort of your operators is another consideration you should make when you're choosing a skid steer loader. You'll want a model with a cab that's easy to enter and exit, has accessible, user-friendly controls and minimizes exposure to dust and noise. Excellent visibility is a crucial safety factor as well.
  • Attachments: A valuable benefit of renting a skid steer is that you can equip it with an assortment of attachments to maximize its versatility. Options include hammersmulchersrakes, cold planers and saws, to name a few. You'll need to decide which tools are best for your applications — and make sure they're compatible with the specific model you're renting.
  • Additional features: If you're planning to work before dawn or at night, a skid steer with lights is mandatory. Tire type is another factor to consider. For example, solid rubber tires won't go flat, but they'll provide a bumpier ride on rough terrain.

Which Industries Use Skid Loaders? 

With lifting power between 1,250 pounds and 2,700 pounds, skid loaders are built for the most demanding industries. These compact machines excel in: 

  • Construction: Skid loaders are among the most versatile resources on a construction site, as they can perform tasks in earthmoving, landscaping, cleaning and maintenance with the proper attachments. Which skid loader you should use for your applications depends on the size of your job site. For instance, underground and landscaping projects tend to use compact, small-frame skid steers, while larger construction projects tend to use machines of at least a medium classification. Skid loaders can handle everything from clearing and cleaning to material handling. 
  • Excavating: Large skid loaders are perfect for grading and excavating, especially in preparation for projects like roadbuilding and creating foundations. With a large skid loader, you can excavate large volumes of dirt and materials with increased efficiency and productivity, while many small skid loaders are used in place of excavators due to their ability to access narrow areas. Keep space limitations in mind to ensure you choose the right skid loader.
  • Digging and trenching: Skid loaders are highly effective for digging and trenching thanks to their versatile attachment options, which include backhoes, augers and trenchers, to name a few. Trenching attachments effectively cut into the earth by using a chain of metal teeth that works much like a chain saw. With the right work tool, a skid steer can be transformed for digging electrical wire, snipping roots, shoveling, cutting pavement or creating drainage. 
  • Municipal work: Skid loaders are ideal for municipalities since they can perform so many different tasks. In the winter, skid loaders are most frequently used for clearing snow with snow blades or blower attachments.

Why Rent Skid Steers From The Cat® Rental Store?

Aside from offering a wide selection of Cat skid steer loaders at competitive daily, weekly, monthly and long-term rates, The Cat Rental Store will deliver excellent service with your rental. We'll help you select the right model (and attachments) for your applications and budget. We'll also take care of all maintenance and repair issues and provide operator training if needed.

Explore Our Skid Steer Loader Options Today

Check out our inventory of skid steers and other heavy equipment offerings right now. Give us a call at 1-800-RENT-CAT or contact us online for a quick quote. Rent skid steer loaders and whatever else your company needs from a rental provider that does whatever it takes.

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