The Best Skid Steer Attachments

The Best Skid Steer Attachments

If you ask any contractor or construction company owner what their most indispensable piece of equipment is, you're likely to hear skid steer as one of the most common answers. That’s because the skid steer is an incredibly versatile machine. Whether you have a rubber-tired skid steer, a compact track loader or a multi-terrain loader, you have the flexibility to accomplish a range of tasks.

One of the main reasons skid steers are so valuable on job sites is the work tool attachments you can add to them. You can quickly change your basic skid steer from its loader configuration into a high-powered tool capable of breaking concrete, compacting structural fill or even auguring holes to plant a tree. Or, you can swap your bucket and add on a rake, broom, tiller, trencher or brush cutter.

You also have the option of turning your skid steer into a backhoe. Your skid steer can transform into a low-cost version of an excavator if you rent a boom and stick assembly that fits on where your bucket attaches. In no time, you’ve gone from loading buckets of material to excavating utility trenches.

Skid Steer Applications

When it comes to skid steers, you have a fantastic selection of more than 40 work tool attachments available for light, medium and heavy-duty equipment. Many of these marvelous inventions fit onto a skid steer, compact track loader or multi-terrain loader. Today’s hydraulic technology allows you to use your machines in ways not imagined a few decades ago.

Skid steers started as simple construction machinery designed to move material. Most of these jobs were transporting soil around building sites, landscape projects and farm settings. It wasn’t long before people in other industries like waste and recycling, utility installations, demolition and scrap, quarry and aggregate as well as forestry harvesting recognized what a fully outfitted skid steer could do.

Equipment manufacturers like Caterpillar quickly responded to a recognized need and demand across many industries. They knew they could make full use of a basic skid steer design and turn it into the “Swiss Army Knife” of the construction world. This opened the innovation door for dozens of options.

Today, your standard steer can swap its bucket and bolt on a blade to grade your finished lot. You can trench with your skid steer and then use a broom attachment to clean up. You can also work a field by cutting brush, grappling logs and raking the area so that it’s ready for plants.

Skid Steer Attachment Uses

There’s almost no end to the ways you can use your skid steer. Augers, for instance, are popular attachments for landscapers. Skid steer auger attachments help set fence posts and plant exotic tree specimens. Landscapers also enjoy the flexibility of using one machine for rockwork, waterline installation and even grinding stumps and mulching the remains.

If you’re a building contractor, you’ll enjoy the construction value you’ll get with renting attachments for your skid steer. You can use your skid steer for jackhammering or sawing concrete, placing and compacting fill, moving pallets, stacking lumber and even setting prefabricated components using a material handling attachment.

Cold weather won't stop your skid steer. Once the snow falls, you can remove your machine’s bucket and replace it with a snow pusher. You can also attach a snowblower and clean long lengths of driveway or road in no time.

Skid steers serve farmers well too. You have plenty of attachment options like bale grabs and spears, silage defacers, tillers, multi-processors, pulverizers and shears. And, there still is nothing like a good old bucket on a skid steer for work around the farm.

You might be into renovation work. If so, you’re going to find your skid steer very versatile when you outfit it with work tool attachments like rippers for busting up asphalt and concrete. You can also attach a backhoe arm, which is perfect for tearing apart structures.

No matter what line of construction, agriculture or utility operation you’re involved in, you’ll find an attachment for your skid steer that makes your job easier. Let's look at some of the most popular skid steer attachments in more detail.

1. Buckets

When you buy or rent a skid steer, in all likelihood, it’ll come with a general-purpose bucket. Some contractors call them “dirt buckets” because that’s what they’re designed to do — move dirt. These standard attachments range in size from small to large, and they need to match your machine size to be effective.

Creative operators with a bit of experience can accomplish many tasks with a general-purpose bucket. With its smooth leading edge, a general-purpose bucket cleanly loads material, dumps it and spreads it evenly. You can change your general-purpose bucket into a digging device by placing teeth on the bucket’s face.

General-purpose buckets are only part of the bucket attachment lineup. You’ll find buckets designed for virtually any job you’ll encounter from digging to grappling. Here are some of the common bucket types available to attach to your skid steer:

  • General-purpose buckets
  • Low-profile buckets
  • Multi-purpose buckets
  • Light-material buckets
  • Industrial grapple buckets
  • Utility grapple buckets
  • Material-handling buckets
  • Utility buckets
  • Mixing buckets

The sizes of your buckets are important parameters to pay attention to. Manufacturers usually rate skid steer buckets in cubic foot capacity rather than cubic yards. Bucket measurements are also rated in inches across the face to determine the width of the attachment.

It’s critical to match your skid steer bucket size to your machine’s capacity. Placing a large bucket on a small skid steer usually doesn’t end well. Additionally, if you rent a bucket with auxiliary hydraulic operations, you need to make sure your skid steer can handle it.

You’ll find other great bucket attachments available to turn your skid steer into a specialized tool. No matter what industry you’re involved in, there’s going to be a skid steer bucket you can use to get your job done. Here are examples of specialized skid steer buckets:

  • Combination buckets: These handle everything from grading to grappling.
  • Concrete-placing buckets: As the name suggests, they place mixed concrete.
  • Auger mixing buckets: You can mix everything from sand to feed with auger buckets.
  • Grapple buckets: Grasping tricky material is no problem with a skid steer grapple bucket attachment.
  • Low-profile grading buckets: These are ideal for final grading and smoothing.
  • Snow buckets: Snow removal requires a specially designed and high-capacity bucket.
  • Rock buckets: Rocks are hard on buckets, but these tools are made to take it.

Bucket edges have many different configurations. Many skid steer buckets have removable or bolt-on edges that can switch for varying conditions. You might require a cutting edge at the start of a job and a tooth-edged attachment to go with it. However, for clean-up and final finishing, you’ll likely want a smooth leading face, which is the standard feature on many basic buckets.

It’s worth mentioning hydraulics in a skid steer bucket discussion. Every machine uses hydraulic pressure to operate the bucket, but only some buckets actually require additional hydraulic connections. Grapple buckets are a good example of skid steer bucket attachments that need auxiliary hydraulic power.

Because there are so many bucket attachment configurations and specializations, renting a bucket can be confusing. It doesn’t have to be, though. To make things simple and straightforward, it’s best to partner with a reputable dealer that can help you select the right bucket work tool for your job.

2. Brush Hogs

For brush clearing, there’s no replacement for a rotary mower on your skid steer. The term “brush hog” is widely used for skid steer brush cutter attachments, but it’s actually a brand name. More simply, these work tools are also known as “brush cutters." If you’re cutting brush, you’ll want to rent a brush cutter attachment for your skid steer. These tools are highly effective for clearing overgrown vegetation on city lots and mowing grass along highway medians. They’re great for developing walking trails and keeping undergrowth under control.

Brush cutters, or flail mowers as they’re sometimes called, work as hydraulic-powered attachments that replace your skid steer’s bucket. They’re excellent at chopping through thick grass and efficient in chewing up shrubs. Brush cutters are also easy to install and remove from your machine.

One of the best brush cutters on today’s market is the Cat® brush cutter attachment. The BR378 brush cutter is 80 inches wide, so it’ll handle a lot of material in one pass. This top tool has high-strength blades that survive contact with stumps and rocks, which are inevitable mower obstacles.

The Cat BR378 brush cutter is fully balanced to reduce vibration. It also has excellent guard protection for the motor and to prevent debris from flying towards the operator. If you’re planning on using your skid steer for vegetation work, make sure to check out a Cat brush cutter attachment.

3. Augers

Augers are popular skid steer attachments. If you’re doing any amount of hole digging, then you need an auger attached to your skid steer. Augers make your drilling effortless and precise.

Because augers have the power to cut through many earth-bound materials and the consistency to make uniform edges, they’re in high demand for many businesses. Landscapers use their augers for everything from installing fences to trees. Builders find augers handy for setting pilings, and road crews wouldn’t be without a skid steer-mounted auger for signpost erection.

Skid steer auger attachments are hydraulically operated tools. You’ll find various auger sizes available for sale or rent, and you have to ensure your machine has sufficient hydraulic flow and pressure to handle your auger. That’s the key to drilling success.

You’ll find two excellent skid steer auger attachments at The Cat Rental Store. Both are proven commodities and have the Cat brand name to guarantee performance. Here are two great augers to attach on your skid steer:

  • A26B Skid Steer Auger Attachment: Caterpillar’s powerhouse in the auger field has a gerotor motor with double planetary reduction, giving you 5,040 foot-pounds of torque. This auger will drill through almost anything you can drive your skid steer on.
  • A7B Long Stick Skid Steer Auger Attachment: For a smaller-capacity auger, the A7B will handle most regular hole-digging jobs. It has a direct-drive shaft, and its motor produces 815 foot-pounds. That’s enough torque for soft ground, clay and hardpan earth.

Torque is your main consideration when renting a skid steer auger attachment. Torque and speed are inversely related, so you can’t expect high speed when you choose a big-torque auger. Your best bet is to work with your rental dealer to size your auger to your job conditions and your particular skid steer model.

4. Rakes

Landscaping businesses depend on their skid steers for a variety of tasks. One of the work tool attachments that most landscape companies wouldn’t part with is their skid steer rake.

You’ll find a wide assortment of rakes available as skid steer attachments. Each rake design has a specific purpose. Rakes can take on several ground preparation tasks such as:

  • Preparing bare ground for seed
  • Removing rocks and debris
  • Renovating existing turf
  • Conditioning weak grass and soil
  • Smoothing existing lots

Cat rakes have a reputation among landscapers as being a reliable choice. Here are four hydraulic-powered rake models that attach to your skid steer. You can choose from:

  • Industrial grapple rakes
  • Landscape rakes
  • Power box rakes
  • Excavator rakes

Power box rakes are landscapers’ most popular choice. They’re easily mounted on a skid steer and are simple to operate. However, like all attachments that require auxiliary hydraulic power, you have to make sure your flow and pressure are sufficient to run your rake.

5. Tillers

Renting a tiller attachment for your skid steer can be a real time and work saver. Just ask any landscaper or farmer who has tried manual tilling methods and then discovered a tiller attachment for their skid steer.

Many farmers and landscapers prefer using their skid steer to till rather than a conventional tractor towing a tiller. That's because a skid steer is so maneuverable and agile when working on sensitive ground. Attaching a tiller to a skid steer saves you enormous effort, and it quickly pays back in profits.

If you’re in the market for a tiller attachment, look no further than The Cat Rental Store. There’s one all-purpose tiller that will cover almost every tilling application you’ll encounter. The Cat LT18B skid steer tiller is an excellent attachment that has an overall width of 90 inches with a 73-inch working width. It’s powered with hydraulics and does a superb job of soil prepping for lawns, gardens and fields. Ask your rental dealer for specific skid steer applications, as this tiller requires a certain hydraulic flow and pressure.

6. Trenchers

Skid steer trencher attachments are great for jobs like installing irrigation lines, drain pipes and underground utilities. Trenchers are also useful for digging footings and setting pilings. You can even use a trenching attachment for breaking hard ground before tilling or raking it.

Trenchers are extensions of excavators and use chain-driven teeth to break up the ground and cast overburden aside. A good skid steer operator with a trencher attachment can cut long lines in short order. That’s especially true if they’re using one of these Cat trenching attachments:

  • T9B Hydraulic Side Shift Trencher Attachment
  • T9B Manual Side Shift Trencher Attachment

Whether you choose a Cat manual or hydraulic trencher attachment depends on your job site conditions and your particular skid steer equipment. Many operators prefer a manual model over hydraulics. That can be a personal preference, or they may have a small machine that has insufficient hydraulic capacity.

7. Brooms

There’s nothing like a broom attachment for your skid steer when it’s time to wrap up a job. Brooms make sweeping debris and collecting it a breeze. These powerful sweepers can save you an enormous amount of time in cleaning a site at the end of the day or your project’s completion.

The Cat Rental Store offers a great selection of broom and sweeping attachments for your skid steer. You have your choice of size and power rating, all with proven designs. These are the three main broom categories available for your skid steer:

  • Angle broom attachments: We have manual and hydraulic angle brooms that quickly interchange with your skid steer. They work on everything from city streets to runways. Angle variations adjust from left to tight and up to a 30-degree angle from your machine.
  • Pickup broom attachments: These broom attachments sweep up debris and store it in an integral hopper. When you're full and done, you can easily empty the mess into another container or a secondary pile. Some pickup broom attachments have an adjustable volumizer to control sweeping capacity.
  • Utility broom attachments: These are simple, standard brooms meant for fast cleaning. You can operate utility broom attachments when your skid steer is running in forward or reverse. Built-in rubber boots on the broom’s perimeter really help to control your dust.

Renting a skid steer broom attachment makes a lot of sense if you need one periodically. Renting takes the weight off you by making sure it’s delivered and picked up exactly when you want. You also get top-quality Cat performance with a true bonus. When you rent from The Cat Rental Store, we take care of all of the maintenance.

8. Hammers

Breaking concrete slabs, blocks or bricks is a tough job with a manual sledgehammer or even an electric jackhammer. But with a hammer attachment on your skid steer, busting flatwork is a breeze. Hydraulic hammers let you get more work done in less time and with exceptional efficiency.

Cat hammer attachments perform flawlessly under all expected job site conditions. Cat hammers are also safe with a fully enclosed housing that minimizes vibration and noise. They also have an automatic shutoff that prevents blank firing. That reduces wear on the tool and on your skid steer.

You’ll find a Cat hammer easy to attach. It conveniently aligns through an innovative plug-and-perform feature that helps you change tools fast. Also, Cat rental hammers don’t require manual hydraulic pressure or flow adjustments. Here are two top hammer attachments from The Cat Rental Store:

  • H55E hammer attachment: This is the light-duty hammer attachment. Its impact energy class is 600 foot-pounds of energy, it delivers 600-1680 blows per minute and its rated hydraulic flow is 7.9 gallons-per-minute.
  • H65E hammer attachment: For a heavier hammer, there's the Cat H65E. Its impact energy class is 800 foot-pounds, it delivers 720-1740 blows per minute and its rated flow is 10 gallons-per-minute.

Cat hammer attachments include something else too — a tri-suspension system for the smoothest hammer operation you’ll ever find.

9. Backhoes

If there’s one work tool that can vastly improve your skid steer’s performance and profitability, it’s a skid steer backhoe attachment. This tool turns your skid steer from a mere loader into a true digger. With a backhoe on your machine, you can excavate, trench, tamp and till all with one addition.

Something interesting to note is how a backhoe differs from an excavator. A backhoe attachment allows your skid steer operator to reach and scoop from the cab. Then they can turn the arm left or right within an approximately 240-degree radius to deposit the material in a pile or a container.

True excavators have their arm and control house mounted on a swiveled chassis that lets the excavator revolve in a 360-degree radius. Because of the complicated swing gear and chassis, excavators are much more expensive machines than skid steers or backhoes. With a backhoe attachment on your skid steer, you can do nearly the same work as an excavator but at far less cost.

Caterpillar offers you an excellent backhoe attachment for your skid steer. The Cat BH160 is a boom and stick combination that couples with many Cat bucket profiles. The BH160 backhoe attachment has a 121-inch digging depth and weighs 2309 pounds.

Adding a rented backhoe attachment to your Cat skid steer makes a lot of financial sense. So does renting a Cat skid steer, compact track loader or multi terrain loader. You can source these excellent machinery pieces at The Cat Rental Store, along with other Cat work tool attachments like skid steer grapples, thumbs, blades, compactors, hammers, material handling arms, saws, mulchers, rippers and winches.

Choose The Cat® Rental Store for All Your Skid Steer Attachments

The Cat Rental Store is your one-stop source for the best skid steer attachments available. With over 1,300 outlets in The Cat Store rental network, you can quickly outfit your skid steer with the latest tools that let you capitalize on value-added projects.

Variety is what you’ll find at The Cat Rental Store. You get a wide selection of highly maintained equipment along with the knowledgeable service that makes sure your skid steer loader attachments are perfectly matched for your machine and the work you’re undertaking. Quality and service are core principles with Caterpillar.

Contact The Cat Rental Store today for all your skid steer attachments. Call us at 1-800-RENT-CAT or drop by one of our convenient locations.

Find a Cat Rental Store Near You

Ready To Rent? Start Today