Skid Steer or Compact Track Loader — Which Do I Choose?

Skid Steer or Compact Track Loader — Which Do I Choose?

When you want to optimize your rental package for your next project, the differences between similar machines become critical. A skid steer and compact track loader have comparable uses. However, they have slightly different designs that make each one more suited to certain applications. Discover how to choose between a skid steer and compact track loader when renting for your next job.

What Is the Difference Between a Skid Steer and a Compact Track Loader?

Skid steers and compact track loaders have multiple differences, especially the distinction between tires and tracks. A skid steer loader features four wheels with rugged tires. A track loader has two tracks on both sides of the machine. Additional differences between these machines include:

  • Weight: Skid steer loaders tend to weigh less than compact track loaders, making them easier to transport.
  • Maneuverability: Both skid steers and compact track loaders excel at maneuverability. They control best in different environments, so make sure to pay attention to your job site's terrain.
  • Operation: Due to their tracks, compact track loaders tend to have smoother operation than skid steers.

Common Industries for Skid Steers and Compact Track Loaders

While skid steers and compact track loaders have different configurations and abilities, they're commonly found in the same industries. In general construction, these machines are versatile and help with various material handling, digging, grading and loading requirements.

You can also find this equipment in sectors like:

With attachment capabilities, skid steers and compact track loaders can adapt to your application with specialty tools. Attachments like stump grinders, snowplows, forks and grapples can make your machine more suited for industry-specific tasks.

Whether you use a standard bucket attachment or work with multiple tools, skid steers and compact track loaders have a place on many worksites. Finding the right machine for your job is about understanding equipment capabilities and how they apply to the task and environment you're working with.

Factors to Consider When Choosing a Skid Steer or Compact Track Loader

Choosing whether to rent a skid steer or compact track loader requires careful consideration to optimize your rental package. Consider these five factors:

1. Application

Both machines have similar applications, but the tracks in compact track loaders have less suitability for snow plowing and demolition.

2. Job Site Location

Location has the highest level of importance when choosing between skid steers and compact track loaders. While skid steers work well on hard surfaces like concrete, compact track loaders better suit natural terrain.

3. Machine Transportation

Due to their lightweight design, skid steers cost less and take less work to transport between job sites.

4. Ground Compaction

In situations where you need to preserve the ground on your job site, you may prefer a compact track loader. They have a much lower impact on soil and turf than the wheels in skid steer loaders.

5. Operator Comfort

If you want to create a more comfortable working environment for your operators, a compact track loader offers a smoother ride than a skid steer.

How to Choose the Right Equipment for Your Business

We suggest renting your skid steer or compact track loader for better flexibility in equipment choice. By renting these machines, you can adapt different rental packages to each job. Rentals give you the highest level of flexibility when you receive jobs suited to both types of equipment. When you rent from a trusted name like Caterpillar, you get highly reliable options for every project.

Get Heavy Equipment Rentals From The Cat® Rental Store

At The Cat® Rental Store, we carry Cat skid steers and compact track loaders to meet your onsite requirements. We also offer other leading manufacturers to support your heavy equipment needs. Beyond our Cat models, you can find compact track loader and skid steer brands like Synergy and Vermeer with advanced features designed to support your productivity.

Let the experts at The Cat® Rental Store help you choose between a skid steer and compact track loader for your next project. Our team will work with you to build a custom rental package tailored to your needs and budget. Find out more about our selection by calling us at 1-800-RENT-CAT or getting a quote online.

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