Posted 12/2/2012 22:27 (#2729619) Subject: New Skid-Steer Loader Purcahse
We are looking for your thoughts on what the best new skid-steer loader is on the market.
We are in the market for a new skid-steer loader with around a 2500 pound rated lift capacity. After some initial looking we are leaning towards purchasing a unit with an enclosed cab with radio, heat and air conditioning and have decided a model with a two speed transmission is a must. We are also strongly considering a unit on tracks. This unit will be used for moving pallets around the farm, picking up rocks in the field, moving equipment around the yard and general small dirt moving projects. We anticipate putting around 200 hours a year on the machine.
Previous machines on the farm have primarily been Bobcats with the exception of a small Case Uni-loader many years ago. We are considering several brands at this time including: Bobcat, John Deere, Caterpillar, Case-IH and JCB. Cost wise they all seem to be in the same ballpark, depending on exact options and lift capacity.
So far here are the thoughts we have had on the different brands:
- Bobcat: Decent dealer service available in the area and we can get one with the same style of controls that we currently use on our other Bobcat skid-loader (which we plan to keep).
- John Deere: Best dealer support/parts availability. In test drives we have not been impressed by the visibility of the buckets leading edge (but maybe this has changed on more recent models as these test runs were over the last few years).
- Caterpillar: Okay dealer support. Those in the area who run them seem to be happy with them overall.
- Case-IH: Okay dealer support but you seem to see very few newer ones in the area.
- JCB: They have an intriguing design. We like the concept of the side entry (which would allow you to have the boom partially up and still get out of the cab). There are none in are area that we are aware of and dealer support is by far the weakest in our area of all of the brands.
What things should we be watching for during this purchase process? Does anyone have experience running the JCB (we have not been able to test drive one yet but hope to yet this week)? What do you all like/dislike about the newer skid-steer loaders you are running?