What Makes a Skidsteer Loader Different from an Excavator?

Not sure whether you need a Skidsteer Loader or an excavator for your upcoming project? In this post, the team at RME explains the fundamental differences between these machines.

What Sets the Skidsteer Loader apart from Similar Machines?

There are a few characteristics that set the skid steer apart from similar machines. One of its main advantages is its zero-radius turning ability. The wheels on the right and left sides can operate independently of one another, allowing it to turn 360 degrees without having to move forwards or backwards in the process. This makes the machine particularly well-suited for operating in tight quarters with relatively little space.

Another advantage of the skidsteer  is the wide range of attachments that can be fitted to the loader’s hydraulic system. The primary attachment is a standard bucket, but there are several other more specialised fixtures available.

At RME, we have the following attachments for use with our skidsteer:

  • GP bucket
  • Rake bucket (for landscaping)
  • Pallet fork
  • Block-Lifter

Skidsteers may be fitted with snow blowers, mowers, stump grinders, augers, sweepers and even backhoes. But in the context of our current fleet of excavators and other machines, we feel the skidsteer is best-suited for jobs related to the attachments we provide.

With that in mind, we recommend our skid steers for the following types of jobs:

  • Digging pools
  • Backfilling
  • Site cleaning
  • Rubbish removal
  • Back yard jobs

We can provide our skidsteers with a tip truck for the removal and or delivery of material from your site.  If you are about to begin a project and aren’t sure if a Skidsteer is best-suited to your needs, give us a call on 089 3718070. Let us know the specifics of your project, and we’ll advise you on which of our machines are up to the task.

bobcat style skid steer by case earth moving

The Difference between a Skidsteer Loader and an Excavator

Many of the clients who contact us are not sure whether they will be better served by a skid steer or a full-on excavator. The answer definitely depends on the project at hand. The skidsteer’s  manoeuvrability makes it particularly well-suited to jobs where material is to be piled up or spread out, or used in combination with one of our tip trucks,  or with tricky turns involved. But the excavator has its niche as well.

Excavators are heavy-duty machines. The ones in our fleet range from 1.5 to 13 tonnes, and they’re suitable for major digging jobs or heavy lifting. Skidsteer Loaders, on the other hand, are more often fitted with a bucket that faces away from the operator. One digs and pulls dirt towards the machine, the other pushes debris away.

Excavators trade manoeuvrability for significantly greater on-the-job power. You wouldn’t use a machine like this to move a pallet, but it’s indispensable for major construction, demolition and landscaping jobs. Here are a few of the tasks that we believe are best handled by one of our excavators: 

  • Trenching
  • Large-scale backfilling
  • Drilling auger holes
  • Rock-breaking
  • Installing concrete soaks
  • Installing concrete grease arrestors
  • Demolition
  • Digging pools
  • Rock-breaking
  • Ripping
  • Tree removal

If you only had one machine in your arsenal, it’s safe to say that you’d probably be better served by an excavator. Exceptions arise for very specific types of tasks, but a Skidsteer Loader is most often used as an auxiliary vehicle that simplifies certain tasks.

The beauty of hiring a machine from RME is that you don’t have to worry over these details because you’re only hiring the machine for a short period. If you need a Skidsteer , an excavator or both, we can provide you with the tools you require at a price point you can feel good about.

Licensing Requirements for Operating a Skidsteer Loader in Western Australia

All RME’S qualified operators have obtained the appropriate licences for our machines and have many years experience.  We also have current OHS and maintenance documentation for all our machines.

A license is required to drive machinery commercially and is also required when working on a construction site.  Work should not be undergone without the proper licenses.  For a person with little or no experience operating a skid steer, it is recommended that a licensed professional is advised for any required work.  It takes time to sufficiently learn the controls,  safety hazards are also a concern, as accidents and serious injuries can occur if the operator is not suitablly trained or experienced. A licensed operator is a must.

At RME, we can provide you with skid steers along with experienced operators to control them whilst on the job. Contact us today to learn more.