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small bulldozer vs skid steer


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So, as I start cleaning up some of our rolling land and repairing roads, I've been considering getting a small dozer (nothing more than 10,000lbs). Pushing small trees, moving earth and rocks. A lot is on hillside. We had a case 310 which was a loader rather than a bulldozer, but overall it did well. But I also go to thinking about the usefulness of a skid steer. Could a skid steer realistically fill the role of a small dozer? I don't know how well a skid steer could handle being used like a dozer but figured someone would know.

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big enough skid steer will push more than a small dozer plus you can run different buckets and other things on a skidsteer a grapple on one will make quick work of what your doing, the only thing about the dozer it will be way cheaper to buy, where skidsteers are so popular right now they can bring a pretty penny

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4 minutes ago, 88power said:

big enough skid steer will push more than a small dozer plus you can run different buckets and other things on a skidsteer a grapple on one will make quick work of what your doing, the only thing about the dozer it will be way cheaper to buy, where skidsteers are so popular right now they can bring a pretty penny

Yeah, you aren't kidding. We talked about buying a skid steer a few years ago. Of course I was wanting a small one I could get in an out anywhere. This would be a larger unit. A friend just got an old gehl but bought a bush hog attachment for the front and it's pretty sweet. Like you say... not cheap though.

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I have a bobcat 190 very useful I have several attachments feed most of hay in winter with it . But when I bought it was 23000 . It has tracks doesn’t do the best on wet hills on dry it’s a tank. 

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Skidsteer is the most versatile piece of equipment they have built to date but each attachment has its cost and can surpass the original price of the machine if you need many, it would all depend what you want it for, trees dirt and rocks is what a dozer was made for, sized properly for its job it will do these tasks excellently without breaking apart.

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Small dozers are handy. Skidsteers are handier. If you’re doing clearing and reclamation you need about an 18,000# or above dozer. The lighter one push until they stop and then you’re all day on one little thing.

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Small dozers are pretty cheap these days since they are getting replaced by compact track loaders (CTLs).  Large-frame CTLs are doing a good portion of what small dozers used to do.  The added benefit of a CTL is that it's a loader for dirt work...with a quick attach for added versality...and has 20+ gpm of auxiliary hydraulic flow...and it can travel over grass, concrete, and pavement without destroying it.

There are two ways to look at it in my mind: 

1) Swim with the current and buy a CTL.  That way you have an asset that a lot of people will want for a number of years to come.  Used CTLs will be pricey at $18K to $40K depending on age and equipment.

2) Swim against the current and pick up a small dozer for a relative song.  Budget for undercarriage work.  Small dozers are often half the price of used CTLs.

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On 9/11/2020 at 11:16 AM, EquipmentJunkie said:

Swim against the current and pick up a small dozer for a relative song.  Budget for undercarriage work.  Small dozers are often half the price of used CTLs.

Yep

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The answer is yes, especially when considering the size of dozer you are talking. Compare the specs of a new Cat 299D vs a new Cat D3K dozer. 299 is 110 hp and the dozer is 85. Now the D3K is low 20k lbs vs the 299 @ 11k, and in shear pushing power the D3 will easily win. But the speed and nimbleness of the 299 with the added hp, will move more material in a given time.

The steel undercarriage of a dozer is going to hold up to more abuse than the rubber tracks on a CTL (compact track loader]. So in land clearing where trees, rocks, stumps are in play the dozer may be preferable. But that UC is also far more expensive to replace and repair than rubber tracks.

As above, you can go more places and cause less surface damage with the CTL. You will also have a machine with near infinite other usages. But you pay to play, the upfront outlay on that CTL is hefty.

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When I was up on the river, I had an ASV70 tracked skid steer. Also had a D4. Most of the time the skid steer would work circles around the 4, but the 4 had its place. Taking out big trees or wet ground was where the steel tracks shined. 

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7 hours ago, Cattech said:

The answer is yes, especially when considering the size of dozer you are talking. Compare the specs of a new Cat 299D vs a new Cat D3K dozer. 299 is 110 hp and the dozer is 85. Now the D3K is low 20k lbs vs the 299 @ 11k, and in shear pushing power the D3 will easily win. But the speed and nimbleness of the 299 with the added hp, will move more material in a given time.

The steel undercarriage of a dozer is going to hold up to more abuse than the rubber tracks on a CTL (compact track loader]. So in land clearing where trees, rocks, stumps are in play the dozer may be preferable. But that UC is also far more expensive to replace and repair than rubber tracks.

As above, you can go more places and cause less surface damage with the CTL. You will also have a machine with near infinite other usages. But you pay to play, the upfront outlay on that CTL is hefty.

If you go with a CTL, it would be good to get some operator training.  When the CTL’s first came out undercarriage life was poor until operators learned such things as proper turning.  Do not travel forward down a steep slope and then turn.  Will often times remove the downhill track!
Also, with the skid loader coupler on the front, most attachments can be rented rather than purchased.

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From my experence a CTL would be a much handier machine. I have a 500 series dozer with a 6 way blade. It is excellent for finishing a grade . I have dug ponds roads leveled barn sites. It sits in the barn since I bought a Gehl Ctl. I use  the loader everyday loading leveling pounding post  drilling post mowing . It is a very versatile machine. Yes it cost 10 times what the dozer was but it can do so much more. Spend the extra $$ you wont be dissapointed. On the ranch i replaced the rubber tracks at 1400 hrs . Not too awful buying them. .  Years ago i did extensive undercarriage repairs to the 500 and it was real pricey.  It is slow and can only doze. 

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@mader656(I think) was aFret a small dozer, he had given this a lot of thought. Personally I’d go for a tracked skid loader over a dozer if you are going that small. Our. TD7G is 14-15k and could be bigger some days, but it really only is good for 1 thing. I’m pretty sure you can train a skid steer to get the mail and fetch your slippers if you use the right treats. 

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I kept up with 5 quad axle dump trucks building an access road with a t550 bobcat. 3 had breaker rock and 2 had class 5 on. The tracks are a must to compete with a dozer. The factory high drive tracks not aftermarket over the tire tracks.

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For the heck of it look up project minotaur (sp) on youtube, it's the case attempt at combining a skid steer and a small bulldozer.

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My vote is a small highlift track loader.  ( crawler loader)  There cheap like a dozer  but has lifting abilities 

Edited by dannyredfan
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2 hours ago, vtfireman85 said:

@mader656(I think) was aFret a small dozer, he had given this a lot of thought. Personally I’d go for a tracked skid loader over a dozer if you are going that small. Our. TD7G is 14-15k and could be bigger some days, but it really only is good for 1 thing. I’m pretty sure you can train a skid steer to get the mail and fetch your slippers if you use the right treats. 

Yup still looking, but I want it exclusively for fence work on hills and rough country not so much as a do zer or loader...

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I have the small  TD9b dozer,  an old D7, tracked 247B cat, and case 1840. Each has its own place. Some things I will do with the 1840 that I will not do with the 247B, the track loader does things and goes places the 1840 could only dream about. If you have nice dirt to work the tracked loader is awesome, but throw in rocks and junk and steep hills and the dozer is awesome. If you use the tracked loader like a dozer it will get expensive.

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As you can see I bought a nice used ctl last year. I went from a 763 bobcat wheel SS (50hp) which I had for years to this beast. This is a Gehl (takeuchi) ctl 75. (95hp) 10k lb. 

I couldnt get by on my farm without either one. I feel i got a great deal on my ctl however I took a huge risk on auctiontime. I gave $18k for it with 2100hrs. Undercarriage is in great shape. I wound up selling my bobcat with tracks and 2 buckets for 13k with 1200hrs. It was the nicest one you've ever been in for a 2001 model. I had 25 messages in about 4hrs on marketplace. So thinking I could have sold it for 14k easy. I did the right thing and sold it to the first guy for my asking price no less. 

I wouldnt even consider a dozer over a ctl. dont care if it is 2 times the cost. I can do 20 times the work if you consider all the extra things you will do on the farm with the quick attach impliments available for purchase or rent. Never mind the fact it's just better. I get that guys like little dozers and that's fine, but the only thing that would make me reconsider would be a 963 cat, and then it's so expensive to operate I'd probably have it parked in the shed more than not afraid I may cost myself 10k. anyway I included my costs on SS to give you an idea hope it helps 

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The only ONLY issue I have with a CTL or SS is the getting in and out of the thing when you are doing something alone, hooking chains or loading this or that in the bucket or if you just want the bucket at work height you had better be part otter and part monkey, getting in and out with the bucket down can be a pain, but bucket up is near impossible. 

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My buddy just bought a 450 case  its pretty fast for a highlift.  I have a 953 cat.  If you get used to a highlift you won't look at a dozer for land clearing  can pile trees, grub roots with the teeth yor up high where you can see what's going on.    On his ground I did the heavy work got in get out. Then he bought this to do the light work.     try burning a brush pile with a ss,ctl.  Its a good way to get killed.   

Although its dangerous work no matter what you are on         I've had enough close calls on my bigger machine to know first hand. 

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I have a 297 cat ctl, 955 k track loader and a large d7.  In hard large tree removal work I use my 955 or excavator, smaller jobs the ctl hands down.  The ctl might take a little more time on bigger jobs but anything that takes finesse or only want to haul one piece of equipment it's the one.

Sorry it's so dirty, someone is liking it compered too using their loader to put round bales in the feeder.

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