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Skid loaders, whats your preference


Amo

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So Im kicking around the idea of buying an older skid loader.  Not wanting to spend a lot right now.  $10K or less.  For what some of them cost, you could be a dam nice MFD tractor.  Granted, there's some things that a MFD cant do that a skid can.  Gas engine is fine for now.  Right now, just loading dirt, and don't need a lot of height.  Currently looking at a Bobcat 247B.  32 HP, 1000# lift, 6' 3" lift height.  Going to do some dirt construction, concrete pouring, loading manure in a spreader.  I think this would be a good starter machine. 

Anyway, if I don't wind up being the winning bidder on the auction of this machine.......Im curious as to what you guys like.  I hauled a lot of concrete back 20 years ago.  NH came out with a new lift style that made it nicely balanced with a load in the bucket.  Like an LS 190.  There was also an excellent NH dealer in the area.  I think Deere has a similar design.  JCB is interesting, but out of my budget at this time.  One local NH dealer sells JCB, the other pushes Kubota.  Bobcat is tride and true.  Just kicking around buying and curious as to others opinions as to brands and models as I really have no experience with them.

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Just now, nate said:

For under 10 grand it will limit your choices.    I would look for an 1840 with the cummins. 

I know.  I'd be curious as to what people like as a whole, higher prices are fine.  Like I said, some of the slightly used machines can run $50-75K+.  I can buy a dang nice tractor for that money.  With that said though, yes I'd like to keep it under $10K

https://www.machinerypete.com/details/skid-steers/1986/bobcat/743/21334354

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For those older machines 1845 were great but I liked the Bobcat 743 also in fact I liked them better with foot controls, I would say condition would almost be more important on something that old, the Case XT machines were a beast if your budget goes up and a bit newer but it doesn't look like your after a powerhouse? Up here anything that starts is 10K and goes up from there.

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NH is my choice if it's a older machine and I mean older. I have 2 NH785 right now on farm.333 bsd Ford diesels in them.Start all the time,great lifting power.Nice loading on trucks,can load a tandem dump truck. Good ride,great stability on hills,good traction in soft ground.Two speed but I don't use it much. The older Bobcats of the same years I didn't like as much.The newer ones from say last 10,15 years are awesome. Case were OK, I was raised on them.I ran Mustangs, CAT,and BOBCATS. I always look for deals and would by another just to have but would NEVER buy a gas skidloader. I had one of my own way back when and it was a pain even when gas was good. I never would by one now,just too much of a headache. I think any of the older NHs with diesel motors would be OK. Just my opinion. 

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We paid teens for a 40xt and 60xt case 10 and 8 years ago.  Never knew we needed one....then got 1   and needed 2.

 

Like hand controls alot vs foot ...    actually from running contactors bobcat, hate foot controls

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I also despise foot controls. Uncle has an L180 NH on tires. It’s a nice machine except the foot controls. We have a Gehl 4610 with the Perkins diesel. It is a good machine with nicer controls in my opinion. Older, with less power but does good work for its size.  The Gehl type machine would be in your price range I’m guessing. 

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Small skidloaders won't do anything in dirt in my area . Clay and rock content is too high to be able to dig much without spending major amounts of time. That was our experience with the 1840's we had . Once we got a 75XT it was a game changer for this type of work. Low to high teens buys a good shape XT around here .

  First skidloader I ever ran was a NH built JD and I hate foot controls also because of it. Wish that all had same controls like the cat machines although it would take me a while to learn them as many hours as we have put on the Case controls 

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Can't go wrong with a Case 1840, 1845C, XT or even the 400 series Case. Don't be afraid to exceed your budget a little, once you have a skid loader you will be buying other attachments for it and finding all kinds of things to do with said machine. Get something a little bigger while your buying. 

As far as controls I too would be in the hand only crowd, I personally like a H pattern machine over an ISO pattern. That said I grew up running a Case 1835B then we traded for an 1840. Today we run a lot of skid loaders thru the shop of most brands, so ISO controls kinda grow on a guy. 

I look at a skid loader as a chassis filled with somebodies components, the serviceability and components is what sells me on a machine choice.

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I see a few guys that say they hate foot control, I’m the opposite, grew up on a NH 553, and NH L785, I now own a NH L785.  I’m so used to my feet doing the lifting and tilting that I get lost with hand controls.  It takes me a few days to get used to pilot controls! I’m the odd one out, I’ll take foot controls any day!

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8 minutes ago, Farmall1066 said:

I see a few guys that say they hate foot control, I’m the opposite, grew up on a NH 553, and NH L785, I now own a NH L785.  I’m so used to my feet doing the lifting and tilting that I get lost with hand controls.  It takes me a few days to get used to pilot controls! I’m the odd one out, I’ll take foot controls any day!

One of the problems with the foot controls was it was used to scrape walks at dads cousins farm. Tiny bit of slop on your boots (always have some from getting the gates open after chasing cows off the walk) and it will get on the foot pedals. Then they would freeze them so they wouldn't be useable unless they stored the skidloader in the stall barn with the milk cows. It was a catch 22 as the first skidloader he bought was a JD and it was just short enough to fit in the garage door of the stall barn. If he had a non foot control one he wouldn't have had to keep it inside from freezing. 

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1 hour ago, bitty said:

Small skidloaders won't do anything in dirt in my area . Clay and rock content is too high to be able to dig much without spending major amounts of time. That was our experience with the 1840's we had . Once we got a 75XT it was a game changer for this type of work. Low to high teens buys a good shape XT around here .

  First skidloader I ever ran was a NH built JD and I hate foot controls also because of it. Wish that all had same controls like the cat machines although it would take me a while to learn them as many hours as we have put on the Case controls 

I was the same way, Tim! Ran an 1840, then 1845 at work for about 10 years. I used my cousins Cat for some dirt work and barn clean out at the farm once. I told him that I was used to the H pattern and he said “Just hold a beer in your right hand and drive around for a while “

Those 1840-1845’s are pretty much bulletproof! Around here though, they’re still bringing 15-18,000

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I grew up running new holland with foot controls. Your feet never got cold. Working at a tree company they had all gehls with single joy sticks and really like them. I work for a gehl dealer now so need to lean on that side yet. I was told once you go gehl you don't go back lol

 

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I prefer foot controls. We have always had Bobcat. Uncle had NH. In all the decades I've never had one freeze up. I've also run Gehl and Case for work. I absolutely despise when the hand controls get slopped out. Case worse than Gehl. If I was on your budget, I'd have to settle for what I can find. I also vote to pass on gas models. I've never used one that had enough power.

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I prefer hand controls.  Had a foot control bobcat 743 diesel a long time ago and it was a Great little machine.  Then a Case 75xt  that was 3x the machine, and 3x the cost.  Wish we had kept them both.  I’m sure they are both still running.  

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In that price range I think condition of the machine would be my biggest deciding factor, not brand.  But I also wouldn't want to get something that had not dealer support in the area.

I grew up on Gehl's and currently have an old one so I too like the hand controls.  When in college I worked at an elevator that had a NH and I really struggled with the foot controls.  Probably would grow on you if that's all you used, but not my preference.  

I have a 1994 Gehl 3825 that has a little Kubota diesel engine.  Has just under 1,000 hours, so should run forever with the little bit I do with it.  I would really like to upgrade to something bigger but hard to justify $30k+ for something I put less than 100 hours/year on.

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I got most of my skid steer experience on an ASV 70. Joystick controller and I got SPOILED!! I bought a New Holland 655XL with foot control and I am okay with it now. Ran a buddy’s Case with hand control and I HATED it. Might be okay once you get used to it, but it was nothing like I had ever used before. 
Buy as much as you can possibly afford. You will use it WAY MORE than you expect. 
Our ground is much like Bitty’s. Even with a toothed bucket my skid steer doesn’t get a lot of dirt moved. My F-11 on my 800 Case will dig better but not nearly as handy. 

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I have a Bobcat 873.  It's no longer a production machine, but its pretty tough, runs well, and does what I need.  Could use bushings in the bucket coupler.  I'll get there one of these days.  I needed lift capacity more than anything and the 873 will lift pretty much whatever I have asked of it.  At the time I bought it, the large frame machines were cheaper than the smaller frames (i.e. 773), but that was quite a few years ago now.  

When it comes to skid steers, I've found that if you find one in decent condition that will do what you want it to do in a price range that you can live with, that is the one you should buy.  You can get used to the intricacies of the machine over time.

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I prefer ISO controls but I’ve run all types and they work fine. I don’t know of any brands that are bad, I like mustang, Case, and gehl. My advice is forget gas, expand the budget to 15,000 and buy something you will not regret

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We have a case 90xt and a Kubota ssv75. Kubota is nice and all but I prefer running the case. It’s more nimble and more powerful. Visibility of the bucket is better as well. Both have been trouble free so far. Case has around 6700 hours and the Kubota is around 1400 now. We’ve owned them both from new basically. Doesn’t matter what size you buy you’ll wish it was a little bit bigger. Eventually you’ll find something that it will almost lift if it only had a few more pounds in the back lol. 

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I agree, whatever you can afford, and isn't a broke down ridden hard machine, you should be ok with most any of the brands. I myself have had little experience with the other brands outside bobcat, I like foot controls, as that's how mine is.  I even use the foot controls in my excavator, where others like to use the hand controls. If you intend on trailering it often, be careful how big you go, or how old. I have a 974, it weighs in over 12,000 lbs.  If going by a weigh station, you better pull in 😁. Was told bobcat only made one model bigger, a 1074.  Plenty of power, heavy enough to dig, lift, push just about anything you want. I know a lot of people dislike the Perkins motors, but this one will start in single digits anytime, and stays outdoors all it's life here. Great on fuel consumption, also look at the tire conditions, they can get expensive real fast. Also, heard, tracked machines under carriage don't last very long before needing rebuilt, if I recall correctly 3-4000 hours?  I could be very wrong on those hours, don't quote me on that.  Good luck 

Mark

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1 hour ago, td9inidaho said:

Also, heard, tracked machines under carriage don't last very long before needing rebuilt, if I recall correctly 3-4000 hours?  I could be very wrong on those hours, don't quote me on that.  Good luck

The longest I ever had a track last was 2,200 hours. Maybe some people could get more if they baby them. Track machines are very costly to maintain. Sometimes you have to have them for what you’re doing. But, if they aren’t a necessity and a guy is worried about the budget, they are the wrong choice. A large CTL undercarriage probably cost as much to maintain as a D6.

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6 hours ago, bitty said:

One of the problems with the foot controls was it was used to scrape walks at dads cousins farm. Tiny bit of slop on your boots (always have some from getting the gates open after chasing cows off the walk) and it will get on the foot pedals. Then they would freeze them so they wouldn't be useable unless they stored the skidloader in the stall barn with the milk cows. It was a catch 22 as the first skidloader he bought was a JD and it was just short enough to fit in the garage door of the stall barn. If he had a non foot control one he wouldn't have had to keep it inside from freezing. 

X2. We use mine for feeding cows everyday and don't have to worry about snow or mud and I roll the twines up from the bales and throw it on the floor too so would be in the way of pedals. Also another thing I noticed from running foot pedals all day was the Dunlop boots don't flex enough and it is more of a chore than anything. With lace up boots wasn't an issue.

We got one of each style control at work and I'll take iso any day. Some co-workers used to tell me how iso was the dumbest thing around, hand and foot was the only way. We had rented a cat ctl for a few months so they had no choice but to run iso. First couple hours was the most complaining I've ever heard. But after that they all said iso is the way to go, and won't run hand and foot unless absolutely need to lol. First machine I ever used was a Deere with H pattern, and I liked it. H pattern seems to be in between the other 2, but anyone I know that runs one with switchable controls will run it in iso. It's really all personal preference, and if your just running one machine what you get used to will be fine

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Just my musings after 35ish years and upwards of 10,000 hours of operating skid steers.  I always come back to the Case 1835B as being my favorite skid steer.  If I HAD to have a larger skid steer I suppose it would be a larger model of the Case XT line, or the non Series 3 400s.  I’m at a point that if I needed a loader larger than my beloved 1835Bs, it would be a wheel loader.  

Dollar for dollar it looks to me like the Case XTs are a better buy than the 1840 or 1845C, even though the latter are good machines.

Most of the skidsteers out there are really hard to see out of.  Full cab makes it worse.  Wheel loader solves that problem.

Hand or foot control -- personal preference.  I “speak” both fluently but I can do things with hand control I could never do with foot controls.  I hate ISO.  It is not intuitive unless you got used to operating an excavator before operating a skid steer.  CAT is a jack-ss and makes their skid steers move slower in H pattern than ISO.

 

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