View Full Version : Anyone knowledgeable on skid steers?

John Halsted
07-21-2018, 5:20 PM
I've been shopping for skid steers, for a lot of reasons. Helping collect logs for milling would be one of them. I also keep buying houses and often have projects involving regrading a lawn, or putting in a gravel driveway/parking spot, tearing out bad concrete walkways or patios, etc... I could also see using it to move heavy woodworking machinery. I have some other friends that own a lot of properties too so I could see lending/renting it out. At the end of the day though, it will probably see very low hours per year. I would plan to baby it and keep it nice.

I've been looking closely at the Bobcat A300 since it has a good 3000lb load rating (and I've read, may be able to lift double that), and most significantly, has all-wheel steering. I think this is important because I'll be using it in a residential area, and the all-wheel steering will do less damage to lawns, and also less likely to leave rubber skid marks on pavement.

I guess I'm just wondering how to go about shopping for a skid steer. There isn't a lot available in my area, so I'm mostly going to have to shop long-distance. There's an A300 available from an outfit in PA: http://www.luckysautosales.net/vehicle.asp?d=25701091&s=111016 for $23,850 It's 2002 so pretty old, but only 1317 hours and it looks stellar. It's the lowest priced A300 I've found online, but I still don't know if it's a good deal. What would you do here, find a guy in PA and pay them to go inspect it?

I also plan to buy a dump trailer which can be used to transport the skid steer.

Thanks for any help!

Bill Dufour
07-21-2018, 6:55 PM
What country? what make has local dealers for parts? How will it get shipped from Pennsylvania? not hard to strap down for a safe trip unlike much wood working machines which can have stuff broken if not loaded properly. Try to avoid gray market models.
Bill D.

Ed Labadie
07-21-2018, 10:44 PM
Call the seller, ask for a good pic of the serial number, then google it....my guess is an auction machine..give it a 5 gallon tune-up, treat the hourmeter to a haircut and go fishing.

Sorry, "Lucky's auto sales" doesn't give me a warm fuzzy feeling.....

John Halsted
07-22-2018, 12:56 AM
Call the seller, ask for a good pic of the serial number, then google it....my guess is an auction machine..give it a 5 gallon tune-up, treat the hourmeter to a haircut and go fishing.

Sorry, "Lucky's auto sales" doesn't give me a warm fuzzy feeling.....

They also have the same unit listed on their ebay account where they've also posted a video of the machine running. They have 672 reviews, 100% positive, no negatives within the last 12 months. I'd say that makes them pretty reputable, wouldn't you agree? You can't get that kind of feedback on any other kind of dealer...maybe a bit from yelp or something.

I'm in Illinois. Seller says shipping would be about $600. I have a Bobcat location a few miles away and intend to go talk to the guys there to see what services they can offer.

If people are messing with the hour meters on machines, then what do you do? Trust no one and ignore the claimed hours altogether? Only buy new?

Curt Harms
07-22-2018, 8:33 AM
As far as hour meters, can you be sure it's original? They do break and are replaced with new zero time meters, no deception intended.

John K Jordan
07-22-2018, 4:49 PM
You can get printed tractor/equipment listings for a wide area or find them on-line, for example https://www.machinerytrader.com/listings/construction-equipment/for-sale/category/1055/skid-steers but you already know that.

I have a used Deere, found it through a friend for $11,000 and it included a goose neck trailer. I find the tractor with a FEL more useful for logs/sawmill than the skid steer. I use it quite a bit with forks (the same forks fit the skid steer and my tractor) and a lot around the farm, clearing, leveling, roads, moving gravel/dirt/rocks, tree removal.


How new you want might depend on how much you plan to use it. Mine is not very new but is perfect for my occasional use. If I used one every day I'd get a much newer model.

I personally would not consider loaning or renting or even letting anyone else operate it while I was watching. Unless using it for something simple like smoothing a relatively flat area or spreading gravel, there are just too many things that can go wrong and too many ways it can be abused by someone without a big investment in it and/or someone who likes to think they have more experience than they do.


Tom M King
07-22-2018, 5:13 PM
Another thing to consider is the type of controls you prefer. One type uses your feet for boom lift, and bucket tilt. The other type uses only your wrists. I prefer the foot controls, because I find it less tiring, and it's what I got used to first. For me, it takes no time going from running an excavator to a standard type (using feet)skidsteer, than switching back and forth between a joystick controlled skid steer after running an excavator, and back and forth.

If I was buying one, I'd only want the standard controls, and I would get one with tracks rather than wheels. I also would specify a 4 in 1 bucket.

Todd Mason-Darnell
07-22-2018, 6:40 PM
I would recommend that you look at and post over at tractorbynet.com. Think of sawmillcreek.org, except for tractors, heavy equipment and rural living. The site is moderated and has >500K WW members. I have gotten some great advice from the guys over there.

Jim Andrew
07-22-2018, 7:49 PM
I bought a new Case 60xt late in '04. Has been an excellent machine, has hand controls on the loader, and I like it. No cab, and does not bother me to be without. I would talk to your local dealers, rather than have a machine delivered sight unseen. I use mine with forks to pick up logs, rather than drag them, and to load my mill, as well as to clean up my corral, and load compost onto my spreader. Having had a skidsteer, would hate to have to get by without one. Just don't get one that is too small.

Scott T Smith
07-23-2018, 7:56 AM
I have a John Deere 270 that we constantly use around the mill for handling logs. A grapple rake is the preferred log handling implement.

If I were buying new, I would look at Kubota and Takeuchi.

Jerome Stanek
07-23-2018, 8:45 AM
I ran a Gelh skid steer that had the controls on the handles steer lift and dump. It was easier for me then the bobcat controls