Homesteading Forum banner
1 - 11 of 11 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
532 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
DH and I have decided that our farm could use a skidsteer loader. Now the question is where to find a good used one and what kind? We want one that is easily serviced and parts readily available. We've learned from the purchase of old JD and Massey tractors that it is important that parts be easily available for repairs.

We want to use it to help clear brush and occasionally move 900-1200 lb bales of hay. How much HP is needed and what "reach" is best for all around farm use. I've read that some are "tippy" and we want to avoid that if possible. We've listened to our neighbor tell us all of the many uses for this piece of equipment and think it would be much easier for use in the timber than either of our tractors.

So, I'm coming to the Homesteading folks to give us their best recommendation on what to buy and what problems to look for when looking at used loaders. There are many listed on Craigslist, but really how do you know its in good shape at a good fair price?:confused:
 

·
agmantoo
Joined
·
10,852 Posts
I will just share my limited experience with the one I have. I have a Canadian made Thomas that I bought new for a cheap price. It is 50 HP and will transport 1700 lbs according to the specs. Mine will dump over the side of a tandem axle dump truck. I have a trencher, a rotary mower and 3 different buckets and a set of forks for the machine. I find it a useful tool and I would not want to be without one. It is like having an assistant that is willing to work when you want to work. From my observation many of the skidsteers have Kubota engines and they are dependable. On a tire unit the tires are prone to go flat for various reasons so tires that are filled with a foam product or a machine that has no flat design tires would be a plus. I have never run a track unit but other than expense I could see merit it that design. Saying that these machines are tipsy is an understatement. Your pucker string will get overused when you first start using the machine. It is absolutely mandatory to carry any load low, do not forget that. For my use, I need a larger machine. I would like to have an 80 HP machine and I would test a track machine before making my mind up as the choice. My neighbors most use New Holland brand for farm use. The wider and the longer the wheel base the better the machine would be particularly for going on rough terrain such as the woods. They do not have much ground clearance and they will get stuck easier than you may think. I would want a shield for the open front area for the operator if I was going into the woods other than to cut firewood. People do get killed operating these units so you do need to be careful.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,441 Posts
If you want one that is easily repairable I would go with one of the older CASE uniloaders. They drive tires are not operated with hydraulic motors. The drive on a chain mechanism that if taken care of will withstand a lot of abuse.

Bob
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,163 Posts
Figure out what dealers you have locally and then buy one that they handle parts for.

THey're pretty useful but I wouldn't want to have anything to do with one in the woods.... don't know where that's coming from. No ground clearance like agmantoo said, most of them don't much like uneven ground or a lot of mud.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
866 Posts
keep in mind that the original smaller units where utility machines for small contractors, these is still a common use today for the 46- 55 hp use machines..... these machines are designed to transport and move in tight spots easier.....

sice the mid 90's larger unit are now available that will make the little d-21 dozers look silly... I use mine commercially and am on jobs for months not days, so tranportation is not a concern..... I personally will not own one less than 70 HP....

As to brands, gehl is my choice.....They are more money initially but they are commercial machines, Newholland is more a rental or farm type machine.... Parts are cheaper on the new holland, but they break more often.... keep in mind we use a skid steer like a small dozer, we destroy a bucket every 1000 hours, so you now we are pushing.... My oldest gehl is 4600 hours......I've changed the hoses, and rebuilt 1 plantetary assembly, replaced the drive chains and one hub assembly.... and it still looks and runs like new....

Buy the machine for what you need, if you are going to push it, buy an industrial grade machine, it will cost only 1/3 of a lighter machine in 5 years.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12 Posts
If you need to lift your round bales very high I would not go with one of these units. I will agree with everyone in that they are very usefull machines, but much of a load up high would be very dangerous.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,816 Posts
we have 5 185,s and 1 190 new hollands which we run hard,i mean very hard.We beat these things 90 to 110 hours a week 6 months a year then slow to a crawl of about 50 -60 hrs. the next 6 months ,they are the only machine that will take the abuse.We make our own buckets as like Red hogs we blow thru. them.We have no issues with lifting 2000 lbs with weights on the rear.The only issues we have are blown lines now and then but I can change any line in 5 mins. or less.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
543 Posts
Ours is rated for 1300 lds at 40 horse. Can pick up more but is tippy, doesn't bother me anymore, some days I spend more time on two wheels than four. As far as use in the timber you get one off gravel and concrete and the can't get out of their own way.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,816 Posts
Ours is rated for 1300 lds at 40 horse. Can pick up more but is tippy, doesn't bother me anymore, some days I spend more time on two wheels than four. As far as use in the timber you get one off gravel and concrete and the can't get out of their own way.
I hear ya Tad .Our buckets are 6' x 4'.we ride backward weelies all day long.When we do flip them over {mostly newbs}we just lower the boom flip er over on all 4s and are on our way.Once in a while we have to hook a chain to one and pull it out from under a truck.I don't tip anymore as I have been running one long enough to know when to drop the boom to equalize the weight.Good clean fun!!!!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
543 Posts
My wife came up to the farm and watched me stack baleage one day, it was a little on the wet side, she about had a heart attack. I told here you can't watch me or watch me more often to see how often it happens. Once you get the feel for them you know what you can and can't do. Never rolled one yet but anyone new to them should really get the feel for them before takeing on a big job.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,944 Posts
I like the Gehls. I have run Case, Bobcat, and Mustangs as well but with the t-handle controls a Gehl is a nimble machine and very stable. I've loaded big rounds with a small New Holland and was pretty scared the whole time. Check the load rating carefully.
 
1 - 11 of 11 Posts
Top