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Posted by: Erika Green on March 31, 2016
This blog originally appeared at http://blog.bobcat.com/2016/02/the-basics-compact-loaders/.
Not that long ago, choices were limited when it came to jobsite tools. You might have had a shovel or a very large loader to choose from, but nothing much in between. Today, though, there’s a wide selection of innovative compact equipment that serves a variety of purposes and adds efficiency to construction projects. And whether you’re in the process of searching for a new purchase or trying to match an existing machine to a particular project, there are a few things to keep in mind.
Get familiar with the different types of loaders
There are four different types of loaders; each designed to provide varying levels of power, lifting capacity and mobility.
Think about the typical work conditions
Skid-steer and all-wheel steer loaders, because of their tires, have an advantage when it comes to mobility and wear on paved surfaces, making them the preferred choice for most demolition, renovation and snow removal applications.
Because of their increased contact area with the ground and superior traction, compact track loaders will dig and load more material in the same amount of time compared to their wheeled counterparts. When it comes soft, sandy ground or wet and muddy jobsites in most of North America, compact track loaders can add productivity and days or months to a typical contractor’s working year.
Figure our your lifting and digging needs
When it comes to lift arm design, most manufacturers offer a choice between loaders with a radius or vertical lift path.
Compare cost of ownership
If your work frequently takes you to existing developments or paved/improved surfaces, skid-steer loaders are your best choice. Not only do they offer a lower initial cost for the same size machine than compact track loaders, they also have lower long-term ownership costs. Under proper operation, rubber tracks tend to last about twice as long as tires, but are considerably more expensive.
Utilization — how you put your machine to work — is key with any compact loader, because the more you use it to fit your job applications and the more attachments you can put on it to handle a variety of jobs, the faster you’ll see a return on investment.
An advantage of owning the three types of compact loaders is that with the purchase or rental of several different attachments, your business can build a better utilization rate compared to operating and maintaining several different pieces of dedicated equipment.
In the construction sector, there are many attachments available to increase your ROI, but here are just a few:
Understanding the ins and outs of compact loaders — as well as the features and attachments best suited for you — can help you narrow down your choices and tailor a machine to your specific needs.
* Pricing subject to change at certain locations.
The documentation within this section provides general safety information and operating instructions by equipment type. Specific controls, functionality and operating instructions can vary by brand, model and year. It is up to you, the operator, to ensure your own safety. This documentation is secondary to the manufacturer’s instructions provided to you within the operations manual located on each machine. If an operations manual is not available on the machine, please contact our 24/7 Customer Care Center at 1-888-COMPACT. The manuals can also be viewed and downloaded from our website at the following address http://compactpowerrents.com/Safety/.
Product specifications and prices are subject to change without notice or obligation. The photographs and/or drawings in this document are for illustrative purposes only. Refer to the appropriate Operator’s Manual for instructions on the proper use of this equipment. Failure to follow the appropriate Operator's Manual when using our equipment or to otherwise act irresponsibly may result in serious injury or death.