Mini skid steer shopping

JJM IV

Member
Location
Hampstead
I am shopping for a mini skid steer. Is a grapple the best route? Thinking grapple / bucket would be best all around attachment. Should I buy one small enough to fit in 36" gate? Vermeer 800 looks awesome but won't fit in gate.
 

Worthaug

Well-Known Member
Location
North Cakilaki
I am shopping for a mini skid steer. Is a grapple the best route? Thinking grapple / bucket would be best all around attachment. Should I buy one small enough to fit in 36" gate? Vermeer 800 looks awesome but won't fit in gate.

Ditch Witch has the best lineup in the industry. Don’t go with anything other than a Branch Manager grapple.


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flyingsquirrel25

Well-Known Member
Location
South East, PA
@Worthaug is correct DW has a very nice selection of models to fit almost any need. 36” isn’t necessarily a requirement, our Thomas skid steer on wheels was 37” and we put that thing everywhere. Our new DW is 42” and I haven’t found a spot yet that we haven’t found a way into. Branch manager is an absolute must, but I would also pick up a set of forks for larger wood that the grapple can’t get a grip on. Anything over 30” or so our forks go on, it’s just not worth fighting with or risking dropping a piece. A root grapple is nice to have for rakings, and crappy brush piles but our branch manager easily gets used ten times as much as the root grapple.
 

southsoundtree

Well-Known Member
Location
Olympia, WA
I'm looking into buying the BMG bolt-on, loose debris scoops. I wish I bought those over a bucket. $899 plus shipping on their website, I believe.

I get use out of the bucket, and am glad to have it, all the same.

Hindsight.

I've had my mini three years or so. I still laugh almost every day I use it, thinking how easy the day will be compared to the 'old-fashioned way'.

You'll love it.
 

colb

Well-Known Member
Location
Florida
I am shopping for a mini skid steer. Is a grapple the best route? Thinking grapple / bucket would be best all around attachment. Should I buy one small enough to fit in 36" gate? Vermeer 800 looks awesome but won't fit in gate.

@Worthaug is correct about the minis. For 36" access, get a new sk1050, or used sk650/sk755. There are advantages to either in terms of tip weight, tier 4 issues, and cost.

Is there a reason you do not want a wheeled loader instead? They are better than skid steers in many cases. Check out the BME/Giant from Branch Manager. Slightly more $, less impact, higher hinge point, bigger tip weight, faster.
 

southsoundtree

Well-Known Member
Location
Olympia, WA
A mini can be more maneuverable, shorter height (load in my chip box, and I duck under stuff)/ length (I can get into some really, really tight spots), and zero turning radius, but an articulated loader is much stronger and better on lawns, while somewhat comparable in weight. The telescopic boom adds a lot to the equation. Speed is much better on wheel loaders.
 

monkeylove

Well-Known Member
Location
Roslyn, Pa.
I just got the Toro 323 std wheeled (42 wide). You can get a narrow tire setup to be 35-37 wide. Dirt bucket, grapple bucket, BMG grapple. Definitely want pallet forks next. A lot will depend how your work setup and what else you might do with the mini. They are really used in other professions too, lol.

If I was only using it for tree work then probably buy 1st BMG, 2nd Pallet forks.

@$13,000 for the Dingo, not as much machine as others but much less cash also.
 

flyingsquirrel25

Well-Known Member
Location
South East, PA
@Worthaug is correct about the minis. For 36" access, get a new sk1050, or used sk650/sk755. There are advantages to either in terms of tip weight, tier 4 issues, and cost.

Is there a reason you do not want a wheeled loader instead? They are better than skid steers in many cases. Check out the BME/Giant from Branch Manager. Slightly more $, less impact, higher hinge point, bigger tip weight, faster.

The sk1050 would have to be set up with the narrow tracks to be 36”. I would not recommend them for tree care. The wide track can cause indents enough when it’s damp, especially when you get some weight hanging off the front.
 

flyingsquirrel25

Well-Known Member
Location
South East, PA
But, the SK1050 with standard tracks IS highly recommended for tree care.
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Absolutely! I know I love mine. We are now setting up so it goes everywhere with us... no mater what! I think it would give the wheel loaders a run for their money in capacity, speed and yard damage (or lack there of).
The reason we want to take it everywhere is last week we had walk ups twice that we could handle that day... if we had the machine but it was at home. Ended up running back (fairly close) both times to retrieve it and complete the daily bonus!
 

TCtreeswinger

Well-Known Member
I just got the Toro 323 std wheeled (42 wide). You can get a narrow tire setup to be 35-37 wide. Dirt bucket, grapple bucket, BMG grapple. Definitely want pallet forks next. A lot will depend how your work setup and what else you might do with the mini. They are really used in other professions too, lol.

If I was only using it for tree work then probably buy 1st BMG, 2nd Pallet forks.

@$13,000 for the Dingo, not as much machine as others but much less cash also.


You paid 13k new?
 

colb

Well-Known Member
Location
Florida
So, I was just talking with my local ditch witch branch this afternoon (my unit's alternator swing bracket busted...). Apparently, the larger the sk unit, the lower the ground pressure, going from 750 to 1500 series...

The compact 1050 gets its mysterious tip weight gains from steel bricks added to the inside underside of the 850 frame. The weights can be retrofitted onto hightrack units from late model 752s, onwards, giving them similar increases in tip weight.

Additionally, the 1050 has a slight increase in gpm.

I have a narrow track 650 that originally came with wide tracks. In my urban market, the garden gate access is amazing, and the tracks can dig in in bad ways if I'm not on top of it.
 

monkeylove

Well-Known Member
Location
Roslyn, Pa.
I would agree with both guys above even on a wheeled unit. I can tear up a damp lawn in no time even with wheels. Narrow tires only makes the ground pressure worse and the machine less stable. Turf tires might be better on lawns but they are pointless in muddy conditions. Buy what makes sense for your business and then buy 10-20 ground mats of some sort.
 

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