The economy is picking up, and contractors are going to work and looking to make pragmatic choices with respect to heavy equipment rentals. Renting smaller equipment cuts down on costs. Two of the more popular choices for smaller equipment rentals include skid-steers and compact track loaders. In this blog we look at some of the differences between skid-steers and track loaders, and discuss how to choose the right one for your construction job.
Let’s see how these compact movers stack up. Both offer flexibility and productivity. Both the skid-steer and the compact track loader offer enormous amounts of versatility because they share the same attachments. Attachments include the general-purpose bucket, dozer blades, snapper claws, augers, brooms, and more. Industrial demolition contractors will want to take special care in selecting attachments that will prove handy for ripping apart building materials.
It is important to note that the performance of these vehicles differs according to the surface that they are used on. The skid steer does better on hard surfaces such as concrete and rock. Due to excessive track wear, compact track loaders are not recommended for road construction or demolition projects. On the other hand, compact track loaders do better on uneven ground, and they offer better stability on slopes than skid-steer loaders. Skid-steers operate better on level, even surfaces, they but also are extremely maneuverable, making them useful in tight spaces.
Compact Construction Equipment: Tracks vs. Tires
Whether to opt for tracks or tires—that’s a question faced by all building and demolition contractors. Portland’s landscape enthusiasts would point out that tracks tend to do less damage to terrain, because the weight of the heavy equipment vehicle is distributed evenly. Tracks offer low ground pressure, they and can handle sensitive landscapes, especially mud, snow, and wet terrain. Tires are preferable for working on pavement and concrete, as tracks can easily become damaged on hard surfaces.
Choosing the Right Equipment
Contractors have a lot to consider when selecting the right equipment to match the needs of the job. You need to make sure that the equipment you are selecting is powerful enough and maneuverable enough to do the job right. The balance you’re aiming to strike is between versatility and size. Landscaping, excavating, and moving large amounts of dirt will require more engine and measured power. If the focus is heavy lifting, than concentrating on the machine’s lift load and the rated operating capacity (ROC) is better.
Care must be taken in selecting the right equipment for the job especially if you are moving large quantities of heavy material. The size of the bucket and loader, miles per hour, and boom speeds must be considered. For large jobs bigger is better, but the disadvantages to choosing larger equipment include towing limitations, as well as jobsite space limitations. Some residential properties have difficult access points restricting the use of larger equipment.
Thinking About the Future
Think long-term about the equipment you will use for future projects as your construction business grows. You don’t need the biggest and largest piece of equipment, but invest in a piece of equipment that will let you tackle bigger projects. Use leftover money to equip that machine with the features that make it as productive as possible given your set of needs now, and in the future.
[photo by: Ron Zack on Flickr via CC License]