Share |

Heavy Skid Steer

A skid-steer loader is a multifunctional machine, a real a “jack-of-all-trades.” This type of small excavator machine comes with various attachment options. Skid steer units can be used for many tasks and can be found on various types of jobsites. These units are used for tasks as diverse as landscaping a park to earthmoving on a building site to cleaning stalls in a barn. No matter the task at hand, skid-steers are always helping operators get the job well done.

A skid steer is a small machine powered by an engine, having a rigid-frame, with lift arms used to attach various tools or attachments that are labor-saving. Many manufacturers build their own versions of skid steers, including Terex, Bobcat, Kubota, Hyundai, Case, Komatsu, Caterpillar, Volvo, Gehl Company, JLG, JCB, John Deere, Eacker Neuson, LiuGong, New Holland, and others.

Skid-steers are typically four-wheel vehicles. Their wheels are mechanically locked in synchronization on each side, and can be driven independently. The wheels hold a fixed straight alignment and have no separate steering mechanism. By operating at different speeds the left and right wheel pairs the machine turns by skidding. The strong wheel bearings and extremely rigid frame prevent the torsional forces from damaging the machine.

The skid-steering machine is turned by generating differential velocity at its opposite sides. In the same way as for tracked vehicles, the high ground friction can rip up soft road surfaces. By using specially designed wheels such as the Mecanum wheel skid steers can be converted in low ground friction. Skid-steers have the particularity that they are capable of zero-radius turning. This makes them valuable for applications requiring a compact and agile loader because they are very maneuverable. Skid-steers can be equipped also with tracks replacing the wheels. Such a vehicle is called a multi terrain loader.

The lift arms in these machines are alongside the driver, unlike in a conventional front loader. The pivot points are placed right behind the driver’s shoulders. Modern skid loaders are equipped with fully enclosed cabs and other safety features in order to protect the operator. Same as for other front loaders, a skid steer can carry material in its bucket, push material from one location to another, or load material into a trailer or truck.

Size does matter, even if skid steers can be utilized in many different ways. For example, a smaller skid steer is not always the best choice for building a road. In different circumstances, the crew that usually needs to mill a few inches of asphalt off a road; would make better use of a full-size skid steer, but the same option wouldn’t be good for a homeowner who just need to use it for landscaping in his backyard garden.

Skid-steer loaders are classified and rated typically by their operating capacity (ROC). Here are the size classes according to Associated Equipment Manufacturers:

· 2,701 lbs. and above

· 2,201 to 2,700 lbs.

· 1,751 to 2,200 lbs.

· 1,601 to 1,750 lbs.

· 1,351 to 1,600 lbs.

· 1,251 to 1,350 lbs.

· Zero to 1,251 lbs.

For the construction industry, the most popular size is the 1,751- to 2,200-lb. ROC machines. The horsepower of the engine increases in direct proportion with the ROC increases between machines.

Skid steers and compact track loaders have their size and horsepower usually falling into one of the categories:

· Large frame = Over 2,200 lbs., over 70 hp

· Medium frame = 1,750-2,200 lbs., 50-70 hp

· Small frame = 1,750 lbs., under 50 hp

Each type and size of the skid steers has its own advantages and disadvantages, strengths and weaknesses. Their users need to understand how to choose the best size for the application.

For this purpose they need to ask the right questions, for example what’s their real need in power of the engine and the attachment options best for the jobsite. The best way to match a custom task with a skid steer is to ask these specific questions. Users need to find out as much as they can about their site and the specific of their task. The skid steer should be chosen according to the job is being put to. Users need to get a good idea of the dimensions of the site in order to not choose a machine that won’t fit within the dimensions of the jobsite. For this reason, jobsite dimensions are one of the greatest factors that need to be taken into consideration in order to fit the skid steer to the job. The class that may be used for the application is dictated most often by physical limitations of the work area.

The first front end loader with three wheels was invented by brothers Cyril and in 1957, in Minnesota. The Keller brothers designed and built the skid steer loader in order to help a farmer mechanize the process of cleaning turkey manure. The machine was compact and light, with its rear caster wheel. For this reason it was very functional and flexible in tasks, being also able to turn around within its own length. A skid steer can perform the same tasks as a conventional front-end loader and the vehicle became fast very popular at constructions sites as well as farms.

The rights to the Keller loader were purchased by the Melroe brothers, of Melroe Manufacturing Company in 1958. The company hired the Kellers to continue improving their invention. This partnership had as result designing the M-200 Melroe self-propelled loader which was introduced on the market at the end of 1958.The vehicle featured a rear caster wheel and two independent front-drive wheels as well as a 12.9-hp engine that gave it a 750-lb. lift capacity. Only two years later the company changed its design and replaced the caster wheel with a rear axle. The M-400 was introduced on the market as the first true skid-steer loader on four-wheels. This vehicle was powered by a 15.5-hp engine that provided as much as an 1100-lb. rated operating capacity. The M600 loader continued skid-steer development and improvement in the mid-1960s.

The conventional bucket can be replaced in many models of skid steers with a variety of specialized r attachments, most of them powered by the loader’s hydraulic system. Among them are included auger, angle broom, backhoe, pallet forks, hydraulic breaker, sweeper, mower, tree spade, snow blower, roller, grapple, trencher, cement mixer, and many more.

  1. No comments yet.
You must be logged in to post a comment.