Choosing Between Mini Excavators & Skid Steers

Mini Excavators & Skid Steers: What is the Difference?

When undertaking large-scale tasks such as working on construction sites and clearing areas of land, a common question is whether to choose a mini excavator or a skid steer. This is because choosing the right compact equipment is of utmost importance. It can help you save money and time, enhance efficiency, and ensure high productivity. Although both machines are versatile, it helps to understand their applications so you can make an informed decision. Read on to learn more about skid steers and mini excavators, including their uses.

What is a Mini Excavator?

Mini excavators are compactly designed wheeled or tracked machines used for many applications. They typically weigh around 3000 to 15000 pounds and are equipped with 25 – 35 horsepower engines. The main advantage of mini excavators is their power-to-size ratio. Despite their compact size, these machines can accomplish big jobs efficiently. They are the right choice for delicate surfaces because of low ground pressure. They are also perfect for unstable, stable, rough, and smooth terrains. Moreover, the entire cab rotates, allowing the operator a complete view of the site. Bobcat, Caterpillar, Gehl, New Holland, Yanmar, and Kubota are a few prominent brands of mini excavators.

Mini Excavator Applications

You can use this equipment for several activities, including trenching, digging, demolition, rock breaking, backfilling, grading, levelling, drilling, mulching, dumping, and tree removal. Thus, these machines are great for forestry, landscaping, agriculture, maintenance and utility work, and construction.

Common Mini Excavator Attachments

Having the following mini excavator attachments can help boost overall productivity and profitability:

  • Hydraulic Breakers – are typically used for rocks, asphalt, and concrete demolition.
  • Grading and Ditching Buckets – perfect for sloping, levelling, and backfilling. Their compact design makes them an excellent choice for smaller areas.
  • Root Rakes – are powerful mini excavator attachments ideal for brush removal, root extraction, gathering demolition debris, sorting materials, and land clearing.

What is a Skid Steer Loader?

This machine is versatile and an all-around option. It has a rigid frame and lift arms that you can connect to many attachments. It is widely preferred for working on construction sites for many activities, such as pulling, pushing, digging, lifting, and hauling materials. This compact multipurpose equipment is popular for its agility, size, and maneuverability in tight spaces. Moreover, it is also flexible and lightweight and available in small, medium, and large frames. An excellent feature of the skid steer is the possibility of controlling the speed of each side’s wheels separately. You can operate them with wheels or tracks.

Skid Steer Applications

Skid steer loaders are typically used for construction projects of greater scales. They can perform several tasks like grading, lifting, and transporting materials, excavation, demolition, drilling, and snow and debris removal. These machines are best for agriculture, landscaping, mining, forestry, ground maintenance, and construction.

Common Skid Steer Attachments

The widely used attachments for skid steers are as follows:

  • Pallet Forks – are excellent for lifting, stacking, and moving materials and heavy things like lumber.
  • Augers – are known for their power and efficiency in digging different grounds with minimum damage.
  • Buckets – are great for scooping soil and other materials and lifting and transporting them. Some popular options are buckets with digging teeth, snow buckets, dump buckets, scrap grapple buckets, and concrete slab lifter and funnel buckets.
  • Grapples – are an excellent addition to any fleet for movier materials quickly. You can also use them to level the soil and crush small debris.

Which is Better – A Mini Excavator or A Skid Steer?

Compact equipment requires significant investment, which is why if you need to choose between buying a skid steer or a mini excavator, consider the following factors:

Purpose and Application

Skid steers are perfect for small-scale construction, projects in residential environments, and tasks that require stacking or spreading out things. Since they are lightweight, they reduce the risk of damage to the site. Moreover, these machines are easy to operate and maneuver.

However, a mini excavator would be ideal if your project involves excavation. As the name indicates, they are most suitable for digging large holes quickly and efficiently. In addition, they offer more reach and can help move materials to extended lengths and heights.

Are You a Contractor?

As a contractor, versatility should be your priority so you can take up all types of work with compact equipment. Moreover, commercial work requires several attachments for different environments. It helps to know that although mini excavators and skid steer loaders are versatile and compatible with various accessories, the latter would be better for accomplishing several tasks.

Should You Choose Both?

If you are building a new fleet or expanding it, it is beneficial to have mini excavators and skid steers in your business. These machines can serve several purposes with different attachments and help you accomplish many tasks effectively.

Explore Our High-Quality Mini Excavator Attachments

Mini Excavators & Skid Steers: What is the Difference?

Tag Equipment is a well-known name for construction equipment sales and attachment distribution in Canada. We offer parts and accessories for various skid steer and mini excavator makes and models to meet varied needs. Our lineup also includes high-grade mini excavator tracks and skid steer tires. We have the knowledge and experience to help you choose the right products for your requirements. Our high-quality attachments are reasonably priced to ensure the utmost satisfaction.

We cater to the following excavator brands:

John Deere, CAT, Bobcat, JCB, ASV, Case, Gehl, Hitachi, Kubota, Komatsu, Kobelco, Yanmar, and Takeuchi

We carry mini excavator attachments by many industry-leading brands, including the following:

Gannon, DemaRock, Paladin, NM Excavator, Baumalight

For more information about attachments and parts for mini excavators and their pricing, give us a call at 416-716-5850. You could also fill out our online contact form. One of our experts will assist you and ensure you have a smooth experience.