Compact Track Loaders vs. Skid Steer Loaders

November 22, 2017 3:50 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

Skid steers have been the most reliable, most ubiquitous tractors on industrial job sites for a long time, and for good reason. However, it is perceived to have some limitations in rougher terrains. The compact track loader was specifically designed to overcome these perceived limitations while also doing the same work with the same speed and agility that the skid steers are famous for. So how do they stack up against each other? And if you are choosing one, which one should you choose—compact track loader or skid steer rental in Abilene, TX?

Before making your decision, you should consider the following.

Where are you working?

By far the most important thing to consider when deliberating between a skid steer and a compact track loader is where the tractor will be working. Skid steers excel on concrete and asphalt and other such hard surfaces, whereas the track loaders are really designed for more uneven terrain and their tracks get worn down much faster on hard surfaces.

Track loaders can handle deep mud, wet sand and snow with no problem. The skid steer can do this with a skilled operator, but it has problems with punctured tires in these conditions.


Let’s look at the features of each tractor and how they compare with each other. Track loaders have more comfortable interiors, and better ride stabilization then skid steers. Skid steers, meanwhile, are lighter, meaning that if you have to haul them out to a job site, that’s a much easier task with a skid steer. They’re also extremely popular, which means that it’s easy to find mechanics who know how to work on them, which can make the cost of ownership more manageable in the long term. Both machines are agile and extremely usable. They can lift a lot of weight, there are variety of attachments out there for them, and they can stop and turn as fluidly as a dancer. These are both powerful get-things-done machines

Cost and hidden costs

Up front, the skid steer is considerably more affordable than a track loader, both at purchase and for a skid steer rental in Abilene, TX. Also, the tracks on a track loader can be quite expensive to replace, especially when compared to a skid steer’s tires. However, the tracks get hundreds and hundreds more hours before they need to be replaced when compared to the skid steer’s tires.

Both are highly reliable if you maintain them regularly. As mentioned before, a mechanic for a skid steer might be a little less expensive, given the expertise people have built up by working on them over the years, and this can represent an additional savings over time.

Which to choose?

When it comes down to it, these are both superior machines, each with their own considerable strengths. For nine jobs out of ten, the skid steer is probably the right choice. However, if you’re going to be doing a lot of work in the snow, muddy conditions or sand, the track loader is probably the way for you to go. It will end up requiring less maintenance in the long run, just because it’s meant for those conditions and the skid steer is not, and you’re less likely to ever face conditions that are too harsh for you to work in, and therefore cause you downtime.

V-Bar Equipment Company has used and new skid steers and offers skid steer rental in Abilene, TX. If you and your company are wondering about whether skid steers or track loaders are right for the work you do, or are interested in skid steer rental in Abilene, TX, call us today, and we’ll help get you on the right track. You’ll find that we’re a highly knowledgeable and reliable provider of parts and equipment, which is why businesses and people all over the area rely on us for all their skid steer rental and industrial equipment needs.

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