Radial vs. Vertical Lifts: What to Know About Your Options for Skid Steer Rental in Abilene, TX

March 21, 2018 7:12 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

By understanding the differences between radial and vertical skid steer loaders (SSLs) and their unique advantages, you will better be able to select the correct machine for the job you have in mind.

Here’s a quick look at some of the advantages of these two different loader designs so you can have all of the information you need when looking for skid steer rental in Abilene, TX.

The advantages of radial skid steer loaders

Perhaps the three biggest advantages of a radial lift arm loader are strength, durability and stability. These machines are designed specifically for concrete and excavation contractors and for rental purposes.

These are simple, durable pieces of equipment. They don’t have many loading parts in the loader linkage, which is part of what makes them so durable. They also offer much better visibility because of this lower linkage amount, and tend to cost less than vertical loaders, making them a more economical option especially if you have more significant rental needs.

The radial lift arm design in a radial SSL generally provides greater lifting power at the ground level. At its mid-height it also offers you better forward reach, which is especially useful for backfilling (the processes of dumping material down farther into a trench while sitting farther away from the edge) and handling material placed on pallets at truck height.

Radial SSLs also weigh much less than vertical SSLs, which makes them easier to transport.

Finally, you’ll find that radial SSLs have more side-to-side stability thanks to a better weight distribution from front to back. This makes the machine much more capable of handling ground-engaging attachments as well as lighter attachments, such as empty pallet forks.

The advantages of vertical skid steer loaders

The versatility of vertical SSLs is what makes them so popular for rental applications. These machines are particularly beneficial for handling large attachments and heavy pallets, and also can enable you to choose smaller machines because of their much higher operational capacity—indeed, higher than that of your typical radial arm SSL.

Not only do vertical SSLs have a greater weight capacity, but they also have better lift height and balance. The balance in particular is influenced by the ability to maintain the load closer to the machine while lifting it up. Because the machine has much better balance, it also has a higher TIP/ROC.

The design of a vertical SSL also allows for greater lift height and reach at those higher lift heights. There are some particularly high-quality radials that can come close, but on average you’ll find vertical SSLs are the better option if you have particularly high lift heights. They have more parts and are more rear-heavy than radial SSLs, but are beneficial in other areas.

Both vertical and radial SSLs are capable of getting a wide variety of jobs done, so by carefully considering the types of jobs you’ll need to accomplish, you’ll have a better idea of which type of equipment to get when looking for skid steer rental in Abilene, TX.

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