The Difference Between a Track Loader and a Skid Steer

October 15, 2022 12:00 am Published by Leave your thoughts

Loaders have been used since the 1950s and have remained consistent, high selling, and reliable in the construction industry. If you’re in the market for a loader, you may wonder what the difference is between track loaders and skid steer loaders. They might have some similarities in maneuverability, compactness, and hydraulic motor, but they have some significant differences worth discussing. This blog post will highlight the major differences to help you make a more informed choice.


The primary difference between track loaders and skid steer loaders is how they move. Skid steer loaders have wheels, while compact track loaders have tracks. Skid steer loaders are more maneuverable than track loaders due to their wheels and are designed to move quickly and make tighter turns, while track loaders are designed to work on slopes and other challenging terrains. They’re also designed to provide more traction for pushing loads.

Tires and Tracks

Track loaders don’t have wheels but tracks. Wheels often limit the type of terrain an automobile can use. On the other hand, skid steer tires are likely to perform best and last the longest working on smooth, hard, rocky, or concrete surfaces.


Compact track loaders are more stable in unstable ground conditions such as snow, sand, and mud. They’re also slower than skid steers. However, their superior traction makes them more stable, especially if you’re working on undeveloped, sloppy, or rough terrain. Track loaders are easier on delicate and soft ground. Skid steers offer maneuverability but can tear up some surfaces.


Track loaders generally have more comfort features than skid steers. They feature climate control, closed cabs, and cushier seats designed for a specific target market. Track loader manufacturers tend to provide these comfort features to smaller track loaders often bought by owner-operators. Track loader rental companies and other dealers focus on comfort as they have higher selling points than those without. However, track loaders and skid steers continue to evolve as larger skid steers catch up with these comfort features.


Skid steers cost less compared to similar track loaders. They are also cheaper to maintain as their tires tend to last longer than tracks. Tracks used in track loaders can also be expensive to replace when damaged or worn out. Since they weigh less, skid steers are easier and cheaper to transport. They’re also fuel efficient.


Track loaders offer more hydraulic flow and horsepower than their skid steer counterparts. They can carry heavier loads without causing more ground pressure. Skid steers tend to compact soil more than track loaders as they exert 30-35 PSI compared to the 4-5 PSI exerted by track loaders. In simple terms, skid steers perform well in good conditions, while compact track loaders thrive on sensitive, diverse ground conditions.

Are you looking for a reliable, efficient, and affordable track loader or skid steer rental company in Abilene, TX? V-Bar Equipment Company is the answer. We rely on our excellent team of professionals to rent and sell heavy equipment and respond to any questions you may have. Stop by today or give us a call at (866) 508-6608.

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