Skid Steer Buying Guide

If you’re looking to buy a skid steer loader, it can feel a little overwhelming with all the things you need to consider– and because it’s a large investment, it’s worth doing a bit of research before blowing your hard earned cash on a vehicle that potentially won’t perform to the specifications required for your project.

In this short skid steer buying guide, we take a look at some of the things you should consider when purchasing a new or used steer.

Looking for the best skid steers for your construction project? Check out our range of construction equipment and skid steer sales.

Skid steer buying guide

The best skid steer to buy

Pick the right size

When it comes to buying a skid steer, the size of the vehicle should be the first thing to take into consideration. Large steers are perfect for lifting loading objects up onto vehicles with high sideboards, but not optimal for tight spaces. Similarly, a mini skid steer works wonderfully for small spaces with height restrictions – such as an underground parking space – but is not suitable for large construction projects that require a machine with a lot of horsepower.


Size and horsepower typically go hand in hand when it comes to skid steers, so if you have large projects that require a lot of power, a large skid steer will likely be the best skid steer to buy. Small skid steers used to have a lot less than horsepower than larger steers, but that has since changed in the last decade. Typically, a small skid steer can expect to have 50 horsepower whereas a large steer might have 70. Big horsepower is important for large jobs but also necessary for construction projects with difficult terrain as horsepower and torque will give a steer that much needed kick.

Are you using attachments?

If you plan on adding attachments to your skid steer, you’ll have to upgrade the size and horsepower to accommodate the attachments. Hydraulics and rated operating capacity play an important role in running attachments, so make sure to do your research about attachments before buying a skid steer.

Are you looking for a Bobcat attachment compatible skid steer for sale instead? The Wecan 650F is the machine for youOr, take a look at our digga attachments, perfect for a wide range of trades and jobs.

Do I need a vertical lift skid steer or a radial skid steer?

Vertical lift skid steers and radial skid steers are pretty similar – in fact they’re so similar, you wouldn’t know the difference by just looking at them. It’s only when it begins to raise that you can notice the difference, as the radial lift skid steer tends to swing out in arc before reaching it’s top height, whereas a vertical lift skid steer goes straight up.

Vertical lift skid steers are perfect for handling large material such as a large pallet of bricks or mounds of dirt. A radial lift skid steer is typically used for tougher projects like excavating and digging.

How will I be transporting my steer?

Often an afterthought, thinking about how you’ll transport your steer before you purchase one can save you a lot of time and stress in the long run. If you plan on transporting your steer between sites and already own a trailer, you’ll have to make sure your new loader fits into it. Otherwise, you’ll have to update your transportation setup as well.

We hope our skid steer buying guide has given you a good idea on the types of considerations you should make before purchasing a steer. If you’re working on a construction project or about to commence one and need some guidance on the best skid steers, please get in touch with one of our construction equipment experts.

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