The scoop on skid-steers and loaders

Dec. 28, 2000
This year has been exceptionally kind to those interested in buying or renting a skid-steer or wheel loader.
This year has been exceptionally kind to those interested in buying or renting a skid-steer or wheel loader. Based upon the number of new manufacturers who have recently introduced skid-steers, this piece of equipment appears to be one of the fastest selling pieces of machinery on the construction equipment market today. Caterpillar, Hyundai, John Deere and New Holland have either introduced an entire new line or enhanced their skid-steer lineup within the past year, proving that the competition for the skid-steer market has heated up.

The skid-steer’s larger counterpart, the wheel loader, has experienced a similar success story. Both Daewoo and John Deere have introduced new machines, while the Case Corp. introduced an entire line of wheel loaders.


Case Corp.
The 95XT skid-steer from Case Corp., Racine, Wis., was designed based upon interviews with operators in order to find out what they wanted and needed in a skid-steer.

From these interviews engineers came up with a machine that draws power from a Case 4T-390 turbo-charged engine, operates at a weight of 9,050 lb, and is compatible to over 75 attachments.

“Because our customers were redefining the way skid-steers were used, our machine was designed from the ground up,” said Lee Callaway, marketing manager for Case. “Our skid-steers are known for an outstanding engine life, durability as well as performance.”

It is also equipped with a ride control option that provides a smoother ride while minimizing bucket spillage.

Caterpillar Inc.
The North American introduction of a new line of skid-steer loaders was announced earlier this year by Caterpillar Inc., Peoria, Ill., joining Cat’s compact equipment line. Currently available are the 216 and 226 models with operating capacities of 1350 and 1500 lb.

According to the company, extensive research on skid-steer loader applications and results from a number of customer surveys led the company to focus on four specific areas of differentiation during the product development phase: ease of operation, performance, versatility, serviceability and customer support.

They are powered by direct injection, 4-cylinder diesel engines and offer 52 and 58 gross hp. The 216 has an operating weight of 5,642 lb compared to 5,733 lb on the 226, and a breakout force of 3,350 lb compared to 3,620 lb. All other specifications are virtually identical.

Daewoo Heavy Industries America Corp.
The Daewoo Heavy Industries America Corp., Suwanee, Ga., manufactures a large-frame skid-steer loader, model 1760XL, that features a 1,700-lb. operating load and a 4-cylinder, 62.4 hp diesel engine.

Built to withstand demanding applications, the machine’s wide stance and low center of gravity provide excellent stability when climbing hills or working on steep grades.

“The 1760XL is a deluxe model, meaning it is fully loaded so customers don’t have to spend time and money picking out all the extras,” said Kim Robinson, vice president of sales and marketing.

Gehl Co.
Avantage, a series of mini-loaders designed with the features of a large loader, are available in a choice of skid-steer or articulated-steering styles from the Gehl Co., West Bend, Wis.

The compact machines feature full-time four-wheel drive and are available with 14-hp diesel, 20-hp gas or diesel engines. Also, flat-faced dripless auxiliary hydraulic couplers and a quick-attach system make attachment changes quick and easy, according to the company.

Hyundai Construction Equipment
A new line of skid steer loaders has been introduced by Hyundai Construction Equipment, Elk Grove Village, Ill. The HSL610 and HSL810 models offer 44- and 71-hp while tip capacities are 2,650 and 3,570 lb.

Powered by Yanmar liquid cooled engines, the operating load is 1,320 lb for the HSL610 while operating at a weight of 5,180 lb. The operating load is 1,790 lb for the HSL 810 and it operates at a weight of 6,500 lb.

John Deere Commercial & Consumer Equipment Division
For the first time, John Deere Commercial & Consumer Equipment Division, Loudon, Tenn., designed and manufactured its own skid-steer.

The lineup consists of four new models, the 240, 250, 260 and 270, offers between 46- to 77-net hp and includes patent-pending vertical lift system that provides a longer reach and quicker, more precise loading and dumping, according to the company.

Melroe Co.
The Bobcat 863 skid-steer, manufactured by Fargo, N.D.-based Melroe Co., a unit of the Ingersoll-Rand Co., offers versatility, dependability and serviceability for the toughest applications. The 863 offers 1,900 lb of rated capacity, yet still maintains its compact size, according to the manufacturer.

At a height of 81.2 in., it is powered by a 4-cylinder Deutz turbo-charged diesel engine and operates up to 75 hp.

Mustang Manufacturing Co. Inc.
The 2070 Hi-Flow skid-steer produced by Mustang Manufacturing Co. Inc., Owatonna, Minn., comes standard with a 2,100-lb rated operating load, 75-hp turbo-charged diesel engine, 37-gpm Hi-Flow auxiliary hydraulics at 3000 psi and a load sensing auxiliary hydraulic system.

New Holland North America Inc.
Based on their customer’s demand for more operating capacity, New Holland North America Inc., New Holland, Pa., has added a new model to its line of skid-steers, the Lx985.

“The Lx985 offers greater lift capacity and dump height, lower center of gravity, longer wheelbase, higher groundspeed, and all translate to productivity,” said John Osarczuk.

The skid-steer has a 2,800-lb rated operating load capacity that can be extended to 3,200 lb when rear counterweights are added. Available with a 52-in. wheelbase, a 5-liter, 40-cylinder New Holland Genesis engine rated at 83 gross hp powers the machine.

Takeuchi Manufacturing Ltd.
A true rubber track loader, the TL 26 from Takeuchi Manufacturing Ltd., Buford, Ga., is capable of many of the same attributes as its skid-steer counterparts such as counter rotation, universal quick hitches and auxiliary hydraulics.

The rubber track undercarriage provides a stable platform for digging and loading in addition to the traction necessary to excavate while providing the flotation for working in slippery conditions or loose materials.

“Dealers and customers expressed the need for a full-featured compact track loader,” said Scott Rogers, general manager for Takeuchi.

Thomas Equipment Ltd.
Combining big machine strength and power with a high-flow hydraulic package results in the T-245 HDS skid-steer from Thomas Equipment Ltd., Mars Hill, Maine.

“Our T-245 HDS skid-steer is available with a 73.5 hp hydraulic high-flow option,” said Peter Mabee, product and marketing manager for Thomas Equipment.

The skid-steer has a 2,400-lb lifting capacity and an 83-net hp turbo-charged diesel engine. It has two 3-in. bucket cylinders designed to provide front-end strength and a breakout force of more than 5,200 lb.

Wheel loaders

Atlas ERS Inc.
A lineup consisting of eight compact wheel loaders from Atlas ERS Inc, West Seneca, N.Y., are now available in the U.S. Powered by Deutz engines, the wheel loaders begin with a horsepower rating of 27, service weight of 5,551 lb and a standard shovel capacity of .44 cu yd. The figures increase per model size, toping out with the 86E which offers 83 hp, weighs 14,770 lb and has a bucket size of 1 3/4 cu yd.

“Our wheel loader series includes a power and productivity sizing for almost every task,” said Steve Ake, sales manager for Atlas ERS.

Case Corp.
The Case Corp. has introduced the C-Series wheel loaders which include the 621C, 721C, 821C and 921C and are available with horsepower ranging from 130 to 248. The 621C and 721C are available in extended-reach models and tool-carrier configurations.

“These new machines possess the ability and power to perform both effectively and efficiently,” said Joel Borgardt, Case marketing manager.

Daewoo Heavy Industries America Corp.
Touted by the manufacturer as being compact, efficient and ideal for rental usage, residential construction and high performance assignments in limited space, the Mega 200-III from Daewoo Heavy Industries America Corp., Atlanta, has been penciled into the company’s wheel loader lineup.

It has a standard bucket capacity of 2.3 cu yd, a breakout force of 23,100 lb and is powered by a 353 cu in. turbo diesel engine producing 126 hp at 2,200 rpm.

John Deere Construction Equipment Co.
The 644H four-wheel drive wheel loader manufactured by John Deere Construction Equipment Co., Davenport, Iowa, is a replacement for the 644G loader.

Powered by a new emissions-certified Powertech 8.1 L engine with horsepower increased from 170 to 180, it features an auxiliary drive that propels a hydraulic cooling fan for the engine and transmission.

Available with an operating weight of 38,300 lb., the machine is equipped with a 4.25 cu yd bucket and has a breakout force of 34,430 lb.

Komatsu America International Co.
The WA420-3 Avance Plus wheel loader manufactured by Komatsu America International Co., Vernon Hills, Ill., is a 42,733 lb machine that has been improved to provide customers the ability to use it for several applications.

“The Avance Plus series includes a number of improvements that not only enhance the features and benefits for the end-user, but also improve the overall value and quality in our mid-size wheel loaders,” said Steven Moore, Komatsu product manager, wheel loaders.

Features include dual hydraulic speed system; full powershift automatic countershaft transmission; hydraulic steering system; and a 215-hp engine.