Compact Equipment

JAN 2019

Compact Equipment is a magazine dedicated to equipment owners and operators of small, nimble, tool-carrying construction, landscape and ag equipment — such as skid steers, mini excavators, compact tractors, generators compressors and beyond.

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www.compactequip.com 23 S kid steers and track loaders can be found in a multiplicity of markets. Farming. Road work. Landscaping. Snow removal. My personal favorite: Stevedoring — the loading and unloading of cargo ships — which can be done with a skid steer and a remote-control operating system in precarious aggregate-moving applications. The diversity of skid steers and track loaders comes from their ability to wield hundreds of different attachments (from breakers to brooms). Adding to that diversity is an expansive market of at least 16 major brands of skid steers and track loaders being sold in North America in 2019: ASV, Bobcat, Case, Cat, Gehl, JCB, IHIMER, John Deere, Kubota, LiuGong, Mustang, New Holland, Takeuchi, Volvo, Wacker Neuson and Yanmar. Most of these manufacturers offer large product lines. Two quick examples: Bobcat offers 12 skid steers and nine compact track loaders, and Mustang offers 10 skid steers and six track loaders. The market supports a wide variety of models that come with a wide swath of technologies and options (attachments, boom orientation, high-flow hydraulics, backup cameras, joystick controls, grade con- trol systems and onward). While the traditional wheeled skid steer has been a staple on jobsites for 60 years, today track loaders (engineered with a dedicated track undercar- riage) are more popular in sales. "In fact, sales for track loaders have surpassed skid steers three years in a row," explains Tim Boulds, product opera- tions manager with Kubota Construction. "For the third consecutive year, skid steer sales volume was lower than compact track loaders industry-wide, and that gap will grow this year. Gains on specific markets for compact track loaders over skid steers have been in residential construc- tion and agriculture. However, both markets still have a need for wheeled vehicles as we know wheeled units are a better choice for hard or aggressive surfaces. Also, there is a price gap for similarly sized wheel and track units, favor- ing the wheeled units." A variety of unit sizes, reputable brands, high technologies and operator amenities keep owners and operators coming back to both wheeled and tracked units. Let's learn why.

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