As a NAHETS PR representative I continually come across news that relates to the heavy equipment industry, but that doesn’t necessarily get much ink unless it has a heavy editorial spin. I came across this article about the difference between skid steers and compact wheel loaders. The interesting thing about the article is not necessarily the statement of differences, but rather the fact that each piece of equipment was tested on five different tasks to best assess the qualities of the skid steer and compact wheel loader.
The article in its entirety can be found at http://www.forconstructionpros.com/print/Equipment-Today/Featured-Content/Skid-Steer-or-Compact-Wheel-Loader/5FCP4742
The five tasks put to the test: truck loading, fork operation, digging a hole, auger operation, and grapple operation. Four professional equipment operators put the skid steer and compact wheel loader to the test, and came to several conclusions.
Many preferred the skid steer for maneuverability and visibility to the bucket cutting edge when digging a hole. However, the breakout force and bucket capacity of the wheel loader made it a comparable machine for the task.
The skid steer proved maneuverable and capable of loading a dump truck, but the compact wheel loader provided better visibility. The wheel loader places attachments further away from the operator, which can be a disadvantage in certain circumstances.
When lifting a pallet from a flatbed trailer, most operators preferred the visibility to the forks provided by the skid steer. The wheel loader proved to be a good choice in situations where ground disturbance is an issue.
Both pieces of equipment proved capable and efficient in most circumstances, easily performing the tasks described in the article.