What is a Skid Steer Used for in Landscaping?

By Beacon Funding| May 22, 2024| 285 Views
What is a Skid Steer Used for in Landscaping?

When it comes to landscaping, accuracy, and flexibility are essential. There is one machine that is very trustworthy, and it is called the skid steer.

This useful equipment is ideal for a variety of earthmoving activities in the landscaping and hardscaping industries. They can drive through small locations that larger machines cannot. A skid steer has fixed-wheel (or tread) movement in a single direction. The wheel "skids" into the turn when the driver increases speed on one side of the vehicle to make a turn.

Skid steers are quite popular in landscaping and hardscaping projects because of their versatility. The load capacity of these pieces of equipment ranges from 800 pounds to more than two tons and yet, they move around with ease and are light, making them perfect for many tasks on the job site. They also have a variety of attachments for the machine's arms.

If you’re looking at prices for buying a skid steer for your business, this article can help you make a better decision by helping you get a clear understanding of what you can use a skid steer for when it comes to landscaping or hardscaping projects.

In this article…

  1. Understanding Your Skid Steer
  2. What is a Skid Steer Used For?
  3. How to Choose the Right Skid Steer for Your Landscaping Operation
  4. The Bottom Line

Understanding Your Skid Steer

A skid steer, also known as a skid loader, is a versatile piece of equipment that is widely used in many different industries.

Because of its adaptability, it may be used for anything from material handling and earthmoving to site preparation and upkeep, demonstrating its critical role in increasing production and operating efficiency in a variety of sectors.

They can swiftly transfer cargoes of rock or building materials, raise a tree into a landscaping site, and scoop up soil thanks to their compact form. The skid steer is just as useful for any landscaping project because of its many attachments.

Typically, it consists of components like:

  • Loader arms
  • Hydraulic system
  • Attachments
  • Operator cabin or platform
  • Engine

What Is a Skid Steer Used For?

One of the loader's most notable features is its broad range of skid steer attachments and accessories, which enable the machine to be used for a multitude of tasks.

A landscaping crew can use a skid steer to fulfill the tasks of many various pieces of equipment by simply swapping out the bucket attachment, which is a skid steer’s basic attachment. Traditionally, large items are lifted or moved by operators using the bucket of a skid steer.

Other landscaping-related tasks also include:

Clearing Snow

The bucket of skid steer can easily clear the snow off parking lots, sidewalks, alleys, and roads. Because of their small size compared to large plow trucks, a skid steer can clear snow in cramped spaces.


Tearing into soft topsoil is easy work for a skid steer and a bucket attachment with teeth. But if you need more specialized tasks, you can quickly swap the teethed bucket for an attachment and use an accessory like a ripper, trencher, tiller, or wheel saw.


Building custom elements like concrete walls, patios, fire pits, or driveways? If your hardscaping project requires building poured-in-place concrete, the skid steer is perfect. Skid steers can be modified with a surface miller or cement mixer in order to speed up work on building and construction projects.


Unlike a bulky and heavy tractor, a skid steer turns sharply in and around tight spaces and accomplishes more landscaping tasks quicker. Pallet forks and bale spears are best used for warehouse and agricultural labor, but a skid steer is a useful landscaping tool when equipped with a stump grinder, wood chipper, tree spade, and trench-digging accessories.

Trenching and digging

Lastly, a variety of common digging accessories, like the auger (which digs a precise hole like a corkscrew) and trench digger, are available.

How to Choose the Right Skid Steer for Your Landscaping Operation

Landscape contractors utilize skid steers and track loaders for various tasks, including lifting and hauling materials, digging holes for tree planting, trenching for irrigation, prepping soil, and sweeping. They are also useful in snow-clearing operations.

Investing in a skid steer or compact track loader offers numerous benefits for contractors.

Rated Operated Capacity

To choose the size class in which to compare the machines, start with this. It is crucial to realize that a machine's breakout force and lift force capabilities are unrelated to its rated operating capacity. For skid steers, the rated operating capacity is determined by deducting 50% from the machine's measured tipping load. Since there is no industry standard, the rated working capacity of rubber track loaders can be determined to be either 50% or 35% of the machine's tipping load.

Lift Style and Lift Path

To choose the right machine and lifting arrangement, consider the machine's primary function, such as truck loading or material placement. Skid steer loaders and rubber track loaders have two types: radial lift and vertical lift. Radial lift loaders move in an arc, providing strength, durability, and reach. Vertical lift linkages maintain a more vertical path, offering higher lifting heights, extended reach, increased dump angle, and higher operating capacity.

Engine Power

Engine power is crucial for evaluating a machine's performance, but other factors like hydraulic systems, weight, wheelbase, balance, and axle torque also impact it. Some manufacturers may need to increase engine power.

Hydraulic power

Hydraulic power, measured in hydraulic horsepower, is crucial for optimal work tool performance, especially in trenchers and cold planers that require a significant portion of the machine's total power.

Machine dimensions/operating weights

Dimensions of the machine, like its length, breadth, height, and weight, are also crucial factors. Customers sometimes have fewer alternatives for machines because of their transportation options and particular application requirements.

The Bottom Line

Landscaping businesses know the transformative power of skid steers. These versatile machines can boost productivity, reduce workload, and ultimately lead to happier clients. However, the high upfront cost of skid steers often creates a significant barrier for small businesses. Beacon Funding understands this challenge.

We offer fast and affordable skid steer financing specifically for landscapers. By financing your skid steer with us, you can acquire the equipment you need to elevate your business without using up your hard-earned cash. No matter your budget or needs, Beacon Funding can help you unlock the potential of a skid steer for your landscaping business.

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