Is A Skid Steer Loader Better With Tracks Or Wheels?

Wacker SW28 Skid Loader

Skid steer loaders, also called skid steers or bobcats, are small engines that are used on various construction sites. On a building site, skid steers can move soil, dig holes, help landscape gardens, clean stalls on a farm, and do other tasks. Skid steers that have tracks are often referred to as compact track loaders. Each type of skid steer is suited to different jobs and job sites. You may be wondering which is better on a skid steer: tracks or wheels. 

Wheels Work Best on Even Ground

Skid steers with wheels are the best choice for even, hard ground. They do not like being overly challenged. These machines are best used on paved surfaces, concrete areas, and landscaped sites. For this reason, you’ll usually see skid steers with wheels on renovation and extension sites rather than new construction sites. Using a skid steer with tracks on these surfaces wastes the extra traction.

Additionally, skid steers with tracks are slower to move on a developed ground than versions with wheels, and wheeled skid steers are more efficient on flat ground. Tracks also wear out more quickly on hard surfaces. A skid steer with tracks needs to regularly replace its tracks, bogey wheels, sprockets, and other components. Over hard surfaces, such as pavers or concrete, these parts wear out more quickly. The longer the distance your skid steer covers, the greater the wear. Skid steers with wheels are an economical choice for these job sites.

Tracks Are Suitable For Difficult Terrain

Although wheels excel in ideal, flat conditions, tracks thrive in challenging conditions. Snowy, muddy, and sandy surfaces are no match for skid steers with tracks. They can also handle wet and uneven surfaces that wheels can’t. With tracks, skid steers can go where wheels cannot, because their weight is dispersed over a larger surface area. Their stability is improved by this. A skid steer with tracks will not simply move over challenging terrain. In less than perfect conditions, they can be easily maneuvered. With a skid steer with tracks, you can steer through narrow clearings between trees, for example.

You can boost productivity on the job site with a skid steer with tracks that can handle difficult terrain. Skid steers with tracks do not need to wait for a wet site to dry or for winter snow to melt. They are more than capable of handling any challenge. Wheeled skid steers come with snow tires. However, they don’t perform as well as the tracks. The wheels can, however, make your skid steer with wheels more useful in the winter.

Tracks Can Work In Any Condition

While tracks do their best work on difficult terrain, they can also work on the flat, even ground wheels like. In contrast, skid steers with wheels can’t work safely on challenging terrain. Having skid steers with wheels makes them a better investment for some builders. People who rent skid steers don’t have to worry about choosing a versatile machine. They can simply rent the right skid steer for any given project.

Tracks Suit Bulldozing and Dig Jobs

The skid steer with tracks can better handle digging and bulldozing jobs than the skid steer with wheels. Due to their greater traction than wheels, tracks can push through soft or muddy soil more effectively. Tracks have a larger surface area in contact with the ground. These tasks can also be performed by skid steers with wheels, because both machines use the same attachments. Typical skid steer attachments include buckets, bulldozer blades, mulchers, trenchers, augers, levelers, snowblowers, and box rakes.

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