Skid Steer loaders are not just for the construction industry. Any type of business that needs to lift or move heavy materials or equipment can benefit from investing in a skid steer loader. Skid steers are relatively small, compact, engine-powered movers that have a multiple types of arm attachments, allowing them to perform a variety of tasks. The versatility of skid steer loads makes them popular with landscapers, manufacturers, retailers, recyclers, farmers and a range of other industries. Uses for Skid Steers These heavy lifters can also be a hefty financial investment for your business, so before purchasing it is important that you have a full understanding of the duties you will need it to perform. Be sure to also consider the working conditions involved, such as harsh weather elements and the type of ground it will be operating on. Skid steers are somewhat customizable, so understanding the necessary tasks and working environment will help narrow down your search for the right machine. Multi-terrain skid steers have high-friction wheels and are designed for landscaping and other outdoor tasks. For indoor jobs (such as stocking crates) choose a normal skid steer with low ground-friction wheels for more fragile surfaces. Arm attachment options include: pallet forks, angle brooms, sweepers, movers, backhoes and more. Check that your attachment fits with the make and model of your skid steer before purchasing. Skid steers can perform zero-radius turning, allowing them to maneuver in tight spaces. These can also often times be used in place of larger more expensive excavators to perform the same jobs. Need to move products outside of your office, store or warehouse? Hire a heavy equipment transportation service to do it for you. Tips for Purchasing Once you have a clear vision of the duties you need your skid steer to perform, you can begin the shopping process. Skid steers can range in price anywhere from $5,000 used to more than $40,000 for the newest heavy-duty models. Because they are a significant investment, you want to be positive you are getting all of the capabilities for the best price. Take maintenance into consideration, and be sure you understand who will be responsible for repairs if needed. If you are buying a used skid steer, check for leaks, rust, or other indications of wear and tear. Also ask the dealer or seller for the vehicle's repair history. Take your skid steer loader for a test run before purchasing. Make sure you also check attachments for functionality, and be sure you have a clear understanding of the machine operations. Look for a skid steer equipment dealer that is in your area, as shipping costs will likely be lower and it will come in handy if it needs servicing or replacement parts in the future. Many dealers have used skid steer loaders for sale and also offer buyer financing and leasing options. Ask about the warranty on your skid steer loader if it’s new or used. Some dealers offer limited warranty, replacement product warranty, or refurbished product warranty. Keep in mind re-sale value, as some companies are more likely to hold their value over time. Skid steers can be useful pieces of equipment for lifting and transporting materials across distances. They are less expensive than their large construction counterparts, and are often capable of performing the same duties. Be sure to weigh your options before investing in a make and model, and that you are choosing one which can perform all of the duties necessary. If you’re purchasing a skid steer, you’ll also want to consider pallet jacks and aerial lifts.