Date: October 1, 2020
When it comes to choosing the right piece of compact equipment, there are many options. A skid steer (compact wheel-based machine), or a track loader (compact track-based machine), are designed for their size, manoeuvrability, and versatility of attachments. Further machine differences to be aware of include radial lift and vertical lift loader arms. The radial design is best suited for strong break out forces at ground level and work at mid-height. On the other hand, the vertical design is best suited for maximum height loading or pick and place applications.
Define the job at hand
The most critical thought process to be had early on is to clearly define the job at hand. This will drive your attachment selection, and from there can help narrow down the machine selection. Some basic questions we can ask include…
- What performance is required to run the necessary tools?
- What machine size is required to provide the right horsepower and hydraulic power to perform efficiently on the job?
Understand the job-site
Once the job is clearly defined, one must also evaluate the size of the site itself and the underfoot conditions. Skid steers, the wheel-based machine, are the best choice on hard surfaces and generally have lower owning and operating costs. Long distances to travel? Tires will get you there faster than a track machine. The compact track loader, a track-based machine, is the clear choice for traction on soft terrain and slopes. The Cat® steel embedded tracks will give you long, durable wear, and offer lower ground pressure to protect the work surface.
Understand the machine
It is always recommended to know your machine before you put it to work. Try to consult your dealer, and understand as much as you can about the machine you intend to use. Brochures, live demonstrations and test runs, can be highly useful. Unlike other manufacturers, the Cat® Compact Track Loader has a suspended undercarriage. As opposed to a fixed, bolted track frame, the suspended undercarriage allows for a smoother, faster ride, better material retention, and more surface contact with the ground. The secret lies in the Cat® torsion axles. These consist of four independent axles that allow the machine chassis and operator to be isolated from the track frame. The steel bar and rubber cords inside these axles dampen the vibrations, creating less wear and tear on the machine, better operator comfort, and extended track life.
Cat® Skid Steer Loaders and Cat® Compact Track Loaders are offered by Al-Bahar in the UAE, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman and Qatar. With Al-Bahar’s unmatched product support and services, we’re here to help minimise operational downtime and reduce machine servicing requirements. To know more about Cat® products please visit https://www.albahar.com/products/new/machines