Understanding the Mechanics and Use of Skid Steers In Construction
4 mins read

Understanding the Mechanics and Use of Skid Steers In Construction

Skid steers are similar to excavators in many ways and at the same time entirely different. These heavy construction machines are sometimes referred to as skid loaders are used for a variety of purposes within the realm of the construction, forestry, farming and mining realms. However, just like most excavators, the primary use of this compact machine is often related to digging. 

Among the more unique characteristics of a skid steer is its level of manoeuvrability, lightweight and the machine’s arms that are able to accommodate a wide variety of different tools for the numerous construction or landscaping jobs that it is tasked with. The mobility of a skid steer which either come with tracks or wheels have front and back axles that synchronize movements automatically, as drivers operate each side of the wheels separately when needed (increasing the speed of the wheels on the right causing the machine to turn left) which allows the machine to work in tight spaces easily. 

The reason for this is simply because the wheels of a skid steer always remains straight – they do not turn which means that the turning bits are accomplished by accelerating or decelerating the wheels on either side causing them to ‘skid’ into directions. It is due to this reason that the machine is referred to as the “Skid Steer”. 

The main advantage of a skid steer is the level of extended tools or attachment options that it is able to accommodate allowing these heavy machines to perform a huge range of tasks within the scope of the construction industry – which again is similar to the excavator which is also a critical machine element given the range of tasks that these machines are capable of handling singularly. Most skid steers are fitted with the standard bucket attachment which may be swapped by crews to numerous other alternatives that transform the skid steer in a multitasking machine. 

The bucket (standard attachment of skid steers are generally used to move heavy debris from demolitions or construction material waste, clear snow and roads and even project sites. However, when push comes to shove, these machines are able to drop the bucket and latch on snow blades or blowers as their primary function and do a speedier job. Skid steers, again much like excavators are able to manage even excavation tasks given the right attachments such as rippers, trenchers, tillers or even wheel saws for forestry work. 

Other attachments that are often hitched unto these machines include stump grinders, wood chippers, tree spades and digging attachments which render these machines the perfect piece of machine for landscaping projects. Farmers also regularly obtain bobcat skid steers for hire in Melbourne as they also accommodate pallet forks for moving copious amounts of hay around farms, bale spears for warehouse related tasks and the fact that skid steers are available for hire on ad-hoc basis make these machines preferred equipment.

However, based on the tasks at hand, it is also important for hirers of these machines to ensure that the operators hired to operate these machines are competent with the task at hand and well versed with the safety guidelines associated with this heavy equipment. The safety guidelines differ according to the size of the machine and the type of attachment used and therefore it is important to keep operators up to date on these matters. 

Choosing the correct attachment is also another element that could make the difference between the success and failures of projects. Skid steers also come in various sizes and choosing the right size for the right task based on the environment is also another critical success factor.