Are Skid Steers or Tractors More Efficient for Farming?

Posted on: October 14, 2020

Tractors are the classic equipment staple for many farms. The skid steer is also standard farm equipment, and has become more popular in the agricultural industry. When comparing a skid steer versus a tractor for farms, which results in more efficient operations?

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Advantages of a Skid Steer for Farm Use

While skid steers are associated with construction sites, the earliest model was invented to clean two-story turkey barns. Since then, skid steers have become one of the most versatile pieces of heavy equipment available.

This versatility makes skid steers a good choice for farm work. Due to its many attachments, farmers can use a skid steer to clear land, mow grass, sweep debris, dig trenches or perform property maintenance. Just a few skid steer attachment options include:

  • Augers
  • Bale grabs
  • Grapple buckets
  • Grapple forks
  • Rakes
  • Mulchers
  • Brushcutters
  • Mowers
  • Manure scrapers and buckets
  • Material handling arms
  • Pallet Forks

Skid steer attachments are easy to switch out and may require only one person to do so, which is beneficial for farmers who don’t have many employees. Many of these attachments are not available for tractors, making skid steers the only option for some tasks.

When comparing a farm tractor versus a skid steer, the lack of a required regeneration process is another benefit that skid steers have. Many skid steers have cooling packs that prevent overheating, so farmers can work longer without stopping. This leads to an efficient workday, which is valuable to large operations and small farms alike.

For farmland in mountainous regions or otherwise rugged terrain, a skid steer model with tracks can navigate much easier than a wheeled compact tractor. Due to their compactness, skid steers have a small turning radius and can fit into tight spaces.

Drawbacks of a Skid Steer

While skid steers are a great addition to a farm equipment fleet, they cannot completely replace tractors due to these disadvantages:

  • Lack of drawbar, so they cannot haul loads
  • Minimal ground clearance
  • Require firm ground

Benefits of a Tractor on the Farm

Tractors have been popular in agriculture, and for good reason. Tractors have a wide range of options in horsepower, which is ideal for heavy-duty jobs. This power makes tractors great for driving on rough terrains and pulling heavy loads, made possible by cast-iron front axles.

Drawbacks of Tractors

There are a few downsides of farm tractors, including that they require regeneration, which can lead to downtime. They also have fewer application options compared to skid steers.

Skid Steer vs. Tractor: The Bottom Line

After comparing a skid steer versus a compact tractor, it’s clear that each has its place in farm work. Farmers who need a powerful machine or hauling capabilities should add a tractor to their fleet. For farmers who can work with lower horsepower, a skid steer is an effective piece of equipment to have on the farm due to its adaptability and compactness.

Browse Our Skid Steers and Other Heavy Equipment Today

Carolina Cat has many skid steers and compact track loaders for sale that will boost the productivity of your agricultural operation. Browse our heavy equipment selection to see what we have. For more information, complete our contact form today.

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