Landscaping is backbreaking work, but with the right equipment, you can make your job much easier. Fencing, placing landscape rocks, installing sprinklers, grading, seeding, removing trees—the jobs you can be called on to do are nearly endless. A tractor can help you make your work much easier, but you need to make sure that you have the right tractor for your needs. A tractor with a bucket in the front, often referred to as a loader, will help to complete many tasks, but if you want a tractor with enough versatility to handle whatever job comes your way, you need a skid steer.
What Is a Skid Steer?
A skid steer is a small tractor, with an enclosed cab, and a set of hydraulic arms that connect to a bucket at the front. While the dimensions of a skid steer will vary from manufacturer to manufacturer, it should typically be no more than six feet long, six feet high, and four feet from wheel to wheel. Clearly, a skid steer is not meant to take on large tasks like digging the foundations for a skyscraper, but for landscaping tasks, you will be hard pressed to find a better tractor.
What Are the Benefits of a Skid Steer?
To understand why a skid steer is such a good tractor for landscaping projects, consider the following features:
1. Maneuverability: Small size helps to get your skid steer into a backyard where other tractors might not fit, but this is only the beginning of the skid steer's maneuverability. To operate a skid steer, you manipulate two levers. One lever controls the velocity and direction of the front and rear wheel on the left, and the other lever controls the wheels on the right. If you pull the left lever back and push the right lever forward, your tractor will spin 360 degrees right on the spot. This is what is known in the industry as a zero-turn radius. In other words, a skid steer is the perfect machine to navigate tight spaces.
2. Attachments: The standard attachment for a skid steer is a bucket, but you can remove the bucket and attach a whole host of attachments to outfit your skid steer for any number of tasks. You will find tree spades, stump grinders, pallet forks, seeders, power sheers, augers, land levelers, mowers, sweepers, and the list goes on. Thus, no matter what task you have at hand, you will most likely find a skid steer attachment to help you.
If you want a tractor that can go most anywhere and do most anything that a landscaper is called to do, you need a skid steer.