The lowdown on Cat® skid steer loaders

Cat Skid Steer Loaders are a versatile machine suited to a broad range of applications. They come in a range of sizes and with multiple options depending on the intended use, which can make choosing the right skid steer loader a difficult task. It starts with understanding your needs.

Skid steer loaders come in a range of sizes and configurations. They are versatile when it comes to construction applications but knowing the possibilities and limitations of what a skid steer loader can do is key to making the right choice if you’re in the market.

Operating capacity will be key, with options ranging from 635kg to 1,680kg. Your Cat Skid Steer Loader choice also comes down to lift requirements – with vertical and radial lift options available. Then there are the various attachment options – if you’re looking for an all-rounder capable of taking multiple attachments, some models may be more suitable than others.

Furthermore, terrain is a key consideration – because that could even lead to weighing up a compact track loader vs skid steer loader or another Cat machine.

Nevertheless, there is much to be gained from adding a Cat skid steer loader to your fleet.

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lifting loads

It's all in the lift

There are two types of lift option available, and your skid steer loader operations will guide you in picking the right option and attachments to best suit your needs. Both options are available across all sizes in the Cat skid steer loader range.

  • Vertical lift: If you need to make high lifts with your skid steer loader, this is the option for you. Vertical lift models have a higher midpoint in the lift cycle as well, which helps to access areas that may be difficult with some other equipment.
  • Radial lift design: This is a simplified, more compact option with fewer internal moving parts. It is best for load carrying applications rather than high-lift requirements where you only need to lift a short distance from the ground to carry materials.
Skid Steer Loader Lift
get attached

Versatile range of skid steer loader attachments

When it comes to Cat attachments, there’s a broad selection to enable multiple applications. Whether you’re in the market for a mini skid steer loader, or have your eye on the largest skid steer loader in the Cat range, attachments can allow you to extend your service offerings. Smaller machines have a more limited range of suitable attachments, while larger models offer the widest selection. Start by defining your likely skid steer loader operations, then you can investigate the range.

Compare compact track and skid steer loaders

Although both are suited to many of the same types of application, there are some key considerations when it comes to settling the compact track loader vs skid steer loader argument.


Skid steer loaders are designed to work best on relatively smooth, even and firmer surfaces, while compact track loaders will be better suited to moving through mud, soft sand, rocky or uneven ground.


Running on tracks rather than wheels means a compact track loader provides a more stable ride and can handle sloped and uneven surfaces.


Rubber tracks wear more rapidly than tyres on hard surfaces and are typically more expensive to replace, so maintenance costs need to be considered in the total cost of ownership equation.


The upfront cost of a compact track loader is higher than a skid steer loader, and as described above, rubber track maintenance and repairs can add to overall cost of ownership.

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