That is a very good question, and a question that I hear most every day, however, there are a lot of factors that are involved in answering this question correctly.
Is there a specific amount of weight you need to lift?
What ground surface will the skid steer be used on?
What will you be using the skid steer loader for?
What attachments will you want to use on your skid steer loader?
You must answer the questions above, before I can answer the question of which skid steer you should buy.
All skid steer loaders have a tipping capacity and a operating capacity, these sound similar, but are not the same. The tipping capacity is determined by raising the bucket to full extension and adding weight until the skid steer loader tips over from the weight. If it tips over when 4000 lbs is put on the bucket, the skid steer has a 4000 lb tipping capacity. The operating capacity is determined by most skid steer company's by using 50% of the tipping capacity, so a skid steer with a 4000 lb tipping capacity would have a 2000 lb operating capacity. A 2000 lb operating capacity is the amount of weight the company feels is safe to lift to full extension and drive with on a flat surface. Most machines will lift more than their operating capacity, normally about 75% of their tipping capacity or in this case 3000 lbs. And it is safe to lift a weight that is heavier than the operating capacity as long as you carry the load no more than six inches from the ground until you reach your unloading destination. The surface you are using the skid steer on is very important, if you are carrying 2000 lbs at full bucket extension and run over a bump at a high speed of travel, it is possible you would tip over frontward's. Always wear your seatbelt for safety.
Another reason I need to know what ground surface you will be using your skid steer loader on is to properly answer the question of what skid steer you need as far as a wheel or tire skid steer or a rubber track or multi=terrain loader. Rubber track skid steer loaders are my choice under most circumstances, why? because a rubber track skid steer loader has more square inches of ground contact, making it more stable, and giving the machine more pushing power than a tire skid steer loader. A rubber track skid steer loader with a 50 hp engine can out push a tire skid steer loader with a 50 hp engine because it has more square inches of ground contact, so the tracks do not slip as easily while pushing. A tire skid steer loader may have a 80 hp engine and only be able to use 40 hp of the engine before the tires spin, when the tires start to spin, it does not matter if you have a 100 hp engine, you are done. this fact, and the stability of the rubber track skid steer loader makes the rubber track machine better for most situations, including muddy conditions or deep sandy soil. When is a tire skid steer loader better? A tire skid steer loader is better at the time of purchase because they are less expensive, another time a tire skid steer loader is better, is when it comes time to replace the tires, tires are less expensive than rubber tracks. Keep in mind that rubber tracks can last longer than tires on regular farm soil making the cost about the same. When is it a bad idea to buy a rubber track skid steer loader? You do not want to buy a rubber track skid steer loader if you have extremely rocky surface conditions, because the rocks will wear out the rubber tracks very fast, making it expensive to operate. When is it wise to buy a rubber track skid steer loader? It is wise under most all other conditions. To sum up, track machines are better in every way, unless you have rocky ground conditions that will wear out the tracks quickly. What are some negatives about rubber track skid steers? They are more expensive when you purchase them, and can have repair cost that a tire machine will not have. This brings us to the rubber track undercarriage. When buying a rubber track skid steer loader, inspect the undercarriage very close for extreme wear or damage, undercarriage repair can be very expensive, the undercarriage is the mechanism that is located on the inside of the rubber track that drives the skid steer loader. We at Texas Skid Steer carefully inspect every aspect of a skid steer loader before offering it for sale to our customers. Some of the things we look for while inspecting a skid steer loader are cracks anywhere on the machine, but especially on the lifting booms. We also look for any type of leaks, leaks can seem minor, but can turn into a major repair expense, so we check all skid steer loaders for leaks very carefully. We look for leaks, cracks, welds, and we also check the condition of the engine. We want a engine to be smoke free after the the skid steer has been started for a few seconds. We do not like to see blow by, excessive blow by, or pressure coming from the oil cap, can indicate excessive engine wear.We at Texas Skid Steer check every skid steer loader for problems very carefully. If a skid steer loader has problems, we will repair them or we will sell them through a auction such as Ritchie Brothers. We will not sell the public a skid steer loader that has problems. When you buy a skid steer loader from Texas Skid Steer you can rest assured that you will be getting a skid steer loader that has been fully checked out. You can trust Texas Skid Steer because we have a reputation to keep, a good reputation, that has taken many years to build, we are not going to jeopardize our good reputation buy selling a skid steer loader with problems. If you have specific used Skid Steer questions, please give us a call at 817-668-1018