We asked experts from three leading equipment manufacturers: “What’s one thing tree care professionals should keep in mind when looking to upgrade their mini skid steer?”

Here’s what they had to say:

Austin Bonnema
Commercial Business Manager/ Vermeer

The operating specs and performance of mini skid steers have only improved over time. Companies are continuing to launch what the market is after: more lift capacity and horsepower in the same small footprint. When looking to upgrade, tree care professionals should take into consideration the type of work they’re performing and how versatile the machine can be in different ground conditions. When considering a new mini skid steer, customers should look at specs such as the hydraulic flow capabilities and lift and tip capacity. This will give them an idea of what types of attachments can be used to finish the job. Another feature to keep in mind is whether or not the machine is equipped with a universal mounting plate. This gives the operator the convenience to work on various jobsites with the same machine. The last consideration should be overall fuel usage within their fleet. There are a variety of gas and diesel options in the market today, which can help make it more convenient to keep the fuel type consistent.

Jukka Lyly-Yrjanainen
President/Avant Tecno USA

Avant articulated loaders are popular among tree care professionals as a small and powerful workforce, offering a full line of tree handling attachments. The grapple, log grab, stump grinder, grapple bucket and tree shear attachments provide versatility, eliminating the work of multiple workers to save time and money. Tree care professionals report saving one day on every job due to Avant’s low impact on grass, eliminating the cleanup time or turf repair. Avant is powerful enough to lift heavy logs, yet compact enough to fit in tight nooks, small yards and narrow pathways. Additionally, 360-degree visibility from the operator station allows for safe and efficient work for the crew.

Jason Showers
Boxer Product Manager/ Morbark

When looking to upgrade a mini skid steer, there are several considerations. Some will depend on the length of time between upgrades. If it’s been several years since the last equipment upgrade, there’s likely many technology improvements that may be of benefit. The user should know and understand the job they’re trying to accomplish, which will aid tremendously in the search for a new piece of equipment. Take an assessment of current equipment and formulate a wish list for a new unit, looking at items such as lift height, dump height, operating capacity and auxiliary hydraulic flows. It may also benefit users to envision what they plan to do with the machine a few years into the future. This ensures the purchase will fit any needs until it’s time for the next upgrade.