Working outdoors is rewarding—and it can also even be fun. Just like mowing grass or operating a forklift, driving a track loader can be an exciting part of work. What’s more, it also improves productivity. Track loaders are growing increasingly popular due to their multitude of functions. Many businesses have them, and most people who work for construction, landscaping, or agriculture companies could benefit from using one. Here you’ll learn all about track loaders—what are they, and how are they useful? Keep reading to find out.
What Is a Track Loader?
A track loader is similar to a skid steer. Shape-wise, they look the same, but some of their features are different. Track loaders are durable and come in multiple model types.
When it comes to the compact equipment industry, track loaders accounts for about 20 percent of all financed equipment. Through the past decade, they have grown in popularity despite costing more than skid steers.
Uses for Track Loaders
Track loaders are multipurpose pieces of equipment with many uses. Companies in many industries—including the farming, landscaping, and construction industries—use them to improve their operations. Track loaders are commonly used for:
- Unloading trucks
Benefits of a Track Loader
One great thing about track loaders is that they’re heavier and that they use tracks instead of tires. This makes them great for unideal conditions such as mud and rough terrain. Their weight gives them excellent traction, and they’re very efficient. Additional benefits include:
One of the main draws of track loaders is their incredible power-lifting abilities. Compact truck loaders typically have 35 percent tipping loads. They come with two lift type options: vertical lift path or radius lift path. Track loaders with vertical lift paths have more reach at their full height, and they can clear the sides of trucks. Track loaders with radius lift paths raise at an arch, so the operator can dump things over walls, unload trucks, and level foundations.
Ease of Maneuverability
The design of track loaders makes them easy to maneuver. Their rubber tracks are key elements, and part of what makes the tracks work so well is their traction combined with torque. This allows the equipment to move more efficiently, even on soft or wet ground conditions such as sand, mud, and soft grass. Furthermore, track loaders are compact in size, making them not only easy to maneuver but also easy to transport between job sites.
Ability To Pair with Multiple Attachments
An exciting aspect of operating a track loader is using its attachments. Depending on the brand and model, you may be able to choose from about 70 different attachments. These extra tools can help you grab difficult objects and hard-to-reach debris. Certain attachments are also better for grading or for digging certain types of holes. Common attachments for track loaders include:
- Rotary cutters
- Hydraulic breakers
How To Maintain Your Track Loader
To keep your compact equipment in good shape, you must clean it regularly. Remove mud and other debris from the tracks and loader. You can use a hose to wash off any remaining dirt. Also, check your tracks for cuts or punctures. If you notice signs of wear and tear, it may be time to replace one or both of your tracks. In this case, contact a rubber track supplier to find replacement parts.
The Difference Between Track Loaders and Skid Steers
All this talk about track loaders might make you wonder about skid steers. As we mentioned above, track loaders are similar to skid steers, but track loaders tend to cost more money—mainly due to the type of tracks used. Their price also tends to be higher due to the fact that they’re heavier with stabilizing undercarriages. Still, there are many differences between the two pieces of equipment that may sway you one way or the other when you’re trying to decide which one to purchase.
What Is a Skid Steer?
Skid steers are used in a plethora of different industries. As we said, skid steers are less expensive than track loaders, and they also cost less to maintain. Instead of rubber tracks, skid steers have four tires; when it comes to maintenance, you may only need to replace one tire at a time. The tires and the lightweight design make skid steers just as maneuverable as track loaders, and they also have vertical and radius lift paths.
Track Loaders vs. Skid Steers
Of course, there are some differences between the two pieces of equipment. A skid steer can move faster than a track loader. Track loaders typically only reach speeds of 9 miles per hour, while skid steers may go as fast as 12 miles per hour. Track loaders have become more popular than skid steers because they’re more secure and they perform the same operations. Furthermore, when you add attachments, track loaders may do even more than skid steers.
Reasons Businesses Should Use Track Loaders
Depending on your business, you may benefit from purchasing or renting a track loader. Consider your staff and the various jobs they do throughout the day. Do you employ maintenance or grounds crews? Do you work in agriculture? A track loader may help your workers perform key functions of the job more effectively and more productively. You’ll notice an instant improvement in quality and efficiency when you allow your staff to use a track loader.
Another reason you might be interested in investing in a track loader is to expand your business’s services. The more services your business offers, the more opportunities for growth your company may find. Since this equipment allows you to do so many different things, you can use it to promote additional services that go with your business. The attachments for track loaders give you the ability to truly expand how you use your equipment, giving you more opportunities to expand your services.
Using a track loader is a large responsibility. Whether you rent or buy, ensure you train whoever uses it most on proper care and operation. Maintaining your equipment will guarantee that it lasts. Still, your track loader will inevitably need parts replaced eventually—turn to Kitsap Tractor & Equipment for your replacement parts. We understand everything there is to know about track loaders, including what they are and how they’re useful. Call us today for parts and more.