A Compact Track Loader vs. Skid Steer: Which One Should You Choose?

2021 CATERPILLAR Compact Track Loader 299D3 XPS HIGH FLOW

When choosing construction heavy machinery, how do you know which ones to choose? Buying compact, powerful machinery might be complicated. Both skid steers and small track loaders have their benefits and limitations, so this is an important consideration when making your choice. Here are some things to think about when purchasing a machine.


Wheeled skid steers are often less expensive to rent or buy and require less maintenance than track loaders, though this varies depending on region and manufacturer. Skid steers are economical to operate and move because of their lightweight construction and miniature engines.

A compact track loader’s acquisition or rental cost is often higher than a tire loader since tracks are more expensive to replace with any industrial equipment parts. If a track loader is a suitable choice for your project, you need to invest extra funds for repairs and upkeep. Pro Quip offers construction equipment and components across Florida and other parts with different financing options for their customers.


Wheeled skid steers are best used on smooth pavement. Skid steer attachments are preferable to other heavy equipment if your work site is on paved ground. Wheels prevent the surface from becoming damaged and enable the machine to act swiftly over flat terrain. However, wheels are less effective on snow or damp surfaces, so you might want to use winter tires or wait for the location to check if the terrain is slick.

Unimproved land, uneven topography, and wet or slick work sites are all ideal conditions for compact tracks. It is possible to use a track loader in areas where a skid steer would become unstable, such as on soft mud or sand. This is because the device’s weight is distributed uniformly, and the tracks have a grip to keep it from sliding.


Skid steers are construction heavy machinery that can pivot nearly 360 degrees and turn on a dime, making them a breeze to operate in confined areas. A compact skid steer is an excellent choice when working in tight quarters.

Track loaders, like wheeled skid steers, offer similar turning capabilities due to their usage of fixed axles. In contrast to skid steers, they are often larger and more ponderous, limiting their usefulness in confined areas. Avoiding unnecessary track wear requires that these machines make three-point bends.


The gravity center of skid steers is higher than that of track loaders despite their small weight. Larger versions are still capable of heavy lifting, but their weight capacity may be lower than tracked alternatives. Due to their low friction, elevated materials can be challenging to push while using skid steer attachments.

Having tracks allows for more secure footing and more uniform body weight distribution. This improvement allows track loaders to lift and move greater weight while slipping. The additional horsepower available on some compact loaders compared to wheeled skid steers makes them more suitable for demanding work. Pro Quip can provide you with industrial equipment parts whenever needed.

Contact the Pros

For a CTL or skid steer parts, contact Pro Quip today. They can also help you choose the right heavy equipment for your business. Consider your job’s specifics before renting or buying a skid steer loader. Wheeled skid steers are more cost-effective for light work on level terrain, while compact track loaders excel on rough terrain and where more muscle is needed.

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