Skid Steer Tracks Accessories: Spacers, the Final Frontier

Do your skid steer tracks fit right? The original skid steer loader had a set of wheels that allowed the machine to turn on a dime, so the little machine was an instant hit. That is, until people started driving the things willy-nilly into any and every kind of terrain. In really gooey mud, loose sand and some unpacked gravel, the skid steer spins those wheels, no matter how deep the tread.

It turns out that a skid steer with dedicated skid steer tracks will give more traction over a wide range of terrain, but the cost of maintenance for all of those moving parts can be up to four dollars per hour more than a wheeled machine.

That’s why the best solution for getting the most traction for the least amount of money is to fit rubber skid steer tracks to a wheeled skid steer loader. Rubber skid steer tracks offer a truly enhanced tracking experience over the standard skid steer wheel-set. They still allow for the perfect pivoting that skid steer loaders are famous for, but in wet, grainy sand — everything but the steepest, slickest goo that the earth and the weather can dish out — rubber tracks are life-savers. They can also be used in all of the residential areas that steel skid steer tracks can not: they are harmless to sidewalks and drives, and perform even better than stock wheels on grassy areas as the weight of the machine is distributed over a larger contact area.

The only problem seems to occur when it comes time to fit skid steer tracks to the myriad sizes of skid steer machines available. The new rubber tracks may rub against the skid steer frame, or come into contact with the boom, stopping it from lowering correctly.

The correct wheel spacers are the answer and they are available to you. Some skid steer owners are lucky enough to have off-set wheels and gain the clearance they need by flipping each wheel around. Do that, and you will off-set your tires enough to allow you to run skid steer tracks without the need for spacers. However, machines with centerline wheels (wheels centered on their rims) don’t allow you to flip the wheels around and gain a few inches of additional clearances.

However, there must be sufficient space between the skid steer tracks and the skid steer frame, and the boom must not touch the tracks in its lowest position. It is crucial for most attachments to fully engage with the ground surface. Interesting how something small like wheel spacers can totally transform your skid steer loader.

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Skid Steer Accessories Review: Bobcat Hydraulic Block Replacement

Skid steer accessories are usually only seen as add-ons, designed to make skid steer loaders more comfortable or safer. Cab enclosures, radios, lights, skid steer tracks. But no one thinks of the other skid steer accessories that keep a skid loader running.

As the world of skid steer loaders gets bigger and better and more complicated, so do the skid steer attachments that can be swapped on or off, depending on the job at hand. Moving from one type of bucket to another, for instance, is really no big deal. But adding a backhoe attachment, though, could amount to a completely different story.

For the most part, the evolution of skid steer accessories and attachments has kept hydraulics requirements uncomplicated. But some of the more ambitious inventions on the market are enormous, or awkward, or both, and have necessitated the creation of some skid steer accessories to make them work. The hydraulic connection block is one of those accessories.

The hydraulic connection block (or coupler) is a skid steer- or attachment-mounted junction box that helps get hydraulic fluid to the remotest portion of the tool, without diminishing power. It allows for larger and more complex skid steer attachments to be manipulated by the operator with an auxiliary set of controls, or an outboard power source. The connection block negates the need for long hydraulic lines that could easily get damaged or tangled when surrounded by construction or landscaping materials and debris. These connection block skid steer accessories also makes it easy to switch between the most complex and the simplest of tools.

The Saturn Bobcat replacement hydraulic block is special because it is an incredibly adaptable and dependable replacement for the Bobcat brand skid steer accessories, but it costs a lot less, and offers the same, if not better, performance in the field. Although these hydraulic block skid steer accessories have few moving parts, as the main connection points for every attachment, they are subject to wear and tear. Factory fittings can demand a premium, and if they wear out frequently, it can be a costly endeavor. The Saturn Bobcat replacement has simple, inexpensive fittings that work. And the pressure valve is easy to operate when it comes time to release or engage the lines.

Sometimes it takes something made poorly to bring a better product to the table. The Saturn replacement coupling block makes the choice a no-brainer. As skid steer attachments get more and more complex, it’s good to have some simply obvious solutions with some simple skid steer accessories.

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Skid Steer Attachments Are Plug-And-Play

Thankfully, skid steer attachments are plug-and-play. The way things used to be several years ago, every time a skid steer loader operator wanted to use a new attachment, there was a proprietary way of attaching the tool to the machine. With the EZ Mount skid steer attachments system, there is a universal attachment plate that accepts a growing number of skid steer attachments.

The EZ Mount mounting plate is a heavy-duty steel reusable attachment plate with optional couplers for hydraulic systems as well as connecting mechanisms for all of these skid steer attachments:

  • The 8 Foot Boom: This boom is intended to handle heavy trusses when building roofs for buildings, but it is also incredibly useful for hoisting other things as needed. It extends straight up and is rated for 1000 pounds. The 8 foot boom connect to the EZ Mount plate via 8 bolts that are included in the package.
  • The Auger Head: Auger skid steer attachments seem like a single-use tool, but are incredibly versatile. The auger can be used to place precise holes in the earth for fence posts, deck and pole barn footers. But there are hundreds of ways that landscapers andf construction crews can make use of this attachment. The EZ Mount just makes it that much quicker to access.
  • The Log Splitter: The log splitter attachment is one of those skid steer attachments that instantly goes into the “back-saver” category. Like scoops, buckets, and concrete breakers, the log splitter will make short work of cord after cord of fallen tree, without your ever raising an axe. It attaches easily to the EZ Mount.
  • The Salt and Seed Spreader: This attachment is special in that it is one that does double duty through the change of seasons. From broadcasting sand and salt in the Winter to keep walkways and driveways safe, to seeding new lawns come Spring, it’s great to know that this skid steer attachment will be accommodated by the EZ Mount.
  • 3 Point Adapter: This ingenious device makes tractor-only attachments available for the skid steer. By integrating the 3 Point Adapter with the EZ Mount System, a whole new world opens up to the skid steer owner. Farm equipment formerly relegated to tractor operation is now easy to switch in and out.

The EZ Mount System does what its name implies: makes myriad skid steer attachments easy to mount and use.

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Bobcat Equipment Review: Clearing Mower Attachments

This piece of Bobcat equipment has been called “the toughest brush clearing device available anywhere!” The QA-60 Brush Cutter is a very tough piece of Bobcat equipment. It is designed to push over small trees and brush and maul and devour them. It is a mower that will make you revered and respected in the mowing community. (Okay, maybe that’s a bit much, but you get the idea.)

Seriously, if you are looking for a 60 inch-wide mower for the gnarliest brush clearing operations, this piece of Bobcat equipment will faithfully pull its weight and get the job done. Whether you are trying to clean out a previously unused portion of a piece of land, or you have specific aspirations to turn an overgrown parcel into a commercial construction endeavor, the QA-60 has all of the features to prepare for the project.

The cutter width on this Bobcat equipment is a full 5 feet across. Inside of that five-foot deck span, the QA-60 will clear anything up to 5 inches in diameter. With a tall brush guard/gatherer on the front, this piece of Bobcat equipment is also a full 4 feet tall and weighs in at 1,500 pounds.

There is absolutely no mild or thin steel used in the construction of the QA-60. Rather, the overall make-up of this mower is from T-1 high strength steel. The double blade below the deck is the same and features a fully reversible blade system for maximum usability. All of this special construction does not mean that this Bobcat equipment is hard to use; it comes with a standard quick-attach skid steer mounting plate.

With its high-rise front intake bumper, the QA-60 is able to open wide and bring down those five-inch-diameter trees and bushes. This skid steer equipment has been specifically created to annihilate scrub trees and other trash vegetation that gets in the way of using the land for a dramatic improvement project.

And all you really need is your Bobcat and the QA-60 mower deck. If you need any other Bobcat equipment along the way, your Bobcat skid steer loader will accept hundreds of other useful attachments. So, after the land is cleared, you can use your Bobcat to start bringing in building materials and digging foundations and roads.

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How Do I Choose Between Different Skid Steer Tracks?

Skid steer tracks help make your skid steer loader more grippy, turning a wheeled loader into a miniature go-anywhere armored personnel carrier.

Otherwise, despite its amazing capabilities and its phenomenal turning radius and drivability, the skid steer loader does have a few problems with wheel slippage in some conditions: most in super-thick mud, loose sand and loose gravel.

That’s why somebody along the way invented temporary skid steer tracks that can be applied over those wheels. They are referred to as OTT (over the tire) tracks, as they are not built on to the skid steer loaders. There are a few different kinds of OTT skid steer tracks, and each set has its high and low points.

Rubber and Urethane Tracks. Rubber or urethane skid steer tracks have a number of excellent qualities. They definitely improve traction, which is the obvious reason people buy them. They are not as aggressive as some, but these tracks also offer such a smooth ride, there is no need to remove them for inside work (like in a warehouse). And they are soft enough that they will not harm driveways or lawns.

Steel Tracks and Cleats. Steel skid steer tracks and cleats turn the skid steer loader into a dirt chewing monster. They will yank your skid steer out of anything. Thick mud and clay, sand, gravel — they always seem to find grip. That’s also the only drawback to these reticulated steel bars wrapped around skid steer wheels. They can also cut into things like walkways, driveways, streets and lawns that homeowners prefer to keep intact.

Pricing skid steer tracks can sometimes be confusing. Outfits with higher prices will tell buyers that their quality is superior, but often inflated prices simply mean the fact that there are several people between the source and the end-user that are trying to get a piece of the profit.

We at Skid Steer Solutions.com think this kind of scalping is ridiculous. We were tired of seeing unreasonably high prices because everyone wanted to have their fingers in the customers pockets. So we starting having our own skid steer tracks molded and produced directly, to make prices more reasonable for our customers.

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Skid Steer Accessories Review: The Terra-Step

Your skid steer accessories can keep you safe on the job, even on some of the most basic levels of skid steer-dom.

From time to time, you need to climb up on your loader and check a load you are carrying, or you need to secure a bolt on top of the cab. The skid steer is not a jungle gym, but it does require the operator to climb around a bit.

Imagine it’s a nice, sunny Monday, and your skid steer is in need of a little routine maintenance. You’ve just hosed it down to get rid of the previous week’s mud. You see that there’s a tree branch stuck in the roof of the cab. Climbing up on smooth-lipped bucket attachment, you take a step onto the skid steer boom. A little hydraulic oil and the water from the hose-down cause you to go down hard. Later, while scraping gravel out of your elbow, you wonder, “Why doesn’t this thing have grippy steps built into it?”

It can. The eTerra Terra-Steps are useful, elegant skid steer accessories that 1) just plain work, 2) are quite nice to look at, 3) are made well, and 4) can keep you from seriously injuring yourself. Each Terra-Step is just over four pounds of beautiful cast aluminum with stainless steel bolts and serious boot-gripping tread. If you have a few of these indispensable skid steer accessories, you can tap them into all of the spots that you normally need to climb on your skid steer loader. These skid steer accessories are an inexpensive solution to a potentially hazardous situation.

It would be a perfect set of skid steer accessories to have attached to each side of a set of pallet forks for instance. Any load could be easily checked and secured using the Terra-step skid steer accessories. And having a set of Terra-steps on either side of the skid steer attachment you use most could help you or anyone who operates your skid steer enter and exit the machine easily and safely.

Terra-step skid steer accessories come with bolts (but no nuts), and can easily be secured to any attachment. Give them a try if you want to play it safe while making your job easier.

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