El único motor (de gasolina o diésel) de esta máquina suele estar acoplado en la parte trasera, en el punto de unión entre los brazos de la cuchara y el chasis. Cuenta con un sistema hidráulico para la elevación de la cuchara o para permitir el montaje de otros accesorios. El chasis se desplaza sobre un sistema de orugas o de neumáticos, siendo más habitual este último con una distribución de cuatro neumáticos de igual diámetro repartidos equitativamente a los lados.[cita requerida]
Bobcat Company invented the world’s first skid-steer loader. Bobcat has celebrated a 50-year history of quality, performance and reliability. It’s no wonder they’re the world’s best selling skid-steer loader. When paired with a genuine Bobcat® attachment, each skid-steer model is a force to be reckoned with on your jobsite. And with more than a dozen models to choose from, you’ll find the right machine for any size job.
The Melroe brothers, of Melroe Manufacturing Company in Gwinner, North Dakota, purchased the rights to the Keller loader in 1958 and hired the Kellers to continue refining their invention. As a result of this partnership, the M-200 Melroe self-propelled loader was introduced at the end of 1958. It featured two independent front-drive wheels and a rear caster wheel, a 12.9 hp (9.6 kW) engine and a 750-pound (340 kg) lift capacity. Two years later they replaced the caster wheel with a rear axle and introduced the M-400, the first four-wheel, true skid-steer loader. The M-440 was powered by a 15.5 hp (11.6 kW) engine and had an 1,100-pound (500 kg) rated operating capacity. Skid-steer development continued into the mid-1960s with the M600 loader.
Zupancic says it's all about the size of the site and the use the skid steer is put to. "These construction and jobsite applications require a little more power and bucket size, but are still in a confined enough space that contractors cannot bring in the big machines," he explains. "Sometimes the operator doesn't need the extra muscle of a larger skid-steer loader and finds it more economical to have a 50- to 70-hp machine."