Skid-steer loaders are typically four-wheel vehicles with the wheels mechanically locked in synchronization on each side, and where the left-side drive wheels can be driven independently of the right-side drive wheels. The wheels typically have no separate steering mechanism and hold a fixed straight alignment on the body of the machine. Turning is accomplished by differential steering, in which the left and right wheel pairs are operated at different speeds, and the machine turns by skidding or dragging its fixed-orientation wheels across the ground. The extremely rigid frame and strong wheel bearings prevent the torsional forces caused by this dragging motion from damaging the machine. As with tracked vehicles, the high ground friction produced by skid steers can rip up soft or fragile road surfaces. They can be converted to low ground friction by using specially designed wheels such as the Mecanum wheel. Skid-steer loaders are capable of zero-radius, "pirouette" turning, which makes them extremely maneuverable and valuable for applications that require a compact, agile loader. Skid-steer loaders are sometimes equipped with tracks instead of the wheels, and such a vehicle is known as a multi-terrain loader.
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SSL (skid steer loader) refers to the standard wheeled machine. CTL (compact track loader) and MTL (multi-terrain loader) refer to different undercarriage designs. CTLs feature a steel embedded track and steel undercarriage components for maximum life in many applications. MTLs have a rubber track undercarriage that delivers lower ground pressure compared to an SSL and CTL so they don’t tear up the ground as badly.
A skid-steer loader can sometimes be used in place of a large excavator by digging a hole from the inside. The skid loader first digs a ramp leading to the edge of the desired excavation. It then uses the ramp to carry material out of the hole. The skid loader reshapes the ramp making it steeper and longer as the excavation deepens. This method is particularly useful for digging under a structure where overhead clearance does not allow for the boom of a large excavator, such as digging a basement under an existing house. Several companies make backhoe attachments for skid-steers. These are more effective for digging in a small area than the method above and can work in the same environments. Other applications may consist of transporting raw material around a job site, or assisting in the rough grading process.
Thanks to a simple selector-switch, Mecalac patent, the driver can turn his compact excavator into a compact loader and then back again, using the same commands. Loading efficiency is maximized, it is made by the skid bucket supported on the blade which increases the machine’s efficiency thanks to the force of the thrust transmitted directly from the chassis to the bucket. The operation is performed more accurately using the control lever. The patented Mecalac cylinder coupling function, allows to synchronize the boom cylinders for perfect movement coordination and precision. It makes driving and handling easy, regardless of whether the operator is a novice or more experienced. And, whether engaged or otherwise, they’re yet another powerful feature along for the ride.
"The livelihoods of our local businesses are being jeopardised by the thefts and they are forced to face the additional costs involved in repairing their premises. The populations served by the ATMs, which are often rural, are being denied access to cash facilities. Farmers and construction firms are suffering the loss of expensive equipment and machinery, a loss from which some will struggle to recover," he said.
I waited. “8-5, in the back, can I get 8-5?” I raised my card. “9, 9, can I get 9?” Overalls was on the ropes. “8-7-5, $8,750, what do you say? Nice Kubota. Very nice Kubota. 8-7-5.” Overalls bid, that son of a gun. “9, can I get a –” I shot my card up. “$9,500, up front, what do you say?” Overalls was shaking his head no. “With the backhoe, a great deal at 9-5, 9-5,” Overalls kept shaking no. He was out. “In the back, $9,000, going once, going twice, SOLD!”