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"Bobcat" is a term often used to refer to the whole class of skid steer loaders. Most sellers know the customer is talking about a skid steer that comes from any one of eight to ten reputable manufacturers. While the Bobcat Company likely appreciates the reference, using the incorrect term could cause someone who wants to know how to buy a skid steer to be pigeonholed into one brand. Using generic terms such as “skid steer” or “skid steer loader” is probably a better idea. 

Skid loaders are among the most versatile construction equipment pieces one can buy. Many industries find skid steer loaders to be valuable. The range of attachments that can be easily switched, the maneuverability and compact size are reasons for the choice. For muddy, slick conditions they can be fitted with tracks. Industries that find a skid steer useful are recycling, general construction, manufacturing, and landscaping.

The term “skid steer” explains how the vehicle travels. A car changes direction by angling the front wheels. Skid steer loaders turn by driving wheels from one side while the other side’s wheels are stopped. Pivoting around the stopped wheels and “skidding” allows the length of the side steers to be completely turned around. 

When purchasing a skid steer the primary consideration is the physical size. Small spaces, garages, and gates, that the skid steer needs to fit through, need to be measured. The measurements are crucial. The typical range of the skid steer’s width is three to six feet. Six and seven feet heights are typical. Knowing height and width limitations helps to narrow choices.

The second consideration is how high a loader has to lift. If a dump truck needing to be filled is nine-foot high, the chosen model has to be of the appropriated dumping height. The height to the hinge pin is found by measuring the distance between the bucket and the loader arms. Small models measure close to eight feet. The largest models are over 12 feet.

Capacity must be considered but is not as important as the other two. Depending on the job requirement, some flexibility is allowable. The lifting capacity increases as the size of the skid steer increases. If the primary consideration is tight place access, carrying capacity that is slightly less than desired may have to be settled upon.

The main skid steer tire options are pneumatic tires or solid rubber tires. Pneumatic tires are hollow rubber tires that are filled with polyurethane foam or air. Air-filled tires are the least expensive. They provide the smoothest ride on uneven or bumpy surfaces. There is always a pending risk of getting a flat.

Pneumatic tires that have been filled with foam are flat resistant. They are more expensive. A $400 price tag for each tire is not usual. Foam-filled tires are heavier that tires filled with air. The additional weight puts strain on the transmission that could cause possible breakdowns.

Solid rubber tires give toughest ride. There are some advantages, however, the tires are usually thinner and there are not weight problems. Solid rubber tires will not go flat.

When the choices are narrowed down to the size needed to meet one’s criteria, comfort, visibility, and maintenance should be tried out and evaluated. The seat should be comfortable, the controls easy to reach, and it should be easy to get in and out of the vehicle. Accidents are reduced and work speed increased with good vision. The bucket’s edge should be seen from the seat and there should be reasonable visibility to the sides. The hydraulic pump and engine should be easy to access for maintenance purposes. The recommended schedule for service should be evaluated for feasibility. 

Here are some how to buy tips when purchasing a skid steer loader from eBay retailers or the like. Internet sites offer a range of loaders at reasonable skid street prices. A free account is necessary to bid or make purchases. One can be quickly and easily by registering on the eBay site. A physical and email address are all that are needed. Registration allows one to find sellers near his or her area. That may be important when buying heavy equipment. Local pick-up may be the only offer, as opposed to shipping. Using the Advanced Search feature, enter a related item term. Examples might be “skid steer attachments” or “Bobcat skid steer loaders.” Parameters can be used to whittle down the search results that appear. Specific criteria like skid street prices, shipping options, or seller locations can be selected.

Expensive items like skid steer loaders may be best located by shopping through eBay stores. Suppliers and dealers from the world over host eBay stores that virtually display all their stock. Hundreds of stores can be visited without leaving home.

Purchases made with qualifying methods have coverage under the eBay Buyer Protection feature. If the purchased item does not arrive or varies from what was advertised on the listing, a case can be filed with eBay. The matter will be investigated. If the matter is ruled in the buyer’s favor, the entire amount that includes the shipping costs must be refunded by the seller.