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Articulated Vs Skid Steer Loaders

When comparing compact loaders there are many different variations in the market but the two main differences in design are ‘skid steer’ and ‘articulated steer’.

In this post, John Burton of Central Platform Services Ltd shares the reasons why articulated mini loaders are fast becoming the first choice for many of those working in ground maintenance, forestry, equestrian and farming.

The Benefits of Articulated Loaders

Speed & Agility

An articulated loader is much quicker and more agile than a skid steer loader when operating in areas with obstacles, corners, tree’s, paths, and columns. This helps to improve worker efficiency by minimising the time spent on the job.

Avant loaders are agile.
Compact loaders are agile.

Better For The Landscape

The Avant articulated loaders we have for sale and hire feature a free wheel switch so that when steering, the wheels simply roll over the ground. In contrast, a skid steer loader will skid (as the name suggests), quickly tearing up loose gravel, grass, and soft surfaces.

As a result, compact loaders are kinder to the landscape – a feature that is especially important in ground maintenance scenarios, helping to keep the landscape in top condition.

Size & Weight

Usually, an articulated compact loader of the same lift capacity as a skid steer will be a more compact, narrower, and lighter. This feature enables the full range of Avant loaders to be legally transported on a standard plant trailer.

Avant loaders are narrow and can fit through tight spaces.

Tyre Wear

By the very nature of skid steering, tyre wear is inevitable. A skid steer loader has approximately 6 times more tyre wear than a centre steer compact loader.

To add to this, a skid steer will often leave unsightly black marks on the ground – a side effect that is undesirable in many settings.

Fuel Consumption

Mainly due to smooth drive operations, an articulated front wheel loader has much better performance and consumes much less fuel than a skid steer. This not only helps to save you money, but it also helps to improve your environmental credentials.

Compact loaders from Avant are also available in electric with a choice of lead acid or Lithium batteries with fast 1hr charges.

Telescopic Booms

The Avant 400 series and above comes as standard with a telescopic boom. Whilst this has many uses, a key benefit here is that the boom allows you to load a lorry with pallets from one side whereas a skid steer would have to load from both sides.

The telescopic boom is also useful for hay stacking and piling sand, horse manure or building debris.

Telescopic booms offer more options.

Driver Access

Where skid steers are usually front entry and exit over the bucket or forks, an articulated loader is side entry. This is a much easier and far safer approach for the operator.

Articulated loaders are accessed from the side.

Driver Comfort

Last but not least, it is safe to say that all plant equipment can be operated more effectively and efficiently when the driver is in comfort.

Compared to skid steer loaders, articulated loaders offer far greater comfort and all-round visibility for the operator as standard. Driver comfort can be further increased by adding cab options, heating, air conditioning and a radio etc.

Watch Our Video

Here’s a short film in support of the comparisons listed above.

More Information

For further information on our range of Avant multi-purpose loaders, why not contact us to arrange a no-obligation demonstration of one of the machines we have in stock.

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