Rent Smart: The Ultimate Skid Steer Rental Handbook

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By Jacob Maslow

Skid steer loaders are versatile and compact machines used in various applications, ranging from construction and landscaping to agriculture and demolition. These machines can easily maneuver in tight spaces, making them perfect for small to medium-sized jobs. Renting a skid steer loader is an ideal solution for contractors and businesses that require the equipment for a limited time or occasional use.

When considering a skid steer rental, it’s important to understand the types available, their specific uses and capabilities, and the attachments that can expand their functionality. In addition, factors like rental rates, maintenance, and safety measures should also be considered before signing a rental agreement. By evaluating your specific needs and requirements, you can make an informed decision and ensure you get the right machine for the job.

Key Takeaways

  • Skid steer loaders are versatile machines that can be rented for various applications.
  • Understand various types, attachments, and uses of skid steers before renting.
  • Consider rental rates, maintenance, and safety measures when choosing a skid steer loader for rent.

Understanding Skid Steer Rentals

Renting a skid steer can be a cost-effective solution for your project needs, whether it’s construction, landscaping, or demolition. Before you dive into the world of skid steer rentals, it’s essential to understand the various factors that play a role in determining the cost and type of skid steer you’ll need.

Firstly, you need to identify the job type you plan to use the skid steer for. There are two primary types of skid steers: wheeled skid steers and compact track loaders. Both of them have their advantages and are suited for different tasks. Wheeled skid steers perform well on prepared surfaces, like concrete or pavement, while compact track loaders provide better traction and performance on rough terrain or muddy sites.

The rental costs depend on the type and size of the skid steer you need. For wheeled skid steers, you can expect rental prices to range between $200 to $450 for a day, $750 to $2,000 for a week, and $2,500 to $4,000 for a month. Meanwhile, compact track loaders have a similar range with daily rental prices between $250 and $700, weekly rates of $1,000 to $2,000, and monthly rates from $3,000 to $5,000.

Some factors that may affect the rental cost include:

  • The duration of the rental
  • The size and capabilities of the skid steer
  • The brand and model of the skid steer
  • Extra attachments or accessories are required

When choosing a rental company, ask about any additional services or fees they may have. Some rental establishments might offer no-contact delivery and pickup services, online ordering, or rental insurance coverage.

As a key takeaway, understanding your project’s requirements and the different types of skid steers available will ensure that you choose the right rental option for your needs. Consider factors like rental duration, size, and additional services when comparing prices to make an informed decision. Good luck with your skid steer rental journey.

Types of Skid Steers

When renting skid steers, there are two primary types to consider: wheeled skid steers and track loaders. Each type has distinct features and advantages, so let’s dive into them to help you choose your job.

Wheeled Skid Steers

Wheeled skid steers are the more traditional type of skid steer loader. These machines are known for their versatility and maneuverability around job sites. Some key features of wheeled skid steers include:

  • Maneuverability: They can navigate tight corners and easily perform tasks in small workspaces due to their compact size and four-wheel steering system.
  • Speed: Wheeled skid steers generally have faster ground speeds, allowing you to complete tasks more quickly and efficiently.
  • Lower cost: Renting a wheeled skid steer is typically cheaper than renting a track loader.

That being said, it’s important to note that wheeled skid steers may not be the best option for all tasks, as they tend to lose traction on uneven or soft terrain.

Track Loaders

Track loaders are excellent for working on various terrains, including mud, sand, and snow. They’re equipped with continuous tracks instead of wheels, which provide numerous benefits:

  • Stability: Track loaders distribute weight evenly, reducing the risk of sinking into soft or unstable ground and minimizing damage to surfaces like lawns or paved areas.
  • Increased traction: The continuous tracks provide better grip, allowing track loaders to maintain traction on uneven or slippery surfaces.
  • Higher lifting capacity: Track loaders can typically handle a higher lifting capacity than wheeled skid steers, making them a better option for heavy-duty projects.

However, there are a few drawbacks to track loaders. They tend to be slower and more expensive to rent than wheeled skid steers, so it’s essential to weigh the pros and cons based on your specific job requirements.

When deciding on the best skid steer type for your needs, consider what tasks you’ll be performing, your budget, and the terrain you’ll be working on. Ultimately, the right choice of skid steer, be it a wheeled skid steer or a track loader, will depend on the demands of your project.

Common Uses and Applications

As you consider renting a skid steer for your project, it’s important to understand the wide range of applications this versatile machine can cover. Skid steers are commonly used in construction, landscaping, and various other industries due to their ability to be fitted with multiple attachments and compact size.

In construction, you’ll find skid steers for digging, loading, grading, trenching, and leveling. They’re perfect for excavation work, where their maneuverability and power make them efficient at breaking ground and moving dirt. Additionally, their size allows them to access tight spaces on job sites, making them an invaluable tool for many projects.

Landscaping is another industry where skid steers shine. They can easily handle tasks like:

  • Digging holes for plants and trees
  • Loading and transporting materials like mulch, soil, and gravel
  • Grading land for proper drainage and aesthetics
  • Trenching for irrigation systems or underground utilities
  • Leveling out areas for patios or other landscape features

Apart from construction and landscaping, skid steers are useful in other applications, such as:

  • Snow removal: Equipped with snow blowers or blades, they can clear driveways, sidewalks, and parking lots efficiently.
  • Farming: By attaching augers, bale spears, or tillers, skid steers can assist with drilling holes for fence posts, handling hay bales, or tilling soil.
  • Forestry: With rock buckets, stump grinders, or mulchers, they can perform tasks like rockwork, stump removal, and mulching.

When selecting a skid steer rental for your specific needs, consider the tasks you will be performing and choose the appropriate attachments to maximize the machine’s versatility. In doing so, you’ll find that skid steers can help make your project more efficient and productive.

Attachment Options

When renting a skid steer, one of the best features is the wide variety of attachment options available to increase the machine’s versatility. No matter the job, there’s likely a suitable attachment to get it done efficiently and effectively.

Buckets: A basic but essential addition, buckets come in various sizes and styles to accommodate different materials and tasks. There are general-purpose, light material, and heavy-duty buckets to carry everything from soil and gravel to snow and mulch. Choosing the right bucket for your project can significantly enhance the productivity of your skid steer.

Auger Attachments: An auger attachment is a must-have for projects requiring drilling holes. Whether you’re digging post holes for fences or installing foundation piers, this powerful tool can make quick work of the task. Auger attachments come in different sizes and styles, allowing you to find the perfect fit for your project’s needs.

Some other popular attachment options include:

  • Breaker attachments: Ideal for breaking up rock, concrete, or asphalt.
  • Wheel compactors: Great for compacting loose soil and gravel, perfect for road repairs or construction sites.
  • Mulching accessories: Useful for clearing overgrown areas and turning vegetation into useful mulch.
  • Plate compactors: A reliable choice for compacting soil in confined spaces, such as trenches or road edges.

Whether you rent attachments for your skid steer, ensure they align with your project’s requirements. By selecting the right tools, you’ll be well on your way to a more efficient and successful job. Don’t forget to consult rental specialists to help identify the best attachment options for your unique needs.

Rental Considerations

When considering renting a skid steer, it’s essential to account for a few key factors. This section will explore important topics such as residential vs. commercial use and the nuances of rental agreements.

Residential vs Commercial Use

Before renting a skid steer, you should first determine the type of job you need it for. Residential and commercial projects can have different requirements and constraints.

  • Residential use: If you plan on using the skid steer for a home improvement project or landscaping, you’ll likely need a smaller machine with more maneuverability. In this case, a mini skid steer can be a perfect choice, as it can easily move around tight spaces and efficiently perform tasks like digging, grading, or clearing debris.
  • Commercial use: A heavy-duty skid steer may be required for larger construction projects or industrial applications. These machines can handle bigger loads, operate longer hours, and provide more power for excavation, demolition, and hauling materials.

Remember that the rental cost can vary between residential and commercial use and the duration of the rental. Always clarify with the rental company to avoid potential misunderstandings.

Rental Agreements

Understanding the terms and conditions of the rental agreement is crucial to avoid any surprises or misunderstandings. Here are a few key points to consider when reviewing a rental contract:

  1. Pricing: Ensure you know the skid steer’s rental rate, along with any additional fees or charges (such as delivery and pick-up costs). Find out any discounts for longer rentals or if you can negotiate a better price.
  2. Rental period: Check the rental duration and clarify the pick-up and return times. Ensure that there are no penalties for early returns or extensions, as some companies may charge extra fees for such changes.
  3. Payment terms: Understand the payment methods accepted by the rental company – do they require a deposit, can you pay by credit card, or do they offer flexible payment plans?
  4. Insurance: Don’t forget to enquire about insurance coverage options – does the rental company provide any? Or will you need to secure your coverage for the skid steer while it’s in your possession?
  5. Maintenance and repairs: Find out who is responsible for any necessary maintenance or repairs during the rental period. Will the rental company take care of it, or is it your responsibility to ensure the skid steer stays in good working condition?

By paying attention to these factors and understanding the rental agreements, you’ll be on your way to a smooth rental experience. Keep the lines of communication open with the rental company to ensure a successful project execution.

Benefits of Renting

Renting a skid steer for your projects has numerous benefits, including increased availability, improved productivity, and enhanced safety. Let’s discuss each of these advantages in more detail.

Availability: Renting a skid steer means you can access various models at different times, depending on your project needs. This flexibility allows you to choose the most suitable equipment for each job, ensuring you get the best performance and results.

Productivity: A skid steer is a versatile machine that can easily perform multiple tasks. Thanks to its diverse range of attachments, you can drill holes, load and dump materials, and clean the site – all with a single machine! This efficient multitasking tool helps you maximize your productivity and minimize downtime.

Safety: Renting a skid steer from a reputable dealer ensures you obtain well-maintained, safe equipment. These modern machines often come with industry-best comfort cabs, which are sealed and pressurized for a clean and quiet operation. Additionally, electronically controlled engines reduce fuel burn and lower emissions, contributing to a safer work environment.

Maneuverability: Skid steers are well-known for being highly maneuverable, allowing you to navigate in tight spaces easily. Whether you’re working on rough or uneven terrain, these machines can handle it all. The compact footprint makes moving around the job site a breeze and reduces the risk of causing damage to the surroundings.

Versatility: Skid steers’ versatile nature allows you to tackle a broad range of applications easily. With various attachments available, you can customize your machine, making it the ultimate tool for any project. This versatility saves you time and resources, as you won’t need to rent multiple machines to get the job done.

In summary, renting a skid steer provides flexibility, efficiency, safety, and versatility, ultimately saving you time and resources. So, the next time you require a powerful and adaptable machine, consider renting a skid steer to make your project successful!

Brands and Models

Bobcat Skid Steers

Bobcat is a popular brand in the world of skid steer loaders. They offer various models suitable for various applications, from landscaping to construction. Their most popular models include the S70, S450, and S650. Bobcat skid steers are known for their durability, versatility, and ease of use. These machines can handle various tasks, such as earthmoving, materials handling, and snow removal.

John Deere Skid Steers

Another reliable brand in the skid steer industry is John Deere. They offer a range of models, such as the 314G, 318G, and 322G. John Deere skid steers are known for their power, stability, and user-friendly designs. These machines often feature easy-to-maintain components, fuel efficiency, and innovative technology, making them a dependable option for those needing a skid steer loader.

Kubota Skid Steers

With its reliable and efficient machinery, Kubota has made a name for itself in the skid steer market. A few popular models include the SSV65 and SSV75. Kubota skid steers offer powerful engines, exceptional stability, and excellent lifting capabilities. They are very user-friendly and offer precise control, making them a popular choice across various industries.

Ditch Witch Skid Steers

Ditch Witch is known for their powerful and well-designed skid steer loaders. Models like the SK800 and SK1550 are popular choices for renting skid steers. These machines are known for their ruggedness, reliability, and compact design. With a focus on user-centered features, Ditch Witch skid steers can handle various tasks easily and precisely, from landscaping to construction projects.

Consider your needs and requirements when choosing the right skid steer brand and model. Each brand offers unique features and benefits to cater to various applications, making your rental experience more efficient and enjoyable.

Rental Offers and Rates

When it comes to renting a skid steer, you’ll find a variety of options to suit your specific project needs. Companies like United Rentals, The Cat Rental Store, and Herc Rentals have a range of skid steers available for rent, each offering different features and capacities.

United Rentals provides a wide selection of skid steer and compact track loaders for rent, with a rated operating capacity between 300 and 600 lbs. Depending on the model, these mini skid steers are perfect for light-duty digging, grading, and leveling.

The Cat Rental Store offers late-model Cat skid steer loaders designed for reliable and efficient performance in the toughest job sites and conditions. Their equipment can easily accomplish tasks such as roadwork, snow removal, and trenching.

Herc Rentals offers skid steers for rent with an operating capacity of 1,300 to 2,099 lbs, featuring cabbed models for added operator comfort. These skid steers come with special wheels and tires that won’t damage ground cover and excellent all-around visibility from the cab for improved safety.

To make your rental experience even better, consider the following tips:

  • Compare rental offers from different providers to find the best deal.
  • Take note of the skid steer’s rated operating capacity to ensure it meets your project requirements.
  • To improve operator comfort and safety, check for additional features like cabbed models and maneuverable wheels.

Remember, renting a skid steer offers flexibility and cost savings compared to purchasing one outright. Remember these points as you explore your skid steer rental options, and you’ll be well on your way to a successful project.


When renting a skid steer, it’s essential to remember that proper maintenance is vital for the efficient performance and longevity of the machine. Here’s a friendly guide to help you understand and manage the maintenance requirements of a skid steer you rent.

Regular inspections are crucial for the smooth operation of the skid steer. Before starting your workday, take a moment to:

  • Check the fluid levels, including engine oil, coolant, and hydraulic oil
  • Inspect the tires or tracks for wear and tear
  • Make sure all attachments are secured tightly
  • Look for any leaks or potential damage to hoses

Keep in mind that different types of jobs may require additional upkeep. For example, working in a dusty environment, you must frequently clean the air filter. Additionally, ensure that the fuel and oil filters are changed according to the manufacturer’s guidelines.

Don’t forget to lubricate! Regular greasing of moving parts is essential to reduce friction and wear. Pay special attention to the following parts of your skid steer:

  • Pivot pins and linkage
  • Loader arms and bucket cylinders
  • Drive chains and sprockets
  • Steering linkages and axles

Lastly, follow the maintenance schedule provided by the rental company or the manufacturer’s manual. Adhering to the proper maintenance routine will help you avoid unexpected downtime and contribute to the safe and efficient operation of the skid steer. And remember, if you ever run into any issue you can’t handle, don’t hesitate to contact the rental company for help.

Key takeaway: Regular inspections, proper lubrication, and following the recommended maintenance schedule are all crucial factors in keeping your rented skid steer running efficiently and preventing costly downtime.

Tips and Safety Measures

When you’re renting a skid steer, it’s essential to prioritize safety. Here are some tips and safety measures to help you operate the machine without any mishaps:

  • Take control of your own safety: Remember that injuries and death are preventable if you strictly adhere to safety measures. Make it your responsibility to stay safe throughout the operation.
  • Prepare the skid steer for safe operation: Before starting the machine, thoroughly inspect it for any signs of damage, leaks, or wear. Ensure all safety features like seat belts, ROPS (Rollover Protective Structures), and interlock systems are functional.
  • Avoid getting crushed by moving parts: Skid steers have many moving parts, and you must remain vigilant to prevent accidents. Keep a safe distance from the machine when it’s operating, and never reach or climb under the arms or bucket while the skid steer is running.
  • Prevent rollover accidents: Always be cautious while driving on inclines and slopes. Steer clear of any major hills, particularly when carrying a load. Keep your center of gravity balanced by moving slowly and carefully on uneven terrain.
  • Watch out for operational hazards: Some additional risks you should be aware of include:
    • Overloading: Never exceed the skid steer’s rated operating capacity.
    • Speed: Operate the machine safely, particularly when turning or maneuvering in confined spaces.
    • Visibility: Use mirrors and cameras, if available, to keep an eye on the surrounding area and eliminate blind spots.
  • Be mindful of environmental hazards: Apart from the machine’s operation, environmental factors can pose risks. Always survey the area for obstacles such as power lines, underground utilities, and unstable ground conditions. Be cautious of the weather, as rain or snow can make surfaces slippery and increase the chances of accidents.

Remember, staying safe while operating a skid steer goes beyond following the guidelines above. Trusting your instincts and using common sense in all situations is essential. By being proactive and attentive, you can ensure a smooth and efficient experience while renting a skid steer.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the average daily cost of renting a skid steer?

The average daily cost to rent a skid steer or track loader is around $300 per day. This price may vary depending on machine size and rental duration. Remember, rental prices may differ by location and company, so it’s a good idea to compare quotes from multiple providers before deciding.

Where can I find skid steer rentals near me?

To find a skid steer rental near you, consider checking with equipment rental companies, local dealerships, or large chains such as United Rentals. Remember that different providers may offer different brands and models, so explore all your options. Also, consider using online search tools to discover rental locations in your area.

What types of attachments are available for skid steers?

Skid steers are versatile machines with a variety of available attachments, including:

  • Buckets for digging, grading, or loading materials
  • Forks for lifting and moving pallets or other heavy objects
  • Augers for drilling holes
  • Trenchers to dig trenches for cables or pipes
  • Mulchers for grinding up vegetation
  • Grapples for grasping and moving bulky items

Discuss your needs with the rental provider to ensure they have the required attachments.

Do I need any special training to operate a skid steer?

While you may not need formal certification, it’s essential to have some basic training and experience before operating a skid steer, as untrained operators could pose a danger on the job site. Consult your rental provider about available training courses or resources, or seek an experienced colleague’s guidance to ensure you’re adequately prepared.

How do the rental rates differ between mini and standard skid steers?

Rental rates usually differ depending on the size and capacity of the skid steer. In general, smaller, “mini” skid steers are less expensive to rent than their larger, standard counterparts. Remember that rental prices will also vary by location and provider, so you must compare multiple options to find the best fit for your budget.

Are there any discounts available for longer rental periods?

Many rental providers offer discounts for longer rental periods, such as reduced weekly or monthly rates. For example, you might find rental prices of around $1,000 per week or $2,500 per month. Before confirming your rental, ask the provider about discounts based on your specific rental duration. Planning can help you save money while ensuring you have the right equipment for your project.

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