What Are Skid Steer Loaders?
Skid steer loaders are machines with lift arms that allow for the fitting of multiple different attachments. When turning, the wheels on one side stay stationary as the wheels on the other side skid to one side or another, hence the name skid steer loader.
Units are typically between 3′ and 6′ wide and between 6′ and 7′ feet tall, allowing them to navigate most tight spaces. Always verify that the unit you choose can navigate your workspace.
Operating capacities for skid steer loaders range from around 1,300 pounds to upwards of 3,000 pounds. The average lift height for a skid steer loader ranges between 8′ and 12′.
Traditionally, skid steers were operated with a set of handles that determined direction and speed, and foot pedals that controlled the attachments and boom. However, most modern machines use a joystick control system. Smaller or older skid steer loaders have an open cab, which leaves the operator exposed to the elements and any debris that might make its way into the air. Larger or newer units tend to have closed cabs, which provide air conditioning and heating, but sacrifice some visibility.
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How Much Does Leasing a Skid Steer Loader Cost?
It is difficult to provide an exact cost for leasing a skid steer, as the model you choose, your location, the length of the lease, and the supplier you lease from all factor into your final price. Your credit also determines what you pay. What follows is a general pricing guide to provide an idea of what you can expect to pay to lease a skid steer loader.
For a skid steer loader with a retail value of $25,000:
- Costs average between $2,000 and $2,500 per month for a 12-month lease.
- Costs average between $1,000 and $1,500 per month for a 24-month lease.
- Costs average between $700 and $900 per month for a 36-month lease.
- Costs average between $600 and $700 per month for a 48-month lease.
Pros and Cons of Leasing
Leasing a skid steer loader offers both advantages and disadvantages. Which one outweighs the other depends on your particular situation.
First and foremost, leasing a skid steer loader comes with little to no upfront costs. Though there is often an initial down payment, many leasing companies do not require anything. This makes it an ideal option for those that do not have the capital to outright purchase a skid steer. Leasing also comes with fewer credit restrictions than buying. Many leasing companies are willing to work with those that have poorer credit (though this means higher monthly costs), whereas purchasing a skid steer with bad or poor credit is difficult.
Though leasing offers significantly lower upfront costs, you always pay more in the long run. You also do not own the machine, which can lead to issues when it comes to servicing the skid steer. Some lease agreements state that the lessee must pay for maintenance or repairs, while others state the lessor must cover these costs.
Before you make a final decision about leasing or purchasing, be sure to consider exactly what your needs are. Not just for the skid steer itself (which is important, because there’s no need to spend money on something that doesn’t work for you), but for the potential lease, as well. Ensure that you fully understand all the terms of the lease and how insuring the skid steer will work. Also be sure to perform a visual inspection of the entire skid steer loader to note any pre-existing issues or damage.
It is important to think about the type of lease you are agreeing to before signing on the dotted line.
- Finance lease: This type of lease is usually a full payout lease that has a nominal lease-end purchasing option, allowing you to buy the equipment once the lease is up. Finance leases offer the benefits of ownership and are ideal if you are interested in being able to buy the machine at the end of the lease.
- Municipal lease: This is a tax-exempt, lease-purchase contract that is used by local and state governments. It offers efficient cash management and greater financial flexibility. Municipal leases provide a flexible payment structure and competitive rates.
- Operating lease: With an operating lease, the lessee pays a fixed price for the use of the equipment. Depending on the lessor, extended warranties, insurance, and maintenance costs may be provided and bundled into the monthly payment. If you are interested in lower fixed payments and the ability to replace or update equipment, an operating lease may be the right move for you.