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Market Demand for Skid Steers Stabilise as Improvements to Skid Steers Are Introduced

by Business Bod

Based on market reports that in the near past the skid steer market share declined due to rises in demand for compact track loaders, however this trend has stabilized as new and better skid steer models are being developed and introduced into market. This report scans some of the new models that have come into the market that have been cited as being partly responsible for the stabilisation of demand for skid steers.

Starting with Bobcat’s introduction of the S86 skid steer in September 2022 which was the manufacturer’s most powerful skid steer as indicated by Jorge De Hoyos, (product manager) that rides on an engine that produces 105Hp and is equipped with three hydraulic flow options (Standard, High and Super flow) which renders the S86 as the only such machine in the entire market. The machine which has become a popular choice among contractors that take skid steers for hire has a radiator and oil cooler that is 30 % larger and a reversible fan that is twice as large just to accommodate the higher heat load of hydraulic attachments.

The S86 is also equipped with a dual-direction bucket system and features the Power Bob-Tech system. John Deere’s 334 skid steer that was introduced to the market at Con-Expo 2023 was seen as a direct response to the S86 as the 334 ran with an engine that was able to deliver 118Hp which also featured the Performance Tiering nomenclature system that the manufacturer is making a standard element to all of Deere’s upcoming machines. The 334 according to Luke Gribble (solutions marketing manager) is a P-Tier model, which performs up to the standard attributed to the advanced technologies that these new machines carry with them.

According to Gribble, Deere continuously monitors the markets and scans demand thoroughly and develop machines that customers want and not machines that Deere thinks customers want. Currently, the manufacturer has set their focus on demand that stems from skid steer hire services as they seem to be better indicators of what the market is looking for and for what types of projects rental equipment such as skid steers are utilised for within the scope of projects.

Similarly, the product manager of New Holland, Ryan Anderson, indicated that the low relative output of new skid steer models in the market is directly related to demand statistics as compact track loaders are selling more than 80,000 units per year whereas skid steers sell an approximate 30,000 which is the primary reason why the resources of manufacturers are more tuned to compact track loaders.

Nevertheless, Anderson also indicated that improvements are being made to the current skid steer models continuously to make them more appealing and of course more versatile such as the introduction of New Holland’s high-flow auxiliary hydraulics for skid steer models that range above 90Hp.

The new Electro-hydraulic control system enhances the performance of New Holland’s current skid steer greatly and as most are coupled with the EZ EH control system that allow operators to adjust speed and sensitivity, operator preference are easily met.

From the construction equipment rental front, the demand for skid steers has relatively been stable mainly because of the increase in small projects (home improvement and landscaping projects).

The stability is also because the skid steers that construction equipment rental companies offer these days come with the latest tech and a range of hydraulic attachments that render these machines as effective and practical as excavators and compact track loaders.

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