For many years, the skid steer loader has been considered by many in the landscaping business a basic, must-have piece of equipment.
A primary reason for this label is the skid steer’s versatility; with a host of add-on attachments, a skid steer loader can perform many different jobs.
However, a problem many landscapers have found is that the add-on attachments are less productive than a dedicated machine, with trencher and vibratory plow attachments being good examples.
Today there’s a new candidate for landscapers—the Ditch Witch Zahn R300.
Mounted on high-flotation rubber tires or optional quad tracks, the ride-on platform absorbs shock, reduces fatigue and keeps the operator away from dirt, mud and debris. Soft-touch, color-coded, ergonomic controls are easy to grip, easy to learn and provide smooth, easy operation.
The 30-horsepower Zahn R300 can be a compact loader, the best available, or a trencher, backhoe, vibratory plow, or multi-purpose tool carrier. With its unique Interchange™ connection, the front end becomes a specialized tool with productivity and performance comparable to a dedicated machine. The Zahn’s standard attachment plate accepts more than 40 quick-change attachments, and color-coded hose connections make them easy to quickly attach.
Many of these attachments—auger, boring tool, tiller, rake, cultivator, tree fork, tree shear, grapple, plate compactor—are specifically suited to landscape applications.
The president of one New England landscape contractor admitted he never had a high opinion of multi-purpose machines until he tested the Zahn.
“We were impressed with its superior ability to pull pipe,” he said. “This machine pulls pipe better than any machine we have ever used. Although we bought the machine primarily to plow, we found the trencher is more productive than our other equipment, and the grading bucket has been a big surprise, so we are using it more than expected for backfilling and restoration.
“The Zahn R300 has enabled us to reduce our equipment dependency from three specialized pieces to one amazingly effective and versatile piece.”
A North Carolina contractor has a Zahn loader bucket and boring attachment.
“It is compact enough to get into backyards to move dirt and materials and is a powerful trencher,” he said. “We like the articulated frame which makes it very maneuverable. Another feature that sold us on the machine is the high-lift attachment that raises the bucket high enough to quickly load material into trucks.”
The company rented a vibratory plow attachment for a job and later added one to its inventory of attachments.
“We had never done much plowing,” he added, “because the hard clay soils in our area made it difficult for the compact machines we had tried. But the Zahn performs very well as a plow. It has the weight and power to get the job done.”