Three Factors Driving the Trend for Full-Size Stand-On Skid Steers

By Brant Kukuk

In today’s competitive construction industry, contractors are always looking for ways to make their work more efficient and cost-effective. New technologies and tools are constantly being introduced to increase efficiency, productivity and safety on the jobsite. One tool that has become increasingly popular is the stand-on skid steer. These machines – which are a step up from a traditional compact skid steer but have a smaller footprint than other compact track loaders – offer several benefits that make them an attractive option for contractors.

In an industry where time is money, here are a few of the key reasons contractors are reaching for full-size stand-on skid steers.

Added Workforce Support
If you’re having trouble finding crew members for your construction and landscape jobs, you’re not alone. According to the Deloitte 2022 Engineering and Construction Industry Outlook report, more than half of construction executives indicated that they are facing a severe labor and talent shortage on the jobsite. And these shortages are expected to continue.

While the industry works to find a solution to the workforce shortage, an easy and immediate step to compensate for a lack of workers is to maximize equipment. Contractors are reaching for full-sizestand-on skid steers to fill in the gaps for lack of skilled labor. Increased horsepower on full-size stand-on skid steers means they have the ability to connect with larger attachments, in return being able to lift and move larger loads in fewer trips. This added power can fill the workforce gaps by lifting loads that would otherwise require three or four workers, helping contractors work more efficiently, leading to increased productivity and higher profits.

Additionally, storing and transporting equipment can be a daily, yet headache-inducing task for contractors, especially working with smaller crews. To help eliminate the downtime associated with this task, it is crucial that you bring machinery onto the jobsite that is designed to be quickly stored at the end of the workday and easily transported from one project to the next. Stand-on skid steers are compact enough to fit on a trailer, yet large enough to make a difference in filling the gap for laborers, making them an excellent addition to any contractors’ fleet.

Creative and Versatile Solutions
In addition to added power and workforce support, contractors are reaching for full-size stand-on skid steers for their versatility. Rather than hauling multiple smaller, specialized machines to a jobsite, a larger stand-on skid steer can be outfitted to complete a wide variety of tasks. Full-sizestand-on skid steers have the capability to be outfitted with power attachments like a microtrencher for fiber installation projects. A full-size stand-on skid steer can go from trenching for a utility installation to hauling gravel in a matter of minutes.

In fact, the versatility has made the tree care industry a major driver in the trend of larger stand-on skid steers. Being able to move bigger logs means tree care professionals are spending less time making cuts before hauling away. Attachments like tree grapples and bucket grapples are being used to help improve efficiency in tree-care jobs like debris removal. The compact size – compared to cabbed machines of the same operating capacity – also make it ideal for tree care professionals who need to seamlessly maneuver through yards and residential areas.

With smaller crews and high demand, many contractors are taking on 2 or 3 different jobs in a day, so having a machine in the fleet with more power and versatility to stay efficient and cost-effective is key.

ROI on the Rental Lot
Not only are contractors increasingly reaching for full-size stand-on skid steers, but rental yards are turning to them as a versatile offering too. With the wide variety of attachments, a stand-on skid steer can be rented out year-round for tasks like digging, hauling, grading, and even snow removal. This versatility means that the machine can be rented out to a wide range of customers with different needs, making it a profitable addition to any rental lot.

Compared to their cabbed counterparts, stand-on skid steers are a simpler, less intimidating option for inexperienced renters working on residential projects. The compact design of a stand-on skid steer allows it to fit through narrow fences and navigate around obstacles, making it perfect for use in backyards or other confined jobsites.

Stand-on skid steers are designed to be easy to use, even for novice operators. The simple controls and intuitive design make it easy to get started with the machine, and their reliability gives renters reassurance they’ll be able to complete projects with minimal maintenance. With a stand-on platform, operators receive a 360-degree view of the jobsite. This increase in jobsite visibility and operator comfort helps operators see what is happening around the machine, boosting jobsite safety.

With so many options on the market, there’s a reason contractors and renters are driving the trend for full-size stand-on skid steers. The powerful, versatile machines are a valuable asset to any rental lot or contractor’s fleet. They’re powerful enough to fill the gap where the workforce is short, yet simple enough for renters to hop on safely and get to work in their backyards. The range of attachments and easy-to-operate design makes full-size stand-on skid steers a great option for those looking to get the best bang for their buck on the jobsite.

Originally appeared on ForConstructionPros.com

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