Applications & Innovations: Wheeled or tracked?
Applications & Innovations
by Lauren Heartsill Dowdle
Let the jobsite be the judge
n the battle between choosing tires or tracks, buyers
should let their projects cast the determining vote on
which would be the best ﬁt for their ﬂeet.
“The most important consideration for a contractor is
going to be the primary type of work he does,” says Mike
Fitzgerald, loader product specialist, Bobcat.
The compact track loader market gained ground in the
past decade – with many roadbuilders valuing productivity
over initial cost – but there’s been a shift back toward skidsteer loaders since the 2008 economic downturn, says Jamie Wright, product manager, Terex Construction Americas.
He estimates CTLs make up between 20 and 25 percent of
the market, while SSLs hold between 75 and 80 percent,
26 October 2012 Better Roads
according to our sister publication, Equipment World.
“The compact-track loader trend started as a result of
contractors wanting to get jobs done faster, no matter the
acquisition costs or operational cost of the unit,” Wright
continues. “With the economic downturn, contractors were
more selective and looking for ways to manage their equipment inventories more efﬁciently. As part of this, they are
adding skid-steer loaders back into their ﬂeet since they are
able to accomplish many of the same tasks at a lower operating expense.”
So when does the price tag equal the beneﬁts, and how
can roadbuilders know which one they need for their next
project? Here’s what the experts have to say.