The skid-steer loader is a small, compact four wheel drive machine, which originated in the USA, and is designed to operate in restricted areas. It is distinguished by its steering system, the machine’s movement being controlled by varying the speed and direction of the two sets of wheels on each side independently. The loading is by a bucket lifted by two arms (or occasionally one) which are pivoted from the rear of the machine to reduce the space required.
Tracked skid-steer loaders, often referred to as compact tracked loaders and generally equipped with a rubber track undercarriage and introduced into Italy around eight years ago, are not included in this analysis except in so far as they impinge on the skid-steer loader market.
Skid-steer loaders are classified according to their carrying capacity (payload), which is half of the minimum load which, when placed in the bucket, will cause the machine to tip forward at maximum reach. This is measured according to a formula of the American SAE and is expressed in Europe in kilograms. There are no recognised categories into which to divide the market, in the manner in which one can divide the wheeled loader market into horsepower categories, but there are various concepts that shape the product ranges of suppliers.
This highly versatile machine, complete with a quick attach system and a wide array of compatible attachments, has become the workhorse of many compact equipment markets, and is essentially a basic work tool. Traditionally, it has been used by thousands of small jobbing Italian companies working on repair, demolition, landscaping, and other maintenance and restoration projects.
The findings presented in this report are based on Off-Highway Research’s International Database, and on information collected during an extensive interview programme in Italy undertaken in October 2012, which included the country’s leading manufacturers, importers and distributors.
European Equipment Analysis: Skid-Steer Loaders - Italy
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EU Equipment Analysis