Guide to Compact Construction Equipment Attachments

Does your construction business depend on compact equipment like skid steers, backhoes, compact track loaders or mini excavators? These relatively small yet powerful machines are an excellent choice when performing various earthmoving tasks in confined areas. They also provide a cost-effective solution for companies not wanting to invest in larger, more expensive models.

You can also capitalize on your compact equipment’s maneuverability and versatility by using an assortment of work tool attachments like augers, brooms, buckets, snow plows and rakes. Adding these and other products will transform your machine into a multifunctional workhorse that allows you to complete projects faster and more efficiently while reducing operating costs.

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Safety Tips When Using Attachments

As a full-service Cat® equipment dealer with six locations in New York and Connecticut, H.O. Penn is your one-stop source for a wide selection of work tools from Caterpillar. Skid steer attachments and other products feature the significant quality, durability, performance and ease of use you’ve come to expect from the worldwide heavy equipment leader.

Safety is paramount when working with heavy equipment, especially when adding, detaching and using attachments. If your compact machines don’t already have them, consider installing quick couplers to facilitate this process. A quick coupler is an electrically powered device placed on the end of the unit that eliminates the need for manually switching or installing attachments. Operators can typically complete the task without leaving the cab, significantly lowering the need for manual effort and injury risk.

Using a quick coupler to install compact equipment attachments is a straightforward process:

  • Tilt the coupler forward and carefully maneuver it into the attachment.
  • Lift the coupler and angle the tool into place.
  • Press and hold the coupler’s operating button inside the machine’s cab to deploy the connecting pins.
  • Ensure the attachment is secure by tilting it down and placing pressure on it until the machine raises approximately 6 inches above the ground.
  • Eliminate movement between the tool and coupler by dragging it slowly across the ground.
  • Visually verify that the pins are installed correctly before using the attachments.

Many Cat work tools operate via hydraulic power, which requires fastening the attachment’s hydraulic lines to the auxiliary hydraulic connectors on the machine. Follow these steps:

  • Wipe off the connectors to remove dirt and contaminants.
  • Refer to the equipment’s manual to ensure the appropriate routing procedure.
  • Locate the machine’s hose guide and route the hydraulic lines through it.
  • Connect the lines and release any stored pressure.
  • If the machine contains pressure-style couplings, be sure to push the work tool’s connections together.

It’s also important to understand that not every attachment is compatible with each machine. Making an incorrect match could cause the tool to malfunction, presenting a potentially dangerous situation. A knowledgeable and experienced equipment dealer like H.O. Penn can ensure you’re making the right attachment selection for your machine’s model and year.

Benefits of Using Cat® Attachments

As an authorized Cat dealer since 1933, H.O. Penn has nearly a century of firsthand experience working with all types of Cat products. We can attest to the superior quality that goes into every product, including the extensive lineup of work tools.

Choosing Cat attachments offers numerous advantages for your business:

  • Increased productivity: Adhering to tight schedules is crucial for any construction operation. Cat attachments increase the odds of meeting all project deadlines by enabling you to make fast tool changes and complete several jobs with one machine.
  • Better return on investment: For many companies, purchasing a new machine represents a significant expense. Using attachments allows you to increase your fleet’s functionality without having to buy another skid steer, backhoe loader or compact track loader. You’ll experience similar results while keeping costs under control.
  • Fewer machines at the site: Because the right attachments enable one piece of compact equipment to perform multiple tasks, you won’t need as many machines at your job sites. Less congestion allows your crews to work more efficiently and safely. You can also free up more of your fleet to work at other locations.
  • Improved performance: Using attachments makes preparing your equipment for specific tasks easier, improving the job’s results. For example, adding a snow plow to a skid steer loader enables the machine to remove snow from roadways or parking lots faster and more efficiently than a standard bucket.
  • Easy to store: Cat attachments are even smaller than the compact machines that operate them. They won’t require substantial storage space, even if you have several in your fleet. If you decide to rent instead of purchase your attachments, finding places to keep your unused tools won’t be an issue — simply return them at the end of the rental period.


We’re attuned to the unique demands of the industry, ready to assist you in selecting the ideal Cat attachments for your compact equipment. Our objective? Ensuring your construction tasks are streamlined, efficient, and successful, providing utter satisfaction with every task undertaken.

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How to Maintain Attachments

Like your compact equipment, attachments require regular maintenance to keep them on the job and functioning correctly. Routine service will also increase your tools’ life span, extending the time between replacements. Follow the maintenance tips and schedule found in the product’s owner’s manual. Consider increasing the frequency of recommended services when using the equipment in challenging job site environments.

Your equipment operators can contribute to better attachment performance by cleaning the tool after each use and maintaining proper fluid levels if applicable. They can also check for telltale signs of potential issues like cracks, holes in hoses, fluid leaks, and loose or missing teeth and bring them to the attention of your maintenance staff.

Proper storage of unused attachments will protect them and help prevent damage. Attempt to create a dedicated area within your facility to keep the tools away from other equipment. The space should be clean, dry and out of the elements. If you must store your attachments outdoors, keep them covered to limit exposure to rain, snow and sunlight.

Cat Attachment Uses

Depending on the types of work tools you use with your compact equipment, they can perform numerous essential job site tasks. Examples of the many Cat attachments and their functions include:

  • Augers: Use these tools to drill holes in materials and surfaces. They can help you create footings, dig postholes, and handle tree and shrub planting quickly and efficiently. Augers are available in multiple digging depths.
  • Buckets: Several types and sizes of buckets are available to perform tasks ranging from digging and material movement to clamping, grasping, ditch cleaning, scraping, metering, loading and more.
  • Quick couplers: If you need to add these devices to enable your compact equipment to accommodate attachments, Caterpillar manufactures multiple coupler systems for various machines.
  • Hammers: These rugged attachments are perfect for construction, demolition and quarry job sites that require smashing and breaking rocks, stone, concrete and other solid materials.
  • Forks: Attaching a fork to your equipment will transform it into a versatile material-handling machine that can raise, lower and transport pallets and heavy containers during loading and unloading applications.
  • Mulchers: Adding a mulching attachment is ideal for lot- and land-clearing projects that require removing heavy volumes of dense vegetation in large, open areas.
  • Stump grinders: Landscaping contractors, tree care professionals and forestry operations can use these attachments during tree-cutting and removal projects.
  • Brooms: A broom attachment can assist with site clearing after completing a job or dislodging dirt and debris from streets and pavement.
  • Tillers: Farming operations can use tiller attachments for soil work. Use them to prepare seed beds, create crop rows or break up sod.
  • Rippers: A ripper attachment can tear through the ground for digging, break up hard-packed materials or loosen rocks and tree roots.

Contact H.O. Penn for All Your Cat Attachment Needs

The experts at H.O. Penn can help you select the best Cat attachments for your compact equipment. We’re committed to providing our customers with the right products for their needs and budget. We’ll also offer reliable advice regarding how to use the tool productively and safely.

Visit the location nearest you for a closer look or contact us online for additional information.

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