Guide to Skid Steer Attachments

Guide to Skid Steer Attachments

Today’s skid steers are rugged, high-powered and heavy-duty construction and landscaping equipment and are quickly becoming a job site favorite. Thought of as the Swiss Army Knife of the construction industry, skid steer loaders are designed to minimize time and effort and maximize productivity thanks to their flexibility and range of applications.

With a suite of professionally engineered, rugged work tools, Cat® skid steer loaders can be easily converted to perform any job you need. This guide to skid steer attachments covers a few of the different types of work tools available for skid steers, as well as the must-have tools for construction, landscaping and road or civic works. Finally, we also provide a quick step-by-step guide on how to attach your work tools to your Cat skid steer loader.

What Is a Skid Steer Attachment?

A skid steer attachment is the work tool installed onto the hydraulic arm of a skid steer loader. Caterpillar manufactures a wide range of work tool attachments that are universally compatible with Cat skid steer loaders and often other loader models like multi-terrain loaders, compact track loaders and compact wheel loaders.

Different attachments are designed for unique purposes, from earthmoving and excavating to drilling and dozing, along with specialty applications like earth tilling, snow plowing and brush cutting. Having access to such a wide variety of skid steer attachments allows you to perform different jobs using only one machine. Simply switch out the attachment from task to task, and get more done with less effort.

When choosing an attachment for your skid steer loader, be sure to consult your local Cat dealer, like the knowledgeable representatives at H.O. Penn. Get expert advice on which attachments are most suitable for the job and compatible with your model of skid steer loader.

Types of Skid Steer Attachments

Caterpillar prides itself on its ability to design and engineer useful, reliable and high-quality work tools that optimize your investment in Cat equipment. With dozens of attachments to choose from, there’s a work tool made for virtually every conceivable application, from construction and landscaping to agricultural and industrial applications.

For skid steers specifically, several attachments are compatible with this job site workhorse, meaning the skid steer can easily be transferred from one job site to the next and from one season to the next, still conveniently maintaining its usefulness.

The following are the top skid steer attachments for contractors, construction managers and landscapers to optimize your skid steer.

1. Buckets

Buckets are a broad category of attachment, coming in several designs and dimensions for different applications. By default, Cat skid steers come equipped with a general-purpose bucket. While most people think of general-purpose buckets as tools to scoop and move dirt, they can accomplish a surprising number of other tasks around the job site. With a flat leading edge, you can also use a general-purpose bucket to smooth out your dump of dirt. You can also bolt on a set of bucket teeth to turn your skid steer into a light digging machine.

Some other bucket attachments for skid steer loaders include:

Skid steer bucket attachments range in size from 56 inches to 98 inches wide, with the most common sizes being between 62 inches and 80 inches wide. We offer a wide range of bucket attachments for skid steer loaders at H.O. Penn.

2. Backhoes

Quickly convert your skid steer loader into a backhoe loader with a backhoe attachment designed specifically for Cat skid steer loader models. For example, the new BH130 Smart Backhoe arm gives your skid steer similar functionality to a conventional backhoe loader or a mini excavator.

With the smart backhoe arm and various buckets to choose from, you can complete numerous landscaping and construction jobs. There’s no need to buy or rent additional equipment when a Cat skid steer loader outfitted with a backhoe attachment can accomplish high-priority duties like digging footings and drainage ditches, back-filling lots and building up backyard slopes or roadside embankments.

3. Brooms

Clean up more quickly with broom attachments for Cat skid steer loaders. Starting with a pickup broom, also known as a sweeper-style broom, you can easily sweep along fixed edges that are hard to reach. The broom’s brush head rotates and moves independently, allowing you to move the sweeper wherever you need, while it brushes the dirt directly into the attached hopper for easy disposal.

Another option is the utility broom, universally compatible for Cat skid steer loaders. Utility brooms are designed for fast, efficient job site cleanup, with adjustable bristle engagement to suit the height of the type of material you’re cleaning up.

Finally, angle brooms for skid steer loaders are ideal for applications like city streets, parking lots or public spaces. You can angle the broom head either left or right up to 30 degrees, allowing you to direct debris for pickup. Utility and pickup brooms come in either a 60-inch or 72-inch width, while the angle brooms come with either manual or hydraulic operations in various widths.

4. Brushcutters

Demolish thick brush with the brushcutter work tool for skid steer loaders. Brushcutter attachments from Caterpillar are designed to make lot clearing and overgrowth cleanup easy and efficient. Brushcutter blades can cut through material up to 8 inches in diameter, meaning they can effortlessly cut down small trees. For roadside maintenance, brushcutters also let you quickly mow down tall grass or clean up along walking trails.

Cat brushcutters range in size for every application from small 60-inch cutting width to medium 66-inch cutting width to large 72-inch cutting width.

5. Tillers

Landscapers love the ease and convenience of Cat tiller attachments for skid steer loaders. Save valuable time and effort preparing soil for planting gardens or seeding lawns. Effortlessly break up hard ground and till tough soil, smoothing out uneven terrain and leaving a professional landscape finish.

Cat landscape tiller attachments for skid steer loaders are ideal for general residential or commercial landscaping, golf course maintenance or agricultural applications. Landscape tiller work tools come in two sizes — the 53-inch or 73-inch width.

6. Rakes

Rakes are one of the most useful skid steer attachments for landscaping, agriculture and general construction. Prepare soil for planting by removing rocks and debris and smoothing out terrain, or conduct seasonal care of existing turf and lawn with various rake attachment models.

Rake attachment options for skid steer loaders include:

  • Landscape rakes for landscaping, lawn care and agriculture come equipped with a hopper to dispose of collected waste easily.
  • Industrial grapple rakes for heavy-duty applications, such as fast and efficient lot clearing.
  • Power box rakes for preparing and conditioning soil and turf for golf courses and sports fields.
  • Excavator rakes for raking into tough soil, digging up stubborn roots and removing large rocks and debris.

All rake models come in a range of sizes, from small to large. Ask a knowledgeable Cat attachment specialist for advice on which size and model are most efficient for your next job.

7. Trenchers

Trenchers are a must-have skid steer attachment for general construction and landscaping. Their versatility lets you easily dig holes for footings, drainage ditches and irrigation or electrical lines. Cat trencher work tools are designed with a side auger that moves displaced soil away from your freshly dug trench.

Trencher attachments come in a range of dig depths, including 36 inches, 48 inches and 75 inches. Cat trenchers are also available with various teeth designs, giving you options based on the material you’re working with. Trenchers are available in tungsten carbide teeth, steel cupped teeth or a combo chain of both.

8. Augers

Get powerful drilling performance with a hydraulic auger attachment for skid steer loaders. Quickly and safely dig holes for fence posts, footings or tree and shrub planting with a Cat auger, available in several capacities.

Hydraulic augers range from 815 foot-pounds of torque to 5,000 foot-pounds of torque. Augers are also compatible with various bits, each designed for different uses. A standard bit is ideal for easier soil conditions, while an industrial bit is better suited for tough ground. Severe-duty auger bits are also available for solid rock.

9. Snow Pushers

When brutal Northeastern winters hit, you want to be prepared to turn your skid steer into the most useful tool around — a snowplow. Snow pusher attachments for skid steers let you efficiently clear roads, sidewalks, driveways and parking lots, helping you maximize your snow removal contracts.

Cat snow pushers are designed to roll, fold and contain snow evenly while preventing it from sticking to the moldboard. The optional trip edge system on Cat snow pushers prevents operators from running the pusher over protruding objects, like maintenance hole covers, rocks or other obstacles. These work tools range in pushing widths from 8 feet to 16 feet, allowing you to find the ideal solution for the job.

10. Hammers

Make land development and demolition effortless with Cat hammer work tools for skid steer loaders. Hammer attachments are hydraulically operated tools that break through rock, concrete, brick and other tough materials.

Delivering high-performance breaking power, hammers allow you to quickly break up quarry rock, demolished building materials or hard earth for construction development. Cat hydraulic hammers for skid steers range from 200 foot-pounds to 800 foot-pounds of high-impact energy, meaning you’ll get more breaking done in less time.

11. Cold Planers

For small and precise paving jobs, choose a Cat cold planer attachment for your skid steer. Cold planers are a multi-purpose work tool, offering a range of road construction functions. From material milling to pavement removal to stripping traffic line paint, cold planers are a must-have attachment for road construction enterprises.

The Cat PC404 Cold Planer work tool is compatible with Standard Flow hydraulic system skid steer loaders. It has a standard working width of 18 inches and is ideal for city roads and residential or commercial lots and lanes.

12. Mulchers

Mulcher attachments are an essential attachment for all land management operations. Designed to give you precision and control, Cat mulcher attachments are equipped with a heavy-duty push bar to guide vegetation into the drum. The mulching drum itself is equipped with a helical row of teeth designed to grind up brush and small trees into fine mulch.

Cat C-series mulcher tools for skid steer loaders are available in Standard Flow, High Flow, High Flow XPS and High Flow XHP packages. These mulching attachments come in working widths of 49 inches, 58 inches, 62 inches and 67 inches, giving you plenty of options depending on the size of your working area.

13. Forks

Fork attachments are a valuable tool for skid steers operating in lumberyards, warehouses, farming storehouses and many other material handling operations. Designed to attach to your skid steer loader seamlessly, forks give you the lifting and moving power you need while still leaving plenty of safe visibility.

Caterpillar offers various fork tools to help you lift heavy loads safely and efficiently. From pallet and construction forks to industrial grapple and log and lumber forks, Caterpillar’s suite of fork work tools provides numerous lifting options for your skid steer application.

Most Useful Skid Steer Attachments

No matter what industry you’re in, whether it’s general construction, landscaping or civic works, there are a few must-have skid steer attachments to consider. However, to get the most use out of your skid steer, you need to think about your typical job requirements and what tools will work best for you. Here’s a list of the top skid steer attachments for each given application below.

For General Construction

For general residential or commercial construction, nothing beats the versatility of a skid steer bucket to do light digging, heavy-duty dirt dumping and even precision grading with the right operating techniques. Other must-have skid steer attachments for general construction include backhoes for convenient digging and brooms for efficient final cleanup.

For Landscaping

Landscaping contractors need to be ready to face many soil conditions whenever taking on a new project. With brushcutters, tillers, rakes and more, the suite of work tools available for your Cat skid steer ensures you’ll always have the right solution from project to project.

When it’s time to convert your seasonal landscaping business into a winter snow removal service, don’t forget must-have attachments like snow blowers and snow pushers.

For Road Construction

Road construction and civic works contractors depend on the flexibility of Cat skid steer attachments to perform various infrastructure duties. Contractors require must-have work tools like blades for pushing debris and leveling surfaces or trenchers for preparing pipe and electrical lines.

Cold planers and compactors are also essential skid steer attachments that are crucial in road construction. For all your machinery needs, contact a Cat attachment expert for help choosing the right arsenal of tools.

How to Change Skid Steer Attachments

Changing out your skid steer attachments is quick and easy, designed for busy contractors who need to stay productive. How to change a skid steer attachment depends on the type of skid steer model and whether it has a manual or powered quick coupler.

Here are some general steps to follow when attaching work tools to your skid steer loader:

  1. Line up the work tool on the ground in front of the machine.
  2. Lower the coupler and slowly drive the skid steer into the work tool.
  3. Raise and tilt the coupler backward into its proper location.
  4. If your machine has the powered quick coupler function, engage the work tool from within the cab by pressing and holding the quick coupler switch.
  5. If your machine has a manual coupler, step out of the cab and secure the pins manually to the attachment.
  6. Tilt the work tool down and drag it backward on the ground to ensure it’s secure and there’s no movement.
  7. Perform a final check by lifting the work tool up and visually inspecting that the pins are fully engaged.
  8. Attach your hydraulic hose lines by following the routing instructions in your Operation and Maintenance Manual (OMM).

Always check your OMM for specific attachment procedures for the work tool and skid steer model.

Choose H.O. Penn for Skid Steers and Attachments

Maximize your productivity and minimize your workload with attachments for skid steer loaders. From digging tools to buckets to brush clearing attachments, Caterpillar has dozens of options to save you time and money.

When selecting the right work tools for your skid steer loader, always talk to a professional work tools expert who can help you choose the appropriate tool for the job. For skid steer attachments in New York and Connecticut, choose H.O. Penn. With six convenient locations in Holtsville, Bronx, Newington, Poughkeepsie, Bloomingburg and Medford, we’re ready to serve your heavy-duty construction and landscaping needs. Contact us today for more information.

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