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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have been looking for a mini skid steer. I have found both a bobcat mt52 and a ditchwitch sk350. I cannot decide which would be better for general landscape and fence work, mainly augering holes for trees and fence post. I would also use for mulching and digging out for sidewalks and light grading work.

I know there is members here with both units, so i am looking for opinions. On paper it looks as though the mt52 will be the better unit.
 

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I don't own either of those, I have a Dingo. The only drawback to the Bobcat is that I understand that all of the attachments are of a propriety type, vs. the SK's attachments work with a large number of other manufactures attachments.
 

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ditto what red said, the 52 is ceartainly a more robust unit than the 350, in all honesty mabey alittle too robust to be a "mini" and the attachments are proprietary. service and parts on the bobcat shouldnt be much of a problem. 5 years ago I almost bought new, bobcat was not a contender (overkill on size and weight for my needs) when lining up equivelent dingo, boxer, and ditch witch machines, the dw was the best overall value with an impressive warrenty but dealer network seemed sketchy but a decent machine nontheless.
 

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The Deck Guy
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I own an SK350 and almost bought a Bobcat instead. I'm glad I didn't buy a Bobcat because of what was said above. Plus, the ride-on ability of the MT52 is a joke. Trust me, you'd never purposely walk behind one of these machines. Riding is much, much more effficient.
 

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another thing to consider too is depending on how often/light of grading and sidewalk digging you're talking about, if augering is your primary need, than a smaller lighter wheeled unit should serve your needs quite well too, the wheeled units have better speeds than the tracked units which is nice for spread out material handeling tasks like mulching and such. I have a wheeled kanga 420 which has plenty of power adn tip capacity, however traction can become an issue at times. at times where I've done larger excavations, I'd first hit the area either by hand with a rototiller or larger areas with a tiller attachment. than go in to scoop out, allittle more precission with less collatteral turf damage. and definitely get a toothed bucket
 

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The Deck Guy
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We do a decent amount of sitework and grading now and the SK350 handles everything we throw at it even with a slick bucket. You can get bolt on teeth which I think are probably more versatile than a factory-toothed bucket because 90% of the time you don't want the teeth.

The other nice thing about the SK350 is that it is a lighter machine but has the hydraulic flow rate of the heavier machines. There are times when I wish it wouldn't get as tippy, but we work around it lots of times by stacking a couple of bags of concrete on the riding platform. 2 bags=1 extra Greg Di standing on the back.:laughing:
 

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The Deck Guy
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In this instance, we had to cut the grade to install a concrete slab.

It would have sucked to do this by hand. 7-10 minutes with the machine and we were good to go.
 

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Not to hijack the thread, but I have been looking into these machines as well.

Just curious how you guys transport it along with all of your other equipment? Dedicated trailer? Off-site and then loaded into enclosed cargo trailer?
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Greg, how big of a bucket do you have for it, how big of auger bit have you used and finally how much do you think you can actually lift with it? I appreciate all your responses!
 

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The Deck Guy
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Not to hijack the thread, but I have been looking into these machines as well.

Just curious how you guys transport it along with all of your other equipment? Dedicated trailer? Off-site and then loaded into enclosed cargo trailer?
I move it around in a 7x14 enclosed trailer most of the time, but will also relo it with my dump trailer if the logistics make sense. I bought gorgeous ramps online that are light and bombproof and very versatile. They're so good, Redwood bought some too!
 

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The Deck Guy
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Greg, how big of a bucket do you have for it, how big of auger bit have you used and finally how much do you think you can actually lift with it? I appreciate all your responses!
I have a 36" bucket. I wouldn't mind getting a 48", but gates become a problem. Some jobs I literally rub through the gate posts getting in! 48" would be better for moving gravel, but the additional cost and storage issues of having two buckets is probably not worth it.

They make a special mulch bucket that's huge for lighter materials, but you wouldn't be able to load it with gravel without tipping.

Auger-wise I have a 10" and a 15". They both dig quickly. I have dug some holes in one shot down straight down to 42". By one shot, I mean, spin the bit, drop it down and don't stop until it bottoms out. 10 seconds max.

The first time you dig a hole that, anyone that witnesses it that's ever dug a hole that size with a post hole digger has tears of joy in their eyes. At that point, $15k is downright cheap!

No doubt my machine could easily turn a larger bit without a hiccup. I just have no need for it really.

Weight wise, the tip ratings listed are laughable for the most part. Pay no measurable attention to them because terrain and angle have a HUGE bearing on how much you can lift and how high. If I recall, we get 560lbs (7 bags of crete) in the bucket at about chest height without having to worry about getting tippy provided I put two bags on the platform as a counterweight. I can lift however I want and not worry about tipping. However, if you keep the load 6 inches off the ground, you could EASILY add more weight and not tip. Tipping comes from getting the load up high.
 

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I transport my dingo in a dump trailer. So far it's worked out fine, except when I have to bring extra attachments. I don't have any dedicated spots for them yet and it will be difficult to do something inside the trailer or it will get in the way of dumping.

My unit has a 42" bucket and I've drilled mostly 12" holes, with a big smile on my face.

My unit has a stated capacity of 500#'s. I loaded 660#'s of concrete, from my trailer, with no problem. That was as many bags as I could fit into my bucket.

If you are not buying new, look for a unit with attachments. That is where you will save the big bucks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Greg, curious where you got the ramps you use for the sk350 and what is the weight rating on them?
 

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The Deck Guy
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