Skid–steers are among the most important pieces of machinery used in the construction and landscaping industry today. They‘re compact, easily maneuvered, and can pull, push, and lift just about anything that a team of people can. But without the effort.
Sure, they‘re useful, but they‘re expensive to buy. That‘s why renting a skid–steer is very popular.
You‘ll find the average cost of renting a skid–steer hovers around $75/hour, $325/day, $900/week, or $2000/month, depending on the hire term. We stress that these are average rates that vary depending on the machine’s size, type, brand, geographical location, operating capacity, and horsepower. On top of this, you‘ll also have to pay for various attachments depending on the machine‘s tasks.
A skid–steer is also known as a ‘skid loader.‘ However, many people sometimes call it a Bobcat after one of the most popular manufacturers. According to Technavio, a global market research company, in 2019, there were 5 top skid–steer brands. So, when you ask to hire a Bobcat, you might be offered a skid–steer made by Bobcat, Komatsu, CAT, CASE, or Terex, to name but a few.
If you can afford to spend tens of thousands of dollars, buying a skid-steer is a good investment. But, if you only need one now and again or for a short-term use, then renting or leasing is the best way forward.
In this guide, we take a look at the costs involved in a skid-steer rental so you can make a more informed decision when planning your next project.
How Much Does it Cost To Rent A Skid Steer?*
The price for renting a skid-steer varies across the country and with each supplier. But, rates should fall within the average industry standard price ranges we‘ve put together in the table below.
|Hire Duration||Estimated Rate Range|
|Hourly||$50 to $110|
|Daily||$150 to $550|
|Weekly||$600 to $1,250|
|Monthly||$1,000 to $3,000|
*Remember, these rates are average across the entire country, so use them as a starting point for your own research, as your state is probably different. If you want an accurate rate for a specific hire period, contact us. We can offer you a very competitive deal.
If you can, always ask for a rental price that covers the longest time you need a skid-steer, rather than extending a weekly hire. For example, from the table, you can see that 3 separate weeks cost a minimum of around $1,800 while a month costs around $1,000.
On top of the basic rental costs, you must factor in the attachments. Usually, a skid-steer comes with a bucket as standard. But, because they are so versatile and used in so many different industries, you can also hire many different skid-steer attachments. Typical weekly rates for attachments range between $150 and $500. In comparison, the monthly attachment rental rates are around $350 to $1,850.
Bobcat Rental Costs & Model Price Comparison
Bobcat is probably the best-known skid-steer brand. And, having pioneered the basic skid-steer loader in 1960, they have more than 50 years of experience.
In the following table, we outline some of Bobcat‘s more popular models, along with their average rental costs. Remember, prices may vary depending on the region where you live.
|Heavy Equipment Model||Daily Rate||Weekly Rate||Monthly Rate|
|Compact Track Loader|
You can also hire attachments for various industry applications ranging from $150/day to $2000/month.
Rental rates in the table above are correct as of the time of writing. Prices might change according to your location and specific requirements. Ultimately, the rental cost is the dealer‘s prerogative. So, for more accurate quotes, contact us today.
Skid Steer Rental Price Factors
Before choosing a skid-steer, decide on the size, operating capacity, and lift height you need. You‘ll find that the cost of renting a skid-steer loader depends on these and other specifications.
The average skid-steer is between 3 to 6 feet wide and 6 to 7 feet tall. Depending on where you intend to use this machine, make sure the model you choose fits through garage doors, garden gates, and in other small spaces that you might come across.
The skid-steer‘s capacity, on average, varies with the engine size. A model of less than 20hp might have an operating capacity of between 250 to 750 lbs. In comparison, a model with a 35 to 45 hp engine has an operating capacity of between 1,500 and 1,750 lbs. Finally, an even more powerful engine of between 45 to 55 hp has an operating capacity of between 1750 to 2750 lbs. Anything above this, you should use a front end loader.
Typically, the average skid-steer lifts from 8 to 10 feet.
Although you don‘t need a license to drive a Bobcat if you‘re a householder, company employees require training to comply with OSHA requirements.
Repair & Maintenance
This includes scheduled preventative maintenance and any repairs that might need doing while the skid-steer is in your possession and before you receive it. The provider adds the costs into the Bobcat skid loader rental rates based on the hours they expect the machine to run.
The amount of lubrication needed is a function of the engine‘s size, the crankcase’s capacity, the number of hours between oil changes, and the engine’s condition.
Most Bobcats use diesel as a fuel. But, the company has recently brought out versions of some models that use gasoline instead. A gasoline engine uses around 0.06 gallons of fuel per flywheel horsepower-hour. In contrast, a diesel engine uses 0.04 gallons.
Apart from the Bobcat skid-steer hire, you‘ll also have the cost of attachments to pay for. You should also budget for transportation costs (unless the hiring company includes this in the basic rental rates).
Skid Steer Rental Advantages & Disadvantages
Renting a skid-steer allows you to benefit from the equipment you might otherwise not be able to afford to buy. You can also use the machine without the problems associated with repair and maintenance. If you have problems with the engine, the rental company either repairs it right away or brings another Bobcat to take its place.
You don‘t have any long–term commitments, as you would with a purchased machine. And the provider delivers it to the work-site. Additionally, rental is very straightforward, and you can pay by check or credit card. And, unlike leasing a skid-steer, which needs monthly payments directly from your bank account, the transaction won‘t affect your credit rating.
There are a few disadvantages to renting equipment like a skid-steer.
- Unlike purchasing, you have to go with whatever the rental company has in stock. And, it might not be what you want.
- It‘s not always possible to rent the skid-steer for more than the agreed rental period if your project takes longer than expected. Someone else might have it booked out.
- Rental fees usually cost more than a lease hire or finance purchase for an equivalent time. But if you decide on a permanent or semi-permanent arrangement, consult your tax advisor first.
Difference Between Skid Steer Leasing & Renting
Leasing a piece of equipment usually commits you to a period of 2 or more years. Unlike a rental, you can‘t give it back to the provider and stop payments when you no longer need it. You have to keep up with the monthly payments even if the machine isn‘t earning its keep.
Since 2018, tax regulations allow leased equipment to appear on your balance sheet. And, unlike rentals, depreciate throughout the lease. However, before making decisions that affect your accounts, please consult your tax advisor, as they know the most up-to-date rules and can apply them to your situation
Do you require a license to operate a Bobcat?
Generally, in the USA, you need a license if you intend to drive a Bobcat on the public road. However, you need safety certification for the Bobcat model you intend to operate, especially if you are an employee using one on behalf of your employer. For this, you need training, which might differ depending on which state you live in. It‘s probably best if you ask at city hall to find out the appropriate rules applicable in your area. But, for now, look on the OSHA website for general information.
Skid Steer Loader FAQ
Can anyone rent a skid steer?
Yes. Anyone can rent one. But, only if you can abide by the provider‘s rules and those of their insurance company. Furthermore, suppose you intend using it on the public road. In that case, you must have a driver‘s license suitable for the type of vehicle you intend to drive.
Are tracked skid steers better?
This depends on the type of ground you expect to work on. If the surface is dry, hard–packed soil, or finished with concrete or asphalt, it is more efficient to use a wheeled skid-steer. In contrast, use a tracked version if you intend to work on difficult terrain. Muddy or soft conditions need the machine‘s weight distributed evenly across a large surface area, and tracks are perfect for this.
Renting a skid-steer is a good way to use one of these machines without paying tens of thousands of dollars, using up your business capital.
Renting is the perfect way to use a Bobcat in the short term. In comparison, leasing is the ideal way to handle a longer-term arrangement, with the bonus of buying at a reduced cost at the end of the lease term.
If your project needs a skid-steer and you prefer to rent, get in touch with us. We have a range of machines to choose from and can usually find something perfect for your task at hand. Furthermore, our attractive Bobcat skid-steer loader rental rates will not break the bank.
Jason is a B2B sales veteran spanning 3 decades and Founder of ApprovedCosts. Jason has scaled sales and marketing teams at a variety of enterprises and is a recognized expert in the field. Jason holds an MBA from NYU Stern School of Business.