Since their inception in a small town in Minnesota at the dawn of the 1960s, skid steers have grown in stature as compact, efficient and valuable machines for worksites of all shapes and sizes. From construction to landscape to agriculture, industries have seen an increased need for smaller, more affordable, yet equally efficient machines to get the job done. Over the years, John Deere has improved each generation of skid steer from the original 24 Model to the current state-of-the-art lineup, which, despite their compact size, can handle tasks that were once reserved for larger equipment.
John Deere’s lineup of skid steers range in size and power from under 50 hp (313 and 315) to 50 to 75 hp (318E, 320E and 326E) to more than 75 hp (328E and 332E). The under 50-hp models are lightweight and agile, yet surprisingly powerful. They boast a 2.4-L turbocharged diesel engine that is EPA Tier 4 Interim certified. Features such as heavy-duty drive chains that never need adjustment, easy-to-fill large-capacity fuel tanks and self-cleaning, no-grease Quik-Tatch systems ensure it’s as easy to maintain as it is to run. Compatibility with many of the John Deere Worksite Pro attachments, such as forks, snowblades and rakes, allow for the use of the machine year round.
The 318E, 320E and 326E models incorporate a roomier operator station, a quieter pressurized cab with best-in-class visibility and a curved-glass, swing-out door, says Deere. Operators also have a choice of numerous productivity-boosting options including electro-hydraulic joysticks with selectable control pattern and variable boom and bucket speed settings. Additional features include a highly efficient and easy-to-clean V-plenum cooling system and an electronic fuel-injected diesel engine that is EPA Tier 4 Interim certified. Grouped checkpoints, advanced diagnostics and wide-open access help speed servicing, minimize maintenance and lower daily operating costs.
The 328E and 332E feature optimal weight distributions, low center of gravity, high ground clearances and long wheelbases to deliver stability. But getting there is only half the battle. These skid steers also excel at putting material in its place. The patented vertical-lift boom rises to the occasion, delivering lift height and reach, so you can do more with less effort. The new large-frame E Series models also feature a flat floor design with 25 percent more foot room than previous models. The models also include low-effort, electro-hydraulic (EH) controls for additional comfort and ease of operation. The EH controls are available for ISO, H and foot patterns, and the operator now has the option to switch between all three controls.
Advice to Buyers
“Skid steers are great machines for contractors to consider if they’re starting a fleet or only looking to buy one piece of equipment,” says Gregg Zupancic, John Deere product marketing manager for skid steers and compact track loaders. “Attachments allow skid steers to become a Jack of all trades from dozing and trenching to mulching and compacting. The compact size allows for easy maneuverability around a variety of worksite landscapes and transportation is as easy as attaching a trailer to a pickup.”