Small but Mighty: Manufacturers Detail the Smallest Skid Steers on the Market in 2024


While it seems like compact machinery like skid steers and CTLs keeps getting bigger, there’s certainly a need for smaller machines. We recently surveyed a handful of top skid steer manufacturers to detail their smallest models and give advice for purchasing and maintaining these machines. Enjoy!

John Deere

Emily Pagura, Solutions Marketing Manager

John Deere 316GR skid steer

Advice: When looking to purchase a skid steer loader, customers should evaluate their full fleets to best determine which model would be the right fit. While comparing machine options and features, we encourage customers to rely on their dealers to help them navigate the equipment selection and purchasing process. As a dedicated partner to customers, it is crucial for dealers to provide counsel for customers as they make decisions that will impact their business. Additionally, the full John Deere skid steer loader lineup is compatible with an extensive portfolio of attachments options, which expand the capabilities of these machines, making them more powerful and versatile on the job. Fleet owners are always looking for ways to continue to optimize their machines, and we highly encourage those customers to look into adding attachments to their fleet as a way to boost overall machine versatility and jobsite productivity.

Product Spotlight: The John Deere 316GR skid steer is a do-it-all machine. When you need small equipment that can rise high, master heavy loads and deliver impressive boom-and bucket breakout forces, the 316GR is the machine for the job at hand. Offering a radial boom configuration, amped-up performance and a wide range of attachment options, this model was designed to elevate your bottom line. The radial-lift boom provides generous reach at mid-range lift heights and enables the 316GR to excel at digging, grading and backfilling applications. This compact model is also easy to trailer behind a standard pickup truck using the convenient front and rear tie-downs. In addition, its heavy-duty tire option slims the 316GR down to a narrow 60-in. width. Lastly, the large cab entryway with swing-out door, generous foot- and legroom, sealing and pressurization to minimize dust and noise and adjustable high back sculpted seat optimize operator comfort on the job.


Julie Portillo, Marketing Manager

Bobcat 570 skid steer

Advice: Machine wear and tear are inevitable for any piece of equipment. Fortunately, there are plenty of steps you can take to extend the lifespan of your skid steer loader. One of the best ways to care for your machine is by completing daily maintenance. By regularly checking fluid levels, inspecting the various moving parts and examining tires for any uneven tread or incorrect air pressure, you’ll be able to avoid potential issues. Additionally, replacing the engine and hydraulic fluids at recommended intervals will save you future headaches and keep your skid steer in top working order. Finally, staying within the recommended operating limits and using approved attachments will help keep your loader in tip-top shape. With these tips, along with proactive maintenance, you’ll be able to improve efficiency, reduce unplanned downtime and expenses and increase the resale value of your equipment.

Product Spotlight: Skid steer loaders offer great versatility for a variety of jobs and material handling. As the smallest skid steer loader in the Bobcat lineup, the S70 is perfect for big work in tight spaces. At 6 ft tall and 3 ft wide, this mighty machine can fit through narrow doorways, gates and other tight spaces. The S70 is ideal for work that’s too big for a wheelbarrow and too small for a larger machine. A variety of attachments are available, including a snow blade, angle broom, trencher, soil conditioner, auger, grapple, breaker and pallet forks. This small loader comes with powerful hydraulics, making it a high performing machine for digging, excavating and trenching projects. If you’re looking for a small but powerful skid steer loader to get into tight spaces that’s compatible with a wide variety of attachments, this is the perfect model for you.


Jerry Corder, Product Manager

Kubota SSV65 skid steer

Advice: When you are considering a machine to buy, personal comfort comes into play. Many operators spend the bulk of their day working in the machine, so naturally they will want as comfortable a place as possible to spend hour after hour. Do you have room in the cab for yourself and your gear? Are you able to sit comfortably in the seat while operating over varying terrain for extended periods of time? Are there other features and options that not only make the experience in the machine more enjoyable (e.g. Bluetooth connectivity) but also a safer place to work (reversing or 360-degree cameras, adequate external lighting, etc.)? Will you purchase or lease? What are the available financing/leasing programs from the manufacturer? What is the resale reputation of a given brand? Even down to what do you know about the dealer? We all know that all manufacturers are not the same, but likewise not all dealers are the same. Service, warranty and training support are at least as important — and arguably more important — than the initial sales experience.

Product Spotlight: For work on hard surfaces like rock, asphalt and concrete, and other applications where tires make more sense, Kubota’s SSV Series of skid steers are ready to roll. The SSV Series consists of two models, the SSV65 and SSV75, with the SSV65 being the smallest skid steer in Kubota’s lineup. With a 64-hp Kubota Tier 4 Final diesel engine, the SSV65 features standard two-speed travel, a rollup front-entry door, side lighting for better visibility and safe night operation and a spacious cab with climate control to keep operators comfortable and productive. Boasting a rated operating capacity of 1,950 lbs, bucket breakout force of 4,839 lbs and an operating weight of 7,099 lbs, the SSV65 is engineered to increase productivity on the jobsite.

Case Construction Equipment

Brad Stemper, North American Product Management

Case SR1758

Advice: Whether as support equipment in a larger fleet or the main workhorse for an owner/operator, a skid steer loader is one of the most versatile machines a contractor can own. This makes it essential to select and use the right machine for your needs. Key factors you should consider when configuring your machine (based on the jobs to be done) are radial vs. vertical loader arms, a tired vs. tracked platform, hydraulics and operating capacity. The interaction between horsepower and rated operating capacity is also important. If you’re a contractor who’s in the market for a skid steer, consider investing in a machine that provides more capacity than what you may use on a regular basis. That’s not a sales ploy — selecting a machine with a little extra capacity now can help to offset potential future rental/purchase costs to make up for the additional need.

Product Spotlight: With 1,750 lbs rated operating capacity (ROC), the Case SR175B skid steer loader is an ideal option for earthmoving or material handling applications and working in smaller spaces or congested areas. Designed to increase operator performance and comfort — in addition to reducing operational costs — the Case SR175B offers a 360-degree operator visibility through the side fence design with super thin wire and a greater glazed area. It’s also equipped with 19.5-gal fuel tank capacity and side lighting to last the duration of the workday and enable day-to-night productivity. Optional counterweights further increase rated operating capacity (up to 1,850 lbs) for even greater lifting and carrying capabilities. The SR175B packs a high-performance machine into a compact footprint and provides owners with a simple and intuitive platform, making it easy to own, operate and maintain.


Justin Moe, Product Manager — Construction Division

Kioti SL750 skid steer

Advice: Maintaining your skid steer is essential for ensuring machine uptime and safety. Skid steers are designed to tackle a wide range of applications, from demolition to truck loading, deeming them your go-to powerhouse machine. There are several core tasks that operators should have on their checklist to keep their skid steers up and running, including checking fluid levels, air filters and potential leaks. On top of that, be sure to walk around and check the machine for a general inspection. Checking the bucket, cutting edges and teeth will help inform you of inevitable wear patterns and consistent use trends during operation. The most overlooked daily maintenance task is greasing. Greasing is essential to maintaining your skid steer, not only to reduce those pesky squeaks, but to help you minimize unnecessary wear. Above all, ensure all safety equipment is fully functional. Operator and jobsite safety is essential to keeping you on the right track.

Product Spotlight: A first for Kioti, the rugged and tough SL750 skid steer loader leverages years of experience to deliver power and performance without sacrificing comfort. The model was designed, engineered and manufactured by Kioti’s parent company, Daedong Corp., resulting in superior quality control. Designed to lift, push and power through rigorous demands, the machine has a 10.8-ft height to hinge pin and vertical-lift path. Among the top of the class in lift height, operators can easily dump materials into trucks and high-sided hoppers. Hydraulic pilot joystick controls offer the ultimate in maneuverability, delivering superior “featherability” and finite control. As a result, the machine feels like an extension of the operator, enabling precise work even in tight spaces or during complex tasks. The SL750 features a wide cabin, available with the standard open station design or an optional enclosed cab with HVAC for added comfort. The standard rollup style door allows for easy entrance and exit.

Pam Kleineke is managing editor of Compact Equipment.