How Caterpillar Skid Steer Loaders & Multi Terrain Loaders Work

Features, parts, and function of Caterpillar Skid Steer and Multi Terrain Loaders and how they operate.

Skid Steer is made by Caterpillar, but it's not like a Caterpillar in the sense of pushing dirt. A Catepillar all terrain loader has been considered to be the standard of the industry. Everyone in the business has tried to make or copy the catepillar loaders without success. Catepillar also makes the world's largest loader which will hold a full size pick up truck in the box.

A skid steer loader is hydrostatically driven (hydraulic) and is powered by a diesel engine. The engine in turn powers a hydraulic pump. The pump moves oil through a series of control valves to at least two hydraulic motors (some loaders have as many as four motors) that powers all four wheels. Consequently by being hydraulically driven, the driver can control the flow of oil to the wheels either on the right or left side causing either the left or the right side to go faster than the opposing side, stop or go in reverse.

The same principle applies in reverse - the method of steering is to slow or stop one side to make the loader turn or back up. The same diesel engine powers a hydraulic pump that controls the loader portion to allow you to pick up material and transport this material to different locations or to place the material to grade.

Skid steer loaders also come with either soft rubber tires or hard rubber pneumatic tires which are used for demolition because the hard rubber tires won't go flat when it runs over nails. The loader also comes with an option of tracks that go over the top of the existing tires to aid in rough terrain operation and it's primarily used for demolition work. Various attachments are available for a caterpillar skid steer loader to include post hole augers, fiberatory trench compactors, sweepers, and forks for handling pallet materials.

The loaders are also utilized in the logging industry because they come with a sheer on the front of them so it can be used as a feller buncher. Some of the feller bunchers can hold as many as three to four small trees before the buncher needs to be emptied.

Skid steer loaders are all one unit meaning that if you want to turn a corner, you slow the tires on one side while increasing the oil flow to the opposite side. Instead of turning a corner, the entire loader basically jumps into place around the corner.

Multi Terrain Loaders operate the same as a regular loader does on different types of terrains. They come in various sizes from small to be used in landscape work to huge which are used in open pit mines. They are used in material loading and handling. They are powered by diesel engines which power the wheels directly like a four wheel drive vehicle. The loader bucket is hydraulically operated. They are an articulated and oscillated machine which allows them great maneuverability and stability in all types of terrain. Some multi-terrain loaders are jointed in the front so when you turn a corner, half of it goes around the corner first while the second half follows.

They are also used in the logging industry to load and unload logs. They are used to move huge amounts of dirt.

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