Wheel Loaders

Learn about used wheel loaders and more

An essential part of any construction operation, a wheel loader is used primarily to load material onto another vehicle or to stockpile it in a designated area. This piece of heavy equipment typically resembles a large tractor with two booms and a large angular shovel on the front. A loader can also come with a track instead of wheels; these offer more traction on rough and uneven terrain but are more destructive to roads and driveways. There are also smaller versions of loaders available, known as compact wheel loaders or skid steers, and larger versions have articulated steering to improve maneuverability.

Advertiser Links for Wheel Loaders

Wheel loaders are used for loading materials into trucks, laying pipe, clearing debris and digging. Loaders aren't the most efficient digging machines, however, since the shovel cannot extend below the wheel base, so for jobs with a lot of digging, a backhoe loader is a better idea. But the shovel is capable of scooping up loose debris from the ground, carrying it a short distance and depositing it where needed, so wheel loaders can be used to move everything from dirt, gravel, logs, sand, wood chips and construction site debris, to snow in colder climates.

Renting vs. Buying a Wheel Loader

Komatsu wheel loaders and John Deere wheel loaders are among the most popular wheel loaders on the market today. Browsing wheel loaders for sale will reveal that many easily cost more than $100,000 depending on the size, features and age. Used wheel loaders are available at a reduced price, but then there's the question of how hard a machine has been worked (and, therefore, whether it may be costly to keep maintained). Used wheel loaders for sale won't save you a lot of money if the cost to keep them running is double that of a new loader.

A good compromise between buying a new wheel loader or dealing with the uncertainties of a used one is to rent or lease instead. You can rent a loader or skid steer for as short a time as one month, or you can carry an ongoing lease if you have a job that is going to last several months or longer. Leasing allows you to get a valuable piece of equipment at a fraction of the cost of buying, so you can get to work right away on your project. It also takes away the worry of mechanical breakdowns, since leased vehicles are newer and are often repaired or replaced by the leasing company, which means less downtime that can slow or even stop the progress of your work.