Rent a compact track loader to stay productive when ground conditions are wet and muddy

As a business owner, you have dozens of decisions to make about allocating equipment assets and labor resources to projects you have been hired to complete. You should take into consideration the type of work to be performed, the most efficient machine for the job and the likelihood that operators will be proficient enough at the controls to help turn a profit. Additionally, if the equipment doesn't exist in your fleet, what is the most effective method for securing it?

When the evaluation of those business factors results in needing a rental machine that excels at digging, lifting and pushing in wet, muddy or sandy ground conditions, a compact track loader may be your best solution. Year after year, more compact track loaders are being manufactured and sold in construction applications because their design answers the jobsite needs of construction contractors and site preparation firms who need a versatile and cost-effective machine that can be productive for operators at all levels of work.

Maneuverability in Challenging Conditions

One of the most important advantages of a compact track loader is its undercarriage and rubber tracks. When other equipment slows due to the weather, compact track loaders can often keep going. They are built with a unique balance of torque and tractive effort that provides greater power and mobility in soft ground conditions.

Designed for low ground pressure, operators can keep compact track loaders maneuverable and productive while working in soft, sandy, wet or muddy conditions. This is beneficial when enhancing residential or commercial properties while operating on established surfaces, clearing vegetation or leveling and grading. A compact track loader's weight is spread out over the length and width of its tracks, providing increased flotation and minimal ground disturbance when compared to rubber tire loaders. For many owners, these undercarriage features can translate into several additional days of work and increased revenue. In many areas, the ability to work in such varied conditions could result in projects starting earlier in spring or continuing several weeks later in the fall. Some manufacturer's compact track loaders also feature an optional two-speed transmission that can reduce the time operators spend traveling across a jobsite or between projects. This time-saving feature can boost the machine's top travel speed by more than 50 percent. In addition to the increased speed, flotation and minimal ground disturbance, the compact size of these loaders means they can be transported between jobsites more efficiently and affordably than a small bulldozer or other large rental equipment.

Powerful Lifting Abilities

Lifting performance is a key factor that contributes to compact track loader rental profitability. Compact track loaders are typically rated at 35 percent tipping load. This means a loader with a 4,000-pound tipping load would have 1,400 pounds of operating capacity. Therefore, larger compact track loaders are designed with a higher-rated operating capacity, providing the power to lift more material in a bucket or palletized building supplies.

One very important design element with compact loaders is the lift arm configuration. Most rental fleets offer a choice of two different designs from manufacturers—a vertical lift path and a radius lift path—to help contractors match the level of lifting that fits their most frequent tasks. For example, a vertical lift path loader provides higher lift capacity and more reach at full lift height than a radius lift path loader. Because maximum reach is achieved at full lift height, it is easier to clear high-sided trucks and hoppers and perform jobs that require repeated lifting at taller heights.

A radius lift path loader raises the load in an arc that provides maximum reach at truck bed height. A radius lift path machine excels at jobs with mid-range or lower working heights, like dumping material over a wall, backfilling or loading, unloading flatbed trucks and leveling and grading.

Take on More Jobs

Expand the project services and maximize a rental contract by adding a key attachment to a compact track loader. Some manufacturers offer more than 70 unique attachments for compact track loaders, from augers and grapples to rotary cutters and hydraulic breakers.

For example, when utility construction contractors install pipeline, they are often required to smooth out bumps and level the ground before seeding and applying straw. Instead of manually using rakes, a compact track loader equipped with a soil conditioner can do the job in a fraction of the time. Adding functionality like that to a compact track loader rental can double machine utilization and be considerably more cost effective than project-specific machines.

It is also important to assess the value of high-flow auxiliary hydraulics for compact track loaders and attachments that could benefit from an extra power boost. If a particular attachment is expected to make up a significant portion of your operational time, it increases your productivity and your overall return to rent machines and attachments with high-flow hydraulics capabilities.

Control Options

When looking at a rental machine, finding the best control options is ideal to get the job done efficiently. Many manufacturers offer both electric and hydraulic control setups. Some of the available configurations in the industry that are used to operate lift arms, buckets or other attachments include foot pedals, hand controls and joystick controls.

For jobs that involve multiple operators, many manufacturers' joystick control patterns can alternate between ISO and H-Pattern to match a particular operator's preference. This customization plays a key role in maximizing comfort, efficiency and productivity. Virtually all of the industry's control systems allow attachments to be activated with fingertip switches.

Functionality and controllability are important. Some brands automate horsepower management to adjust the drive system for maximum pushing and digging power. Machines that offer a built-in speed management feature allow operators to dial in their travel speed separately from the engine speed to achieve an optimal setting for their attachments.

Additionally, features like steering drift compensation can maintain a desired travel path in both forward and reverse directions, and are especially well-matched to operating side-shifted attachments like planers and trenchers. By adjusting the drive torque for either side of the machine, this feature enables operators to perform functions on uneven surfaces without constantly correcting their path.

When rental is the most viable solution for an upcoming project that involves digging, lifting and pushing, a versatile compact track loader is increasingly the best value overall. Because they are equipped with features and attachments that allow it to work longer, harder and smarter, compact track loaders may quickly become a permanent addition to your fleet. A multi-use compact track loader could be the addition your fleet needs to accomplish more in less time on your next project.