If you need to hire a small loader for a certain project, one of the most fundamental decisions you'll have to make is whether to choose a wheeled model, often referred to as a skid-steer, or a tracked model. There's really no right answer since each choice will cater better to certain needs, but you can help determine the right option to meet your needs by considering the following five factors.
If speed is going to be a key concern, you should almost certainly go for a skid-steer loader. Wheels are able to turn at higher rates than a track, so you'll be able to accelerate and cruise much faster than with a tracked loader. In addition to improved top speeds and acceleration rates, skid-steers are more manoeuvrable, so it doesn't take as long to make turns and work in more confined areas.
2. Ground Type
The type of ground you're going to need to cover is a central concern when you're choosing between a tracked vs a skid-steer loader. If you'll be using the loader across softer or looser terrain, a tracked loader is going to be far more effective since they exert reduced ground pressure by more evenly distributing their weight. For working on harder surfaces, wheels are better.
Even if you're working on relatively hard ground, you should take the time to consider what the weather is likely to do. Even hard-trodden dirt and clay can become slippery when the rain starts to fall, often leading to skid-steer loaders getting stuck. A tracked loader will be able to continue operating under such conditions, so you won't have to waste rental days sitting around inside when you could be getting your work done.
Comfort might not seem like a real concern right now, and it probably won't be important if your job will only take an hour or two. However, you'll quickly start to appreciate having a more comfortable ride if you need to use your loader for more than a few hours. Tracked units will be better in this regard since they tend to soak up bumps to deliver a smoother, more composed ride.
A track system is made of metal while tires are made of rubber, and there's usually a lot of track to go around. This means that tracked loaders are normally a lot heavier than skid-steers. Of course, they distribute that weight more evenly, making them easier to manoeuvre over adverse terrain, but you might find them harder to transport.
Contact a company like Eastern Plant Hire for help determining which type of loader will best complete your projects.