When the Keller brothers set out to create a machine that would make it easier for a local turkey farmer to clean his barn, they had no idea they were on the trail of something revolutionary. The Keller’s cobbled together a primitive machine with a small Kohler engine and a transmission borrowed from an old Plymouth and delivered it to the turkey farmer in 1957.
Little did they know, that humble machine would spark a new equipment class that’s become incredibly popular. You’ll find skid steers on farms, ranches, and construction sites worldwide, and the Bobcat brand alone has produced well over one million loaders since the prototype the Keller brothers made for the local farmer.
The market for small equipment has grown exponentially from the humble beginnings of the 50s, and there are tons of excellent manufacturers making skid steers, including CAT and John Deere. While these brands make outstanding products, the Bobcat brand has been synonymous with skid steers since its inception, and they’re by far the largest and most popular brand on the market.
Today, we’re going to take a closer look at Bobcat’s full line of skid steers and accessories so you can get a better idea of how much a Bobcat will cost you, whether you buy new or used, rent or lease.
New Bobcat Skid Steer Prices
How much does a Bobcat skid steer cost? Let’s look at the base prices for each of the 10+ models that Bobcat currently makes.
The S450 is the smallest Bobcat, and it’s perfect for applications where you need a machine that’s agile and able to work in tight quarters. This model is ideally suited for dumping, backfilling, and unloading and the base price for this machine is just over $37,000.
The S510 represents the first step up in size from the diminutive S450, and this machine adds about 25% more handling capacity, a bit more horsepower, and a slightly larger cab. This model is suited to the same tasks as the smaller S450, but it handles more weight. The S510 starts at just under $40,000.
If your operations require equipment that’s a bit more heavy-duty, the S590 is a big step up when it comes to power and handling. This skid steer is still compact, but it handles loads up to 2,000 pounds and delivers 68 horsepower, which is enough power to handle most tasks around the job site or farm with ease. The S590 starts at just over $45,000 new.
The S62 is quite similar to the S590, with a few key differences. This machine belongs to the R-class of Bobcats instead of the M-3 class, and it boasts a new inline engine, improved direct-drive and cooling systems, and a more powerful breakout force. The S62 provides 68 horsepower and starts at just over $44,000.
Another model from the rugged R-series of Bobcat machines, the S64, offers the same premium engine and components as other R-series skid steers and provides increased handling ability. The S64 handles a maximum load of 2,300-pounds, which allows you to take care of business quickly and more efficiently. The price for this skid steer starts at around $49,000.
Another powerful option within the R-series of Bobcats, the S66, provides a healthy horsepower boost over the slightly smaller R-series machines. This one will get you up to 74 horsepower, and it has a payload of 2,400-pounds. The S66 starts at $52,500.
The S70 is Bobcat’s smallest and most streamlined machine, and it’s the perfect option for applications where a traditional skid steer won’t fit. This miniature machine offers 23.5-horsepower and a rated operating capacity of up to 760 pounds. The affordable S70 starts at just under $24,000 new.
A proven powerhouse that can tackle virtually anything you can throw at it, the S740 is ideal for construction sites, landscaping and nurseries, farm and fieldwork, and anything else you can dream up, for that matter. The S740 delivers 74-horsepower and a maximum payload of 3,100 pounds. A new model will set you back over $56,000.
The largest and most powerful of Bobcat’s R-series loaders, the S76 offers a powerful 74 horsepower engine and an impressive payload of 2,900 pounds. This loader starts at around $53,500 for a new machine.
There are very few skid steers that can handle the demands of commercial construction and landscaping environments, but the Bobcat S770 is up to the task. This powerhouse offers a powerful 92-horsepower engine and an operating capacity of over 3,300-pounds. This model is ideal for lifting heavy material, and it provides an impressive 11-feet of vertical lift.
The S770 is Bobcat’s second most expensive machine, and the base price for a new model is around $63,000.
A snarling beast of a skid steer, the Bobcat S850 is the largest machine they manufacture, and it offers the highest vertical lift of any steer on the market. This model is designed for extreme site conditions and long hours, and it’s a workhorse that requires little maintenance. The S850 provides nearly two tons of load handling ability and a huge 100-horsepower engine.
Bobcat’s top-of-the-line S850 starts at $73,000 and increases from there depending on the packages and accessories you choose.
Used Bobcat Skid Steer Prices
Purchasing new equipment means you’re receiving a machine fresh from the factory with no operator hours on it. These machines should provide years of reliable operation with only some basic maintenance.
But, new equipment can be prohibitively expensive, especially if you need to purchase multiple machines. Buying used is the most obvious way to save money on machines. Equipment from reputable dealers that’s been well maintained and serviced can dramatically help your bottom line over the lifespan of the equipment compared with buying used.
As a rule of thumb, you can save around 40% off the cost of a new machine by buying used. Buying used also provides you with much more leverage to negotiate than if you were purchasing a new Bobcat.
There are several other factors that can influence the deal you get on used machinery as well. The market conditions nationally and in your area have a significant impact on the cost of used equipment. If there’s a surplus of machines near you, you’ll be able to score a much better deal than if the equipment is scarce.
Another major factor influencing used prices is the operator hours on the equipment. If the machine has 5,000+ operator hours on it, the price should be much lower than a comparable machine that only has 1,000 hours of use on it.
When shopping for used equipment, carefully consider your needs and what concessions you’re willing to make to save money on your initial investment. Look to save money where you can, but always be wary of a deal that seems too good to be true, especially if you cannot perform your own maintenance and repair work.
Cost to Lease
Depending on your needs, you may find that it makes more sense to lease a Bobcat instead of purchasing one outright. By leasing a machine, you’re guaranteed a late model skid steer with low operator hours, and you won’t have to worry about handling any service or extensive maintenance work.
You’re able to lease a machine with no money down, and at the end of the lease term, you can usually buy the Bobcat for about 10% of the original sticker price. But, the monthly payments can be prohibitively expensive, especially for shorter lease terms.
For a late model Bobcat in the $30,000 range, your monthly lease payment can be anywhere from $700-1,200 depending on the lease duration, your creditworthiness, and other factors.
Cost to Rent
If you only need a Bobcat a few times a year, you may find that it makes the most sense to avoid buying the equipment yourself and renting a machine as needed.
Bobcats can be rented hourly, daily, weekly, or monthly. Here’s a rough idea of what you can expect to pay under each arrangement:
- Hourly: $50-100
- Daily: $150-550
- Weekly: $500-1,300
- Monthly: $1,000-4,000
Skid Steer Frame Sizes
Bobcat’s fall into one of three size categories, ranging from small to large. Here’s how the frame size of each Bobcat affects performance and pricing.
The small frame Bobcats are the most compact and easy to maneuver. These machines also have the smallest engines and the lowest operating capacity. Small frame Bobcats typically have 50-horsepower or less and can handle 1,700 pounds or less.
These machines are ideal for light-duty tasks like snow removal, landscaping, and residential construction. Small frame Bobcats cost between $25,000-$40,000, and used machines in excellent condition can be had for around $15,000-$25,000.
The next class of Bobcat are the medium frame machines that offer a significant boost to power and handling capacity. These machines usually have around 60-70hp and a payload capacity of 2,200 pounds or less.
A new Bobcat in this size range runs about $45,000-60,000, and you can expect a medium-frame late model skid steer to start around $30,000.
The largest class of Bobcat, these machines represent the most powerful Bobcats with the highest vertical lift. Large frame Bobcats can handle loads as heavy as 3,950 pounds, and their engines can produce up to 100 horsepower.
Large Bobcats start around $60,000 and can reach towards $100,000 with accessories. A used model can cost as much as $65,000.
One of the most significant advantages of purchasing a Bobcat is the sheer number of different attachments available. You’ll find over two dozen tools that can help you do even more with your skid steer. Below, we’ll take a closer look at each attachment and its cost.
Brush chippers start at around $7,000 and allow the operator to quickly mulch branches and small trees up to a 5” diameter. Brush chippers can compact material by up to 90% of its original size. For land clearing or landscaping, a brush chipper is a critical tool to own.
Concrete buckets start at just under $2,000 and go up from there depending on size and features. This accessory is indispensable for masonry work in tight quarters where you’re unable to bring in a cement truck. The best models even include a chute which makes it easier to direct the material where it’s needed.
Crushers start at around $4,000 but can easily reach the five-figure range, as well. These accessories crush large concrete slabs and chunks into smaller pieces that are easier to dump, which significantly reduces dumping and hauling costs.
Digging backhoe attachments transform a skid steer into a backhoe, and they run from about $2,000 to $7,000 depending on the model, size, and features. Many attachments allow you to swing the bucket up to 50-degrees, which enables you to dump soil easily without repositioning the Bobcat.
A dumping box will set you back about $5,500, but it’s a must-have attachment for businesses handling large volumes of loose material. Dumping boxes can hold as much as 88 cubic feet of material depending on the model, and they make transportation and repositioning of the material significantly easier.
Earth augers cost around $2,500, while bits can cost as much as $2,000 depending on the size and composition of the bit. Most bits cost between $200-800. These tools allow you to dig deep holes rapidly, which is a necessity for landscaping, fencing, or pouring concrete footings for new structures.
One of the most powerful and expensive Bobcat accessories, forestry mulchers can cost nearly as much as a new small Bobcat, with mulchers costing as much as $35,000. These tools quickly clear large swaths of brush and small trees up to 6” in diameter. Most mulchers require high-flow hydraulics that deliver up to 40gpm, so you’ll need to ensure they’re compatible with your Bobcat before purchasing.
A grader rake comes in around $4,000 and is an indispensable tool for soil grading and cleanup. This tool can quickly scarify and smooth out dirt for final prep. Most graders have tines that automatically adjust for optimal performance on uneven ground. Some grader rakes are as wide as 95-inches, which allows the operator to cover more ground in less time.
Heavy Duty Brush Mower
A powerful tool that’s similar to a brush chipper, these mowers cost around $5,000 and quickly cut through underbrush up to 6” in diameter. Most require high-flow hydraulics systems to perform correctly, so you’ll need to ensure this accessory is compatible with your Bobcat.
Height adapters are relatively inexpensive accessories that cost $1,000 or less. Height adapters are used when removing the wheels of a skid steer to retrofit it with tracks. Tracks sit lower to the ground than wheels do, which presents a problem when mounting accessories as they won’t sit at the proper height for optimal performance.
High Capacity Grapple Bucket
Grapple buckets cost around $3,000, and they’re a useful accessory for farming, and any time large pieces of material need to be transported. Quality models allow you to control each grapple independently, which makes it easier to transport cumbersome materials.
An indispensable demolition and construction tool, hydraulic breakers range in price from around $5,000 to $9,000. These powerful tools use the hydraulic flow of the skid steer to generate downward force to break and crush rock, asphalt, and concrete. Breakers are usually reserved for larger Bobcats with high-flow hydraulics.
Log splitters will split you back somewhere in the realm of $1,000-3,000 for a new model, and they’re well worth the price if you need to prep firewood for a cold winter. These log splitters allow the operator to easily split logs in seconds from the cab without any effort. Most splitters only require about 10gsm, but larger models may require a high-flow system.
Log, Brush, and Rock Grapple
These grapples cost between $1,500-5,000, depending on their size and features. A log, brush, and rock grapple can be as wide as 84,” and it allows the operator to quickly move large and cumbersome materials and debris. Depending on its width, the tool may have one or two grapples, and many models allow you to control each grapple individually.
Manure Fork Grapple
A manure fork grapple is an essential tool for farm and landscaping work, and it cost around $2,000. These tools are specialized grapples for mucking out stables and transporting hay, grass, or loose landscaping materials. The teeth on the grapple are usually replaceable to extend the life of the accessory.
Pick-up brooms start at around $4,000 and go up from there, but they’re well worth the cost if you need to broom sweep a shop floor, stable, or processing facility. Pick-up brooms are bi-directional, and they quickly sweep up dust, dirt, and other particles. Some brooms even have dust management systems that further reduce particulate matter in the air.
Planers are one of the more expensive accessories, costing between $10,000-25,000. These tools allow the operator to quickly level roads, trails, and other surfaces. The planing drums vary from just over a foot wide to about four feet wide, and there are models available for both regular and high-flow hydraulic systems.
Rotary Brush Mower / Dual Rotary Brush Mower
Rotary brush mowers start at around $3,500 for a single rotary motor and go up from there, with dual rotary versions costing as much as $12,000. Rotary brush mowers allow the operator to quickly cut grass and brush up to 4” in diameter.
Skeleton grapples range from around $1,500 to $3,500, and they’re a helpful tool when clearing logs, brush, leaves, hay bales, and other large materials. This accessory gets its name because it has no bucket, just tines on the top and bottom that are reminiscent of a skeleton. This accessory is the ideal tool for picking up larger materials with no fine particulate matter.
Snow / Light Material Bucket
Snow buckets are affordable accessories that can be purchased for under $2,000. These lightweight yet durable buckets are ideal for plowing snow from roads, driveways, and walkways, and moving landscaping materials.
Soil conditions run from about $4,000 to around $10,000, and they’re a helpful tool when you need to prepare the soil for planting. This bi-directional accessory separates rocks and gravel from the dirt, loosens the soil, and grades it. The best models also tilt to the left or the right, providing up to 25-degrees of articulation.
A tooth bar is an indispensable accessory that costs under $500. Tooth bars attach to the existing bucket of your skid steer, transforming it into a powerful digging tool.
Tooth bars are made from high-carbon steel for durability, and they bolt onto the edge of your skid steer’s bucket. These tools are available in many widths to fit different size buckets, and they’re usually universally compatible with other brands.
A tree puller will set you back anywhere from $1,000 to $1,500, and they’re the ideal tool for removing stumps, small trees, bushes, and shrubs. This accessory is also perfect for removing rebar and fence posts. The jaws on a tree puller open around 12-inches wide, which allows the operator to pull out anything with the exception of larger, mature trees.
Tree shears are an ideal tool for pruning, landscaping, or clearing, and they range in price from around $4,000 to as high as $15,000. These tools are available in single or double knife configurations, and they’re compatible with virtually any skid steer because they don’t require much hydraulic output.
A tree spade is one of the most specialized and unique accessories for a Bobcat, and it can be quite expensive. These accessories consist of a digger component and a spade/transplant component. The digger itself is pretty inexpensive at around 1,500, but the transplanter can cost as much as $10,000.
A tree spade allows the operator to quickly transplant small trees and shrubs in a matter of minutes, which makes them incredibly popular for landscaping applications.
Skid Steer Pricing FAQs
When it comes to the question of how much does a Bobcat skid steer cost, people have some common questions they need answered. Read on for more info.
What size skid steer do I need?
The right skid steer for you depends on the type of work you’ll need the machine for and the amount of weight you’ll need it to lift at once. You’ll want to consider the kind of job sites you’ll be working on and whether there are any clearance concerns that make it difficult to use larger machines.
Always look to purchase a model that’s slightly more powerful than what you think you’ll need, in case the machine needs to be used for larger projects than you envisioned.
When should I buy a used vs. a new Bobcat Skid Steer Loader?
Depending on your situation, you’ll find it makes more sense to purchase either a new or used skid steer. Buying used is an excellent way to save money, and a used Bobcat from a reputable source should provide years of service. Meanwhile, purchasing new equipment can be more expensive but requires a smaller up-front investment and allows you to take advantage of tax incentives.