The benefits of a bobcat vs an excavator

While you’re looking for hiring equipment for your next earthmoving project, you have two popular choices – a bobcat and an excavator. Both these machines are versatile and able to perform a variety of tasks. But still, there’re some specialized functions for which one machine may not fit in and thus it is crucial that you access your job site conditions and only then decide on one machine.

A bobcat or a skid-steer loader

Bobcat is an American based manufacturing company of construction equipment. The word “bobcat” is referred to the skid steer loader because it was the most popular product of this company. A skid-steer loader is a rigid frame machine that has to lift arms attached with a wide bucket that can be lifted high like an excavator. The distinct feature of a skid-steer is its maneuverability.

The benefits when you hire an excavator instead, the undercarriage is either wheel-mounted or track-mounted but it doesn’t have any turning wheels. The operator uses the speed of the wheels to skid or drags the machine on the ground. That happens because the front and back axle of each side are locked in synchronization with each other. The name of this machine is because of its unique steering function.

The main advantage of using a skid-steer is because of the variety of available attachments. The standard attachment for a skid-steer is a lifting bucket that can lift heavy materials. Due to its light and compact stature, skid-steer is ideal for projects like excavating, landscaping, lifting heavy objects in construction, snow removal and trenching.

In terms of attachments that you can fix, the choices are auger, backhoe, snow blower, tiller; wheel saw, cement mixer, wood chipper, and pallet forks. Like excavator, skid-steer also comes in many sizes. The small size weights less than 1750 pounds while the largest one has a weight greater than 2200 pounds. The small-frame bobcat is ideal for indoor renovation jobs.


While you compare a bobcat with an excavator, there’re a lot of differences you find. An excavator’s bucket generally pulls the dirt or material towards the operator while the skid-steer pushes it out. The bucket size of skid-steer is generally wider but for excavators, the bucket is deep but less-wide. The excavator has a long articulated boom that allows it to access far off areas even while standing away from the workspace. Excavators also have a versatile number of attachments but a skid-steer has more options in this aspect. Excavators, except a mini-excavator, are generally large and can’t fit in tight space but the bobcat can fit in easily with its skid-steer capabilities. So, if you’re dealing in a project where you need quick actions in limited space a bobcat is ideal. But even if you prefer to have functionalities like that of an excavator, you can hire a mini excavator. The mini excavator also has reduced or zero tail swing and thus it can easily access tight spaces like inside of building, narrow urban lots, or unstable temporary excavated areas.


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