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Contractors across the country are experiencing the same thing: slim margins and labor shortages. One way to combat these issues is finding multipurpose solutions, which is one reason skid steer loaders are such a common site on most jobs. With the right attachments, you get a single piece of equipment capable of handling multiple tasks. A skid steer dozer grader blade attachment lets your crew push and level material, and then change out the attachment for the next task.
From site prep to finish grading, blade attachments come in a variety of types and styles, sizes and capabilities. The kind you choose depends on your loader's specs and your particular project needs. Compare products carefully, make sure the attachment isn't too powerful for your machine (or not powerful enough), and you're sure to find just what you need to do the job right.
There are numerous grader blade types, each suited to a particular type of job, such as whether you're looking to move earth or snow. It's always best to choose the right blade for the job at hand. To choose the right blade, you need to know the ground conditions, including soil characteristics, compaction, and moisture content, as well as the overall terrain.
This is a geometrically straight blade (which is why it's often called straight blade). It attaches via the two lower corners, eliminating angle. Although, vertical stabilizers allow tilting for horizontal adjustment. Tilting the blade also lets you concentrate cutting force for enhanced penetration, as well as perform operations such as crowning and ditching.
S blades aren't good for carrying material but the operator may create a push trough if he or she has the necessary skill. In general, the more skilled the operator, the more versatility you get with a straight blade.
Use an S blade on materials with a medium to hard compaction, as its design allows for good penetration of harder materials. Common applications include backfilling, ditching, shaping, stripping, and stumping.
An SU, or semi-U, blade occupies the middle ground between the straight and U blades. Mounting is similar to the S blade, including vertical stabilizing braces with hydraulic tilt cylinders. What distinguishes it from the S blade are forward-curving wings on both ends, which guard against material spills and improve its carrying ability for a broader range of applications.
The SU blade is a popular option for backfilling, crowning, ditching, leveling, stripping, and stumping. It works well in soft to medium-hard compaction, but does not work well on hardpan if the ground has not already been loosened.
The U shape of this blade makes it a good choice for loading and carrying material with minimal spillage. Mounting is similar to the S and SU blades, including the vertical stabilizers, so angling isn't an option (although tilting is). This tilt ability allows concentrated penetration for use in crowning and ditching, but the U blade still works best for soft to medium soils. However, using a ripper to loosen soft rock and hardpan opens up the possibility of using your U blade attachment.
The angle blade gets its name from its mount. It's a straight blade that attaches to a C frame via a pivot mount. These blades also feature vertical stabilizers, hydraulically operated on most newer models but manually on older units. Hydraulic controls allow the operator to easily adjust vertical tilt horizontally, significantly increasing productivity.
Use an angle blade for a variety of tasks, including ditching, dozing, shaping, stripping, stumping, and trail pioneering. It works best on soft to medium materials but only experienced operators can use an angle blade as an effective transport device.
PAT (power, angle, tilt) blades are typically straight with hydraulic controls that allow the operator to adjust angle, elevation, and tilt. This enhanced level of control seriously increases productivity.
Skid steer dozer blades vary widely in price. Blade length, blade extensions, blade height, and degree of tilt all contribute to overall price.
- Blue Diamond 96" wide, heavy-duty 6-way dozer angle blade attachment, price range: $6,400 to $6,800
- Blue Diamond 84" wide, heavy-duty 6-way dozer angle blade attachment, price range: $6,000 to $6,400
- Blue Diamond 72" wide, heavy-duty 6-way dozer angle blade attachment, price range: $5,800 to $6,300
- Skid Pro 84" (7') heavy duty dozer blade, 26″ blade height, +/- 30° blade angling, and 10-degree tilt, price range: $5,000 to $5,500
- Eterra 60” wide, heavy-duty 4-way dozer blade, 2 hydraulic pivot cylinders, price range: $2,000 to $2,400
Skid steer grader blades also vary in price depending on the options, especially the addition of a laser guidance system.
- Work Saver 95” SSGB-8B grader ,8', 6-way hydraulically controlled moldboard, price range: $10,000 to $10,500.
- Spartan Equipment Professional Series 96” wide, 3 hydraulic cylinders, optional laser system, price range: $10,000 to $10,995.
- Site Pro Brand 96” wide, 6-way grader blade attachment, standard flow, reversible moldboard cutting edge, price range: $8,500 to $9,000.
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