How Much Does a Skid Steer Post Driver Attachment Cost?
When it comes to setting posts, there's the old fashioned way – digging a hole and spending hours hand-tamping your posts into place – and there's the better, more efficient way: using a skid steer post driver attachment.
With a post driver, you save hours of back-breaking labor, vastly improving productivity and safety on the jobsite. Fencing contractors, farmers, ranchers, landscapers, and pretty much anyone who regularly installs fences and other posts benefits from these incredible attachments. Choosing the right one for you, though, requires understanding your needs as well as the capabilities of both your skid steer and the attachment.
What to Look for in a Post Driver Attachment
Before choosing a post driver, you need to understand the following:
- Your skid steer's specs and capabilities
- The size of the posts you install (both smallest and largest)
- Your budget
- The terrain you typically work on, including soil conditions and slope
Although smaller units are more affordable, larger operations typically require larger investments. The size of your skid steer or tractor basically dictates the size of your attachment, with smaller equipment more suited to the lighter-duty post drivers.
Another concern is whether you need a driver with hydraulic tilt, which comes in handy when working on uneven terrain or hard soil (or both). If your typical work area features soft soil and even ground, you can likely get away without the hydraulic tilt without too much loss of productivity. When in doubt, talk to your operators and your vendor for guidance.
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Types of Post Driver Attachments
Post drivers fall under two main categories, drop hammer and breaker style. Each has its own pros and cons; the best choice depends on your unique needs.
Drop Hammer Post Driver
The drop hammer style of post driver implements a freefall design to pound posts into the ground. There are no springs, returns lines, or hydraulic cylinders aiding the hammer function. Instead, the force of the falling weight (and gravity) drive this powerhouse.
There's one main pro: this is a seriously powerful attachment that easily drives in nearly any type of post. The main con, however, is closely related. With no means of controlling the power of the drop hammer, it's easy to damage the post, particularly wooden ones. After all, a secondary ability of the drop hammer is busting through concrete. You're also more likely to damage your posts when working on uneven or rough ground. Pay close attention to specs and capabilities before purchasing this type of post driver.
Breaker Style Post Driver
The breaker style driver offers a bit more control over power; it can even be used on smaller posts without damaging them. They only earn the name "breaker" if they include a spike. This is valuable add-on if the model you choose doesn't automatically include it, as the spike works well to create the pilot holes for your posts. It even breaks rocks and concrete.
How Much Does a Post Driver Attachment Cost?
Pricing varies widely depending on design, extra features (such as head and collar options), the manufacturer, and unit capabilities (such as strokes per minute and stroke length). On average, you'll spend between $5,000 and $11,000 for a post driver for your skid steer.
If you choose a used model, you typically save around 40 to 50 percent. Don't buy a used model until you see it in operation, either live and in person or via live video.
- Danuser Hammer SM40 skid steer post driver, 82,000 lbs of impact force, 40” stroke length, 35 strokes per minute, grapple attachment can make driving fence posts go faster, price range: $5,000 to $5,500
- Bradco PD4800 skid steer post driver, 42 strokes per minute, 27 GPM maximum, 48” maximum stroke, manual side shift, 12.65" left or right from center, price range: $6,500 to $7,000
- Kiwi 10’ Stud Beam skid steer post driver, will drive all types of wood or steel posts up to 10', requires minimum 15 GPM, 120,000 lbs impact, price range: $7,200 to $7,800
- Eterra PDX-750 Breaker Style skid steer post driver attachment, 15 degrees of angle side-to-side, cone driver head open cup style, optional head, control and breaker tool, price range: $8,000 to $11,000
Things to Consider When Purchasing a Post Driver
Look carefully at the brand and model compatibility between the attachment and your loader. Consider purchasing a universal model, which allows you to transfer your driver to a new skid steer, even if you change manufacturers.
Take the time to read online reviews, but also talk to others in your industry about both the attachment brand and the vendor you're considering. Finally, review the warranty to learn what it covers and for how long, and don't be afraid to ask for details if you aren't sure.