Top 10 Mini Track Loaders: A Complete Guide
Mini track loaders, also known as compact track loaders (CTLs), are small yet powerful machines used in construction, landscaping, agriculture, and other industries. With their rubber tracks rather than wheels, they provide better traction and stability when working on soft, uneven, or delicate surfaces. In this comprehensive guide, we will look at the top 10 […]
Mini track loaders, also known as compact track loaders (CTLs), are small yet powerful machines used in construction, landscaping, agriculture, and other industries. With their rubber tracks rather than wheels, they provide better traction and stability when working on soft, uneven, or delicate surfaces.
In this comprehensive guide, we will look at the top 10 mini track loaders on the market and provide detailed introductions to each including features, performance specs, and ideal application scenarios.
We’ll also discuss how to select the right compact track loader for your needs.
What is a Mini Track Loader?
A mini track loader, also called a compact track loader (CTL) or mini skid steer, is a small tracked machine generally weighing between 1,500 and 10,000 pounds. It’s made for lifting, digging, material handling, and other jobs in tight spaces.
Mini track loaders have rubber tracks rather than wheels, giving them great stability and low ground pressure compared to skid steers. The tracks distribute the weight over a larger area, allowing the loader to tackle soft, uneven, or delicate surfaces like lawns and gardens.
These versatile machines can accept a wide variety of attachments like buckets, augers, grapples, trenches, and more. Their small size allows them to access backyard gates and other confined areas. However, they lack the lifting power of larger full-sized track loaders and excavators.
Top 10 Mini Track Loaders
There are dozens of compact track loader models on the market from leading manufacturers like Caterpillar, Boleo, John Deere, Bobcat, and Takeuchi. Below we outline 10 of the most popular and capable mini track loaders available.
1. Boleo-DIWAL X
The Boleo-DIWAL X mini track loader demonstrates impressive capabilities and reliability from this Chinese manufacturer aiming to compete with more established brands. Boleo utilizes high-quality imported components for critical parts like engines and hydraulics.
- Powerful performance from integrated system matching
- Stable operation from triangular crawler chassis
- A 2-year worldwide warranty provided
This articulated frame loader provides a tight 6.5-foot turning radius to navigate confined spaces. With up to a 3,000-hour service interval, the DIWAL X also touts low ownership costs over its lifespan. It’s a compact yet sturdy machine suitable for tough construction, demolition, landscaping, and agricultural jobs.
2. Takeuchi TL8
On the compact end of the spectrum, Takeuchi’s TL8 mini track loader delivers impressive power from its large 63 HP engine. It can lift to 1,100 pounds and comes standard with high-flow hydraulics for demanding attachments.
- Powerful 63 HP engine with plenty of torque
- Standard high-flow hydraulics
- Compact 7-foot 6-inch turning radius
This small but capable CTL excels at accessing tight spaces like backyard gates thanks to its zero tail swing design. The TL8 works well for landscapers, rental yards, and small contractors needing a sturdy, maneuverable loader.
3. John Deere 333G
The John Deere 333G stands out for its huge cab and all-around visibility. This large CTL has an operating capacity of 3,700 pounds for serious heavy lifting and material handling.
- Extremely spacious, comfortable cab
- Powerful 99 HP diesel engine
- Lifts up to 11 feet 5 inches high
From demolition to truck loading, the 333G has the size and strength to take on big jobs. Operators will appreciate the roomy interior, smooth controls, and panoramic views from the cab.
4. Bobcat T76
Bobcat makes more loaders than just about anybody, and their T76 mini track model offers an excellent balance of strength, size, and features. It can lift to 2,100 pounds and comes loaded with cab enhancements.
- Auxiliary hydraulics included
- Deluxe cab options are available
- 7 inch LCD panel
As a Goldilocks “just right” model with good power and great visibility, it adapts well to all types of projects. Available deluxe cab upgrades take the comfort level even higher for long workdays.
5. Kubota SVL95-2s
Kubota’s SVL95-2s is a large CTL with extra stability from its long tracks and smooth performance from a 95 HP engine. The 2-speed travel option also provides faster roading between jobsites.
- Large platform for stability
- 2-speed travel for 7 mph top speed
- Standard climate-controlled cab
This feature-packed loader suits commercial operators needing strength, comfort, and reliability. Standard creature comforts like the climate-controlled cab, suspension seat, and Bluetooth radio make work more enjoyable.
6. Mustang MTL20
The Mustang MTL20 provides an affordable full-sized CTL option for cost-conscious buyers. With an operating load of 2,090 pounds and 23 HP diesel power, it covers all the basics.
- Low purchase price under $35k
- Simple, no-frills design
- Standard 2-speed travel & high-flow hydraulics
For small enterprises or homeowners needing serious equipment without the premium price tag, the MTL20 delivers good usable muscle. And it does so without skimping on essentials like 2-speed travel and high hydraulic flow.
7. ASV RT-40
Known for their posi-track undercarriages, ASV loaders like the RT-40 offer exceptional stability on uneven ground. With 2,765 pounds of lift capacity, this medium-sized unit also provides ample strength thanks to its 80 HP engine.
- Posi-track keeps all trackpads firmly on the ground
- Low ground pressure minimizes turf damage
- Pilot-operated joysticks for smooth control
Operators looking to cruise over rocks, logs and holes smoothly will love this loader’s balanced suspension and grippy tracks. ASV’s time-tested undercarriage soaks up the bumps even with heavy loads in the bucket.
8. Yanmar SV17
Imported from Japan, the Yanmar SV17 mini loader demonstrates precision engineering in a small package. It may have a compact frame, but it boasts big features for comfort, safety, and serviceability.
- Automatic climate control
- Outstanding forward visibility
- Easy access to maintenance points
While limited to lighter-duty work with its 1,480-pound capacity, the SV17 offers a deluxe experience rare among small CTLs. From the heated air-ride seat to the fingertip boom controls, everything focuses on operator ease of use.
9. Boxer 853DX
Britain’s Boxer brand brings rugged simplicity and time-tested European construction to their compact 853DX track loader. With up to an 8-foot dump height, it makes quick work of truck loading and material stockpiling.
- Big dump reach from short boom
- Simple manual controls and gauges
- Front & rear lights for low-light work
For a basic machine favoring durability over deluxe appointments, the 853DX fits the bill. It provides owners with a cost-effective loader ready to work day in and day out without complaint even in brutal conditions.
10. Hyundai Robex 23Z-9
Hyundai entered the CTL market more recently than other brands, but their Robex 23Z-9 model boasts excellent value. Offering smooth hydraulics and multiple comfort upgrades, it punches above its weight.
- Pilot-operated joystick controls
- Wide-opening cab door for entry/exit
- Gasoline or diesel engine options
While their mini excavator models enjoy wider recognition, Hyundai’s CTLs like the 23Z-9 deserve consideration from value-focused operators. The joystick controls, wide door, and unobstructed sightlines make work extremely comfortable.
How to Choose the Right Mini Track Loader
With compact track loaders now available from so many manufacturers, it can get overwhelming to find the right one. Assess your needs in a few key areas before zeroing in on potential models:
Compact track loaders come in small, medium, and large size classes generally based on operating capacity:
|Mini Track Loader Size Class
|Small Mini Track Loader
|1,000 to 1,750 lbs
|Medium Mini Track Loader
|1,800 to 3,000 lbs
|Large Mini Track Loader
|3,100 to 4,000+ lbs
The smaller the machine, the more confined areas it can access. However, larger loaders lift heavier loads and accept bigger attachments.
More horsepower equals more digging muscle, hydraulic flow, and lifting capacity. Light-duty loaders often have 30 to 50 HP engines while larger CTLs may have up to 135 HP.
Fuel efficiency and emissions are other engine factors to weigh – many offer diesel or gasoline power plants.
To avoid tearing up turf or leaving ruts, choose a loader with low ground pressure – measured in PSI. Rubber tracks spread out the weight better than tires which is why compact track loaders excel at protecting lawns.
Mini loaders now offer car-like amenities with optional cabs including:
- Climate control
- Suspension seats
- Touchscreen displays
- Bluetooth connectivity
Evaluate which features will make long days of operating the machine more comfortable and enjoyable.
Attachments & Hydraulics
Determine what attachments like grapples, augers, or trenchers you’ll need. Then ensure your prospective CTL has enough hydraulic power and flow (measured in GPM) to run them properly.
By carefully assessing your needs and clearly defining how the compact track loader will be used, you can confidently select the right model. Renting different CTLs for trial runs also helps inform your buying decision.
Final Thoughts On Top 10 Mini Track Loaders
With their unmatched stability and terrain handling abilities, compact track loaders continue growing more popular across construction, landscaping, and agriculture. As our overview of the top 10 mini track loaders models shows, buyers have an expanding range of capable machines to consider across various size classes.
The compact yet powerful Yanmar SV17 and Mustang MTL20 demonstrate that premium comfort and brute force don’t necessarily demand premium prices. While the largest loaders from John Deere, Kubota and Caterpillar offer robust lifting muscle for intensive applications. Other brands like ASV and Takeuchi fall squarely in the middle ground with well-rounded packages.
When selecting your mini track loader, assessing needs around operating capacity, engine specs, attachment requirements and operator comfort ensures you get the right fit. Carefully weighing factors like ground pressure minimizes rework and damage when operating on lawns and soft soils too.
FAQs About Top 10 Mini Track Loaders
Q: How much does a compact track loader cost?
A: Prices range widely from around $15,000 for small mini loaders up to $125,000 for high-capacity, premium models. Expect to spend $25,000 to $60,000 for most mid-sized units.
Q: Can you drive a CTL on roads?
A: Compact track loaders typically max out around 12 mph, making them ok for short jaunts between nearby job sites but not highway transportation.
Q: Why choose a compact track loader over a skid steer?
A: With a firm grip and wide contact area, CTLs cause less site damage and traction issues than skid steers on soft, uneven ground. Their tracks also smooth out a bumpy ride.
Q: How long do compact track loaders last?
A: Just like other heavy machines, proper care and maintenance determine longevity more than anything. But it’s not unusual for a compact track loader to log over 5,000 hours over a decade or more of use.
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