Utilizing Construction Machines for Farm Work

by New member BarnCat ‎06-24-2015 01:27 PM - edited ‎06-24-2015 01:30 PM

CATBC51662_CTL259D_Ag.jpgAlmost every farm is likely to have an all-terrain vehicle, a truck and a tractor, but you might be surprised that many farmers are utilizing construction equipment as well. Take a closer look at modern day farms and you’ll find that equipment is diversifying. Tractors are being replaced by machines traditionally used on construction sites that can perform a dozen different jobs to save time and costs. Trends show that farmers in the U.S. rely on skid steer and compact track loaders, while the telehandler is popular across Europe.


Small, nimble machines that can be accompanied by a variety of attachments, skid steer loaders and compact track loaders have become a staple in today’s farming operations. It’s true that large-scale cattle operations and dairy farms have been using this equipment for years, but some family farms are still catching up.



Rather than investing in separate pieces of equipment for every task, skid steers and compact track loaders offer a versatile approach. Extremely efficient with a variety of attachments, these machines can be used to clean the barn, move hay bales, lift pallets, push feed and accomplish many other tasks. Consider these options to maximize productivity and increase ease of operation.

  • The ability to pre-set the attachment angle and automatically recall that setting if the machine is repositioned is very handy when trenching water or electric lines to barns or from ponds to watering troughs. This is also helpful for loading silage into feed bins or going back for another hay bale.
  • The ability to adjust ground speed up or down is much easier in creep mode with joystick buttons instead of a foot pedal. Traveling at a slow ground speed with full engine horsepower and hydraulic flow is especially useful for trenching operations, brush cutting or rolling barbed wire for cattle fences.



There are many different types of skid steers and compact track loaders on the market and it’s important to know which features are beneficial for agriculture. With people, livestock and tender vegetation all around, farm safety is extremely important. If you’re considering one of these machines for your operation, talk to your dealer about whether these safety features are available.

  • Does it have a back-up camera to provide a 360-degree view so you can check for a clear path on all sides of the machine?
  • If the engine unexpectedly shuts down while the lift arms are raised, does it have a dead engine lower valve to bring the lift arms down so the operator can safely exit?
  • Is the Tier 4 compliance package configured to efficiently manage hot exhaust air? Vital for work inside barns and around animals, the exhaust should flow up and away to avoid overhead limitations or blockages in the rear of the machine when working in close quarters. Watch this video to learn more about proper exhaust air flow path management.
  • Does the machine run quietly? This is an important feature to enhance safety for the operator as well as those around the machine.


To learn more about solutions for multi-purpose farm equipment, visit www.cat.com/ag.

For additional information, contact your local Cat® dealer or visit www.catresourcecenter.com. We’d like to hear about how you’re optimizing the equipment on your farm.


  • Do you currently own a skid steer loader or compact track loader?
  • Did these machines replace an old piece of farming equipment?
  • What tasks do you use these machines for on your farm or ranch?
  • Have you recently transitioned from a foot pedal to a joystick? Which do you prefer? How long did it take you to get used to the switch?
  • Have you ever had a close call with hot exhaust air getting too close to a building or other materials?  

by Equipment Appraiser
on ‎02-29-2016 02:54 PM

Thanks for the good read, Ben.


Interesting, but almost more interesting that farmers (with their resourceful and "make-due" mindset) haven't started this movement earlier.  Maybe they have a stubborn demeanor too?!


I wonder how much this is contributing to sluggish tractor sales?  Did you come across any numbers or articles on the topic in your research?

About the Author
  • I’m an Attachments Product Application & Sales Support Specialist for Caterpillar in North America. I have been with Caterpillar for five years including roles in the field as a dealer sales support representative and marketing support in the skid steer and small wheel loader product groups. I graduated from Iowa State University with degrees in Agricultural Business and Economics. Our goal is to provide a full portfolio of attachments for our customers to be more productive and versatile with their machines.
  • I am an Industry and Application Rep for Caterpillar. I graduated from NC State with a dual degree in Agriculture Business Management and Agriculture Science, concentrating in Leadership and Environmental Technologies. I focus primarily on the relationships between customers, dealers, and the product specialists for the Building Construction Products division. Growing up on a tobacco and beef cattle farm, I have several years of machine operation experience and agricultural knowledge. Thomas Jefferson said it best in that, "Agriculture is our wisest pursuit, because it will in the end contribute most to real wealth, good morals, and happiness."
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  • I’m a Compact Wheel Loader Product Application Specialist for Caterpillar in North America. I have 11 years of experience, including roles in the field as a dealer technical support representative, and as a distributor business model consultant.  I graduated from North Carolina State University with a Mechanical Engineering Degree, and wanted a job where I didn't have to sit in front of a computer all day.  This job allows me to get out and get my hands dirty, with the goal of providing solutions to customers’ machine needs.
  • I am a Marketing Communications Specialist for Caterpillar with over twelve years of experience marketing the Cat brand to customers in Latin and North America. My goal is to arm customers with the information needed to make well informed purchase decisions; to maximize the value of Cat machines by using an array of Cat Work Tool attachments; and to minimize the total cost of ownership by using Cat parts and Cat Dealer service.
  • I am an expert Operator and Application Specialist for Caterpillar concentrating on products used in the construction trades industry. I operate, evaluate and train on Cat machines and Work Tool Attachments worldwide. I have a Degree in Agricultural Engineering, Craftsman Certified and was named Apprentice of the Year 1981 at the University of East Anglia, UK.
  • I am the National Association Manager for Caterpillar and have responsibility for customer associations and partnerships in multiple industries for Caterpillar. I have 12 years of experience at Caterpillar, and have spent most of those years in the field with dealers and customers around North America. I have always had a passion for equipment and find myself fortunate to be able to work with dealers and customers almost every day.
  • I am a Product Application Specialist with 16 years of experience in the industry. As a Building Construction Products Global Trainer, I focus on training dealers and customers on machines, attachments and applications as it relates to the construction, agriculture and landscaping segments.
  • I have been with Caterpillar for more than eight years, working in various roles including a materials engineer, a filters product manager and my current position as a parts consultant. My job allows me the opportunity to work with Cat dealers and customers providing insight on how the use of quality filters and fluids results in better equipment performance and lower owning and operating costs.
  • I am a marketing and sales support professional for Caterpillar. In this role, I work with our marketing and customer service teams to support or dealers and customers, concentrating on our Small Wheel Loader, Skid Steer Loader, Mini Excavator and Dozer product groups. The exchange of ideas, information and opinions about equipment and how it’s used in various industries on forums such as this blog helps me fulfill my role at Caterpillar to the best of my ability.
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  • I am a Sales Support Manager for Cat Financial and have responsibility for ensuring that the right financial products are available to Cat customers who purchase, lease or rent to own. 8 of my 10 years with Caterpillar Financial have allowed customer and/or dealer interaction as part of my daily responsibilities including over 3.5 years as a Territory Manager. I take personal satisfaction in finding financial solutions that work for our customers and CAT dealers.
  • I’m a Telehandler Product Application Specialist for Caterpillar in North and South America. I have 13 years of experience, including roles in the field as a dealer service operations and technical support representative, and as a distributor business model consultant. My telehandler passion and focus is working with dealers and customers to maximize the versatility of the product through machine and operator training.
  • I am a Product and Application Specialist with over 35 years experience at Caterpillar. I focus on helping you to determine the best Cat machines, work tool attachments, and services for you to use in the building and general construction, landscaping, specialty trades, and agricultural industries.
  • I am a Senior Regional Insurance Marketing Manager with 16 years’ experience at Caterpillar Financial Insurance Services. I have the opportunity to work with 18 North American dealers providing risk management products and services that helps the Caterpillar Enterprise ( Caterpillar, Dealers and Customers) manage their business risk. Caterpillar Financial Insurance Services offers Extended Protection Plans for machines and engines, Physical Damage Insurance, Inventory Protection Plans, Dealer Property and Casualty, Risk Management, Marine Transit Insurance and Dealer Bonds.
  • Jeff Brown is a marketing professional for Caterpillar Skid Steer, Multi Terrain and Compact Track Loaders. Over Jeff's 12 years in the industry, he has visited with and studied the needs of customers across landscaping, construction, and agriculture segments. Delivering innovative solutions that solve customer's problems is Jeff's main focus.
  • I am a North American Product and Application Specialist for Caterpillar. In this role, I have had the opportunity to represent Caterpillar at various trade shows and train customers on new Small Wheel Loader content. I graduated from Purdue University in 2001 with a Mechanical Engineering degree and have spent the past 15 years with Caterpillar in various engineering roles. Growing up in the Mid-West, I have always loved the cold and the unique activities winter enables. Unfortunately, I had to give those up when I moved to North Carolina. I don't care what people say, you never get used to a hot climate.
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