Deciding which skid steer to buy can be a big decision for any construction, landscaping, or agricultural business. This piece of machinery can dramatically enhance efficiency and productivity. Still, with options for both new and used models, it’s important to make an informed decision that aligns with your business needs, budget, and long-term goals.

In this blog, we’ll guide your decision on whether to invest in a new or used skid steer by presenting the pros and cons of each.

What to Look for When Buying a New Skid Steer

When shopping for a new skid steer, focus on finding a machine whose capabilities match your needs. Ensure that its lift capacity and operating weight align with your project requirements. Additionally, consider the engine power and hydraulic flow rate, as these factors directly affect the efficiency and speed at which you can complete tasks.

Consider the attachment versatility and assess the cabin’s ergonomics and visibility, as operator comfort and safety are paramount during long hours of operation. Opting for a new model brings the latest technology and efficiency, promising a long-term solution to your needs.

3 Pros of Buying a New Skid Steer

  • State-of-the-Art Technology: New skid steers have the latest technology, offering superior performance, fuel efficiency, and user-friendly controls. This includes advanced hydraulics, better emissions controls, and, often, more sophisticated attachment capabilities.
  • Warranty and Reliability: With a new purchase, you benefit from a full manufacturer’s warranty, ensuring protection against initial defects and providing peace of mind. The new equipment is less likely to require repairs, offering more uptime and reliability.
  • Customization and Choice: Buying new allows you to choose a skid steer with the exact specifications and attachments necessary for your work. You can customize the skid steer to perfectly fit your operational needs, including engine size and attachment compatibility.

3 Cons of Buying a New Skid Steer

  • Higher Initial Investment: The biggest downside is the higher upfront cost. New skid steers are a significant investment, especially for smaller operations or startups.
  • Depreciation: Skid steers depreciate quickly in the first few years, like most new machinery. This means the resale value drops faster than a well-maintained used model, affecting long-term value.
  • Potential for More Complex Repairs: With advanced technology comes complexity. Newer models might require specialized service and repairs, which can be more costly and time-consuming, especially if the technology is particularly cutting-edge.

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What to Look for When Buying a Used Skid Steer

When considering a used skid steer, it’s essential to do a thorough evaluation to ensure you’re making a wise investment. Start by checking the machine’s service history and hours of operation to understand better its condition and how much life it might offer. Inspect the skid steer for signs of wear and tear, focusing on the engine, hydraulics, and attachments, as these can be costly to repair.

Test the machine’s performance to ensure it meets your operational needs, and pay attention to any unusual noises or movements. Also, consider the availability of parts and services for older models. A well-maintained used skid steer can be a cost-effective solution, but adequately evaluating it is key to avoiding unexpected and costly issues down the line.

3 Pros of Buying a Used Skid Steer

  • Cost-Effective: The most significant advantage of buying a used skid steer is the lower initial purchase price. A used skid steer can offer great savings, making it an attractive option for budget-conscious buyers or those looking to expand their equipment without the hefty price tag of new models.
  • Lower Depreciation: Used skid steers have already undergone the steepest part of their depreciation curve, meaning they retain their value better over time. This can be an advantage for resale value or if you’re looking to upgrade.
  • Tested Performance: A used skid steer comes with a history of operation, and any persistent issues have likely been identified and resolved. Buying a machine that has undergone field testing and proven its reliability through use by previous owners offers a certain reassurance.

3 Cons of Buying a New Skid Steer

  • Unknown Usage History: One of the biggest risks is the uncertainty regarding how the previous owner used and maintained the skid steer. Poor maintenance or harsh usage can lead to hidden problems, resulting in downtime and costly repairs.
  • Outdated Technology: A used skid steer may need the latest technology or features, which can affect performance and efficiency. This might also mean compatibility issues with newer attachments or systems, limiting its functionality.
  • Shorter Lifespan and Higher Maintenance: Even a well-maintained used skid steer is closer to the end of its operational life than a new one, potentially leading to more frequent repairs and maintenance. The older the equipment, the more challenging it might be to find parts and services, especially for models no longer in production.

Deciding Between a New or Used Skid Steer

Choosing between a new or used skid steer comes down to your needs and the kind of work you do. Consider your budget and what you need the machine to do. If your projects require the latest features, and you prefer a machine with a warranty, a new skid steer might be best.

But a used one could do the trick if you’re looking to save money and are okay with more upkeep. Consider what’s most important for your work and choose the best option that fits your situation, keeping your current and future needs in mind.

New and Used Skid Steers for Sale in PA & NY

​​Ready to make your next big move with a reliable skid steer? Five Star Equipment is here to help you choose the right one. Whether you’re looking for the latest model or a sturdy, used machine, we have a wide selection to fit your needs. Serving both PA and NY, we’re committed to providing quality equipment and expert advice. Contact us today to explore our inventory and find the perfect skid steer for your projects.


Deciding between a new or used skid steer is not just a matter of preference but a strategic business decision that affects your operational efficiency and financial planning. Whether you lean towards the cutting-edge technology and reliability of a new model or the cost-effectiveness and proven performance of a used one, it’s essential to weigh your options carefully. Consider the nature of your projects, budget constraints, and long-term objectives. Remember, the choice you make today will impact your work for years to come, so choose wisely and ensure it’s a decision that moves your business forward!

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