How much does a Skid Steer Weigh?

Matt at Centex Excavation
Author: MattPublished: October 27, 2022 Updated: December 16, 2023 • Filed Under: Equipment and Machinery

Key Takeaways

  1. Variable Weights: Skid steers’ weights vary significantly, typically ranging from 2,000 to 6,000 pounds, depending on the make, model, and attachments used. The lightest models, like certain Kubota skid steers, can weigh around 2,100 lbs, while some can weigh as much as an average car.
  2. Importance of Accurate Weight Measurement: Knowing the exact weight of a skid steer, especially when using different attachments, is crucial for safe operation and transportation. If precise weight is needed, it’s recommended to weigh the skid steer at a truck stop or weigh station.
  3. Distinguishing Weight from Lift Capacity: It’s important to differentiate between the skid steer’s weight and its lift capacity. The lift capacity, which is how much weight the machine can safely lift, is different from the machine’s own weight and is a critical factor in safe operation.

Skid steers are one of the most versatile pieces of construction equipment on the market. They can be used for various tasks, from excavating to loading and hauling. But one question we get a lot here at Bobcat is, “How much does a skid steer weigh?” 

Skid steer weights are important because it’ll affect the rated operating capacity, capacity of the loader arms, tipping load, and so much more. And, if you need to transport the skid steer to the job site, you’ll want a trailer that can handle heavy loads.

So with that, let’s dive in!

So what’s the weight?

It’s a good question; unfortunately, there’s no easy answer. The weight of a skid steer can vary depending on several factors. This includes the machine’s make and model and the attachments being used. Most skid steers weigh between 2,000 and 4,000 pounds (907 to 1,814 kg). However, some models can weigh as much as 6,000 pounds (2,722 kg). That’s right around the weight of an average car even though it has a small frame compared to a car.

The lightest skid steer we’ve seen was a Kubota that weighed right around 2,100 lbs. There are smaller skid steers, but that’s the smallest we’ve seen and used. Some operators call these mini skid steers.

For example, the Bobcat S650 skid steer has a standard operating weight (SOW) of 2,690 pounds and a ROC of 8,165 pounds (more on the ROC shortly). But when you add in the weight of an attachment—let’s say a bucket—the total weight of the machine will increase. 

You’ll need to consult your operator’s manual to get a more accurate estimate of how much your skid steer will weigh with an attachment. Sometimes the machine will have the gross weight (operating weight + attachment) listed in the specs on a label affixed to the machine. 

If you can’t find the weight information in your operator’s manual or the machine itself, your best bet is to contact the manufacturer directly. They’ll be able to give you the most accurate estimate of how much your skid steer will weigh with an attachment.

However, sometimes you need to know the exact weight with different attachments.

Want the exact weight? Get it weighed!

If determining the weight is extremely important, you can always take your skid steer to a local truck stop, or other weigh station to get an accurate measurement. Be sure to weigh the machine with the attachment and without to get two different weights. 

This typically costs around $10-15. However, it’s a small price to get an exact measurement of how much your skid steer weighs.

Commercial Truck Scale
Commercial trucking scales such as this one can provide you with an accurate weight of your skid steer loader.

Lift capacity and weight are different.

One thing to keep in mind is that your skid steer’s weight differs from its lift capacity. The lift capacity is how much weight the machine can safely lift and manipulate. 

For example, the Bobcat S650 has a rated operating capacity (ROC) of 8,165 pounds. This means that it can safely lift nearly 8,200 pounds without tipping over. Of course, this is under the right conditions. You can still tip over a skid steer if you need to be more careful. Safety first!

Knowing the difference between these two weights is essential because they will affect how you use your skid steer. If you’re trying to lift more weight than the machine is rated for, you could damage the machine or injure yourself.

What about attachments for skid steers?

Most attachments are right around 200-500 lbs, which is typically around 10% of the skid steer weight. Of course, this is just an average weight as the various attachments will have differing weights.

For example, pallet forks are usually right around 250 lbs., depending on the model of course. When you look at them you wouldn’t guess they’d be that heavy. Remember, pallet forks are usually heavy duty steel to stand up to any task.

As for a standard bucket, we’ve seen them right around 400 lbs. They’re a little more robust than those forks, but then again they do different jobs and work with different types of material.

Don’t wait, get the weight!

The weight is one of the most critical factors in determining which skid steer is right for you.

When figuring out the weight of a skid steer, there are a few things to keep in mind. First and foremost, the make and model of your machine will play a role in determining its weight. And secondly, any attachments that you’re using will also add to the total weight. 

Now that you have the gross vehicle weight rating for your New Holland or John Deere skid steer, you can get to work operating your skid steer safely.

About the Author

Matt Avatar


Excavation Expert

Matt is a highly experienced heavy equipment operator with over two decades of experience in the construction industry. His expertise covers a wide range of machinery and project types, and he is known for his focus on safety, efficiency, and problem-solving. Matt's commitment to delivering high-quality work within deadlines and budgets has made him highly respected at Centex Excavation and the excavation industry.

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