How Much For A Front End Loader: Can You Rent One?

Purchasing a front end loader for your farm can be a big investment, so if you don’t need a front end loader repeatedly for many different types of jobs, renting can be the best way to go. How much for a front end loader? Can you rent a front end loader? How much does it cost to rent a front end loader? We answer these questions below.

Renting Vs Buying A Front End Loader

can you rent a front end loader

When you rent, you can be sure of getting a machine that’s in good working order, insured and covered by the company’s maintenance plan so that you can simply get the job done, return it and wash your hands of it.

In situations in which you simply need a machine quickly to meet a deadline or to perform an occasional task, naturally renting is the better option.

When you rent, you are freed up from the responsibilities of care and maintenance, and if something goes wrong you can simply call on the rental company to make things right.

On the other hand, if there’s a machine that you find yourself needing on a regular, ongoing basis, naturally you’ll want to make the investment of a purchase.

Even though this is a larger amount of out of pocket money to begin with, in the long-term, owning a frequently used machine will save you money.

What About Leasing?

If you don’t have the capability to lay out a large amount of cash, and you do find that you need a front end loader on a regular ongoing basis, leasing may be the way to go.

When you lease a machine, you’ll have it with you every day to tackle the jobs at hand. Simultaneously, you’ll have access to the authorized dealer for repair and maintenance.

At the end of your leasing term, you may be able to apply the payments you’ve made to the purchase price to go ahead and acquire the machine you been using.

Alternately, you may be able to easily upgrade and lease a different front end loader or simply return the original with no complications.

Choose Wisely To Maintain Value

If you’re purchasing a new tractor, naturally you should look into its resale value potential. More established brands and more versatile vehicles are far more likely to retain their resale value.

Other things to keep in mind when purchasing a new front end loader are factory warranty and service agreement. Examine these carefully and be sure that you understand what you’re signing up for before you make your purchase.

Adding A Front End Loader Attachment To A Tractor

A front end loader attachment is a very handy piece of equipment around the farm. There are many different types of front end loader attachments, and you’ll want to compare them and make sure that you make the right purchase to go with equipment that you already have.

When looking at front end loaders, carefully consider the equipments’ lift capacity when the loader pins are at their maximum height. The lift capacity of the equipment decreases as the loader moves further from the body of the machine. You’ll also want to carefully consider the loader’s capacity.

There are a few ways to measure a front end loader attachment’s lift capacity, they are:

  • Bucket Center
  • Full Height
  • Static Lift
  • Pivot Pin
  • Lift Arm

When you are shopping for a front end loader attachment, be sure to completely define and identify your intended use for the attachment. Match its capabilities with the job at hand.

Good Choices Abound!

It’s always wise to buy a front end loader attachment (or any other attachments) that are made by the manufacturer of your tractor. This will ensure that you get the best performance and that you don’t avoid any applicable warranties.

In today’s farm, construction and landscaping market, there are many different types of front end loaders available. The smallest will weigh about 1000 pounds and have a 20 hp diesel engine that has in 1800 pounds lift capacity. Compact models are ideal for homeowners and also for landscapers.

The largest types of front end loaders can weigh as much is 260 tons with 2300 horsepower and lifting capacity of 160,000 pounds. This is not the sort of machine that interests most farmers.

Because there are many different manufacturers of front end loaders, even a small farmer landscaper will have a great many choices when purchasing. Before making this major investment, it’s a good idea to become well-educated on the available choices. Here are some things that you should consider.

1. What is your intended purpose?

Think about how you plan to use a front end loader. Make a list of the tasks you wish to perform. When you go shopping, take this list with you. It will help you determine how much horsepower you’ll need; how heavy your machine should be and what hydraulic flow and configuration you should seek.

2. Compare the capacities and the features of each machine you consider

If your objective is to perform the same task as quickly and efficiently as possible throughout each and every workday, you may be better off with a larger, heavier, more focused sort of machine.

If you need to perform a lot of different tasks throughout the day you may be better off with a light, versatile, more nimble loader that can get around your farm or jobsite quickly and switch easily from one task to another.

3. Compare both dealerships and brands when shopping

Though you might think that going with an established brand such as Caterpillar or John Deere is absolute, this may not really be necessary. In recent years, a number of lesser manufacturers have come out with equally good equipment for lower prices.

Check out the reputations of your local dealerships and then talk with them about the brands they have on offer. If you can find a machine of a lesser brand that offers similar warranties and servicing and good customer satisfaction for lower price, you may have met your match.

4. Do you really need to buy, or could you just rent?

If you don’t really need a front end loader most days of the week around your farm, jobsite or homestead, you may be better off simply renting the machine from time to time as you need it.

When you rent equipment, you are spared the expense of upkeep and maintenance as well as the responsibility of safe storage. Additionally, you may be better able to easily afford renting a very high quality machine when you could not afford to buy one of equal quality.

5. Rent just the right machine for the job

When you decide to rent your front end loader instead of buying, you can choose just the right size, weight and horsepower for each task at hand.

6. Be sure to match your operator with your rented machinery

If you’re planning on hiring a professional front end loader operator and renting machinery, make sure that the 2 are a good match. The same goes for you and machinery that you intend to operate yourself.

How Much For A Front End Loader?

how much for a front end loader

There are lots of different models of front end loaders, and the machinery has been available for nearly 100 years. For this reason, it’s very difficult to pinpoint prices. Many variables play into pricing both purchase and rental of front end loaders, including:

  • Market Demand
  • Brand
  • Size
  • Age

Generally speaking purchase of a new front end loader can range anywhere between $34,000 and $273,000 depending upon the features offered and the size and weight of the machinery. Purchase of a used front end loader can range anywhere between $32,000 and $144,000, again depending upon features, size, weight and also age and user hours.

When renting or leasing a front end loader, naturally many of the same considerations come into play. Additionally factors such as local rental competition and local demand must be considered.

Generally speaking, the rental cost for a midsized front end loader can range between $500 and $900 daily. Naturally, as with anything else, longer-term rentals will save you a bit of money. Weekly rental rates typically range between $1700 and $2700. Monthly leases typically range between $4900 and $7000.

You can also combine the advantages of leasing and purchasing with a lease to buy agreement. With such a large piece of equipment, this can be a very good option. A lease to buy agreement can get you started with low or no interest and low payments for a couple of years with the option to buy at the end of the lease.

Things To Consider When Purchasing Or Renting A Front End Loader

how much does it cost to rent a front end loader

1. Hydraulic flow

Hydraulic flow determines the capabilities and abilities of a front end loader. It is measured in gallons per minute (GPM) and may be offered as a standard or optional high flow hydraulic system. Standard flow ranges from 17 to 24 GPM. This type of system can operate grapples and buckets. High flow ranges from 32 40 GPM. This type of system can run attachments that need more power such as snowblowers and mulchers.

2. Load capacity

Material hauled by a front end loader is usually measured by cubic yards. A subcompact loader is able to carry a single cubic yard or perhaps even less. A compact machine is typically able to lift 2 or 3 cubic yards. A midsized or large front end loader can typically pick up 20 cubic yards and sometimes more. The bucket size of a machine is determined by the machine’s weight, engine output and hydraulic flow capacity.

3. Lift height

The lift height of a front end loader is determined by weight and size. A compact loader can typically lift small loads a short distance (e.g. 8 to 10 feet). For example it may be used to haul and dump dirt or to lift pallets onto a truck. A larger loader may be able to lift heavier loads as high as 25 feet.

4. Linkage configuration

Loader linkage configuration is typically either parallel lift or Z-bar. Of the 2, the Z-bar is the most common and the most time tested. This type of linkage configuration improves a machine’s breakout digging force. Parallel lift systems are preferable in situations where the operator needs more specific control during lifting, as well as improved visibility.

5. Frame configuration

There are rigid frame loaders and flexible or articulated frame loaders. As the name indicates, a front end loader with a flexible or articulated frame will be more nimble than one with a fixed frame. This is because an articulated frame is able to bend while cornering. These machines have a smaller turning radius than a rigid framed machine.

6. Front end loader buckets

There are many different sizes, shapes and types of buckets for front end loaders. Be sure that yours comes with the bucket you need for the job at hand, and be sure that you have access to other types of buckets for other bucketing jobs in the future.

7. Manufacturer support and maintenance

In addition to qualities of the machinery itself, if you are buying a new front end loader, you also want to evaluate the performance of the dealership. Check verifiable reviews and Better Business Bureau reports to make sure that you’re dealing with a business that will attend to maintenance and repairs quickly and that will use high quality, name brand parts to do so. Check to be sure that they have a well staffed garage of professionals to assist you. Naturally, if you are depending upon the dealership for maintenance and repairs, you’ll want to deal with a local business for convenience.

Things To Consider When Buying A Used Front End Loader

If you’re looking to save money by purchasing a used machine, be sure to double check these items before purchasing:

  1. Condition: Look for signs of rust, indications of wrecks and toppling over and the like.
  2. History: If the machine passes your physical inspection and seems to be in good working order, find out where and how it has been used.
  3. Review the records: Check through the vehicle’s work hours as well as maintenance records to determine how well it has been cared for and how much more use you may be able to get from it.
  4. Make sure it all adds up: If the price seems too good to be true, it probably is. A machine that seems to be a tremendous bargain may have a need for some major repairs lurking unseen.

Sam Ellis
Sam is a founder and editor of Farm & Animals. In personal life he is a proud father of a boy and twin girls. He believes it is more important than ever before to encourage children to experience the joy of farm animals. Farming makes as much sense as the sunshine in our world.

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