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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
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    Reno, NV USA
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    2,310

    Default forklift vs skid steer

    I am expanding and seriously considering a Turbo Hummerbee. To me, moving bees is the number one priority but I would surely like to move dirt and add attachments. If the operation of the forklift is a smarter buy for beekeepers then I will hold off and get a tractor somewhere down the road.

    Any thoughts with pro's and con's would be appreciated?

    I thought this was discussed before but couldn't find the Thread with a search.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Devils Lake, North Dakota
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    9,123

    Default Re: forklift vs skid steer

    Swinger and HummerBee's are fantastic for bees
    and moving anything. You can get buckets for
    them as well. I have a Bobcat, but someday....

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Fresno California USA
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    2,479

    Default Re: forklift vs skid steer

    One big difference easy to overlook is that the skidders are harder to get in & out of.

  4. #4

    Default Re: forklift vs skid steer

    remember to think about locations that you are using this in. A bobcat 610 or s150 with a crazy wheel and forklift mast is a lot easier to get in small areas then the hummerbee. You can lift a full 3000 lbs tote of syrup with a bobcat also.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Lancaster, Ky. / Frostproof Fl.
    Posts
    984

    Default Re: forklift vs skid steer

    Witha bobcat you can also get stuck, and its alot less smooth than a swinger! (or hummerbee)

  6. #6

    Default Re: forklift vs skid steer

    It also makes a mess with the ground if the ground is wet, ive been told you can enclose the bobcat and put ac/heater on those, but it's to crampy for me, although some have the wheel in the back not sure but i think that prevents u from tearing up the ground. i perfer the hummerbee, it can also lift quite a bit of weight and fast (especially the turbo)good luck

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Clear Lake, WI / Sebring, FL
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    627

    Default Re: forklift vs skid steer

    The Hummer bee is probably a bettermachine for beekeping. Its smoother you dont shake the bees as bad. Its better in the sand ,the caster on the bobcat will plow up the sand. Once you get used to using one its just as fast and manuverable as a bobcat. The only real drawback is the cost is alot more than a bobcat.
    I use bobcats but Im going to chang over to Hummerbees once I can swing it.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Reno, NV USA
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    2,310

    Default Re: forklift vs skid steer

    I guess I want all the functionality of a skid steer but don't want it to make moving bees difficult. I've only driven a couple of skid steers and they are a bit jerky. I know you can control them if you are careful but the thought of dumping any bees makes me cringe. Also, the other points about tearing up turf, getting stuck, etc are worth considering. Has anyone tried using a bucket on their forklift?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    San Mateo, CA
    Posts
    4,883

    Default Re: forklift vs skid steer

    I have owned Bobcats since 1982, but have never used one to move bees, I am a hobby beekeeper and a professional landscaper. I currently own an S185 and a T190 bobcat and a 331 excavator.

    My thoughts: there is no one tool for any purpose that will serve all functions perfectly. I would think that a Hummerbee is better for most beekeeping purposes than a Bobcat, but is probably not great for moving dirt or augering postholes.

    I own several sizes if sledge hammers and mallets. I own carpenter hammers with straight claws and curved claws, I own a brick chipping hammer, several sizes of ball peens and a Kellys tiny hammer for frame nailing. My Kellys hammer won't break out concrete and my ten pound sledge won't nail together frames.

    My Blackberry cell phone does a lot of stuff but it sure sucks dialing with those tiny keys.

    Buy one of each.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Clear Lake, WI / Sebring, FL
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    627

    Default Re: forklift vs skid steer

    Alot of guys in Ga use new hollands with superbooms. You can actually reach the top row of a semi. As far as beeing jerky that is ussually the operator unless something is wrong with the machine.
    Look at a new holland L170 with a superboom.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Reno, NV USA
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    2,310

    Default Re: forklift vs skid steer

    Quote Originally Posted by Trevor Mansell View Post
    Alot of guys in Ga use new hollands with superbooms. You can actually reach the top row of a semi. As far as beeing jerky that is ussually the operator unless something is wrong with the machine.
    Look at a new holland L170 with a superboom.
    Looks like an interesting loader. Thanks
    I know I won't get any machine that does everything well. In my dreams I see a TLB with 3-PTO that is a smooth forklift, easy on turf, gets in tight places, and plenty of power.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Valley Center, CA
    Posts
    190

    Big Grin Re: forklift vs skid steer

    We just got a new Hummerbee Turbo. It is a dream come true. They did their homework & thought of everything, from the smoker holder, magnets for the hive tool (no more sticking it under my left foot), positions of the grab handles, colony clamp, everything... The clamp is extra special, it comes down from the top and clamps down on the hives, securing them to the forklift. This allows me to put the tranny in high range (via switch on dash, with lighted gauges) and run like heck through the almonds. The lights are mounted on fold-away guards, so they don't get torn off by branches. It has a selectable load cushion that dampens rapid control movements (not on side shift).

    It's fast, smooth, quiet & everything else we could want. I can't say enough good things about it.
    KI6FCI

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Boston, Georgia
    Posts
    466

    Default Re: forklift vs skid steer

    I assume you know that it's built by beekeepers. Dean and his son/crew have spent many a night moving bees and becoming annoyed while doing it. I don't own one yet. but its on the wish list.
    Last edited by Bizzybee; 06-23-2009 at 10:36 PM. Reason: Unnecessary quoting
    I am holding on to the hope I have inside... Kutless

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Valley Center, CA
    Posts
    190

    Default Re: forklift vs skid steer

    I didn't know, but I'm not surprised. I could tell from the moment I saw it that a lot of experience went into it. Everything, steps, grab handles, tool holders, controls are where they should be. It's very intuitive and fast.

    I don't know if it was an option or not when my boss ordered it, but I wish it had a big, center mounted, rear view mirror. This thing is capable of moving in a hurry. I don't want to run over my partner.
    Last edited by Bizzybee; 06-23-2009 at 10:36 PM.
    KI6FCI

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Reno, NV USA
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    Default Re: forklift vs skid steer

    This is really a hard decision. Probably the smart thing would be to buy the Hummerbee but a skid steer or compact TLB can do so much other cool stuff. I am also looking at a compact TLB with a 3-PTO as an option. I might wait one more year so I have time to think this through.
    Has anyone used a bucket on a forklift?

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
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    27,081

    Default Re: forklift vs skid steer

    How many commercial beekeepers have one or the other of these machines? There are many reasons why one beekeeper would have one or the other. It would be interesting if ABF and AHPA would do a questionaire about this. Simply, which type or types of loader(s) do you own? And why?

    I own a Bobcat Skidsteer loader w/ headboard and forks and a bucket. I try not to get into and out of it any more than necessary.

    I have heard that the Swinger can fall on it's side much easier than the Bobcat. Is this so?
    Mark Berninghausen #youmatter

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Clear Lake, WI / Sebring, FL
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    627

    Default Re: forklift vs skid steer

    It really comes down to personal preference.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
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    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
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    Default Re: forklift vs skid steer

    Aeyah, what's yours?
    Last edited by Bizzybee; 06-24-2009 at 06:38 PM. Reason: Unnecessary quoting
    Mark Berninghausen #youmatter

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
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    Devils Lake, North Dakota
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    Default Re: forklift vs skid steer

    I've driven a couple Swingers and own a Bobcat and
    I have no idea anyone could prefer a Bobcat overall.
    Can't think of anything a Bobcat does better off hand.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
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    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
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    27,081

    Default Re: forklift vs skid steer

    Hmm, cost less, perhaps?
    Mark Berninghausen #youmatter

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