"But transporting the compact wheel loader is probably less a problem than some think," he says. "We've found that our machines can be easily hauled on a standard 10,000-pound trailer. The WL 30 weighs less than 7,000 pounds, and our largest skid steers are at around 7,700 pounds."
Also on the compact wheel loader's list of potential advantages, says Sloan, is its ability lift more weight, and perhaps, to lift higher. And usually, he says, you can load faster with the machine, compared to the skid steer, because it typically carries larger loads and travels faster.
"The wheel loader drives like a vehicle, which makes the machine easier to use for operators of varied skill levels," he says. "And usually the machine causes less ground damage than a skid steer-it's going to leave marks on the turf, but it's not going to rip up the sod and pile it up like a skid steer."
And what does Sloan consider to be the overall prospects for compact wheel loaders?
"These machines are apparently very popular in Europe," he says, "but here, I think the manufacturer is still learning how to sell them, the dealer is still learning how to represent them, and the customer is still learning how to use them. The learning curve may be a bit longer than anyone anticipated. But it's a good product, and once the industry learns the basics, then sales will become a matter of the best machine, at the best price, backed by the best service. I think it's a success story in the making."