Cost of Owning Skid Steers: Where Does Your State Rank?

Alaskan regions claim the top 3 spots as the most expensive states to own crawler mounted hydraulic excavators, while Arizona, Utah, and New Mexico round out the least expensive.

Key Takeaways for Decision Makers

EQUIPMENT MANAGER/ESTIMATOR: Given the array of differing equipment rates per state, be sure to use EquipmentWatch’s regional adjustments in order to ensure you’re using the most accurate rates possible.

It’s no surprise that different areas of the country have different factors that cause equipment ownership costs to fluctuate. One of those factors is per capita income which reflects the economics of a particular state, which can have a direct impact on factors like local mechanics wage, sales tax, and freight which can all affect ownership costs as well as operating costs. However, the most important factor in state variations tends to be the climate. Maximum and minimum temperatures and precipitation are taken into consideration due to its effect on the average annual use hours. Extreme temperatures and precipitation shorten a working season which means ownership rates will be higher in order to recover fixed costs. States with volatile climates tend to have more downtime for both equipment and workers.

State level adjustments also vary by the type of equipment due to differing equipment functions and purposes. Paving and drilling equipment, for example, have a shorter working season than many other equipment types due to difficulty or inability to preform correctly during colder months. Below is a ranking of all 50 states based on how expensive it is to own a crawler mounted hydraulic excavator:

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RankStateAdjustment MultiplierRankStateAdjustment Multiplier
1Alaska – North142.70%28Florida95.10%
2Alaska – South133.70%29Iowa95.10%
3Alaska – Central124.70%30Virginia94.90%
6New York107.90%33Nevada94.10%
11Rhode Island102.10%38Tennessee93.00%
13California – North101.40%40New Hampshire92.90%
17South Dakota100.20%44North Carolina91.90%
19West Virginia99.30%46Oklahoma91.80%
20North Dakota99.00%47Nebraska91.20%
22Missouri97.80%49South Carolina90.90%
25California – South96.30%52Utah86.50%
26New Jersey96.20%53New Mexico82.20%

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On average, and across all sizes, skid steer loaders cost $2,385.37 to own per month, $667.84 to own per week, $167.56 to own per day, and $25.26 to own per hour. An Alaska regional adjustment can increase these ownership rates by as much as 142.70%, raising the monthly ownership rate to $3,403.92. On the flip side, New Mexico, the least expensive state, lowers these rates by 82.2% to $1,960.77.

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