Ditch Witch SK3000 ups compact utility loader operating capacity to 3,100 pounds

Marcia Gruver Doyle Pix
Updated Sep 25, 2020
The Ditch With SK3000 has an operating capacity of 3,100 pounds, which it says is 50 percent more than its closest competitor.The Ditch With SK3000 has an operating capacity of 3,100 pounds, which it says is 50 percent more than its closest competitor.

A year and a half ago, parent company Toro made a splash at The Rental Show unveiling its prototype 2,000-pound operating capacity Dingo TXL 2000 compact utility loader. Now Toro’s Ditch Witch brand has upped the game with its 51-horsepower, 3,100-pound capacity SK3000, unveiled at the ICUEE show this week.

“We have a whole line of stand-on skid steers that have done really well and we wanted to look at ride-on skid steer machines and whether we could mount those capabilities on a stand-on skid steer,” says Chris Thompson, Ditch Witch compact equipment manager. “This gives you the benefits a skid steer plus the ability to easily get on and off.”

(Note: The compact utility loader machine category can also be referred to as mini skid steers, mini track loaders and stand-on skid steers.)

Steel plates were added to both sides of the Ditch Witch SK3000 to aid handling the 3,100-pound operating capacity.Steel plates were added to both sides of the Ditch Witch SK3000 to aid handling the 3,100-pound operating capacity.

How did Ditch Witch get to a 3,100-pound ROC? “A lot of it has to do with center of gravity,”  Thompson explains. As to opposed to a skid steer or compact track loader with a cab, space is more compressed on the   CUL. Ditch Witch also added weight via welded-on steel panels to the back of the machine.

Also adding weight are the steel fuel tanks, which also increases durability in tougher applications.

Ditch Witch SK3000 tracks were redesigned to carry the 7,600-pound weight of the machine.Ditch Witch SK3000 tracks were redesigned to carry the 7,600-pound weight of the machine.

In addition, the tracks were redesigned. “Before we had more of an open design, but with the weight of the machine now at 7,600 pounds, we needed to support the rollers better,” Thompson explains. The company now uses a capture roller design to both protect them and take the weight off the rollers.

The SK3000 delivers 5,000 pounds of breakout force and directs up to 51 horsepower to the attachment, which the company says is more than any other machine in its class. The unit features dual-auxiliary hydraulics. “Users can grab, lift and rotate a log at the same time, for example,” Thompson says.

Ditch Witch SK3000 controls.Ditch Witch SK3000 controls.

Users key in a code to start the SK3000; the machine uses a manual throttle instead of the previous push-button throttle on the display. “This gives operators the ability to feather it a bit more,” Thompson says.

The SK3000 has been under development for about three years, Thompson says. “This for people who want stand on and get off the machine quickly, have that visibility and not be limited as far as lifting capacity.” Key markets will be the tree industry, landscaping and hardscaping industry.

“Everyone is using two machines on the jobsite: one to offload a truck and one to do the work. We wanted to give them one machine for both jobs.”