Ditch Witch claims that its new SK650 is more efficient, versatile, and productive than any mini skid steer in its class. Powered by a three-cylinder 31-hp (23-kW) Kubota D1105-T engine, the SK650 is touted as the only mini skid steer that directs 20 net hp (15 kW) to the attachment, enabling this relatively small platform unit to outperform other machines of comparable size—even riding units.
In backing up Ditch Witch's claims about increased efficiency, Product Manager Mike Lumbers cites some examples of operator-friendly features.
"Both the fuel and hydraulic tanks are mounted on the outside of the machine’s frame. Because the fuel tank is exterior-mounted, we could make it larger, and we did. With an 8-gal (30-L) capacity, most jobs can be completed without stopping to fuel," he said. "Also, with the hydraulic tank on the outside we could increase its capacity for more efficient hydraulic performance.”
With the SK650, the operator does not have to shut down the machine to change attachments. Quick-disconnect attachment fittings enable attachments to be changed with the hydraulic system under pressure, which speeds productivity. The SK650 is also equipped with a foot pedal auxiliary control that allows the operator to drive the attachment by foot, freeing up his hands to control depth and ground speed.
Engineers mounted an attachment-level indicator to the SK650's attachment lift frame, allowing the operator to see from the operator’s station if the attachment is level. “We’ve also included a float section on the auxiliary valve to enable the operator to make more efficient use of attachments such as the carry-all leveler, box blade, vibratory plow, and other attachments that follow the contour of the ground,” said Lumbers.
Pilot control valves for ground drive provide highly responsive steering with what the company describes as "little or no vibration" through the control handles, minimizing operator fatigue.
The SK650 is expected to be particularly useful to landscapers, general contractors, rental yards, and others with light- to medium-duty construction needs.