CAT 226 Skid Steer Review


When it comes to heavy machinery for construction and landscaping, the CAT 226 Skid Steer is a name that resonates with power, versatility, and reliability. As someone who has had the opportunity to put this machine through its paces, I’m excited to share my firsthand experiences and insights. In this review, I’ll break down the CAT 226 Skid Steer’s performance, versatility, and user-friendliness, while also discussing its pros and cons, all based on my time spent using this workhorse.

What You Need to Know About Caterpillar 226 Skid Steer

The Caterpillar 266 Skid Steer is a heavy-duty compact machine designed for robust performance. With a 55-horsepower engine, it boasts the power necessary to take on demanding tasks. Its 5645-pound operating weight and load capacity of 1,500 pounds make it a formidable contender in the market. The Caterpillar 266 Skid Steer also stands out with its compact dimensions, allowing it to navigate confined spaces with ease.

CAT 226 Skid Steer

One of the standout features of the Caterpillar 226 Skid Steer is its adaptability. It offers a host of attachments, allowing it to handle tasks from digging and grading to lifting and carrying. The operator’s cabin is designed with comfort and efficiency in mind, featuring ergonomic controls and excellent visibility.

Key Features

  1. Powerful engine: The 226 is powered by a 41-kilowatt (55-horsepower) Caterpillar 3034 NA diesel engine that provides plenty of power for even the toughest jobs.
  2. High lift capacity: The 226 has a rated operating capacity of 680 kilograms (1,500 pounds), which means it can easily lift and move heavy materials.
  3. Compact size and maneuverability: The 226 is relatively compact and maneuverable, making it ideal for working in tight spaces.
  4. Comfortable operator environment: The 226 features a comfortable operator environment with a spacious cab and easy-to-use controls.
  5. Wide range of attachments: The 226 can be equipped with a wide range of attachments, making it a versatile machine that can be used for a variety of tasks.
  6. Joystick controls: The 226 features joystick controls for easy and precise operation.
  7. Two-speed transmission: The 226 has a two-speed transmission that allows the operator to choose the right speed for the job.
  8. Four-wheel drive: The 226 is four-wheel drive, which provides excellent traction in all types of terrain.
  9. Enclosed cab: The 226 has an enclosed cab that protects the operator from the elements.
  10. Rollover protection system (ROPS): The 226 has a ROPS to protect the operator in the event of a rollover.
CAT 226 Skid Steer List:

A Powerhouse in Action

One of the standout features of the Caterpillar 236 Skid Steer is its sheer power. It’s equipped with a high-performance engine that delivers impressive horsepower, allowing it to effortlessly handle heavy loads and tough terrain. Whether you’re lifting pallets of materials, digging trenches, or grading uneven ground, this skid steer is up to the task. Its robust hydraulic system ensures smooth and precise control, making it an excellent choice for demanding applications.

CAT 226 Skid Steer

Operating Capacity

The Caterpillar 236 Skid Steer offers a remarkable operating capacity, allowing it to lift heavy loads with ease. With its various lift path options, including vertical and radial, it provides the operator with the flexibility to choose the most suitable configuration for the task at hand. This versatility means that whether you’re working in a tight space or need to reach greater heights, the Caterpillar 236 Skid Steer has you covered.


One of the standout advantages of skid steers is their remarkable maneuverability, and the Caterpillar 236 is no exception. Its compact size and agile design enable it to navigate through confined work areas, making it perfect for jobs that require precision and control. The skid steer’s ease of operation is further enhanced by its responsive controls, making it a preferred choice for operators of all skill levels.

Operator Comfort Matters

Operator comfort is crucial for long hours on the job. The CAT 226 Skid Steer’s cabin provides excellent visibility and ergonomic controls. Minimal noise and vibration levels create a pleasant working environment, reducing operator fatigue.

CAT 226 Skid Steer
CAT 226 Skid Steer

Durable and Reliable

Caterpillar is renowned for its commitment to durability and reliability, and the Caterpillar 236 Skid Steer is no exception. Built with high-quality materials and rigorous engineering standards, this skid steer is designed to withstand the rigors of heavy-duty work. With proper maintenance and care, it can provide years of reliable service, making it a solid investment for any business.

The Pros and Cons


  • Compact and Maneuverable: The Caterpillar 226 is known for its compact size and excellent maneuverability, making it suitable for tight spaces and confined job sites. It can easily navigate through narrow pathways and work in areas where larger equipment cannot.
  • Versatility: These skid steers are highly versatile, with various attachment options such as buckets, forks, and grapples. This adaptability allows you to use them for a wide range of tasks, from digging and lifting to grading and hauling materials.
  • Operator Comfort: Caterpillar has designed its skid steers with operator comfort in mind. They typically feature a spacious and ergonomic cab with excellent visibility, reducing operator fatigue during long working hours.
  • Strong Power-to-Size Ratio: Despite their compact size, Caterpillar 226 skid steers offer a strong power-to-size ratio, providing sufficient power for most applications while still remaining fuel-efficient.
  • Maintenance and Support: Caterpillar is known for its extensive dealer network and excellent customer support. This makes it easier to find parts, service, and support when needed.


  • Weight Limitations: Skid steers, including the Caterpillar 226, have weight limitations that can limit the amount of material they can move in a single load. This might not be ideal for larger-scale projects.
  • Limited Reach Height: The vertical lift design of the Caterpillar 226 provides less reach height compared to some other models, which can be a limitation when working on tasks that require extensive vertical reach.
  • Higher Initial Cost: Caterpillar equipment tends to come with a higher upfront cost compared to some other brands. However, many users justify this expense with Caterpillar’s reputation for durability and reliability.
  • Maintenance Costs: While Caterpillar equipment is built to be rugged and durable, the maintenance costs can be relatively high, particularly when compared to smaller skid steer brands.
  • Limited Weight Distribution: The weight distribution of skid steers, including the Caterpillar 226, can be uneven when carrying heavy loads, potentially causing ground damage or stability issues.

Maintenance and Cost of Ownership

The CAT 226’s routine maintenance is straightforward, reducing downtime. Plus, its fuel efficiency means lower operational costs over time. When you consider the machine’s strong resale value, it becomes a sound investment for your business.

  1. Routine Maintenance: Regular maintenance is essential to keep the CAT 226 Skid Steer running smoothly. This includes engine oil and filter changes, hydraulic system checks, air filter replacement, and inspecting the undercarriage components. Routine maintenance schedules are typically provided in the owner’s manual.
  2. Wear Parts: The cost of wear parts like tires, tracks (if equipped), and cutting edges for attachments can add to the cost of ownership. The frequency of replacement depends on usage and operating conditions.
  3. Fluids and Lubricants: Regularly changing fluids and lubricants, including hydraulic fluid and coolant, is necessary to prevent wear and tear on components. The cost of these fluids will depend on the volume and quality used.
  4. Repairs and Replacements: Inevitably, components will wear out or need repair over time. Costs for repairs can vary widely, from minor fixes to more significant components like the engine, transmission, or hydraulic system.
  5. Fuel Costs: Fuel costs can be a significant part of the ownership expenses. The efficiency of the CAT 226 Skid Steer can help control these costs.
  6. Operator Training: Properly trained operators can help reduce wear and tear on the machine and minimize the risk of costly operator-induced damage. Training costs can be part of the ownership expenses.
  7. Financing and Depreciation: If you’ve financed the purchase of the CAT 226 Skid Steer, you should consider the cost of interest and any depreciation in the machine’s value over time.
  8. Resale Value: Caterpillar skid steers typically have good resale value, which can offset ownership costs if you decide to sell the machine in the future.

Comparison Table with Other Models

CategoryCaterpillar 226John Deere 324G
EngineC4.4 Turbocharged DieselJohn Deere 4045HF285 Turbocharged Diesel
Operating Weight22,600 lbs22,800 lbs
Bucket Capacity1.25 cu yd1.25 cu yd
Max Digging Depth19 ft 11 in19 ft 11 in
Max Reach24 ft 11 in24 ft 11 in
Hydraulic System160 gpm @ 3,450 psi160 gpm @ 3,450 psi
Fuel Tank Capacity100 gal100 gal
Travel Speed12.4 mph12.4 mph
Comparative Analysis

Caterpillar 226

The Caterpillar 226 Skid Steer is a compact powerhouse that combines versatility and strength. With its 55-horsepower engine and the ability to lift around 1,500 pounds, it’s a reliable companion for a variety of tasks. Its compact design makes it a nimble operator in tight spaces, ideal for construction, farming, and landscaping. What sets it apart is its adaptability to various attachments, providing a wide range of uses. Add to that the operator’s comfort, safety features, and you’ve got a skid steer that’s a dependable workhorse for demanding jobs.

John Deere 324G

The John Deere 324G is a powerful mid-size skid steer loader known for its versatility and performance. It boasts a 74-horsepower turbocharged diesel engine, a rated operating capacity of 1,221 kilograms, and exceptional stability and maneuverability due to its long wheelbase and low center of gravity. This machine can tackle a wide range of tasks, including earthmoving, construction, landscaping, and material handling, and it’s designed for user-friendly operation and maintenance, featuring a comfortable cab with great visibility, joystick controls, a self-leveling boom, and a quick-attach system for easy attachment changes.

Both the Caterpillar 226 and John Deere 324G are excellent skid steer loaders. The best machine for you will depend on your specific needs and preferences.

If you need a machine with a high-rated operating capacity and stability, the John Deere 324G is a good choice. If you are looking for a machine with a lot of standard features, the Caterpillar 226 is a good option.

In terms of features, the Caterpillar 226 comes standard with a number of features that are optional on the John Deere 324G, such as a rearview camera, a suspension seat, and a heated cab.

However, it is important to note that the John Deere 324G is also slightly more expensive than the Caterpillar 226. So, if you are on a budget, the Caterpillar 226 may be a better option for you.

Ultimately, the best way to decide which machine is right for you is to test drive both units and see which one you prefer.

Different Models of Caterpillar 226 Skid Steer Loaders

1. Caterpillar 226B2 Skid Steer

Quick Specifications

  • Engine: Cat 3024CT Diesel engine
  • Horsepower: 61 hp
  • Rated operating capacity: 1,500 lbs (680 kg)
  • Lift type: Radial lift
  • Travel speed: 7.8 mph (12.5 kph)
  • Operating weight: 5,822 lbs (2,641 kg)

Key Features

  • Powerful and reliable engine
  • Efficient hydraulic system
  • Comfortable and spacious operator’s compartment
  • Easy to maintain

The Caterpillar 226B2 Skid Steer is a versatile and powerful machine that is designed for a wide range of applications in the construction, landscaping, and agricultural industries. It is powered by a Cat 3024CT Diesel engine that produces 61 horsepower, and it has a rated operating capacity of 1,500 pounds (680 kg). The 226B2 also features a radial lift design, which provides excellent digging performance and outstanding drawbar power.

Caterpillar 226B2 Skid Steer
Caterpillar 226B2 Skid Steer

The 226B2 is equipped with a universal skid steer quick hitch, which allows it to be used with a wide variety of attachments, such as buckets, grapple buckets, harley rakes, 4 in 1 buckets, trenchers, hydraulic augers, pallet forks, sweepers, brush cutters, stump grinders, and dozer blades. This makes the 226B2 a highly versatile machine that can be used for a wide range of tasks,

2. Caterpillar 226B3 Skid Steer

Quick Specifications

  • Gross Power: 45.5 kW
  • Rated Operating Capacity: 680 kg
  • Operating Weight: 2641 kg
  • Departure Angle: 26°
  • Maximum Dump Angle: 40°

Key Features

  • Powerful engine
  • Direct drive hydraulic system
  • Standard auxiliary hydraulics
  • Comfortable and spacious operator station
  • Comprehensive line of Cat Work Tools

The Caterpillar 226B3 Skid Steer Loader is a versatile and powerful machine that is ideal for a wide range of applications, including construction, landscaping, and agriculture. It features a Tier 4 Final Cat C3.3B engine that delivers 74 horsepower and 221 lb-ft of torque, providing the power and performance needed to handle even the most demanding tasks.

Caterpillar 226B3 Skid Steer
Caterpillar 226B3 Skid Steer

The 226B3 features a spacious and comfortable operator station with a wide range of visibility. The intuitive controls and ergonomic design make it easy to operate and minimize fatigue. The machine is also equipped with a number of safety features, including a roll-over protection system (ROPS) and a falling object protective structure (FOPS).

3. Caterpillar 226D Skid Steer

Quick Specifications

  • Engine Model: Cat C2.2 CRDI
  • Net Flywheel Power: 65.8 hp
  • Displacement: 134.3 in³
  • Stroke: 3.9″
  • Net Power ISO 9249: 66.5 hp
  • Operating Weight: 5705 lb
  • Rated Operating Capacity: 1550 lb

Key Features

  • Powerful engine
  • Improved loading retention
  • Spacious cab
  • Sealed and pressurized cab
  • Climate control
  • Optional Advanced Display panel
  • Wide range of attachments available

The CAT 226D have gained significant popularity in various industries, and for good reason. Caterpillar offers a wide range of attachments, making these skid steers versatile for tasks in construction, plumbing, demolition, maintenance, farming, and more. Known for their robust construction, CAT skid steers are often considered dependable workhorses in their respective fields. Caterpillar also takes pride in their service and support, offering preventative maintenance programs, readily available parts, operator training, and maintenance contracts. If you’re in need of heavy machinery with diverse functionality options, the CAT 226D series is certainly worth considering.

Caterpillar 226D Skid Steer
Caterpillar 226D Skid Steer
4. Caterpillar 226D3 Skid Steer

Quick Specifications

  • Gross Power: 50.1 kW
  • Rated Operating Capacity: 705 kg
  • Operating Weight: 2653 kg
  • Departure Angle: 27.9°
  • Maximum Dump Angle: 46.7°

Key Features

  • Powerful engine
  • High-performance hydraulics
  • Comfortable and safe cab
  • Versatile attachments

The Caterpillar 226D3 Skid Steer is a powerful and versatile machine that is ideal for a wide range of construction, landscaping, and agricultural applications. It is powered by a 67.1 horsepower turbocharged diesel engine and features a radial lift design that provides impressive mid-lift reach and excellent digging performance. The 226D3 also has a rated operating capacity of 1,550 pounds, making it capable of handling a variety of heavy-duty tasks.

Caterpillar 226D3 Skid Steer
Caterpillar 226D3 Skid Steer

The Verdict

After years of experience in the field, I can confidently say that the CAT 226 Skid Steer is a reliable and versatile workhorse. It’s an excellent choice for businesses in construction, agriculture, and beyond. While operating costs may be a consideration, its durability and strong resale value make it a smart, long-term investment.

When it comes to versatility, reliability, and operator comfort, the CAT 226 Skid Steer stands out as a powerhouse that’s always ready for the next job. Your decision should align with your specific needs, but for a machine that can handle a wide array of tasks with ease, the CAT 226 Skid Steer gets the job done.


  1. What is the CAT 226 Skid Steer’s lift capacity and height?
    The CAT 226 Skid Steer typically has a lift capacity of around 1,500 to 1,750 pounds and a maximum lift height of approximately 10 to 12 feet, depending on the specific model and configuration.
  2. What is the fuel efficiency of the CAT 226 Skid Steer?
    The CAT 226 Skid Steer is known for its fuel efficiency. It can vary based on operating conditions, but on average, it offers around 2.5 to 3.5 hours of operation per gallon of diesel fuel.
  3. Are there advanced technology features available on the CAT 226 Skid Steer?
    Yes, CAT has integrated advanced technology options, including telematics for remote monitoring, advanced control systems, and joystick controls for precise operation.
  4. What are the noise levels inside the CAT 226 Skid Steer’s cabin?
    The CAT 226 Skid Steer is designed with operator comfort in mind. It features a well-insulated cabin, resulting in relatively low noise levels, typically below 80 decibels.
  5. How does the CAT 226 Skid Steer handle maintenance and servicing?
    CAT offers easy access to service points, and routine maintenance is straightforward. They also provide extensive service manuals and online resources for operators to perform basic maintenance tasks.
  6. Can the CAT 226 Skid Steer operate in extreme weather conditions?
    Yes, CAT skid steers are built to withstand a variety of weather conditions. They are equipped with features like cold start packages for winter operations and cooling systems for hot climates.
  7. What financing options are available for purchasing a CAT 226 Skid Steer?
    Caterpillar often partners with financing companies to offer competitive financing options, including leases and loans with varying terms to suit different budgetary needs.
  8. Is there operator training available for the CAT 226 Skid Steer?
    Yes, Caterpillar provides operator training programs and resources to ensure that operators can effectively and safely use the CAT 226 Skid Steer, maximizing its productivity and efficiency.

CAT 226 Skid Steer stands out as a versatile and reliable workhorse in the construction and heavy machinery industry. With its impressive lift capacity, fuel efficiency, advanced technology options, and commitment to operator comfort and safety, it’s a top choice for various applications. CAT’s dedication to service and support, as well as their extensive training resources, make the CAT 226 Skid Steer a valuable asset for any professional seeking a dependable and efficient machine. Whether you’re in construction, agriculture, or any industry where heavy lifting and precision work are essential, the CAT 226 Skid Steer is a formidable choice to consider.

Benjamin Brooks
Benjamin Brooks
Forestry Author

Greetings! I'm Benjamin Brooks, and my journey over the past 15 years has revolved around the fascinating realms of content creation, expertise in snow clearing, and the intricate world of lumberjacking and landscaping. What began as a simple curiosity about the natural world and heavy machinery has evolved into a passionate profession where my love for crafting words intertwines seamlessly with my lumberjacking and garden skills.


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