CAT 236 Skid Steer Review


When it comes to heavy-duty construction equipment, a skid steer is often the unsung hero of the job site. I’ve had the privilege of getting my hands on the Caterpillar 236 Skid Steer, and I’m excited to share my first-hand experience with this formidable machine. As someone who’s spent countless hours operating skid steers, I can attest to the importance of reliable and efficient equipment. In this review, I’ll evaluate the Caterpillar 236 Skid Steer from a user’s perspective, providing a comprehensive overview of its performance, highlighting its pros and cons, and ultimately offering my recommendation for its best use.

What You Need to Know About Caterpillar 236 Skid Steer

The Caterpillar 236 Skid Steer is a powerful and versatile heavy-duty machine designed for various tasks. It features a robust 74.3-horsepower engine, precise hydraulic control, and a 2,150-pound operating capacity, making it suitable for a wide range of applications. Its compact design allows for easy maneuverability in tight spaces, and the spacious, ergonomic cab enhances operator comfort. Known for its durability, Caterpillar has maintained its reputation with this skid steer, making it a reliable choice for demanding jobs, despite a higher initial cost. If you’re in need of a dependable, adaptable skid steer, the Caterpillar 236 is worth considering.

Caterpillar 236 Skid Steer

Key Features

  1. Powerful Engine: With a 74.3 horsepower engine, this skid steer delivers substantial power for tackling tough tasks efficiently.
  2. Versatile Attachment Compatibility: The machine’s design allows it to work with a wide range of attachments, making it suitable for tasks like digging, loading, grading, and more.
  3. Impressive Operating Capacity: The Caterpillar 236 has a rated operating capacity of 2,150 pounds, ensuring it can handle heavy materials and implements.
  4. Maneuverability: Its compact design and agile maneuverability enable it to navigate through tight spaces, making it a valuable asset in constrained work environments.
  5. Operator Comfort: The spacious and ergonomically designed cab enhances operator comfort, reducing fatigue during long working hours.
  6. Durability and Reliability: Caterpillar’s reputation for producing durable and reliable machinery is maintained, ensuring a long lifespan with regular maintenance.
  7. Precise Hydraulic System: The hydraulic system provides precise control over attachments, contributing to increased productivity and efficient operation.

A Powerhouse in Action

The heart of any machine lies in its performance, and the Caterpillar 236 Skid Steer doesn’t disappoint. With its impressive 74.3-horsepower engine, it’s more than capable of handling demanding jobs. From the moment I put it to work, I could feel the power at my fingertips. Whether I was lifting heavy loads or using various attachments, it handled everything with ease.

Caterpillar 236 Skid Steer

Operating Capacity

Numbers matter when it comes to heavy machinery, and the Caterpillar 236 shines in this department. It boasts a rated operating capacity of 2,150 pounds. This means it can comfortably manage most tasks you throw at it. It’s not just about lifting capacity; it’s about how it does it efficiently and effectively.


One of the qualities I value most in a skid steer is its ability to move around in confined spaces. The Caterpillar 236 does this remarkably well. Its compact design and agile maneuverability make it a true asset in tight construction sites, where space is often limited. I found myself squeezing through spaces that would be a challenge for bulkier equipment.

Operator Comfort

A skid steer’s effectiveness isn’t just about the machine; it’s also about the person operating it. The Caterpillar 236 takes operator comfort seriously. The cab is spacious, and the ergonomic design ensures that operators can work comfortably for long hours. Plus, the visibility from the cab is excellent, which is crucial when precision is paramount.

Durable and Reliable

Caterpillar is known for producing machinery that stands the test of time, and the Caterpillar 236 Skid Steer is no exception. It’s built for durability and reliability, with straightforward maintenance requirements. It’s a machine that can handle the daily grind and come out strong every time.

Caterpillar 236 Skid Steer

The Pros and Cons

Every machine has its strengths and areas where it could improve. Let’s break it down:


  • Powerhouse Performer: The engine and hydraulic system deliver exceptional power and control.
  • Versatility: Its adaptability to a wide range of attachments makes it suitable for numerous applications.
  • Operator Comfort: The spacious cab and ergonomic design enhance operator productivity and reduce fatigue.
  • Reliability: Caterpillar’s reputation for durability is upheld, ensuring a long lifespan with proper maintenance.


  • Price Point: Caterpillar equipment often comes with a premium price tag. However, the investment may be justified by the machine’s durability and performance.
  • Weight: The Caterpillar 236 Skid Steer is heavier compared to some competitors, which could limit its suitability for extremely sensitive surfaces.

Different Variations of Caterpillar 236 Skid Steer

1. Caterpillar 236D Skid Steer

Quick Specifications

  • Engine: Cat C3.3B DIT (turbo)
  • Horsepower: 74.3 hp
  • Rated operating capacity: 3,600 pounds
  • Operating Weight: 6559 lbs
  • Maximum Overall Height: 156.6 in
  • Displacement: 203 cu in
  • Operating Width: 66 in
  • Fuel Capacity: 27.7 gal

Key Features

  • Comfortable Cab
  • Outstanding Power
  • Versatility to Tackle Any Job
  • Advanced Display
  • Easy Service

The Caterpillar 236D Skid Steer Loader is a versatile and powerful machine that is designed for a wide range of applications, including construction, landscaping, and agriculture. It features a radial lift design that provides impressive mid-lift reach and excellent digging performance, as well as outstanding drawbar power.

Caterpillar 236D Skid Steer
Caterpillar 236D Skid Steer

The 236D is powered by a Cat 3.3B DIT (turbo) engine that produces 74.3 horsepower. This engine is paired with a high-performance power train that provides maximum performance and production capability. The machine is also available with an optional two-speed travel system and an electronic hand/foot throttle with decel pedal capability.

2. Caterpillar 236D3 Skid Steer

Quick Specifications

  • Gross Power: 55.4 kW
  • Rated Operating Capacity: 820 kg
  • Operating Weight: 2979 kg
  • Height: 2082 mm
  • Maximum Overall Height: 3977 mm

Key Features

  • Cat® “Intelligent Leveling” system
  • Advanced Display
  • Speed Sensitive Ride Control
  • Sealed and pressurized cab
  • Seat mounted adjustable joystick controls
  • High performance power train

The Caterpillar 236D3 Skid Steer Loader is a versatile and powerful machine that is designed for a wide range of applications, including construction, landscaping, and agriculture. It features a radial lift design that delivers impressive mid-lift reach and excellent digging performance with outstanding drawbar power.

Caterpillar 236D3 Skid Steer
Caterpillar 236D3 Skid Steer

The 236D3 is powered by a Cat 3.3B DIT (turbo) engine that provides 74 horsepower and 221 lb-ft of torque. This engine is coupled to a high-performance power train that includes an Electronic Torque Management system, standard two speed travel, and an electronic hand/foot throttle with decel pedal capability. This combination provides the 236D3 with the power and performance to handle even the most demanding tasks.

Comparison Table

FeatureCaterpillar 236 Skid SteerBobcat S650 Skid Steer
Rated Operating Capacity (ROC)1,800 lbs2,400 lbs
Operating Weight6,567 lbs7,154 lbs
Engine Power74 hp74 hp
Wheelbase1.1 m1.13 m
Width1.7 m1.7 m
Lift Height10 ft 11 in11 ft 1 in
Lift Arm TypeVertical liftRadius lift
Attachment CompatibilityUniversalBobcat-specific
PriceStarting at $75,000Starting at $80,000
Caterpillar 236 Skid Steer

Caterpillar 236 Skid Steer

The Caterpillar 236 Skid Steer is a versatile and powerful skid steer loader that is well-suited for a wide range of applications, including construction, landscaping, and demolition. It features a 74 hp engine and a rated operating capacity of 1,800 lbs, making it capable of handling even the toughest jobs.

Bobcat S650 Skid Steer

Bobcat S650 Skid Steer

The Bobcat S650 skid steer loader is a vertical lift path model in the 600 frame size. It is known for its increased lifting capacity, greater forward reach at full lift height, and powerful Tier 4 diesel engine. The cab forward design and large windows on the side and top improve visibility, while joystick controls provide precise control over the machine. Optional features include two-speed travel for faster travel between job sites, high-flow hydraulics for powering demanding attachments, and cab air conditioning for a comfortable working environment in all weather conditions.

Comparative Analysis

If you need a skid steer with a high ROC and reach, then the Bobcat S650 is the better option. It is also a good option if you need a skid steer for heavy-duty applications. However, it is important to keep in mind that the Bobcat S650 is less compact and more expensive than the Caterpillar 236, and it uses Bobcat-specific attachments.

If you need a more compact and affordable skid steer, then the Caterpillar 236 is the better option. It is also a good option if you need a skid steer that is compatible with a wide range of attachments. However, it is important to keep in mind that the Caterpillar 236 has a lower ROC than the Bobcat S650, and it uses a vertical lift arm design.

Ultimately, the best skid steer for you will depend on your specific needs and budget. If you are not sure which skid steer is right for you, it is a good idea to consult with a construction equipment dealer.

Final Verdict

After using the Caterpillar 236 Skid Steer extensively, I can confidently say that it’s a top choice for a wide range of construction and agricultural applications. Its power, versatility, and operator comfort make it a standout performer. While it may come with a higher initial cost, the long-term reliability and performance more than justify the investment.


  1. How does the Caterpillar 236 Skid Steer compare to other models in terms of fuel efficiency?
    The Caterpillar 236 Skid Steer is known for its impressive fuel efficiency, thanks to its modern engine design and efficient hydraulic system. In side-by-side comparisons, it often outperforms many competitors, helping you save on fuel costs.
  2. Can I use Caterpillar 236 Skid Steer for snow removal during winter months?
    Absolutely! The Caterpillar 236 is a versatile machine and can be equipped with various snow removal attachments, such as snow blades or snow blowers. It’s a valuable asset for winter maintenance.
  3. What type of maintenance schedule does the Caterpillar 236 Skid Steer require to keep it running smoothly?
    Caterpillar provides a comprehensive maintenance schedule in the user manual. Regularly checking fluids, filters, and inspecting for wear and tear is essential. It’s advised to follow the maintenance guidelines to ensure optimal performance and longevity.
  4. How does the Caterpillar 236 handle rough terrains and uneven surfaces?
    The Caterpillar 236 Skid Steer is designed to navigate challenging terrains. Its durable construction and excellent ground clearance allow it to operate effectively on uneven ground, making it suitable for various outdoor projects.
  5. Is there an extended warranty option available for the Caterpillar 236 Skid Steer?
    Yes, Caterpillar typically offers extended warranty options for their machines. These extended warranties can provide additional peace of mind and protection for your investment.
  6. What safety features are integrated into the Caterpillar 236 Skid Steer?
    The Caterpillar 236 is equipped with several safety features, including ROPS (Roll Over Protective Structure) and FOPS (Falling Object Protective Structure) certified cabs to protect operators. Additionally, it has safety interlocks and seatbelt requirements to ensure safe operation.
  7. How does the Caterpillar 236 Skid Steer handle attachment changes, and what attachments are compatible?
    Changing attachments on the Caterpillar 236 is straightforward. It typically features a quick coupler system for swift attachment changes. The machine can be used with a variety of attachments such as buckets, forks, grapples, and more, making it adaptable to a wide range of tasks.
  8. What financing options are available for purchasing a Caterpillar 236 Skid Steer?
    Caterpillar often offers financing and leasing options through their network of dealers. These options can vary based on your location and the dealer, so it’s advisable to contact your local Caterpillar dealer for specific financing details and arrangements that suit your needs.

In the world of skid steers, the Caterpillar 236 stands out as a machine that seamlessly marries power and precision. It’s a dependable workhorse that can take on a variety of tasks with ease. If you want a skid steer that you can rely on day in and day out, this is the one. I’ve put it through its paces, and it has exceeded my expectations. It’s not just a machine; it’s a partner in productivity.

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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