I bought a brand new one because I am not familiar with machines and would not know how to differentiate between a good deal and a bad one. Also, the warranty was something I was interested in. The local CAT mechanic is a wonderful man and he goes out of his way to assist me with dumb things, like putting hydraulic fluid in. The skid steer got itself stuck the first few times I used it and then I got myself trapped when a huge bale tipped the machine onto its front wheels. The hydraulics do not work when in such a position, so I could not lower the forks and simply get out. Fortunately, I had my phone and called for help. That is when the whole fire department showed up. Two young fellow pushed the bale off the forks and the machine righted itself. I got out and stopped shaking a little. "By the way," one said, "the window at the back pops out for emergency exits if you ever get stuck again." Duh. I have never gotten tipped and trapped since.
This winter it has been bitterly cold and quite snowy. I am using the bucket to clear the driveway and the yard and have learned to operate the skid steer fairly well. There have even been some lovely comments from watchers who said they were impressed. Now, if they were truthful or not, I will never know, but I am impressed. Today, I cleared the snow from the blizzard and was late starting the chores. The thermometer read somewhere in the low mid teens and the sun shone brightly, though the days are still short and that sun was gone before I knew it. I could feel the temperature drop rapidly as I finished watering the animals. They were already cuddled in their housing, so I knew it was cold for them too. I am sure thankful that I made the decision to buy that CAT skid steer. It has been a very useful machine. And I am grateful that the finances were such that I managed to pay for it! Yay!