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Tossing up between Cat skid steers such as the Cat 239D, Cat 259D or Cat 299D? Getting the right skid steer for your worksite can be tough, which is why we’ve done the digging for finer details about some of the most popular Cat skid steers out there.

It seems Aussies keep coming back to the D series for their worksites, even though they’ve been around for a long time. So what makes them so special? Let’s find out!

Cat Skid Steers D Series Overview

Since starting production of the 299D in 2012, Caterpillar has been churning out new and updated D series skid steers almost every year. Just the 299D itself has several variations each year, like the 299D XHP or the recently updated 299D2.

While there are plenty of powerful and reliable skid steers in the D series, we have decided to focus on the smallest, largest (standard) and the middle machine of the series to give you an idea of what you can expect from the Caterpillar D series.

Cat 239D

Cat 239D Skid Steer

The baby of the series—both in size and age—the Cat 239D was originally released in late 2015/early 2016 and delivers impressive mid-lift reach and digging performance. The Cat 239D has convenient ground-level access to help speed up daily maintenance and servicing, all designed to reduce downtime and maintenance costs.

The cab in the 239D is sealed and pressurised, providing a cleaner, quieter working environment. If you want to maximise operator comfort, get the optional high-back, heated, air ride seat with adjustable joystick controls.

As with all of the D series skid steers, there is a huge selection of optional extras available to increase the efficiency on your worksite.

Cat 239D Specs

Engine Cat C2.2 CRDI
Gross Power 67.1 hp (50.1 kW)
Max Torque 208Nm
Operating Weight 3,306kg
Rated Operating Capacity:
35% Tipping Load50% Tipping Load
651 kg

930 kg

Travel Speed
(Forward or Reverse)
11.2km/h
More Specs

Cat 239D Price

As you’d expect, the Cat 239D’s price will vary a fair bit depending on age, condition and attachments. A new skid steer will go for around $90,000–$100,000, while a good condition used 239D can go for anywhere from $60,000–$80,000*.

Find new and used Cat 239D skid steers here.

Cat 259D

Caterpillar 259D

Middle of the road for Cat skid steers, the Cat 259D packs a powerful 74.3hp diesel engine and a convenient quick coupling system for quick switching between work tools. Much like with the 239D, Caterpillar has designed and built the 259D with maintenance and servicing in mind. Providing great ground-level access for routine service points and a wide rear door for quick, easy access to both sides of the engine.

Cat 259D Specs

Engine Cat C3.3B DIT
Gross Power 74.3 hp (55.4 kW)
Max Torque n/a
Operating Weight 4,013 kg
Rated Operating Capacity:
35% Tipping Load50% Tipping Load
921 kg1315 kg
Travel Speed
(Forward or Reverse)
One Speed: 9.5 km/h

Two Speed: 13.7 km/h

More Specs

Unsurprisingly, the Cat 259D’s specs are a step above the 239D and make it a great choice for heavier and more demanding workloads. The spacious cab has good legroom and, when combined with the optional heated seat and air conditioner, you can be sure operators will be working in comfort all day long.

Cat 259D Price

More power and a bigger lifting capacity means a bigger price tag. The Cat 259D commands a higher price than the 239D, but not by a huge margin. A new 2018/2019 model will generally cost you a bit over $100,000 (depending on attachments), while a used model will range anywhere from $60,000 to $100,000* (subject to condition, attachments and age).

Find new and used Cat 259D skid steers here.

Cat 299D

Cat skid steers 299D

Finally we have the Cat 299D. The biggest and most powerful of the Cat skid steers in this list, this machine has double the rated operating capacity of the 239D and packs 20 more hp than the 259D. This makes the 299D skid steer a fantastic choice for the heavy-duty workloads on your worksite that other machines just can’t handle.

All of this extra power means the Cat 299D can outperform almost every other skid steer in the D series. With an extended reach and a vertical lift design, truck loading on your worksite will be easier than ever. As with the rest of the D series, the cab is sealed and pressurised for a clean and quiet working environment. And, there is a wide range of attachments and technology available to speed up work and maximise efficiency.

Cat 299D Specs

Engine Cat C3.8 (turbocharged)
Gross Power 98hp (73 kW)
Max Torque n/a
Operating Weight 4,943 kg
Rated Operating Capacity:
35% Tipping Load50% Tipping Load
1,350 kg1,928 kg
Travel Speed
(Forward or Reverse)
One Speed: 8.1km/h

Two Speed: 13.6km/h

More Specs

Cat 299D Price

The price for the 299D is the most varied of our 3 skid steers in this article, simply because there are a few different variations of 299D available on the market. The Cat 299D has been in production since 2012 (compared to the 259D’s 2014 and the 239D’s 2015 releases), meaning there are older machines out there.

A used, base model 299D can start as low as $69,000, but can go as high as $150,000*. As always, the price of any machine is subject to age, condition and attachments.

Find new and used Cat 299D skid steers here.

So which skid steer should I buy?

Cat 239D Cat 259D Cat 299D
Engine Cat C2.2 CRDI Cat C3.3B DIT Cat C3.8 (turbocharged)
Gross Power 67.1 hp
(50.1 kW)
74.3 hp
(55.4 kW)
98 hp
(73 kW)
Max Torque 208Nm n/a n/a
Operating Weight 3,306 kg 4,013 kg 4,943 kg
Rated Operating Capacity:
35% Tipping Load50% Tipping Load
651kg

930kg

921 kg

1315 kg

1,350 kg

1,928 kg

Travel Speed
(Forward or Reverse)
11.2km/h One Speed:
9.5 km/hTwo Speed:
13.7 km/h
One Speed: 8.1km/h

Two Speed: 13.6km/h

It all comes down to price vs performance. If you need a skid steer that has the absolute best lifting capacity and capabilities, the 299D is the right choice. Whereas if it’s lighter, less taxing work, then a 239D may be a more cost-effective option. Of course, if you can find a Cat 259D in good condition for less than a 239D, there’s no loss in getting the more powerful option (if you’re not worried about using an older machine)!

Or if you already know which is for you, then keep an eye out for great deals at auctions or used listings. There is a huge market for Cat skid steers and you’re sure to find the right machine for your job out there.  


*Prices are averages taken from www.machines4u.com.au and should be taken as a guide only. Always discuss with dealer before purchasing.

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