Schaffer wheel loaders are the ideal choice when you need serious muscle power. Engineered and built to industrial standards in Germany for Australian conditions, Schaffer wheel loaders combine superior strength with European sophistication from the 26hp 2028 to the 75hp 5680Z.

The Schaffer model 3650 "skid steer substitute" is often chosen by customers who want to leave their skid steer or bobcat style loader for the benefits of a compact articulated wheel loader.

The 3650 "skid steer or bobcat-type loader substitute" is a favourite among clients who want minimal ground disturbance from their tyres, a massive tipping load from a loader 1590mm wide, and a more comfortable ride that saves your back with the oscillating articulation joint. Schaffer's "skid steer substitute" loader model 3650 nearly turns on the spot - just another advantage of German engineering giving 20% greater articulation angle than just about any articulated loader on the market!

Now with HTF - High Traction Force.

Full Technical Specifications

Articulated Loader 3550 Tech Spec
Diesel motor Kubota 3 cylinder, D1803-CR Turbo
Output 37 kW (50 hp), Stage 5 emissions compliant
Operating weight with GP bucket approx. 2700kg (extra weights available, cabin additional)
Standard tyres 15.0x55-17 Lug/Turf (other options available)
Ply rating 10 ply
Service brake Combination hydrostatic & service free multiple disk
Parking brake: Multiple disk in oil bath
Auxiliary flow (options available) 19cc - 46 lpm (options available)
Working pressure 200 bar
Steering Articulated
Hydraulic lifting power 2000 kg
ISO 14397-1 operating loads with GP bucket
Static tipping load straight (ISO 8313) 1,523-1,845 kg
Static tipping load articulated (ISO 8313) 950 kg
Payload bucket - 50% artic load (ISO 14397-1) 475 kg
Data with loading fork - centre of gravity 500mm
Static tipping load straight (ISO 8313) 1,267-1,580 kg
Static tipping load articulated with forks (ISO 8313) 750 kg
Payload according to EN474-3, uneven ground 60%/ even ground 80% 450/600 kg
Payload 80%, transport position fully lowered, articulated
Axles Original Schaffer Axles 6 bolt
Differential Star gear with limited slip differentials front and rear
Oscillation Articulation joint
Speed 20 km/hr
Gears High/low range
Fuel capacity 50 litres
Oil reservoir 48 litres


Articulated Loader 3650


Axle Base (mm) 1800


Chassis length (mm) 3485


Total length with bucket (mm) 4185


Excavating depth (mm) 90


Maximum working height (mm) 3550


Max. bucket pivot point 2950


Max. loading height with pallet fork (mm) 2810


Dumping height - depends on bucket (mm) 2140


Samson post height (mm) 1690


Dump reach (mm) 470


Seat height (mm) 1226


Height with removable hardtop on (mm) 2230


Width over tyres (mm) 1590 (options available)


Track arc inside (mm) 1230


Track arc outside (mm) 2330


External radius with std bucket (mm) 3220

Features and benefits at a glance


Schaffer skid steer sub older model 3150 showing 8 tools in 16 seconds!

Schaffer skid steer sub older model 3150 official promo video

Schaffer loaders for arborists

Mini loaders and front end loaders in Tree Lopping

Features and benefits

About Schaffer "skid steer substitute" loader 3650.

Schaffer leads the world in high performance, industrial build articulated wheel loaders. Ultra-strength is combined with compact size and clever German engineering to get the job done fast.

There are numerous technical reasons why Schaffer articulated loaders tick all the boxes. Designed with a massive amount of weight out the back of the rear axle, lift capacity is maximised at the front. The centre of gravity is low, offering superior performance in any conditions.

The articulation angle is also the highest on the market, maximising productivity in confined areas and speeding up work

Skid steer substitute working in soil yard.

What our customers have to say...

Steven Richards, Toyota Materials Handling Hire, "It's a very robust, well built loader compared to other makes. We've used it non-stop with only routine maintenance." Owners of a Schaffer 3150 loader.

Tim Nolen, Indiji Flora "The Schaffers are really well engineered. They're not a plastic fantastic machine, they're solid." Owners of a Schaffer 3150 loader.

Tim Davies, Tim Davies Landscaping, Tim says the 3150 is "head and shoulders" above a previous lightweight loader he bought. "We made a bad decision by buying the other loader, we like to buy quality and have now found the right machine." Owners of 3 x 3150 Schaffer loaders.

Schaffer articulated loaders gain ground in skid steer market

A skid steer or an articulated wheel loader? It's a choice many business owners must make.

Today significant numbers are steering away from the industry stalwart, the skid steer, in favour of a Schaffer articulated wheel loader.

The skid steer is the generic "bobcat-style" machine that has dominated the compact earthmoving and integrated tool carrier market in Australia for decades.

But things are changing. Since Schaffer Loaders began importing their agile articulated loaders into Australia, the German-engineered front end loaders have made real inroads into skid steer territory.

"From a design point of view, articulated loaders and skid steers are like chalk and cheese," Schaffer Loaders Australian manager Cameron Moir says.

"A skid steer is a rigid-framed machine whereas an articulated loader has two chassis joined by an articulation joint.

"The Schaffer compact articulated loaders have perfected this mode of machine to make it worth a second look because it's now superior to a skid steer for many types of work traditionally done by a skid steer.

"Some people say they like skid steers because they turn on the spot but this has a downside because they dig up the ground. You may have just laid a new driveway and you turn on it and wreck it! And it's very hard on your back and expensive on tyres compared to an articulated loader.

"The Schaffer articulated loaders are nearly as nimble as any skid steer because they have a 20% greater articulation angle than any other front end loader on the market and are narrower in width, which allows them to work in very tight areas, but they still have good capacity."

Skid steers typically run a variety of tools but this versatility has now been matched by the Schaffer articulated loaders, Cameron says. "They are integrated tool carriers that can adapt to any job. You can fit them with anything from pallet forks and four-in-one buckets through to augers, trenchers, and sweepers."

Articulated loaders have a long list of other advantages over skid steers, Cameron says

An important one is driver comfort and safety. "You get much smoother operation, especially in rough terrain. Many skid steer guys get back problems because the short wheelbase transfers all the bumps into the seat. Driving a Schaffer articulated loader is like a limo by comparison."

Schaffer articulated loaders tick other OH&S boxes as well says Cameron. The seating position on top of the loader gives you better visibility, which makes a Schaffer articulated loader safer, particularly on sites with personnel operating nearby.

Schaffer articulated loaders also score well over skid steers on lifting capacity. "The short wheelbase of skid steers can make them unstable in certain conditions.

"Articulated loaders with their long wheelbase have their counterweight further back, allowing them to lift heavier loads higher and reach out further more safely," he explains.

"The benefits of articulated loaders versus skid steers go on and on," Cameron says.

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Who uses Schaffer skid steer substitute loaders?

Schaffer skid steer substitute loaders are boosting productivity in mining, earthmoving, construction, local councils, horticulture and landscaping and many other industries.

The versatility of over 50 attachments allows Schaffer articulated loaders to be adapted for almost any task. Why buy a machine for every job when your Schaffer articulated loader can become a power plant to quickly do just about any job?

Designed and built with more muscle power.

Greater breakout and lifting forces - that's the Schaffer advantage.

Our expert engineers use the latest 3D computer-aided design, optimised by years of experience, to create the strongest skid steer substitute loaders available.

All masts use 25mm plate - not weaker box design, massive single lift cylinders up to 3650 and strong crowd cylinders to give years of trouble-free operation. It's why quality Schaffer's German engineering always outperforms in the long run.

Skid steer substitute loader arm.

Oscillating articulation joints for comfort and safety.

The Schaffer oscillating articulation joint is a unique proven system that Schaffer has used for over 20 years. It has two massive advantages - it aids traction by allowing all wheels to stay on the ground in rough terrain and improves operator comfort because it acts like a suspension system.

You're not bounced around every time you go over a bump, so you can work faster and more productively. And it's much easier on your back.

Another important benefit is that Schaffer's oscillating articulation joints are totally maintenance free. Doing away with daily lubrication dramatically reduces your workload.

In addition, Schaffer's exclusive oscillating articulation joints are a sealed system, so sand and dirt can't enter and turn the grease into a paste that will cause friction to wear down the joints.

In fact, the joints are virtually indestructible. That's why we offer you the longest warranty in the loader business on this component of three years or 3000 operating hours.

Skid steer substitute loader oversized oscillating articulation joint.

Arguably the best motors in the business - Kubota.

Schaffer has worked in partnership with Kubota, the world's leading producer of water-cooled diesel motors under 100hp, for more than 25 years.

The excellent torque of a Kubota motor delivers exceptional performance - quiet, economical, fuel-efficient and environmentally friendly.

The newest generation of motors have been further improved with lower fuel consumption and emission levels. Kubota was the first manufacturer to meet the strict regulations on exhaust emissions in California - a measure of Kubota's green credentials.

Every engine is now Tier 4 or Tier 5 to meet the strictest emissions levels on the planet.

A unique pre-chamber system means a motor can easily be converted to cold-pressed vegetable oil without a separate diesel fuel tank. Kubota motors are future-proof!

The long partnership between Kubota and Schaffer has advantages when it comes to service and spare parts. No other compact loader producer offers such reliable service.

In a recent test Schaffer was awarded the most fuel efficient loader, even though it has the biggest engine of 110hp, using just 10.3 litres per hour.

Another test in Finland pitted a small 36hp Schaffer against 8 rivals and again it won the most efficient fuel consumption of any loader in the test and overall winner.

Kubota motor.

Simple, ergonomic controls.

In a Schaffer skid steer substitute loader, everything simply works at the touch of a joystick.

Two speed, high and low range shift-on-the-go is standard, giving a top speed of 20km/hr.

The joystick controls forward and reverse with a switch on top - no need to hit a shuttle lever for motion controls. Two speed is at the side and all mast motions are via the joystick.

This ease of operation and fine control allows the operator to focus on the job at hand for maximum productivity.

The hydrostatic drive provides high pushing power, faster travel speed and effortless control.

Industrial quality Bosch/Rexroth hydraulics.

Schaffer could source cheaper hydraulics but we choose not to. We realise that quality hydraulics are the crux of a great loader. When only the best will do, Bosch/Rexroth is synonymous with long-term reliability. Bosch is backed Australia-wide with its own specialist network and the Schaffer network, giving you peace of mind.

Auxiliary controls at your fingertips.

Schaffer wheel loaders have standard auxiliary controls on the joystick, making your loader a true integrated tool carrier for any job.

Cooling is optimised to allow it to run high flow attachments. If you really need high flow, Schaffer's 130hp has best-in-class high auxiliary flow available for mulchers and cold planers.

Electric auxiliary controls in the joystick makes working with 4-in-1 buckets, grabs and augers a breeze. Pushing forward lowers the mast and the log is grabbed at the same time with fingertip controls. This allows the operator to keep their hands on the steering wheel, for the highest safety standards

For more information on attachments, see here.

Skid Steer Substitute Loader Joystick with electric auxiliary controls.

Clear visibility maximises productivity and safety.

Schaffer's exclusive design has a relatively narrow conical loading arm which tapers to the chassis to give you the best vision of your working area possible.

Even the cylinders are centrally mounted to further enhance vision - you can really see what you're doing when you drive a Schaffer.

Only on Schaffer articulated loaders do you find hydraulic cylinders freely suspended with spherical bearings instead of fixed pins so pins wear evenly and outlast the rest.

Skid Steer loader Substitute driving position.

Exclusive Schaffer differentials for high pushing power.

Automatically operating limited slip differentials are standard back and front to limit wheel slip and harness the torque every moment.

Schaffer's exclusive axles are matched to each loader model - this is why independent tests confirm Schaffer out pushes the rest.

Axles on any loader are one of the most important components - they must carry heavy loads and transfer the high torque of the hydrostatic power into pushing forces over many years. Schaffer's axles are designed to push hard and last.

The lowest operating height on the market for agility and safety.

Schaffer Loaders are not only the most skid steer substitute loaders on the market, they are also the lowest, which offers you a number of benefits.

A low operating height means you can squeeze into tight spots, monitor ground conditions with ease and there are no dramas climbing in and out.

Class leading tipping heights.

Schaffer articulated loader models 3650 have a 2.95m pivot point. That means you can load high truck and stack pallet racks with ease.

Maximum traction with wide, heavy duty tyres.

How do you convert great torque to maximum traction? With the right heavy duty wide tyre. We can option your machine with the right tyres for the job, from the standard heavy ply 15.0x55-17 - that's 15" of tread on the ground as standard. And because its not a skid steer you can choose from wide agriculture style lugs for greater traction.

Are you in the waste, demolition or recycling industries? We have multiple options including solid press on, solid fill, liquid puncture-proof and more.

Don't see your tyre of choice? Call us to discuss options.

Skid steer articulated tyres.

Safety - it's always standard with Schaffer.

At Schaffer, we are committed to safety. As well as a loader engineered to have one of the lowest centre's of gravity on the market a reverse beeper and rotating beacon are always standard.

Unique customisation service.

Need something special? We do custom orders for just about any application.

Underground mining? Need fire suppression, T-bar seat, fast fill, sealed electrics for caustic conditions, mesh only, custom paint, level 2 FOPS, catalytic convertor, particulate scrubbers, solid tyres or more?

At Schaffer we customise at the factory, giving you peace of mind that the job is done right with factory back-up.

Hydraulic quick attach for fast coupling.

Every Schaffer skid steer substitute loader has hydraulic quick attach incorporated into one of the strongest tool frames on the market.

The Schaffer hook hitch enables quick coupling and decoupling from the cabin with extra safety inside.

Hydraulic quick attach hook hitch.

Over 50 attachments to power through every job.

Over 50 tools turn your Schaffer articulated loader into a productive workhorse able to do any job.

The list includes a 4-in-1, bulk buckets, pallet forks, augers, trenchers, rotary hoes, slashers, grab buckets and much more.

The cooling pack on every Schaffer has been designed in Germany for the harsh Aussie summer enabling you to keep your hydraulics cool so they last over the long term.

Don't buy a loader that just does one job, buy one that is built to do the lot and get even more productivity day in, day out.

Quality and service guaranteed.

Schaffer loaders rarely require more than routine service but it's reassuring to know that all Schaffer loaders are backed by our Australian service division which offers original Schaffer replacement parts and expertise.

Articulated Loader spare parts.

Articulated Loader Gallery