A Loader is any vehicle fitted with a lifting arm that is designed to lift and move objects and cargo. In Farming Simulator 17, Loaders come in four different varieties:

Any variety of Loader can be fitted with interchangeable tools to allow it to perform different lifting tasks - lifting Pallets, lifting Logs, shoveling Piles, and so on. There are separate Loading Tools for each Loader category in the shop, and they are not interchangeable. Each variety of Loader listed above is better at some lifting tasks, but weaker in others. The details are discussed in length in the articles linked above.

The rest of this article discusses the different ways in which any Loader can be used to manipulate objects and cargo, with recommendations on which tools and vehicles to use for which lifting jobs.

Loader Categories Edit

FS17 Loaders

Different varieties of Loaders.

The majority of Loader models in Farming Simulator 17 are simply Tractors - except they've been fitted with a special lifting arm. All other models are not tractors at all; They are tractor-like vehicles designed specifically for lifting. These "Tractor-likes" are then further split into three additional Loader categories, depending on what type of loading work they are best designed to do.

The differences between different categories of Loaders is very significant, and it is a major factor when trying to decide which model to buy.

Front Loaders Edit

Main article: Front Loaders (Farming Simulator 17)
FS17 Valtra-NSeries

A Valtra N Series, a solid Front Loader.

Most Small and Medium Tractors can be turned into Front Loaders. This requires modifying the tractor itself and buying at least two different additional pieces of equipment. When a tractor is fitted correctly it can lift objects or cargo like any other type of Loader.

When browsing the tractor models at the in-game store, any tractor that can be turned into a Front Loader is clearly marked as such. After buying a modified tractor, the next step is to buy a Front Loading Arm as well as a Loading Tool that is specially designed for Front Loaders. Both the arm and tools can be found in the "Front Loaders" category at the store.

Front Loaders are not really the "best choice" for any single type of lifting job. On the other hand, a Front Loader is capable of performing any lifting job with adequate efficiency, and can be fitted with a wide variety of tools for different jobs. Therefore, a single Front Loader can do many different kinds of lifting work, while also being a Tractor - capable of working on your fields and towing your trailers.

This versatility makes Front Loaders especially suitable for Animal Husbandry. They can do any lifting job related to animals, tow trailers full of food and water to the animals, and operate animal-related machinery (e.g. a Straw Blower). They are also small enough to easily navigate their way around your animal pens.

Wheel Loaders Edit

Main article: Wheel Loaders (Farming Simulator 17)
FS17 Liebherr-L538

A Liebherr L 538, a Wheel Loader model.

Wheel Loaders looks a lot like Tractors, but they are not; they are specifically designed to work as lifting tools, and actually cannot perform most kinds of field work like tractors do. Wheel Loaders and their Tools can be found in a separate category of the store, titled "Wheel Loaders".

Wheel Loaders are built for shoveling. Their tools typically have a high capacity or great strength, relative to the tools of other loaders. For example, the Wheel Loader Bucket can shovel over 5 times as much material as a bucket designed for a Front Loader.

Wheel Loaders are best suited to work that requires strength - and the ability to move masses of material quickly. Shoveling Silage is their primary expertise, as is working with Manure.

The downside is that Wheel Loaders are very large, and they are not the most maneuverable of Loaders. As a result, they have trouble working in tight spaces, or manipulating Pallets.

Skid Steer Loaders Edit

Main article: Skid Steer Loaders (Farming Simulator 17)
FS17 JCB-260

A JCB 260, the smallest Skid Steer Loader.

Skid Steer Loaders are small forklifts. Both Skid Steer Loaders and their Tools can be found in a separate category of the store, labeled "Skid Steer Loaders". The small size of a Skid Steer, as well as the fine control of its lifting arm, make it exceptionally agile and precise.

Skid Steer Loaders excel at lifting Pallets and Bales, loading them onto other vehicles, and stacking them on top of each other. A Skid Steer requires only minimal skill to perform well at this job. Skid Steers are quite cheap to buy, so you might be able to afford putting one at each spot on the map where this sort of lifting is required: One to load seed pallets onto trucks at the Store, one to load Wool at the Sheep pen, one to move bales in the field, and so on.

Skid Steers can be fitted with many different tools, but only some are actually useful. Skid Steers are a pretty solid choice for assisting other machines in Forestry, for example. Generally, however, they are not very suitable for shoveling materials.

Telehandlers Edit

Main article: Telehandlers (Farming Simulator 17)
FS17 Manitou-MLT840

A Manitou MLT 840, a type of Telehandler.

Telehandlers are short, flat-looking vehicles, fitted with a telescopic arm which can be extended and retracted. This is a unique feature of Telehandlers, not available to any other Loader. Telehandlers and their Tools can be found in a separate category of the store, labeled "Telehandlers".

A Telehandler can extend its arm very far upwards, reaching higher than any other Loader. The wide, flat shape of the Telehandler also makes it very stable when lifting heavy cargo to such heights. This makes Telehandlers great for any work that requires manipulating objects up above the ground - primarily very tall stacks of Bales or even Pallets. A Telehandler can be a good assistant in Forestry for the same reason.

Telehandlers are not as agile as Skid Steers (see above), but they are generally small enough to work with good precision.

Loading Work Edit

Loaders may be needed to perform a great variety of different jobs, all related to lifting objects or materials up from the ground, and placing them elsewhere. Different types of Loaders, and different types of Loading Tools, are suitable for different kinds of lifting.

The sub-sections below discuss the many different ways a Loader can help around your farm.

Lifting Pallets Edit

Loaders can be used to lift Pallets (such as a Lizard Seed BigBag or a Lizard Poplar Saplings Pallet), move them to a storage area, stack them on top of one another, or even load them onto other vehicles for transport elsewhere.

The Loading Tool designed for this job is the Pallet Fork, which can slide into the Pallet to hold it fairly stable as it is being moved. Other tools may also work for this job, with various results.

Skid Steer Loaders are typically the best Loaders to use for manipulating pallets. They have very fine driving controls and agility, and can easily stack pallets on top of one another, or place them on a Bale Trailer. Telehandlers are probably the second-best option, a little harder to use with precision, but capable of creating and working with very tall stacks of pallets.

Lifting Bales Edit

Loaders can be used to lift Bales, move them to a storage area, stack them on top of one another, or even load them onto other vehicles for transport elsewhere.

The Loading Tool designed for this job is the Bale Spike, which only needs to be stabbed into the bale in order to snag it for lifting. A Wrapped Bale Handler may also be suitable, particularly for Round Bales. Other tools, like the Pallet Fork can also do the job, but are somewhat less reliable.

Skid Steer Loaders are typically the best for precision work, such as when stacking bales or loading them on a Bale Trailer, thanks to their agility and fine controls. However, for Animal Husbandry-related bale work, consider using a Front Loader instead - a tractor can do many other animal-related tasks better than a Skid Steer.

Shoveling Piles Edit

Loaders can pick up material from a Pile on the ground, move it, and dump it elsewhere or into a Tipper or other Container. The piles in question could be Crops dumped on the ground, Animal Dirt, Manure, or any other material that can be dumped.

There are several Loading Tools designed for this job, including the Bucket, Manure Fork, and several others - They all work pretty much the same way, except some tools can only work with certain types of material. In general, it is best to choose the tool with the largest Cargo Capacity for the material you want to shovel, as it can lift more material at once. However some tools are just too big or too wide, making the work more complicated instead of easier.

For small-scale shoveling tasks, a Front Loader is usually best. For moving large amounts of material quickly, you typically want the largest Bucket available, and those are compatible only with Wheel Loaders.

Leveling Silage Edit

In Farming Simulator 17, there are good reasons to ensure that the Silage in your Silage Bunkers is kept leveled and as flat as possible. Driving over it repeatedly can eventually do the trick, but it's often better to use a specialized tool.

This can be done with the Leveler tool. This tool works like a Bucket, but cannot lift materials up in the air. Instead, it is better at shoveling Piles on the ground, to change their shape. It is much wider than a Bucket when unfolded.

At least one Leveler model in the base game can be fitted to both Front Loaders and Wheel Loaders, but the Wheel Loaders are generally better because they are stronger and heavier - which helps a lot when working with Silage.

Lifting Logs Edit

Loaders can help with Forestry by lifting the Logs you've cut down, and placing them on a Log Transport or into a Wood Chipper.

Loaders are not the best vehicles to use for this task, since larger Log Transports are specifically designed for this job on their own - and they are much better at it. Nonetheless, Loaders can still do this using a Log Fork, with some difficulty. The Log Fork can open and close on command to grab the logs tightly, and then released to drop them into the waiting transport or wood chipper.

Skid Steer Loaders are nimble and precise, which is useful for this job, but they are very light and could have problems lifting the heavier trees. Telehandlers can lift logs very easily into a waiting trailer. Front Loaders can also be used for the job, with some difficulty.