How To Drive A Bobcat

Bobcat is a construction machine that can be used for pulling, pushing, and lifting materials. This machine is more maneuverable and lighter than a tractor and can be used in landscaping and construction works. The Bobcat is otherwise called a Skid Steer. This is the official term, but most people call this a bobcat. Have you ever considered renting a construction machine and gave up the thought because you don’t know how to drive this machine? Don’t worry because we are here to help you with your driving. In this article or guide, we give you some tips that will help you drive your Bobcat quickly.

Is it a bobcat or skid steer?

Officially this machine is called a skid steer, but commonly this is called a bobcat. Bobcat is the manufacturer of this machine, so the name got more popular than the official name. You can use both the names interchangeably if you are referring to the machine that Bobcat makes.

What is a skid steer loader?

A skid steer loader is a vehicle that comes with four wheels that are mechanically locked in synchronization with the wheels. The left side wheels can be driven independently on the right-side drive wheels. This machine is used to load the earth, dig and move the materials. It also helps clean the roads, grind the asphalt, clean the road from snow, and serve many more purposes.

Is it hard to drive a bobcat?

Many of the first-time DIYers dealing with heavy equipment like Bobcat or steer skids look intimidating. Many people think that driving a bobcat is very difficult.

And they think that they can’t handle it. But they were wrong because driving a bobcat is not that difficult. It will be easy if you learn the basics first. The basics include the buttons, the gauges, and the controls of the Bobcat. Here we are providing some tips to operate a bobcat for the first time.

  • First of all, you need to read the Bobcat manual carefully and make yourself familiar with the vehicle. Without reading the manual, don’t jump into the cabin right away.
  • Many of the controls in the Bobcat are for advanced users. So don’t mess with the controls. Just use the joystick provided to start from the simple task.
  • The first-time users of this Bobcat will take a lot of time to get used to those controls. So don’t worry, as you are getting late and not learning how to handle the Bobcat in a short amount of time.
  • After you are familiar with the Bobcat now, it is time to do some simple work. Don’t go for the heavier tasks unless you become an expert in handling the Bobcat. It will take a lot of time and patience to become an expert bobcat driver. Once you become an expert driver now, you can start working with heavier tasks.

How do you learn to drive a bobcat?

Many online websites and institutions are providing a course on how to drive a bobcat. First of all, you want to register on one of these websites and start your training program. Once you complete the course, you will get a certificate that you are an eligible bobcat driver. You need to re-apply for the certificate every three years. If you are not a qualified bobcat driver, you will get no chance to work with a bobcat. You can also learn a bobcat freely if your friend owns it.

How hard is it to drive a skid steer?

Skid steers are also called bobcats, as it is a company that manufactures skid steers. If you are thinking about how hard it is to drive a skid steer, then don’t get tense, as learning a skid steer will be an easy task if you follow the basics. Without knowing the basics, it will be complicated. Even if you learned to drive the Bobcat being a newbie, don’t go for heavy tasks before getting experience.

Bobcat Driver?

If you are an expert in driving a bobcat, you can start your new career as a bobcat driver full-time or part-time. A professional bobcat driver will earn $50 to $70 per hour.

How do you control a skid steer?

There are some easy steps to control a skid steer. These steps are for beginners. There are more controls available in the skid steer. Once you learn those basics, you can concentrate on other controls also. These are the necessary steps to control a skid steer.

  1. The left-hand control moves the left set of tires or tracks.
  2. The right-hand control moves the right set of tires or tracks.
  3. Push the left-hand control aside from you to turn left.
  4. Push the right-hand control aside from you to move right.
  5. Push both hand controls aside from you to go forward.

How to operate the Bobcat step by step?

Here we are providing a step-by-step guide to operate a bobcat without any difficulties. Now follow the instructions here:

Starting the Bobcat

  • Enter the vehicle using the handles placed on the front of the cab
  • Pull the safety-roll cage down
  • Turn the key one point to the right side and listen for the beep
  • In the top left corner, turn the parking brake off by pushing the switch to the off position.
  • Back on the right-hand side, turn the key to the “On” position.
  • On the left side, press the green button to release the machine for use.

Operating the Bobcat

  • There are left and right-foot controls that will move the bucket.
  • For directing the machine, there are control arms on the right and the left. The right-hand control moves the right tires. The left-hand control moves the left tires. Use both left and right-hand controls together at the same time to move the vehicle forward and backward.

Turning off the Bobcat

  • Turn the key, located on the upper right, to the “Stop” or “Off” position
  • Set your parking brake on
  • Lift the roll-cage up
  • Using the handles, safely exit the machine

Safety measures when operating a bobcat

  • Check your surroundings before and during operating. It isn’t easy to see behind and to the machine’s sides once you are inside the cab. Ensure that you know what is behind you before you back up.
  • Do not overload the bucket. Different machines have different weight capacities. Check the operator or vehicle manual (or ask the specialists at Northside Tool Rental) for details.
  • Evenly spread the load on the attachment so the loader doesn’t tip over.
  • Lift the load slowly and evenly to keep the loader stable
  • Carry loads close to the ground level yet high enough to clear the obstacles. When a load is carried very high, skid steer loaders are more likely to tip. It is essential to carry the load as low as possible when turning the vehicle, carrying a heavy load, traveling on a slope, or working on rough surfaces.
  • Drive up and down the hills, not across the hills. Drive slowly on slopes.
  • Wear proper safety gear or protection. Ear protection, a hard hat, and safe footwear should be worn when working with the construction equipment.
  • Smashing and rollover accidents are the foremost causes of skid steer deaths and injuries.
  • No one should ride in the bucket of a skid steer.
  • No one should ride in the cab of a skid steer with the operator, especially kids.
  • Know your surroundings and keep spectators at a safe distance.
  • You should check the security of the grab handles every day.
  • If the bucket is bearing a load, avoid driving downhill.

Detailed steps – Bobcat operators manual

These are the detailed steps to operate a bobcat.

Basic controls – Arm controls

  • The left-hand control moves the left set of tires or tracks.
  • The right-hand control moves the right set of tires or tracks.
  • Push the left-hand control away from you to turn left.
  • Push the right-hand control away from you to move right.
  • Push both hand controls away from you to go forward.
  • Pull both hand controls towards you to go in reverse.

One arm control for steering

  • Push the single-hand control away from you to go forward.
  • Pull the single-hand control towards you to go backward.
  • Move the single-hand control left or right to turn the skid steer left side or right side.

How to start a skid steer?

  • Go up the steps by holding the grab handles with both hands.
  • Step into the cab and turn round as you enter.
  • Adjust the seat and other facilities to your liking.
  • Reach overhead and pull down the roll-cage using both hands
    • Newer models will not start until the roll-cage is securely down.
  • Buckle your seat belt.
    • Some models will not start till the seat belt is secured.
  • Give the combustion key a quarter turn and wait for a beep.
  • Free the parking brake by pressing the overhead button.
  • Entirely turn the combustion key to start the engine.
  • Press the green “ready” switch to revoke a safety mechanism that secures the gears in place.
  • Push your hand controls forward to set the skid steer in motion.

Monitoring your skid steer

These are the minimum features that skid steer should have:

  • Temperature Gauge: Measures the heat was coming from your engine.
  • Fuel Gauge: Tells how much fuel you have left.
  • Hour Gauge: Displays the number of hours that the machine has been in use.
  • Auxiliary Pressure Release: Hold this button if you have an attachment with hydraulic hoses that need to release pressure (commonly used when swapping attachments).
  • Variable Flow: A hydraulic power option that lets you vary the flow of pressure when using attachments.
    • This option changes the speed rate that you can close the bucket on backhoe attachments, for example.
  • High Flow: It is Another hydraulic power option required by specific attachments.
  • Max Flow: This is how to operate a skid steer using the maximum amount of hydraulic power (for heavy-duty attachments and high-performance rates).
  • Bob-Tach – Bobcat skid steers typically have an above button to add or release attachments without physically getting out of the machine. This button controls two levers on either side of the attachment to make it either clamp down or release an attachment as needed.
    • Other companies may have similar setups.

Operation of skid steer during dumping

  • Foot Pedals (Left & Right) – press the left foot pedal to manage the boom, and step on the right foot pedal to manage the bucket.
    • Left Pedal: Use your foot to make the boom arm up and your toe to make the boom arm down.
    • Right Pedal: Use your foot to make the bucket “curl or spiral” (dig) and your toe to make the bucket dump.
  • If you are working with a skid steer that uses only one arm control for steering, then the second arm control will operate the bucket and the boom.
    • Move the arms control left to curl the bucket.
    • Move the arms control to the right to dump the bucket.


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