Operating a Bobcat Is Easier Than You Think
Posted by: Erika Green on August 2, 2016
For many first-time DIYers, heavy equipment, like a Bobcat skid steer, can seem intimidating. We’re talking about large machinery that weighs as much as a small vehicle with the added potential to cause major damage. However, even if your riding mower is the biggest piece of equipment you’ve ever used, you’ll find a Bobcat skid steer is just as easy to operate.
Rest assured that once you learn the basics, you realize most of the buttons, gauges, and controls are for more advanced users. Here are a few other tips to keep in mind to ease concerns you may have about operating a skid steer for the first time:
- Don’t jump into the cabin right away. You definitely want to start by reading the manual and familiarizing yourself with all parts of the skid steer (and your surroundings) before getting into the cabin. Safely operating heavy equipment is critical. Be aware of potentially dangerous situations on your worksite to make sure you keep the equipment – and yourself – out of harm’s way.
- Know what you don’t need to know. Many of the controls in the cabin are either for advanced uses or for other attachments (like augers, plows, etc.). For simpler projects like moving dirt from one pile to another, all you need are the joysticks.
- Set aside more time than you think. First time DIYers often spend more time getting comfortable in the equipment than they anticipate. You want to commit time to simply moving the machine back and forth and rolling and curling the bucket to get comfortable with how the machine reacts to your control. Build in buffer time to familiarize yourself with the equipment and its capabilities – it makes it much easier once you start working.
- Start simple. When you first rent a Bobcat skid steer, it’s a good idea to start with a simple task until you’re really comfortable with the equipment and its controls. You may not want to rent a skid steer for the first time when you’re trying to pick up huge trees or grade steep roads. Start small until you build confidence in your operating ability.
Once you’ve spent some time familiarizing yourself with the equipment and practicing the basics, you’ll be ready to safely and effectively operate a Bobcat skid steer. There’s something eminently satisfying about moving a few tons of dirt without having to bribe your friends to come over and help every single time.