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Using a Skid Steer – Tips, Tricks and Tools

Posted by: Erika Green on July 7, 2017

Bobcat Skid Steer 2.jpg

We all know a skid steer, one of the most versatile pieces of heavy equipment, can be used by both contractors and DIYers. But knowing how to operate one, regardless of your background, can be tricky. So, to help make your job run as smoothly as possible, check out these tricks for your next project.

Be prepared

When you first learned to drive a car, you were taught about the pedals, controls and features. The same should be done for operating a skid steer for the first time.

Read through the operators’ manual and talk to your VIP Onsite Delivery technician. There’s no such thing as a silly question, so ask away because they’re there to help.

Get in and out of the machine the right way

It might sound crazy, but there’s definitely a right way and a wrong way to get in and out of your skid steer. To keep you safe, we’d recommend using the three-point method. Just like a three-point turn while driving, the method is simple. Use one hand and two feet or two hands and one foot when getting into the cab by using the steps and handles. You can do the same when you get out of the equipment.

Know the controls

We’ve put together a video that guides you through the different controls and buttons you’ll see in your Bobcat skid steer. Take five minutes to watch it – it’s worth it!

Protect your landscape

Heavy equipment can cause major damage if your jobsite isn’t ready. If you’re operating on or near sidewalks, walkways and patios, protect everything by laying down plywood.

When you’re using the heavy equipment, make wide sweeping turns to reduce damage. Also, don’t operate on wet soil or sloping grounds. Just trust us on that – you don’t want to risk it.

Know the bucket basics

Whenever you're transporting materials, keep the bucket low. Depending on the jobsite, soil can stick to the bucket. When you dump a load, tap the controls to shake the bucket back and forth to release the dirt. If need be, use a shovel to scrape leftover dirt so you can lift and carry with ease.

While operating your skid steer, try digging and transporting smaller amounts to be safe. Materials like soil and mulch can weigh more than you might expect, so make sure you don’t overload your bucket or it will cause damage.  

More tips and tricks are just a phone call away – connect with our team at 1-888-COMPACT to help with that next big project.

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