How To Operate A Bobcat Skid Steer Loader

Have you ever considered renting construction equipment for a project but didn’t because you weren’t sure how to operate a Bobcat?  We can teach you how to drive a Bobcat (also referred to as a skid steer loader) in a few quick and easy steps.

Is it a Bobcat Or A Skid Steer Loader?

The skid steer loader can, at times, be referred to simply as a Bobcat.  In fact, Bobcat is the name of a popular skid steer loader manufacturer.  Both names can be used interchangeably or together when referring to this piece of equipment made by Bobcat.

What is a Skid Steer Loader?

Skid steer loaders are four-wheel vehicles with the wheels mechanically locked in synchronization on each side, and the left-side drive wheels can be driven independently of the right-side drive wheels. It can load earth into a truck, dig and move landscaping and building materials, clean roads, grind asphalt, clear the road from snow, and serve many other purposes.

Quick and Easy Steps to Learn How To Drive A Bobcat

We recommend your first step to learning how to operate a bobcat is to watch this instructional video.  Next, read each step listed, below.  To finish, go back and watch the video a second time.  You will quickly see and understand how easy it can be to operate a bobcat steer skid loader.


How To Operate A Bobcat–One Step At A Time

Starting the Bobcat

  1. Enter the machine using the handles located on the front of the cab
  2. Pull the safety roll cage down
  3. Turn the key one position to the right and listen for the beep
  4. In the upper left corner turn the parking brake off by pushing the toggle switch to the off position.
  5. Back on the right side, turn the key to the “On” position.
  6. On the left side, press the green operator button to release the machine for use.

Operating the Bobcat

  1. There are left and right foot controls that will operate the bucket
  2. For steering the machine, there are control arms on the right and the left.  The right arm control moves the right tires. The left arm control moves the left tires.  Use both left and right arm controls together at the same time to move the machine forward and backward.

Turning Off the Bobcat

(Never exit the machine while it is running)

  1. Turn the key, located on the top right,  to the “Stop” or “Off” position
  2. Set your parking brake on
  3. Lift the roll cage up
  4. Using the handles, safely exit the machine

Safety When Operating The Bobcat

  1. Check your surrounding before and during operating.  It is difficult to see behind and to the sides of the machine, once you are inside of the cab.  Make sure that you know what is behind you before you backup.
  2. Do not overload the bucket.  Different machines have different weight capacities.  Check the operator manual (or ask the experts at Northside Tool Rental) for details.
  3. Evenly distribute the load on the attachment so the loader doesn’t tip over
  4. Lift loads slowly and evenly to keep the loader stable
  5. Carry loads close to the ground, yet high enough to clear obstacles. When a load is carried too high, skid steer loaders are more likely to tip. It is especially important to carry the load as low as possible when turning, carrying a heavy load, travelling on a slope, or operating on rough surfaces.
  6. Drive up and down hills, not across them. Drive slowly on slopes.
  7. Wear proper safety protection.  Ear protection, a hard hat, and safe footwear should  be worn when operating construction equipment.

How Much Does It Cost To Rent A Bobcat?

By now, you are probably wondering, “how much does it cost to rent a Bobcat?”  At Northside Tool Rental, we hear that question a lot.  To help answer that question, we wrote an article that explains the costs associated with renting a bobcat from Atlanta-based Northside Tool Rental in our blog post, How Much To Rent A Bobcat?

If you would like to rent a Bobcat Skid Steer Loader, please visit out our Skid Steer Loaders page.

Related Posts