Instructions for operating a Bobcat skid-steer loader

It requires some practice to learn how to handle a compact Bobcat, but once you acquire the skill becomes a very powerful tool. The Bobcats are available with wheels or chains for use in irregular terrain or mud and there is a series of different spoons and accessories. Bobcat compact loader used for all kinds of surveys, excavation and haulage work; to drive a Bobcat is a very useful skill to have.


  1. Use the handrails and steps up to the driver’s seat. Lower the safety bar and buckle your seatbelt. Hydraulic controls will only work if the safety bar is in place.
  2. Set all controls to neutral or park before starting the Bobcat. You do not want the Bobcat to start moving as soon as you turn it on.
  3. Put the key in the ignition, turn it to the left and hold it for 20 seconds. Hold the key to the left heats the plugs and makes the compact loader easier to start. After 20 seconds, turn the key clockwise to start the engine, and then release the brake.
  4. Spoon rises a few centimeters above the ground using the left pedal that controls the arm. Turn the left foot back to raise the bucket and rotate forward to lower the bucket. Often Bobcat operators lower the bucket down to the ground, lifting the front wheels off the ground, so raising it a few centimeters before starting to move.
  5. Use the right foot pedal to control the angle of the bucket. Turn the right foot to roll back the spoon back to the cabin, and turn the right foot forward to dump the bucket. Be careful to maintain the level of the spoon when you’re driving or carrying a load. If you point the bucket too far back you may drop the load on your head.
  6. Push the throttle lever forward to move forward. The throttle lever is located to the right of the seat. The further you push the lever, the faster you move.
  7. Bobcat runs using both hand levers on each side of the seat. Each lever controls the wheel assembly on the side of the loader. Push the right lever forward to turn right and pull it to turn back the wheels and turn left. Similarly, pushing the lever to the left to the left to turn left and pulled back to turn right.
  8. Make high total and adjusts controls to neutral before shutting down the Bobcat. Park it down by putting the spoon so that it pushes against the ground, lifting the front wheels.

Tips & Warnings

Avoid steep slopes and always go straight up or down a slope, never across. Move down a slope with the heavy end of the Bobcat uphill. The Bobcat becomes very slippery , so you should be  gentle with the controls. Instead of turning around like a car, it turns in place, on its own axis.

Driving with raised spoon will unstable and possibly make the Bobcat tip . Always drive the bucket close to the ground as possible.