How to Use a Skid Steer

How to Use a Skid Steer

Using a skid steer is a valuable life lesson. You never know when it may come in handy. From increased marketability in the construction and household renovation industries to more self-sufficiency during your own home projects, skid steer driving is a valuable skill to possess. Check out this quick guide on how to use a skid steer to jump-start your newest skill today.

Starting a skid steer

Enter the skid steer by walking up the steps—there are always handles placed there for better grip and balance, as the stairs can be steep or slick. Sit in the seat and adjust it to your preference before turning on the skid steer. This is important, as adjustments after turning it on can cause accidental movements and result in injury to yourself or others around you.

Once your seat is comfortable and safe, pull the roll cage down with both of your hands, if applicable. Not all skid steers have a roll cage anymore. And remember to always fasten your seatbelt.

After you complete these steps, turn the ignition until you hear a beep, then turn off the parking brake and finish turning on the skid steer. Once it is running, you should see a green button. Press that to indicate you are ready, so the skid steer can release its safety feature that locks the gears. After this, you can start to use the controls.

Basic controls

You need to know how to move your skid steer to use it for anything. You also need to know how to dig and dump since these are the main functionalities of the equipment. The following are a few basic controls to know when operating a skid steer:

Arm controls

Use the left and the right arm controls to steer the tracks or tires of your skid steer. The left control operates the left side and the right operates the right side. Practice turning carefully in a safe space until you get the hang of it.

Foot controls

The pedal at your feet controls your bucket and arms. Your right foot pedal should curl the bucket and allow it to dump. The left foot pedal should control the boom to make the arms raise and lower as you dig.

Important maintenance monitoring

Knowing how to take care of your skid steer is just as important as knowing how to properly operate it. While using it, watch the temperature and fuel gauges to make sure it does not overheat or burn gas too quickly—these are both signs of major issues. You should also watch for signs the motor needs service. Taking your skid steer in for regular maintenance and checkups is vital to maintaining its health and prolonging its life.

Pro Tip: Remember to keep your skid steer lubricated and refill its fluids often. Do not let it get too low on gas, oil, grease, or anything else it needs to run fully and properly. A skid steer running on low fluids can be dangerous.

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