Inspect Your Bobcat Loader
Instructions are necessary before operating or servicing your Bobcat skid steer loader. Read and understand the operation and maintenance manual, operators handbook, and decals on the machine. Follow warnings and instructions in the manuals when making repairs, adjustments, or servicing. Check for correct function after adjustments, repairs, or service. Untrained operators and failure to follow instructions can cause injury or death. Let’s take a minute to show you some things to look for before you operate Bobcat compact loaders. Let’s start with the front of the machine, the Bob-Tach. Look for the obvious. Any loose hardware, broken pieces, or leaky hoses, and repair them as necessary. Also, make sure that the Bob-Tach levers are fully engaged with the attachment, so that the wedges extend through the holes in the attachment mounting frame. Next, check the ROPS for any damage and make sure the mounting hardware is attached. Now let’s inspect the track for any abnormal wear patterns, and also check for proper tension. A track that’s too loose can cause de-tracking, and one that’s too tight can cause a loss of power and add excessive stress to the drive components. Refer to the maintenance manual and watch the video on track tension to make the necessary adjustments. If this were a Bobcat wheel loader, we would look for warrant tread, or abnormal wear, low air pressure, and loose lug nuts. Okay moving along, we’ll want to inspect the lift arm support device, replace it if it’s damaged. Check the hydraulic fluid level, look for damaged hoses and fittings, look for wear that could cause damage, look for oil residue that could indicate a leak, and look for puddles on the ground that could signal a leak. The operators area, engine compartment, and engine cooling system must be inspected and cleaned if necessary, to prevent fire hazards and overheating. Some applications may require this several times a day. Open the tailgate and latch the door stop. Look for any loose or worn wires, tube lines, or hoses. Check for debris and foreign material. Now let’s look at the service schedule. There’s a service decal showing the required service at various hours of usage on the machine. There’s also a grease chart with instructions. Check the engine oil, the water trap on the fuel filter, and make sure the oil cap and fuel cap are in place and tight. Also, look for damage or leaks in the air filter system. Now remove the cover over the hydraulic and engine coolers, and check for and remove any debris. Check the engine coolant level, while the engine is cold. Check the cooling system for damage or leaks. Replace the cover and close the tailgate, making sure they are latched securely. Walk around the loader, check for any loose hardware, damage safety decals or treads, and make sure they are replaced or repaired as necessary. Now we’re ready to get in the operators compartment. Inspect the seatbelt and then fasten it. Check the functionality of the seat bar and pull it down. Then turn the ignition to the on position and check the operation indicator lights. This light signals the need to change the air filter. Operate the backup alarm in front horn, now start the engine and check the vic system functions. Now, inspect and secure your jobsite and you’re ready for operation. If you need or want more information, contact your local Bobcat dealer. They can also offer training or perform service work for your Bobcat machine, and are your source for genuine Bobcat parts.