Do you have a sizeable land clearance project in your future and may be wondering how many of your friends you can press into service to help you? You may be figuring how many days you will need to allocate and how much you will have to pay each individual in order to bribe them to lift up a shovel. However, maybe you should take a completely different approach here and rent one piece of equipment instead — a skid steer loader.
What's a Skid Steer
Most people refer to this type of equipment as a bobcat, even though this is a brand name. Nevertheless, this machine is extremely versatile and relatively easy to use, so long as you pay attention to some basic safety and operational guidelines. When you get used to dealing with a bobcat you can make short work of your upcoming project and will only need to rent the vehicle for one day instead.
You may still be worried about operating the machine and want to put your mind at rest before you consider a bobcat hire.
Firstly, it's important to understand how these machines work. They are very small, compact, four-wheel vehicles which can manoeuvre in a very restricted environment. This is because the set of wheels on each side is mechanically locked, so that the left side wheels can be driven independently to the right pair. This allows you to load, turn and exit from a work site with very little to get in your way.
How to Operate
The bobcat is quite easy to operate. Once you enter the machine and pull the roll cage into place, you simply turn the parking brake off, flick the operator button on and turn the key to activate. The two foot controllers can raise and lower the bucket, while you steer the machine using the controls on the right and left of the column. When activated individually, they will move the appropriate set of tyres, but if you activate them together, the machine will roll backward or forward.
How to Be Safe
It's as simple as that, but you must always ensure that you operate the machine safely when you are working. This means that you should always be aware of your surroundings and never overload the bucket. You must make sure that the load is always arranged evenly on the attachment, and don't be tempted to move the bobcat forward with the load balanced in the air. You must take into account the centre of gravity, especially when operating on uneven surfaces.
Now all you need to do is make one phone call to the rental specialist, instead of many different and difficult calls to your unwary mates!