Bobcat Operating Instructions

Written by angus koolbreeze
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Bobcat Operating Instructions
The Bobcat minitractor was named after the animal because of its power. (bobcat image by Valentin Mosichev from

According to the Bobcat website, a new era in landscape maintenance began when Roger, Les, Cliff, and Irv Melroe of the Melroe Manufacturing Company invited brothers Cyril and Louis Keller to demonstrate their newest invention, their skid-steer loader. It was a small yet powerful machine that could turn within its own length. It was useful for such tasks as moving hay and shovelling snow. In 1962 the Melroe brothers nicknamed this little loader the "Bobcat" because of its great power. Indeed, these machines are powerful and they move quite rapidly. Hence, the company's manuals spell out specific steps for the safe operation of these skid-steers.

Skill level:


  1. 1

    Put on the parking brake.

  2. 2

    Fill the fuel tank with unleaded regular gasoline.

  3. 3

    Buckle your seat belt. Adjust it so that it fits snugly across your waist.

  4. 4

    Lower the protective cage, if your Bobcat has one. Slide it all the way down, until you hear it click.

  5. 5

    Turn the key in the electric starter to start the engine. Release. Wait about 60 seconds if you are unsuccessful the first time.

  6. 6

    Move the parking brake to the "Off" position.

  7. 7

    Remove the traction levels from the "neutral" position. Push both levers evenly to drive forward.

  8. 8

    Move one lever forward and the other back to steer the skid steer.

Tips and warnings

  • As the Operator's manual says, if you want to move in reverse, move the appropriate traction lever forward to slow the wheel you want slowed. If you want to move reverse right, for example, move the right traction lever forward toward neutral to slow the right drive wheel. Perform the same manoeuvre with the left traction lever for the left wheel to move reverse left.
  • To control the implements you may wish to add -- such as the auger, sweeper or soil conditioner -- use the fingertip auxiliary controls panel, which contains a variety of functions. For instance, if you wish to shake dirt loose with an auger, you can take advantage of the Bobcat skid-steer's max flow function.You can use the detent feature to allow hydraulic flow to an attachment to continue without you having to hold down a switch.
  • When moving up or down a slope, use extreme caution when operating a Bobcat. Because of their poor traction on this type of a surface, a flipover could result in loss of life.

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