Introduction: How to Operate a Skid Loader

The purpose of this tutorial is to demonstrate how to safely and properly operate a skid loader. It is vital to know how to properly and safely operate this particular piece of equipment. By following the steps of this tutorial, risk of injury to operators and other individuals can significantly be reduced. Along with decreasing the risk of damage to property and equipment. 

Today we will learn how to:
-Start the skidloader
-Adjust the throttle
-Make left and right turns
-Drive forward and in reverse
-Raise and lower the lift arms
-Tilting/Scooping the bob-tach
-Attach/Detach rubber tire attachment

This process should only take about five to ten minutes, depending on your skill level. Move at a pace that makes you feel most comfortable.

Materials needed:
• Close-toed shoes
• Work clothing – This line of work isn’t for the prim and proper
• If you have long hair – pull it up out of your face to prevent obstruction of vision
• Operator’s Manual – if needed for reference

No license is required to operate this piece of machinery.

Please note that certain physical limitations may inhibit the ability to operate this equipment. 

Step 1: Starting the Skid Loader

Enter the cab of the skid loader.
Sit comfortably in the seat.
At this time, make any adjustments to the seat to ensure that all controls can be reached.
Start the skid loader by placing the keys into the ignition at the top right corner of the cab. (See picture above for ignition location.)
Proceed to turn the key one quarter of a turn until the machine starts. 

Step 2: Buckling Up and Disengaging the Traction Lock Override

Pull the safety bar, located above the head, down and over the lap.

Proceed to disengage the traction lock override by pushing the green button located in the top left corner of the cab. (See the photo above for location of traction lock override.)

Tip: Once the lock has been disengaged, you will here a distinct click which indicates you are ready to proceed to the next step.

Step 3: Forward and Reverse

To propel the skid loader forward, push forward simultaneously on the two steering levers located in front of the knees.

To propel the skid loader in reverse, pull back on the same levers simultaneously towards the abdomen.

Steering levers are shown within the red circles in the photo above.

Step 4: Adjusting the Throttle

Once you are comfortable manuevring the skid loader, you can increase the speed by pushing up on the throttle lever. 

To decrease the speed, pull down on the throttle lever.

Step 5: Turning Right and Turning Left

To turn right, push the left steering lever forward while pulling back on the right steering lever.

To turn left, push the right steering lever forward while pulling back on the left steering lever. 

Step 6: Raising and Lowering the Lift Arms

Observe the two pedals located on the floor of the cab. 

The left pedal controls the raising and lowering of the lift arms.

Raising the lift arms:
Apply pressure to the heel of the left pedal with the left foot to raise the lift arms.

Lowering the lift arms:
Apply pressure to the toe-end of the left pedal using the left foot. 

Step 7: "Dumping" and "Scooping"

Tilting the bob-tach downward (i.e. the "dumping" motion) can be done by applying pressure to the toe-end of the right pedal using the right foot. 

Bringing the bob-tach up and back (i.e. the "scooping" motion) is done by applying pressure to the heel-end of the right pedal using the right foot. 

Step 8: Unlocking the Wedges

This part of the tutorial will demonstrate how to secure a rubber tire to the skid loader, however there are many different types of attachments available for use. 

Push upward on wedges button until  the wedges are vertical. (Shown in picture on the bottom.) This button is located above the throttle. (Button shown in top picture.)

Step 9: Securing the Attachment

Proceed to the attachment and adjust the height of the height of the lift arms along with the tilt of the bob-tach to square up with the attachment. 

Once the bucket is square with the tire (Shown in top photo), lift up and scoop the bob-tach to connect the attachment.

To securely attach the tire to the skid loader, press down on the wedge button until the wedges move inward to secure the attachment. (Locked wedges are shown in bottom photo.)

Congrats! You have successfully attached the tire to the bob-tach, now you can complete whatever task needs attention. 

Step 10: Removing the Attachment

Once your task has been completed and you wish to disconnect the attachment, complete the following steps:

1. Press forward on the wedge button to release the wedges. 
2. Lower the lift arms while pulling back on the steering levers to move away from the attachment.

Video located here:

Now you have successfully learned how to properly operate a skid loader!