Skid-steers are machines made to make life easy. However, they are difficult to learn how to run. Whether your putting gravel down to fix or make a driveway, to moving a pile of dirt, this machine is very useful. How is it ran though?
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Step 1: Preheating Process
When starting the skid-steer, let the glow plugs run through and preheat the engine. Because diesel engines run off heat, the glow plugs need to run to warm up the chamber so it will run. For preheat the engine, turn the key one slot. There will be a buzzer or a few beeps. Do not start until these stop going off. Sometimes on the information panel (usually located in the top left-hand corner of the cab) there will be a light that will go off when it is safe to start. It is important to not start until these lights and sounds are off. It can take anywhere from 5 to 20 seconds depending on the temp outside.
Step 2: Starting Process
In order to start the skid-steer, you must be sitting in the cab with the safety bar down. In older skid-steers, the safety bar will be located above your head. Pull the bar down. In newer skid-steer's they will be on your right-hand side sticking up. Pull the bar down and it will sit on the other sides armrest. At this point, the glow plugs should have run through. Now turn the key fully until the skid-steer starts. Give the skid-steer at least 5 min to warm up.
Step 3: Throttle Controls
The throttle controls the RPM’s that the skid-steer's engine is running at. RPM means rotations per minute, which means how many times the engine is rotating its pistons. On the floor by your right foot, there will be a little gas pedal. This is the foot controls. It is useful when working and needs to change the speed of the engine. The other throttle will be in a couple spots. In an older skid-steer, they tend to be a lever on the right-hand side. Push this lever up for the engine to run faster and back to slow it down. In newer skid-steers, it will be on a knob on the right-hand side of the door in the front on the cab. This throttle is good for driving skid-steers for a distance.
Step 4: Bucket Controls
The arm controls are on your right-hand side when you are sitting in the skid-steer. To run the loader arm, pull back on the right lever, or pull towards you. This will raise the arm in the air. To lower the arm, push the lever away from you or forward. The bucket controls are also on the right lever. If you twist the lever right, it will dump the bucket. If you twist the lever left, it will curl the bucket up.
Step 5: Moving Controls.
Moving the skid-steer is done with the left side stick. To go forward, push the stick forward. To go back pull back. To go left, twist the handle left . To go right, twist right.
Step 6: Turning Machine Off
To turn off the skid-steer, idle the engine and give it a couple minutes to cool off. The exhaust manifold may warp if you don’t. Lower the arm all the way down. Then turn the key to the off position. Lift the safety bar and climb out of the cab. Now you have the basics down on how to run a Gehl skid-steer.