I know this is a bit off topic, but I'd bet there are others on this forum that have done the same thing. I'm in the process of building a driveway, retaining wall, a couple of patios, and a guest house, and I bought a small skid steer to help with those tasks, a Bobcat model 543 (selected based on width of 48"; a wider model would not fit everywhere I need it to go).
I want to use the skidsteer to move shop equipment as well. It has a load capacity rating of 950 pounds and a tipping load rating of twice that. The heaviest item I need to move is about 1500 pounds on a level surface. Will it handle that?
Also, I'm not familiar with skid steer safety. I read that the heavy end should face up hill when moving up a slope. Does that mean I should back up a slope if unloaded, and go forward up a slope if loaded? Much of my property is 30% slope.
What else should a newbie skidsteer owner know to stay out of trouble?
Before you move anything like shop stuff, learn to feather the brakes to smooth the turns and stops. One heavy foot will be disastrous (no jerky moves). Wheeled or tracked?
Backing up a slope 30d no grief, keep your bucket low and paralell to the ground to prevent the forward tendency. I rank these "pocket" machines equally dangerous with small excavators, the center of gravity is perpendicular compared. That is front to back and "sidewise". The difference is the forward tendency for the BobCat. You slam the brakes with a bucketload of gravel, eat grill.
DO NOT remove bypass modify tweak adjust or in any way modify the harness holding you in, same for the seat switches. And side panels that prevent you from getting limbs outside. It's tempting, but don't.
They are like the pocket excavators, scary. The heavier the machine the better. It will probably do it, but where does the pump crap? Check parts cost first.
(I know I sound like an old lady but I hate the things)
30% is REALLY steep, 30' drop in 100'. Probably not a consistant grade either, side grades and dips etc. The nice thing about a bobcat is they have great ROPS and you are well protected but working that kind of grade be prepared for rollovers (I'm picturing a wooded hillside?). The normal rule is load uphill but bobcats can be an exception, your counterweight can exceed a light load. You might find the only way you can climb it with an empty bucket is backwards, and coming back down might be exciting. Are you clearing and have stumps etc to get off the hill?
Let gravity take them down. The one advantage of a steep grade is your fore and aft tipping moment is actually improved, but any side grade cancels that right now. Know any operators in your area? How about offering them use of your bobcat for a few days in exchange for working your hill? Then pay careful attention to how he goes about it. Good luck and be safe.
Bobcats are super handy for some things and very unsafe for others.
I didn't think about it until I was alone and wanted to unload something out of my pickup.
I had to raise the bucket above the load and than crawl out over the TOP of the control levers and UNDER the raised bucket to hook the chain.
Once of doing that was more than enough.
Be careful and good luck it sounds like you'll be busy.
I must agree with DirtDobber here.
(I know I sound like an old lady but I hate the things)
you are the proud owner of one of the most dangerous machines in the construction industry.
I owned 2 of these little devils before upscaling to an articulater.
We used the bobs' about 3 years before trading off.
The rops is on these machines for a very good reason. Think SUV x 3.
All the safety features on the machine should be operable to use because the little devils often give little warning sometimes to what could happen. True even for the experienced operator.
On a slope or even flat grades and floors.
Load capacity generally for most machines operate at about 80%. Safety utmost for steering and braking. It is true, on an incline tailend its direction.
You mention you wish to use it for various projects outside such as patios, drives, and in building a house. This is fine so long as you get to know the machine and its capabilities.
These projects are terminate. Your long term intention to using it for shop use such as machinery moving and handling jobs in the shop, well, I think it is the wrong tool for the job.
A bobs drive is hydrostat and very quick in response time. Tho it will almost turn itself a 180 within it own length with a load it could be somewhat a danger. It will certainly want to laterally tip if your creep is to fast and your load could shift making things worse.
IMO, I would use it just for your outside jobs such as you spoke of.(short term)Then after these are finished, sell it and look for a nice little 3k/4k forklift for shop use. Or, keep it and still look for a forlift.
You can find a FL at reasenable costs under $4k.
Now, since you asked about skidsteer safety, let me suggest you call your nearest dealer. Ask for a salesman.
Tell him what you have and ask him to come out and give you a demo (of your own machine)of its
Mention too, what type of the attachments could you purchase for our machine.
(I laugh here) A good salesman on his toes would be at your place in a minute to go over your machine knowing there may be an avenue to sign you up for a service contract or to sell you an attachment.
They will demo the thing and, let me say, by the time he leaves you will certainly know more about it then you know now.
Best of luck and be safe.
DirtDobber, I still think your "quote" is a bit funny but I agree. [img]tongue.gif[/img]
The one thing that nobody ever talks about with Skid Steers is be very, very careful if you remove the bucket. If you are switching attachments they are very heavy on the rear end. Do NOT try to go up or down any slope with no attachment and the rear end downhill!! You will put it on its butt. Been there, done that. Even on level ground a quick reverse to forward direction change will have you looking at the sky.
Never have run a Bobcat that small, am thinking that side hill work would be more iffy due to smaller width, most 543's that I have seen have narrow tires.
My rule of thumb has been to go keep the bucket on the downhill side. Some will disagree with that rule. My thinking is that if I have to dump the load for whatever reason I still have the counterweight on the uphill side and therefore don't have to change my shorts later. The only time I have gone downhill backwards is when I have had chunk of concrete that I can just lift off the ground and I am basically on 2 wheels, in that case I want make sure that the load stays in the bucket.
One trick that I have learned for smoother operation in tight turns on concrete is to put down sand, kitty litter or even dog food. This lets the tires move slide sideways instead of jumping and dancing.
One final note. Use your seat belts, the drop down bar is not enough to keep you from doing a do it yourself Hemeleich. If the 543 feels like it going tip over, STAY IN THE SEAT!! Do not jump!
There will be plenty of time to get out after everything stops moving.
Hope this helps
You probably have the right machine for your construction projects, but a very wrong machine for use around the shop. I once let someone talk me into letting him load a small lathe into a pickup truck with a large bobcat - I'll NEVER do that again! They handle more like a beachball than a shop crane.
My suggestion would be to use it for the projects you have in mind, then trade it for a small front end loader with a 3 point hitch and ideally 4 wheel drive to use for land maintenance and lifting loads around the shop. It will be a lot more versatile, a lot safer, have more lifting capacity AND be a lot more convenient.
Something tells me Don T is puffing really really hard on his pipe...on this one....
Like Marshall said use your seat belt,if you try to move something and it is stuck the ass end of your Bobcat will go up and you will go for a ride you dont want.And if it starts jumping let go of the controls.
If you know how to use it and are very experienced, Its a great thing. I can run a skid steer and load things just as well as a forklift. But I own one, my current one has about 2000 hours on it since new, and all but maybe 10 of those hours are with my butt in the seat.
The only thing dangerous about the NEW ONES is someone that cannot operate one properly. Old ones without a ROPS or safety, Forget it.
They are lot easier to load a truck with than a forklift, because they have a reach over the tailgate that a forklift does not have.
Keep in mind the load though and operation, if I wanted to, I could flip mine forward with the boom up in the air and no load at all on it. Mine is rated at 1750 max. lift.
But again its only dangerous if you don't know what you are doing.
You just have to know how to run it and be good with it and have a feel for the machine.
Really, if you flip one, you are in some dangerous work or just do not know what you are doing.
They will roll backwards to sit on the engine plate, but if you flip it past there you are either trying to flip, or on a way too steep hill going up.
I have a New Holland, I can go up a 30% grade with a full bucket like its nothing, or back up it with an empty bucket. As long as it is DRY and have the right traction but the grade is not a problem.
I have seen a lot of scary things done with people in the seat of them that should not be. I saw a guy lose 2 fingers, had too much dirt in the bucket, No seatbelt or bar. Lifted up to dump, machine started flipping forward, he came out the front and the bucket came down and smashed 2 fingers. That was bad, imagine if his head was there.
But again the machine was old and the safety devices not there.
I think in your case, it would be perfect. Very useful around the house for your jobs, and occasional truck loading.
It might not be a factor in Salinas but anyone that gets icy conditions should think twice about going downhill bucket first. Gravity will want to pull the counterweight around 180 but you'll be on your side before you get there. Backing down is no fun either. Best to park it until traction improves. Uprighting even a small machine like a bobcat on a hillside is a PITA to put it mildly.
I really appreciate all of the wisdom imparted by University of PM Bobcat. It is hard to know what caution means, without the examples you have all provided, thanks for sharing your thoughts. I figured all of the ROPS on a Bobcat must be there for a good reason.
I need to build some cross slope paths in 30% slope, and I have a couple of stumps to remove. The rest of the work is very straight-forward. The way I would approach the cross slope paths is to fill on the lower side (working up and down the slope) until I have a path wide enough for the bobcat, then cut into the hill working across. Is that the right approach, or more conservative than necessary?
from my experiance wear your seat belt and just go with the rolls on hills.
machine moving AIN't for these things period'''''''''''
BEACHBALL is a perfect anology
I don't think it can be done. Having said that, dumping some crushed rock on the downhill side will be a good start. A standard way to pioneer a side hill is to start a cut about 2 machine lengths long and say a foot deep. I don't think you can. Then move the machine down slope, putting only your uphill tires in the cut so you're closer to level. This will eventually get you a level base to work forward and up, the uphill corner of your bucket doing most of the work. Did I say it'll never work? Those weren't meant to dig more than a little topsoil, forget about hardpan. Still I say good luck and before you give up and bring in some real equipment, be careful out there.
I recently used my 743 Bobcat to lift an 800kg shaper out of a trailer and transport it into my workshop, without any problems.
We used to have a 743 Bobcat. Sold it and now have a fairly new New Holland about the same size.
A skid steer is much easier on a man's back than a shovel.
When I think of something else good to say about them, I'll post it here
I have an older 853. Bought it when I started building my garage. Been a huge labor saver. I can only add to what was said above. Use the safety equipment. But I did have to buy some teeth for the bucket before it would do a good job of digging. Without the teeth the bucket just skims across hard packed earth. You see the teeth bars on e-bay quite a bit, or if your bucket is drilled buy the individual teeth and mounts from your dealer, about 25 bucks a tooth.
using a skid steer in a shop might open new avenues of activity.you ccould find yourself in the scrap-iron business.
I just wanted to echo everybody's concern about safety operating a skid steer. And all other machinery.
A couple weeks ago I had a neighbor killed while operating his tractor. It appears some killer bees got after him and I think he stabbed for neutral and jumped off the tractor. Something happened and he ended up under the rear tire. Cell phone in his pants pocket and couldn't get to it. They found him 9 hours later still alive and conscious, but he died the next day.