Skid Steer
Automotive Technology

How to Use a Skid Steer: The Complete Guide

If you know anything about construction sites, you already know about the many uses for a skid steer. They can be real workhorses on construction or job sites. The jobs for a skid steer are extensive out on the site.

Many opt to rent the skid steer instead of buying one, so they pay for it only when they actually need it. If you have a worker who isn’t on the skid steer regularly, it might be a little intimidating when you hop on to get to work.

Learn how to use a skid steer with these tips and make the most of this versatile piece of equipment.

Protect Surroundings from Skid Steer Weight

While many skid steer machines are pretty small compared to other construction equipment, they are a heavy piece of equipment.

The driver wants to be sure to protect landscaping, sidewalks, and driveways before moving across them with the skid steer. Lay down plywood for the skid steer to move on in an effort to not damage the surface underneath.

Blind Spots

A new skid steer driver will be surprised by how difficult it is to see behind the machine. You want to let everyone around you know you can’t see them from behind. Set up hand signals with other team members so you know when it’s clear to move.

Grading Land With a Skid Steer

One common use for a skid steer is to grade the surface at a work site. While the skid steer is a useful machine for this purpose, rocks can cause problems. Sure, you could opt to pick up rocks, but it will slow down the process. Large rocks can also get dragged and actually work against the grading.

It will be helpful to remove any large rocks or debris before you start grading.

Turning With a Skid Steer

This piece of equipment actually gets its name from how it makes turns. One side of the machine will be asked to go at a faster speed than the other side. This causes it to skid and makes the machine turn.

Once you learn how to do this, it’s quite effective. But many new skid steer drivers struggle with making sharp turns too quickly causing the ground underneath to get torn up.

Skid Steer Buckets

If the skid steer is using a bucket to move dirt, there are some tricks to learn to make it more effective.

To fill the bucket first, you want to push it straight into the pile without tipping the bucket. If the bucket is tipped, your driver will simply be pushing the pile instead of scooping dirt.

As you lift the load of dirt, you also want to slowly tip the bucket downward. If you don’t do this and the bucket stays in the scooping position, the driver will end with dirt all over the top of the machine. It’s a true sign of the driver being a rookie.

Maintain the Equipment

Because skid steers do hard work, you want to regularly do safety and maintenance checks.  Machines that are well maintained will have a longer work life. You can get skid steer replacement parts here.

Learn How to Use a Skid Steer and Make Your Work Easier

Learning how to use a skid steer means slow trial and error practice. Once a worker becomes proficient on the machine, it can be a valuable part of your job or construction site.

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