How to Use Pilot Controls on Skid Steer


The controls on a skid steer loader are straightforward to learn but take practice to master. The driver has to coordinate his hands and feet to simultaneously operate the boom, bucket and wheels. A skid steer loader may be small compared to other construction vehicles, but it's still a powerful piece of machinery that needs to be treated with respect and driven with care. Once you've got the hang of it, though, you'll be hauling and grading like a pro.

  • Control your speed using the throttle lever to the right of the driver's seat. Push the lever forward to move quickly, and pull it back to slow down.

  • Raise and lower the boom with the left foot pedal. Pivot the pedal back to raise the boom, and pivot the pedal forward to lower it.

  • Control the angle of the bucket with the right foot pedal. Pivot the pedal back to roll the bucket back and scoop, and pivot the pedal forward to rotate the bucket forward and dump its contents.

  • Steer using the two vertical hand levers on either side of the driver's seat. Turn left by pulling the left lever back and pushing the right lever forward, and turn right by pulling the right lever back and pushing the left lever forward.

Tips & Warnings

  • Skid steer loaders have a very tight turning radius, so steer with a gentle touch. Avoid sudden, jerky movements that could unbalance the loader.

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