How to Troubleshoot a Bobcat 773

Skid steer loaders are useful to remove debris after disasters.
Skid steer loaders are useful to remove debris after disasters. (Image: Scott Olson/Getty Images News/Getty Images)

Skid steer loaders are designed to carry landscape debris and construction materials. The Bobcat company has produced this machine for half a century, making it a centerpiece of its product line. While Bobcat started with agricultural implements, it developed small, self-propelled loaders when farmers needed to maneuver around barns with internal pole supports. Finally, in 1960, the company produced its first skid steer loader. The ensuing decades saw improvements in maneuverability and capacity among the loaders, meeting the demands of a widening customer base and expanded markets. From 1994 to 2001, Bobcat assembled the 773, a 46-horsepower loader with a load capacity of 1,700 lbs. Regular maintenance and troubleshooting help ensure the longevity of the loader.

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Keep the fuel tank filled above a quarter tank. Like many a cars and trucks, low fuel levels affect four-cylinder engine performance. Make sure you fill it with diesel fuel only.

Supplement your fuel tank with diesel fuel additives during cold weather. They help to keep moisture from accumulating and forming ice crystals, disrupting engine start-up.

Change the filters in the hydraulic system regularly. Test the relief valve with a pressure gauge on a consistent basis for a 3,000 lbs. per square inch reading. Inspect the main drive belt for wear and tear. Listen for squeaks and squeals when hydraulics are operating. These sounds may indicate a strain on the system’s lift capacity.

Drive the loader around and observe its turning radius by making a circle with wet tires. Use a tape measure to determine the circle diameter, measuring for inner tires and outer tires. Turning radius is equal to half the diameter. The correct radius for the 773 is around 79 inches. Wide divergence from this figure may indicate tire wear or problems in the steering mechanisms.

Listen for internal rattling when operating the machine. This may be the drive chains slapping against one another. Check them immediately to determine whether the chains or the coupler need replacement.

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