Bobcat skid-steer and posi-track loaders are a favourite amongst construction site workers. These machines are truly multipurpose with multiple attachment options available, and are capable of completing jobs across a range of difficulty and scale. No matter the size of your project, there is a loader for you. These versatile machines range from 1.2-tonnes to over 4-tonnes. Whether you’re working on a construction site, or about to take on a DIY project, your life will be made a whole lot easier with a Bobcat loader, available in both skid-steer and posi-track form. To guide you on how to best utilise this valuable machine, we’ve outlined just about everything you need to know about Ryno’s popular Bobcat loaders, more commonly referred to as just ‘Bobcats’.
What is a Bobcat?
A Bobcat is simply a loader from one of the skid-steer or posi-track varieties. For many years, Bobcat has been renowned for their loaders, which range from compact to full size. That’s why you’ll often hear these loaders commonly just referred to as ‘Bobcats’. Just like ‘Kleenex’ has become synonymous with tissues, ‘Bobcat’ has become synonymous with loaders. Due to their superior performance and popularity, Ryno Hire loans a range of Bobcat loaders to help tradies and DIYers get the job done right.
What is the Difference Between a Skid-Steer and Posi-Track Loader?
There are two variations of loaders available: the skid-steer and the posi-track. The main difference is that one has wheels while the other has tracks. Ultimately, they can both carry out similar tasks (digging, lifting panels, landscaping, etc.) and they both include radial and vertical lifting configurations. Ultimately, the main reason you’d choose one over the other comes down to the terrain of your site. While the wheeled loader can swiftly maneuver itself on hard ground, it is not suited for use on softer soils. This is due to the wheels not being able to distribute the weight of the machine as evenly as tracks. The larger surface area of the tracks puts less weight on soft soil and alleviates pressure points. Due to the difference in undercarriage, the skid-steer option is often lighter to transport (depending on the model), and the posi-track option is more comfortable to operate due to its steady contact with the ground.
|Skid Steer Loader||Posi-Track Loader|
|Best used on:||Best used on:|
|Harder ground||Softer soils and steeper terrain|
|General-purpose uses||Muddy or slippery conditions|
|Rocky terrain (though overall flatter surfaces)||Grassed areas|
What is a Bobcat Used For?
The skid-steer and posi-track loaders really are those magical, versatile machines that can be used for a range of tasks, especially with the right attachments. From land-levelling, lifting, light excavation, and debris removal, a Bobcat loader can do it all. Best of all, it’s so compact that some model variants can be taken from outdoors, to indoors, to the back of a trailer for transportation. Common uses for a skid steer loader include the following;
- Ground preparation
- Site clean up
- Moving materials (like bricks, dirt, soil, construction debris, logs, and other materials)
Benefits using a Bobcat
“Over the course of six decades, from the first three-wheeled loader to today, there has been — on average — one Bobcat loader built every thirty minutes, every day, every week, every year.” (The Bobcat Company)
Bobcats have long been used to push materials from one location to another, carry materials around in their bucket, and load materials into trucks or trailers. One of the most useful features of these loaders is their maneuverability. Their compact design makes them an asset to any construction site, particularly those of a smaller scale. Making these machines even more valuable is their ability to perform 360 degree pivots, meaning they can work around any tight spots, unlike some other machines such as excavators or dumpers.
Bobcat’s loaders, in particular, are at the top of the class when it comes to the skid-steer and posi-track category. After all, building compact machines that are agile, tough, and versatile is Bobcat’s company philosophy. Bobcat’s loaders feature superior design that maximises your uptime and delivers an unparalleled level of comfort. In addition to these loaders being incredibly compact, maneuverable, and versatile, there is a list of added benefits that come with hiring these machines.
The Added Benefits of Hiring a Bobcat from Ryno Hire
- Extremely lightweight and portable. Most model Skid Steer Loaders are easily hauled on a trailer, majority of the time without even requiring a commercial tower. Always check your vehicle’s towing capacity.
- See while you work. Your attachments will be visible to you while you operate the machine. There is no obstruction from the hood or tyres.
- Save money. Compared to larger equipment, skid steer loaders perform similar tasks at a fraction of the price. Working on a budget? Read about the advantages of dry hire.
- Better fuel economy. Without sacrificing its power and performance, the fuel economy on Bobcat’s skid steer machine is excellent.
Benefits of Each Type of Bobcat
Ultimately, skid-steer and posi-track loaders perform near identically – if used on their most suited surface. While both have exceptional maneuverability, the skid-steer does have a slightly tighter turning radius, and therefore does move a bit quicker. The posi-track, on the other hand, is a lot steadier on steeper ground as it has more traction, making it perfect for working around slopes or hills. Overall, whichever you choose, both add incredible value to a work site.
What Attachments Can You Add to a Bobcat?
Both skid-steer and posi-track loaders contain arms that use a hydraulic system to lift and push at an extremely large capacity. This means powerful strength with minimal effort. To get full use of this hydraulic system, a range of attachments can be fitted for use. This range of attachments can be used for a variety of tasks: from digging holes and trenches, to levelling earth, and conventional pushing, scooping and dumping. Attachments that are commonly used with skid-steer and posi-track loaders include:
- The 4-1 Bucket (A multi-use bucket that can open and close to release materials, rather than just dump. This bucket can be used for scooping, grading, levelling and grabbing)
- General Purpose Bucket
- Hydraulic Chain Trenchers
- Concrete Sleeper Grab
- Spreader Bars
- Hydraulic Auger Driver
How to: Operating a Bobcat
Both the skid-steer and the posi-track loader come with dual steering levers to control the undercarriage. When the machine is in standard mode, to move forward, both levers are pushed forward, and to move back, the levers are pulled back. The skid-steer loader’s wheels can be mechanically locked in synchronisation or can run at varied speeds, meaning the right-side wheels can run independently of the left-side wheels and vise versa. To turn or ‘skid’ the machine, the wheels operate at different speeds where one is slower or at a fixed orientation. This ‘skidding’ motion helps the machine stay intact while turning, preventing damage to the body of the loader. Much like the skid-steer loader, the posi-track loader can be turned through manipulating the speed of the wheels. This is done by pushing one lever forwards and holding the other in place.
In most cases, the arms of a skid-steer and posi-track loader are operated by foot pedals inside the machine; however, this will depend on the model and how it is set up. Typically, the left foot pedal is used for lifting the attachment, while the right is used for tilting. This may seem a little confusing at first if you’re new to heavy machinery, but most users get the hang of it quickly. Remember to take your time and carefully measure out the tasks – rushing the job can lead to damage to the machinery.
- Always remember to pull the safety roll bar down when inside the cab
- Always remember to turn the parking brake off before using the machine and back on when finished (toggle the switch in the upper left corner between on and off – this is often a green button).
- Always have a good look at your surroundings before entering the cab – it is difficult to see beside and behind the machine while operating.
- Do not overload the bucket – always check the weight capacity of the bucket to avoid this error.
- Always evenly distribute the load in the attachment to avoid tipping.
- Always carry loads as low as possible while turning and moving about – if a full bucket is carried too high or above the cab, the weight distribution becomes off and you run the risk of tipping the machine.
- Though you can pivot 360 degrees, it doesn’t always mean you should – skids can tear up grass and soil that could have remained smooth. Instead, opt for a three-point turn when possible.
Ryno Hire’s Bobcat Loaders
The 1.2-Tonne (Wheeled) Skid-Steer Loader
Otherwise known as the S70 Bobcat Skid-Steer Loader, this is the most compact of the Ryno Hire Bobcat range. The width of this machine is only just over a metre (1080 mm to be specific, 1140 mm with a bucket), making it a breeze for getting around tight spaces (such as gates and side-yards). Despite its compact appearance and narrow frame, this machine is heavy duty. The S70 has an operating capacity of 318kg and a powerful 17.5 KW diesel engine. It can be used for a range of tasks such as trenching, auger drilling, loading, levelling land, and moving soil. To help you complete these tasks, the S70 attaches to an auger driver, chain trencher, and spreader bar. To help you transport the skid steer loader and its attachments, a 2.8-tonne trailer is provided with a wireless brake controller that can be attached to any car with a tow capacity of 3-tonnes or more.
2.5-Tonne (Tracked) Posi-Track Loader
The T110 Compact Posi-Track Loader is the industry’s most compact tracked loader. As previously mentioned, the tracks on these machines provide added traction and stability on soft and slippery grounds, making it a superior piece of equipment in damp conditions. The T110 is capable of many tasks, from landscaping to construction, yet still navigates easily around tight areas thanks to its compact frame (only 1200 mm in width). It’s size and shape also makes it perfect for transporting on trailers, and should your vehicle’s towing capacity be 3.25-tonnes or more, you will be able to transport this loader yourself. You can also add a spreader bar attachment to this machine, which is perfect for land levelling jobs.
2.5-Tonne (Wheeled) Skid-Steer Loader
Saving the best for last, this Bobcat S130 Compact Loader is a favourite among tradies due to its classic size and shape. This machine is about 1490 mm in width (over tyres), and 3152 mm in length (2432 mm without an attachment), making it easily transportable. With an operational weight just under 2.5-tonne, you can transport the S130 via trailer (allow a 3.25-tonne towing capacity). Powered by a 34.3 KW diesel engine and practically inexhaustible hydraulics, this machine maintains an operating load of 580 kg with no tipping. Despite its size, the S130 remains efficient, flexible, and powerful enough to push over 1.5-tonnes of material. And to make those land levelling duties a breeze, the S130 can also be equipped with the spreader bar attachment.
Choosing the Right Loader and Attachments
Looking to rent one of Ryno Hire’s Bobcat loaders, but not sure which one you’ll need? Remember, you can always speak to an expert at Ryno Hire to help you choose the right equipment and give you guidance on any up-and-coming projects. However, to get you sorted right now, there are some obvious considerations that need to be made before choosing the right loader.
Consider the Following
- How much space do you have to operate within, including access width to the site?
- What is the condition of the soil or ground surface – is it solid, or soft and damp?
- What kind of jobs will the loader be completing? (drilling, demolishing, hauling, earthwork, etc.)
- Can your vehicle tow the minimum requirements for your selected machine or will you need to make provisions for any delivery charges that may be incurred?
What are Bobcats Best Combined with?
Get the best bang for your buck by pairing this machine with another piece of equipment in a combo deal. Picking which machine to pair your Bobcat loader with depends on your project. Ask yourself: what needs to be done and what have I got already? While Bobcats are great all-rounders, you may find they don’t excavate as much dirt as you’d like. In this instance, pair your Bobcat with one of Ryno Hire’s excavators. With a range that spans from one to eight tonnes, Ryno Hire will have an excavator to suit your needs. On the other hand, if you’re finding your issue is transporting bulk materials from one location to another, then a tipper truck or dumper may be just what you need. Ryno Hire has tipper trucks suitable for smaller and bigger jobs. Have something else in mind or you just aren’t sure? Have a chat with one of our specialists to ask about our combo deals – we’ll help steer you in the right direction.
Dumpers and tippers: what’s the difference? Check out our blog post on dumper hire to learn more about these incredibly useful machines!
Renting a Bobcat Loader from Ryno Hire
Operating as a family owned business with over a decade’s worth of experience, the team at Ryno Hire can point you in the right direction when it comes to choosing the right Bobcat Skid Steer Loader. Contact our team of experts to ask about our hire periods, equipment, and transport information. We’re ready to help get your next project on it’s way, so get in touch with Ryno Hire today.