How To Operate A Bobcat

If you’re new to the world of construction, landscaping or farming, you may have been introduced to a bobcat. If you’ve never heard of one before, it’s a type of small, maneuverable tractor that’s often used for digging, leveling and other heavy-duty tasks. But how do you operate one? In this article, we’ll give you a step-by-step guide on how to operate a bobcat.

What is a Bobcat?

Before we get into the nitty-gritty of operating a bobcat, let’s first understand what it is. A bobcat is a small, compact tractor that’s used for a variety of tasks such as digging, grading, leveling, and more. It’s equipped with a bucket or an attachment that can be swapped out depending on the job at hand.

Getting Started

To start using a bobcat, you need to first make sure that you’re wearing the right gear. This includes a hard hat, safety glasses, and steel-toed boots. Once you’re geared up, you need to check the machine’s fluid levels, including oil, hydraulic fluid, and coolant. You should also check the tire pressure and make sure that all the controls are functioning properly.

Starting the Bobcat

To start the bobcat, turn the key to the “on” position and press the starter button. The engine should start up and run smoothly. If it doesn’t, you may need to check the battery or fuel levels.

Using the Controls

Once the bobcat is running, you’ll need to use the controls to operate it. The left and right joysticks control the movement of the machine, while the pedals control the speed and direction. Make sure that you’re comfortable with the controls before you start using the bobcat.

Driving the Bobcat

To drive the bobcat, push down on the pedals to move forward or backward. Use the joysticks to steer the machine in the direction that you want to go. Make sure that you’re aware of your surroundings and watch out for any obstacles.

Using the Bucket

The bucket is the most common attachment for a bobcat. To use it, move the joysticks in the direction that you want the bucket to move. The bucket can be used for digging, lifting, and carrying materials.

Using Other Attachments

If you’re using a different attachment, such as a backhoe or a trencher, you’ll need to make sure that you’re familiar with how it operates. Refer to the manufacturer’s instructions for guidance on how to use each attachment.

Working Safely

Safety is key when operating a bobcat. Make sure that you’re aware of your surroundings at all times and that you’re not putting yourself or others in danger. Always wear the appropriate safety gear and follow all safety guidelines.


Q: Can anyone operate a bobcat?

A: No, you need to have the proper training and certification to operate a bobcat. Check with your local training center for information on how to get certified.

Q: How fast can a bobcat go?

A: The speed of a bobcat varies depending on the model and the terrain. Most bobcats can reach speeds of up to 7 miles per hour.

Q: How much weight can a bobcat lift?

A: The weight capacity of a bobcat varies depending on the model and the attachment being used. Most bobcats can lift anywhere from 600 to 3,000 pounds.


Operating a bobcat may seem daunting at first, but with the right training and practice, you’ll soon be a pro. Remember to always prioritize safety and follow all guidelines to ensure that you and your colleagues are working in a safe environment. Now that you know how to operate a bobcat, you can confidently take on any task that comes your way.