When it comes to major landscaping changes in your back garden, one of the fastest ways to clear out the old structures so you can work on your new project is to hire a bobcat. However, as someone who has never hired a bobcat before, you have concerns after the safety aspects of using one. Here are three tips for beginner bobcat drivers to ensure your landscaping project does not include a trip to the emergency department.
Keep The Bucket Low
The wheelbase of a bobcat is short, and this is deliberately done to make the bobcat easy to maneuver. However, this also makes the bobcat unsteady when the bucket arm is raised high into the air. To counteract this unsteadiness, when the bucket is filled with landscaping debris, keep the bucket arm low while you drive towards the dumping point. It just needs to be high enough off the ground that it does not touch the ground as you drive.
Be Careful On Hills
If your garden has a slope which needs to be traversed, the golden rule of the bobcat is heavy side first. This means that if your bucket is full, then the bucket goes first up the hill. However, if the bucket is empty, then the bobcat body is the heaviest point, so this goes first down the hill by reversing the vehicle down the slope. By always having the heaviest point going first, you reduce the chance of the bobcat tipping backwards.
Tilt The Bucket
One of the most common beginner mistakes using a bobcat involves dumping out a filled bucket. Once you have the bucket full of your gardening debris and you have reached your dumping point, you lift the bucket into the air. As you do this, tilt the bucket forwards, not backwards. If you tilt the bucket backwards because you think this keeps the debris in the bucket, what happens is the debris falls over the back edge of the bucket and lands on the bobcat. So, if you tip the bucket forward as you raise the arm, the debris arches down into your depositing spot and your cab remains debris free.
For further safety tips while using the bobcat, have a chat with the bobcat hire company. Let them know you are a first-time bobcat driver, and they will fill you in further with the dos and don'ts of bobcat operation safety.