Operate with Care
Before buying (or even operating) a skid steer, read up on safety information. One good resource is the University of Wisconsin Cooperative Extension’s publication, “Safe Use of Skid-steer Loaders on the Farm.”
These are a few of the highlights:
- Never use a skid steer that isn’t equipped with a rollover protective structure , falling object protective structure, side screens, and a seatbelt or operator restraint bars. These safety features have saved many lives; don’t put yours at risk.
- Never mount or dismount a skid steer with the lift arms up unless they’re supported by a restraining device other than its hydraulic system. Safe dismounting means lowering the bucket, turning off the engine, putting the controls in neutral and, using both hands to support yourself, facing the machine as you step down.
- Always stay completely inside the operator’s compartmentóthat includes your fingers, hands and feet.
- Don’t carry riders, ever! And clear the area of bystanders before operating a skid steer in tight places.
- Carry the bucket low (the higher the load, the higher the center of gravity and more likely the skid steer is to tip), but don’t let it drag the ground. Never swing the bucket over someone’s head.
- Avoid operating on steep slopes where skid steers are wont to tip over.
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