Skid Steer Ontario

Best Practices for Skid Steer Loader Operations

Best Practices for Skid Steer Loader Operations

At Ontario Skid Steer, we strive to provide the best skid steer loader services to our clients. Our skilled operators and well-maintained equipment ensure safe and efficient operations on any construction site. In this article, we share our best practices for skid steer loader operations to help you achieve similar results and improve your construction projects.

What is a Skid Steer Loader?

A skid steer loader is a compact and versatile machine used for material handling, grading, excavation, and other tasks on construction sites. It typically has four wheels or tracks and a front attachment plate for various tools, such as buckets, forks, hammers, or augers. The operator sits in a cage or cab and controls the machine using hydraulic levers or joysticks.

Safety First

Skid steer loaders can be dangerous if not operated properly. Therefore, safety should always come first. Before starting any skid steer loader operations, make sure to:

  • Read and follow the manufacturer’s instructions and warnings.
  • Inspect the machine for any damages, leaks, or malfunctions. Check the tires or tracks, brakes, lights, gauges, and controls.
  • Wear appropriate personal protective equipment, such as a hard hat, safety glasses, earplugs, gloves, and steel-toe boots.
  • Clear the work area of any hazards, such as people, pets, debris, or obstacles.
  • Secure the site with fences, barricades, or cones, if needed.
  • Communicate clearly with other workers and bystanders. Use hand signals, radios, or horns to indicate movements or warnings.
  • Never exceed the load capacity or lift height of the machine. Avoid lifting or carrying unstable or oversized loads.
  • Never operate the machine under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

Pre-Operation Checks

Before each shift or task, perform the following pre-operation checks on the skid steer loader:

  • Check the fuel, oil, and coolant levels. Refill or replace as necessary.
  • Check the air filter, hydraulic filter, and fuel filter. Clean or replace as necessary.
  • Check the battery, alternator, and starter. Test or charge as necessary.
  • Check the tires or tracks. Adjust the pressure or tension as necessary.
  • Check the lights, horn, and wipers. Replace or repair as necessary.
  • Check the attachments. Inspect for any damages, wear, or missing parts.

Operating Techniques

Skid steer loaders can be operated in various ways depending on the task and the terrain. Here are some general guidelines for safe and efficient skid steer loader operations:

  • Position the machine in a stable and level area. Engage the parking brake and lower the attachment.
  • Start the engine and warm it up for a few minutes.
  • Fasten the seatbelt and adjust the seat and controls to your comfort and reach.
  • Keep both hands on the controls at all times. Use smooth and precise movements to avoid jerking or jolting the machine.
  • Use the pedals or levers to control the speed and direction of the machine. The left pedal controls the brakes and reverse, while the right pedal controls the forward and speed. The left joystick controls the steering and the right joystick controls the attachments.
  • Use the bucket or fork to scoop or lift materials. Tilt the attachment back to fill it and tilt it forward to dump it. Keep the load low and centered to maintain stability.
  • Use the auger or hammer to dig or break materials. Keep the attachment perpendicular to the ground and apply gradual pressure. Avoid hitting rocks, pipes, or cables.
  • Use the grapple or sweeper to clean or sort materials. Adjust the angle and pressure of the attachment to fit the size and shape of the


Maintenance and Inspections

Skid steer loaders require regular maintenance and inspections to ensure their optimal performance and safety. Here are some recommended practices:

  • Follow the manufacturer’s maintenance schedule and recommendations. Replace or refill fluids, filters, belts, hoses, and other parts as necessary.
  • Inspect the machine daily before and after each use. Look for any damages, leaks, or malfunctions. Test the brakes, lights, and controls.
  • Clean the machine after each use. Remove any debris, mud, or grease from the tires or tracks, the attachment plate, and the engine compartment.
  • Store the machine in a dry and secure place when not in use. Cover it with a tarp or a canopy to protect it from the weather and the sun.
  • Train and certify your operators on skid steer loader operations, safety, and maintenance. Provide them with proper manuals, tools, and PPE.


Skid steer loader operations require careful planning, preparation, and execution to achieve safe and efficient results. By following our best practices, you can improve your skills, equipment, and outcomes. Remember to prioritize safety at all times, perform pre-operation checks, use proper operating techniques, and maintain and inspect your machine regularly. At Ontario Skid Steer, we are committed to delivering the highest quality skid steer loader services to our clients. Contact us today to learn more.

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