Did you know that an average skid steer loader lasts 5,000 hours according to experts? Many consider Bobcat to make the best skid steer loader. But even Bobcats require proper maintenance to meet their full lifespan.
You’ll most likely run into problems at some point and have to buy parts for your Bobcat skid steer. Do you know which skid steer parts typically get replaced?
The following guide will explain common skid steer issues and necessary replacement parts. Read on if you own or plan to buy a skid steer loader and want to keep it running smoothly.
1. Fuel Filters
First, make sure you have the correct Bobcat specifications for your model. You should inspect your fuel system first if the engine isn’t starting properly. The fuel system includes parts such as fuel filters, fuel lines, and a tank.
Skid steers that run on diesel often have problems if their fuel filters aren’t changed regularly. Skid steers that work in dusty areas require frequent filter changes to prevent engine breakdowns.
Move on to the fuel tank after inspecting the filter. Engines struggle when fuel doesn’t flow from the tank to the injector. Make sure that the fuel injector isn’t clogged or in need of a replacement.
2. Glow Plugs
Many engine problems occur when glow plugs aren’t working. A skid steer’s glow plugs help warm up the engine’s combustion chambers when it’s cold outside. But they don’t warm the engine if they’re loose.
Find the glow plugs on both sides of the engine and make sure they’re firmly attached. Tighten the plugs or replace them if they appear to be damaged. Get replacement Bobcat glow plugs here.
3. Throttle Cables
Next, make sure that the engine’s throttle cable is attached to the throttle body. The throttle body is usually found on top of the motor and on the accelerator. Engines have problems running if the cables loosen or wear out. Find replacements here.
4. Hydraulic Fluids and Belts
Faulty hydraulic systems also lead to skid steer issues. First, check the fluid level to make sure it isn’t underfilled or overfilled. The systems work best when they have the fluid amount suggested by their manufacturer.
Check for clogs in the hydraulic fuel filter that might affect performance. A clogged or damaged filter prevents fluid from flowing freely. It’s an issue that limits the steer loader’s power.
You’ll want to inspect the hydraulic system’s pump. First, identify if the pump is a belt-driven model. You might need to replace worn-out belts to fix a pump that’s isn’t working.
5. Hydraulic Lines
Faulty hydraulic lines also cause performance problems. Always check for loose fittings or leaks in the lines. First, make sure to pressurize the hydraulic system and run the pump to find leaks.
Look for pinhole leaks in the line once the fluid is under pressure. Keep in mind that you should replace lines every few years regardless of leaks. Always wear gloves and goggles to protect yourself during the inspection. Find replacement hydraulic lines here.
6. Hydraulic Seals and Fittings
Check the fittings and seals on the control valves. The system’s performance will suffer from broken seals and loose fittings.
Luckily, seals and fittings aren’t expensive to replace. Make sure the valves open and close without difficulty after installing replacement parts. Find replacement hydraulic seals and fittings here.
7. Joystick Components
Sometimes joystick controls on steer loaders don’t respond to their directions. The issue usually stems from loose or disconnected steering or loader connections. Operators must reconnect or tighten the connections.
You should also make sure the wires from the actuators and pump to the joystick aren’t loose. You might have to replace the entire joystick control circuit board if tightening connections don’t work.
Another sign of control systems issues is a joystick that responds slowly. Inspect the safety switches on the loader for damages. Faulty or loose safety switches cause issues throughout the entire control system.
Bad circuits also hurt control system functions. It’s important to check the skid steer loader’s battery for any drain. The battery might need to charge, or it might need a full replacement.
Protecting Parts From Corrosion
Corrosion is a major issue for skid steers. Water can cause corrosion, and so can fertilizer in agricultural environments. Make sure to clean your skid steer often to prevent corrosion.
Also, consider rust protection treatments to reduce corrosion. You might have to replace affected parts if the corrosion isn’t treated. If you detect damages early, you might still be able to apply corrosion treatments.
You should clean your skid steer loader using a pressure washer. This will remove any debris buildup that can cause wear. It also washes off corrosive chemical residue like fertilizer.
Debris buildup might even displace the main seal of your final drive motor. Tightly packed debris can make the motor completely useless. Use compressed air to clean dust from electronics and parts you can’t get wet.
Remember that it’s much easier to spot issues early when your skid steer is clean. Fixing problems before they get out of hand will save you both time and money on replacements.
Maintaining Skid Steer Loader Parts
Now you know how to inspect and maintain skid steer loader parts when problems arise. Some parts like lines require regular replacements every few years. But some replacements are completely avoidable by using proper care.
We hope our guide on skid steer loader parts has been helpful. Remember to reference these tips if your loader encounters issues. If you are looking for Bobcat parts, click here.