Skip to main content

How to Improve Skid-Steer Productivity

January 24, 2024

With a variety of attachments, skid-steer loaders have become multi-purpose, multi-terrain machines that are great for anyone requiring compact power and versatility. However, because they are so heavily relied on, maintenance, repairs and upkeep are vital to the equipment’s productivity.

Here are a few key steps to improve & maintain your skid-steer’s productivity:

Maintenance Checks

To keep your skid-steer in good working condition, there are important routine checks that should be monitored frequently such as fluid levels, air filters and grease points.


The fluid level should be checked daily, since running the machine with less fluid than suggested could cause serious damage to the engine. Fluids such as hydraulic oil, coolant, and engine oil are included in this category.


Air filters should be inspected at least once per month. For the engine to burn fuel efficiently, it must have access to clean air. This allows the machine to have an ideal fuel – air ratio, which optimizes equipment performance.

Grease Points

To ensure smooth operation, it’s essential to lubricate pins and bushings, along with other moving components. Greasing the equipment's pivot points will prevent corrosion and joint lock-up. Detailed instructions for fluid maintenance, greasing points, and air filter care can be found in manufacturing operation and maintenance manuals, as well as on certain engine decals.

Image source: Bobcat Company

Visual Checks

Visual inspections should be completed daily. A quick walk around your equipment can identify safety hazards, ensuring machine stability and safety for individuals inside and outside. Simple practice is an effective way to minimize issues throughout the day. Here's a brief checklist to follow during your visual inspections:

  • Clear equipment of debris
  • Verify proper tire inflation
  • Check tire rims for any bending or dents
  • Inspect equipment and attachments for damage
  • Ensure proper functioning of arms and hydraulics
  • Examine the engine for leaks or fluid puddles
  • Inspect hoses in the machine for tears, wear, damage, and correct positioning/sealing
  • Check the condition of the seat belt, panel display, backup alarms, and horn

Using Telematics

Telematics programs share live machine data and location information. This data can be used to cross reference and monitor a machine service need. This data serves as a valuable resource for cross-referencing and monitoring machine service requirements. Early diagnoses can be obtained, enabling proactive measures to prevent potential vehicle damage. Embracing telematics can cut maintenance costs and downtime for contractors.[i]

Image source: Bobcat Company
Image source: Bobcat Company

[i] Top 5 Skid Steer Maintenance Tips|

View News & Insights