Tips for Conducting Pre-Operation Inspection of Skid Steer

Keyword: Pre-Operation Inspection of Skid Steer 

Meta Description: Pre-operation inspection of skid steer is often overlooked by operators. However, a good pre-op inspection is extremely essential for ensuring that the machine performs efficiently without any major mechanical issues or unnecessary down time.    

Tips for Conducting Pre-Operation Inspection of Skid Steer  

Also known as compact track loader or bobcat, a skid steer is undoubtedly a significant investment. However, unfortunately, operators often fail to pay adequate attention to pre-operation inspection of skid steer. This is a critical aspect of operating a compact track loader because it ascertains that the machine is ready to go and prevents mechanical issues that can lead to unnecessary down time. 

Use of a Skid Steer  

Skid steer loaders are extremely versatile machines used for digging, collecting, lifting, and moving materials such as dirt and sand. Bobcats are also used for road sweeping, spreading materials, site cleanup, turf preparation, backfilling, and much more.  These machines are extremely popular in construction, mining, and landscaping industries because of their versatility.  

Pre-operation Inspection 

If you have a skid steer, there are three different pre-operation inspection activities that you need to perform. These include a 360 degree walk around visual inspection, opening the engine compartment and inspecting the components, and performing a system check from the operator’s seat. 

Walking Around: 

To start with, carry out a 360 degree walk around visual inspection. Some of the important things to check include  

  • If there is any damage to the glass and windows. 
  • If the cage and the rollover protection are in proper condition. 
  • Condition of the cylinders and if there are any leaks.  
  • If all the lines and hoses are clean and dry and all the connections are secure 
  • Examine all the grease points along with all the bolts and pins. 
  • If there is any damage to the top of the cab. 
  • If there is any damage to the radiator fans or exhaust system.  
  • Remove dirt, rocks, debris before operating the equipment.   


Once you have completed the visual walk around inspection, you need to open up the engine compartments and take a look at followings.   

  • Check the  fluid level in the hydraulic fluid tank 
  • Check the engine bay for loose wires or anything else sticking out 
  • Check the coolant level in the tank. 
  • Once a week, check the air filter and clean out any debris. 
  • Check the engine oil level to ensure it is at the fill line. 
  • Examine the air intake and find out if there is any damage. 
  • Check the belts for any signs of wear or cracks.  
  • Check if there is any damage to the coils of the radiator fins. 

Operator’s Seat: 

Finally, it is time to get into the cab and conduct some system checks from the seat of the operator.  

  • Check for any warning lights or indicators indicating that you should not turn the engine on. 
  • Power down the machine immediately, if you see any warning lights or error messages 
  • After turning the engine on, listen to the sound for some time to find out if there is any abnormality. 
  • Check your gauges to ensure that you have enough fuel for the intended operating session.  

If you want to know more about operating your skid steer, feel free to contact our team at K and G Machinery.