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View Full Version : Yank'em sticks to pilot controls?


thepawnshop
04-08-2006, 09:29 PM
I tried out pilot controls on a skid yesterday and to be quite honest, it was ugly. I could hardly go in a straight line. Hit a bump and I was way off course. I am used to the old style "yank'em" sticks and am pretty damn good but since I am considering a machine that utilizes pilot controls, I wonder how tough the transition will be.

RockSet N' Grade
04-08-2006, 09:36 PM
Just like anything else, pilots have pros and cons.....it's like learning to ride a bike again, but you do learn. For me, pilots are the only way to go.....

JDSKIDSTEER
04-08-2006, 09:49 PM
Just like anything else, pilots have pros and cons.....it's like learning to ride a bike again, but you do learn. For me, pilots are the only way to go.....
It is like anything. Operator prefrence. I can not learn to like them on rubber tire, but confess they are smooth on a track machine. One thing I notice is you either like or not. Pros and cons both ways. I cannot wait until Deere comes out with their version as an option. I have several Cat owners who said they would covert if we ever have that. We will have as an option in a couple of years.

Squizzy246B
04-09-2006, 12:03 AM
Doug, I know what your going through but you have to ask yourself:

"would you rather go through the day pumping pedals and yanking levers when you can sit back and just move your wrists"

Once you get the hang of the control you will never go back. Also, it frees up your foot for an accelerator pedal, which can really help your machine control rather just having the thing revving all day. Until you have got it weighed off you wont realise how much better it is.

gammon landscaping
04-09-2006, 03:04 AM
i learned on a new holland and liked it till i ran a cat i though it was akward at first but after a few days i could not think of going back to the pedals. when i ran the new hollands my knees and ankles hurt. with the pilot controls the only problem i have is my right ankel frome time to time

Gravel Rat
04-09-2006, 03:18 AM
You should try run a 988 wheel loader with the tiller steer its really weird feeling to start but once your used to it you will never go back to mechanical steering.

They did studies with gravel mine employees that fatigue went down with pilot controls on the wheel loaders and bulldozers. Operator fatigue is a big deal as its what causes accidents. Also you get more production from a machine if the operator isn't getting a full body workout in the cab pulling levers and stepping on throttle and brakes.

Its like everything you get used to running it like people trying to run old style Case backhoes with the foot pedals and individual levers all takes practice.

miacharger
04-09-2006, 10:54 AM
Fatigue may be an issue in a factory/minesetting but operating levers and pedals is not a problem in a landscape setting! Doesn't it take more effort to go in and out of the loader than move your arms and feet while inside? I would guess that the pilot controls come in handy when you're injured or somewhat handicapped but when I think of using a skid loader it means going inside, doing work, climbing out, doing more work then back to the skid to move something e.t.c. Unless you do a lot of excavation or dirt moving I can't see any benefit to the pilot controls. Except maybe another set of overpriced parts to replace when they fail!

Gravel Rat
04-09-2006, 03:01 PM
Doug is in construction he could possibly himself or a employee running the machine all day. When I used to run 763 skid steer I could only run it for couple hours. My ankles and calfs would cramp up working the foot pedals.

I wouldn't be scared of pilot controls wearing out look at excavators they have been using them for years. Caterpillar has been using tiller steer in loaders for quite a few years and same with the larger dozers.

murray83
04-09-2006, 04:08 PM
oh come on you know deep down a 966C is wayyyyyy better than a G series loader :laugh:

seriously technology is great but its easier for me to troubleshoot a problem with an older machine than the new high tech/computer gadget "sorry buddy u'll need a $5000 bucket piston return pressure moniter pump chip" :rolleyes: :laugh: my rules are if i can't fix it with a wrench and some elbow greese it ain't worth buying.

suppose this new computer crap in machines can be fixed with my hammer? :hammerhead:

Gravel Rat
04-09-2006, 04:29 PM
I have ran quite a few old 966Cs they range from totally thrashed to a good machine.

When the rental shop had to go get the 763 repaired it wasn't cheap either and its yank em sticks. Manufactures have you by the testies nothing you can do about it everything is expensive to fix.

The electronic crap we can't get away with now the 988 I ran had all kinds of lights and gizmos in the cab. First thing when I got into the machine it was where is the **** is the steering wheel. It didn't take me long to figure out how to operate the machine.

When your used to old 66s where you pull the pedal up to kill the engine a brandspanking new 988 is new territory :laugh:

The gravel mine that has the machine hasn't really had any problems with the pilot controls itself its the electronic controlls for the transmission.

The days are gone when a heavy duty mechanic can do everything. With Caterpillar in B.C. and Alberta no more heavy duty mecanics all they have is specialized techinicans.

When you go to school with them they train you in one thing and you become a Hydraulics Tech,Electronics Tech,Undercarriage and Driveline Tech, Engine tech. They want specialized mechanics so if you have a Hydraulic problem the hydraulic technician will find and repair the problem. Caterpillar really is the only company in Western B.C. that does this. One reason is they had too many problems with training heavy duty mechanics then they leave and work for Deere or go on their own.

But to sum up the rambling get used to electronic controls they are here to stay sooner you get used to them the better. When the older mechanics start to retire the new trainees really won't beable to fix old mechanical lever machines. They are all trained for the new stuff.

RockSet N' Grade
04-09-2006, 09:43 PM
I am an old fart in body, yet still young in mind. I have tennis elbow in both arms and run machines now all day long.......the pilots are a blessing for me. I can remember the older days when portable cell phones were the size of a small suit case. I think this electronic stuff is here to stay.......a few generations of machines from now and they may be run by remote control bounced off a satelite somewhere while you're sitting on a beach on a faraway island sipping a brewski while watching your lap top or dick tracey style watch......

miacharger
04-10-2006, 10:36 AM
I think it's hilarious that something as simple as a skid loader has become "high tech". In college I earned an electrical engineering degree but ended up as a traffic signal tech, and later on doing irrigation. What is a skid loader, a steel unibody with an engine, hydraulics and accessories! At the company everyone wanted to run the case loaders, and they had sticks although the levers also moved sideways to control the bucket. If someone did complain about being worn out from running the skid loader , someone else ( especially the youngest employee ) was eager to run it. I can see the value of the "pilot" controls on a slow moving, stable machine like a tracked excavator but a skid steer bounces way too much for them. As for fixing older stuff, even an untrained person can figure it out, I never had any mechanical training but somehow figured out every skid steer problem we had. Even rebuilt a junk Bobcat myself. I think that the gadgets just spice up an otherwise simple concept.

Squizzy246B
04-10-2006, 10:47 AM
Like I said, if you haven't run them then you wouldn't have a clue. For information a true hydraulic pilot system is about as basic and reliable as you can get. Far more reliable than a bunch a linkages and direct action levers that wear out and far easier on the pump.

Now, Cat are planning and Bobcat have dabbled in electric over hydraulic pilots...thats something to be worried about..or maybe not...could be its just another advance in technology. Me, well I like em simple and the mechanical hydraulic pilot is about as simple as they come.

If you are going from Yankems to pilots, like me, you will have a period of "how in the hell you are going to control this bloody machine" followed by "well I'll never go back". However, if you grab a kid off the street, with no skid experience, and throw them on pilots, they will be driving around in a matter of minutes. Resistance to change is normal.

Squizzy246B
04-10-2006, 10:50 AM
I am an old fart in body, yet still young in mind. I have tennis elbow in both arms and run machines now all day long.......the pilots are a blessing for me. I can remember the older days when portable cell phones were the size of a small suit case. I think this electronic stuff is here to stay.......a few generations of machines from now and they may be run by remote control bounced off a satelite somewhere while you're sitting on a beach on a faraway island sipping a brewski while watching your lap top or dick tracey style watch......

I was watching a remote controlled plate compactor at a demo on the weekend. Guy sat under an umbrella and drove the machine like a kid might drive a RC dune buggy. Sure beats operating a compactor in a trench with the risk of cave-in...but I'm sure thats just some other new technology to go haywire.

miacharger
04-10-2006, 05:37 PM
Funny the remote control is something I like! My zero-turn mower for home use is remote control/computer controlled. That would probably make me more enemies in the world of lawn care..LOL With a control box and an LCD monitor I can mow the lawn from the comfort of my home office. In most of the yard, the attatched camera sends images back to the DVR and it has spring loaded bumpers to avoid trees, and other obstacles. In my opinion it's a waste of time to sit on a machine doing a repetitive task, and since it's a fenced 5 acre yard there's no danger of an accident. On a site with people comming and going it's preferable to have an operator inside. Do you really think that pilot controls are easier on the machine than levers? Originally my remote lawnmower project ran through the computer using a single joystick but my hands and wrist got too stiff. The current control has two levers, an RC airplane remote. Maybe I got used to the old skid steer controls as my first motor vehicle was a 6 wheel skid steered atv.

Squizzy246B
04-11-2006, 06:52 AM
. Do you really think that pilot controls are easier on the machine than levers? .

I have to admit to a 15 year Marine Engineering background...had to get away from the farm....anyway. The first pilot control system I worked on and operated was actually a steam system. It was double acting reciprocating fuel pumps but in principle it is exactly the same thing. Anyways, due to the huge forces involved and the power of a steam reciprocating engine if the control screwed up you smash the machine up bad. For over 70 years and all through engineering systems you will find basic fluid pilot systems particularly in process/production engineering/manufacturing. You use fluid pilots because:

1) it provides a measured controlled response which can have a designed maximum (flow) regardless of the operator input. In short, you can slam the stick all over the place madly and it wont shag the machine....its only as progressive as the designer allowed. An example is the design delay between forward and reverse in most pilot controlled machines. This is easier on the machine (if properly setup)

2) It provides a simple mechanical advantage...with less input effort required.

3) It provides a control process which is then easily adapted/switched from manual to automation...something that is happening all over in machinery...including the RC compactor I was watching. BTW, most single stick wheel loader controls are now a pilot system.

I'd love to see a RC mower in action. We were joking about the old pacemaker and RC roller door thing while we were watching the demo of the compactor. If the compactor went berserk it could really do some damage;)

I'd definetly not advocate fluid control pilots as the "best" skid steer system (they are still working on it:rolleyes: )....I'm just a lazy bugger who likes them and I have problems with my knees/hips. When I was a young bloke we thought A/C was for persons of a non-standard type sexual persuasion...wouldn't dream of getting another machine without A/C now though.

ksss
04-11-2006, 10:27 PM
Initially I was never much of a fan of pilots. However I was swayed. I prefer the pilots in the H pattern. I think it is easier for me to run being a long time H pattern user. It is interesting running different machines with pilots and seeing different OEMs take on how to make a pilot operated machine. They may all be pilots but they all have their own "feel" as well as postive and negative aspects.

Yard Solutions
04-15-2006, 10:43 PM
I have to admit that I do like the pilots that CAT and ASV offer, but can't stop thinking there's got to be a reason most skid steers have the yankem sticks. Is there an advantage? Why was this setup chosen and is still popular today? Are they better after the "learning curve"?

Scag48
04-16-2006, 01:11 AM
The reason Bobcat (and most other manufacturers) still use the yank 'em sticks is because most of the guys who started out with yank 'em sticks won't go to pilot controls as they're too used to the old fashioned way. See, when they bought their machines in the 90's, there was no choice, it was yank em's, pilots were not an option. The manufacturers still believe they control the market of old school skid steer operators, and they do, but for us that had the choice between sticks and pilot controls when it came to buying our first skid steer in this century, yank 'em sticks just look stupid when you're given the option to choose.

jd270
04-16-2006, 08:45 AM
between the 246 i had and my deere i like my deere controls better they feel better to me everybody likes diferent things if we didnt there would only be one brand

ksss
04-16-2006, 04:08 PM
The "feel" in manual or servo controls is often a reason many refuse to switch to pilots. However the pilots have gotten better in my opinon and still have room for improvement. These reasons and cost is why you will see other manufacturers off both pilots and servo/manual.

Tigerotor77W
04-16-2006, 09:31 PM
I was under the impression that there was a difference in certain functional capabilities of the two set-ups as well -- something like pilots can't run a "creep" mode, maybe, or that cold weather really can mess with pilot systems?

Squizzy246B
04-16-2006, 09:45 PM
I was under the impression that there was a difference in certain functional capabilities of the two set-ups as well -- something like pilots can't run a "creep" mode, maybe, or that cold weather really can mess with pilot systems?

Extremes of temperature will mess with any hydraulic system unless it has temperature control.

Manual input pilots don't have a creep "mode" as such (it depends on the valve porting) but automation of a pilot sytem provides all sorts of options and fine controls...thats why some manufacturer's are going to electric/electronic over pilot systems. Electric valve trickery has even eliminated the "in-direct" system used in pilots although electric actuators are not necassarily that reliable and are relatively large when used in "direct" control of hydraulic systems.

Its important to remember that when I activate the thumb roller and my 4 in 1 opens that this is direct electric over hydraulic. There is just not the control that can be acheived with a pilot...its on or off...no in between.

I was reading somewhere recently how advances in electric motor frequency control will make many hydraulic systems redundant in the next 10 years. How that will effect earthmoving equipment I don't know but its an area many crane and winch manufacturers are working on.