1. Missed the live Ask the Expert event?
    Not to worry. Check out the archived thread of the Q&A with Ken Hutcheson, President of U.S. Lawns, and the LawnSite community in the Franchising forum .

    Dismiss Notice

New versus old skid steer controls

Discussion in 'Heavy Equipment & Pavement' started by miacharger, Nov 26, 2005.

  1. miacharger

    miacharger LawnSite Member
    Posts: 68

    Been noticing that all the new skid steers around here have some kind of joystick or hand controls which do not seem to be really connected to the system, by leverage. Is it a new trend for skid steers to eliminate the two-stick controls that have been around since the beginning? Personally I have only used the lever/clutch system, but it is for the ease or operation, or just a way of making machines appear more high tech that this is done? The oddest thing I saw was a CAT loader with joysticks and air conditioning. I would think that it's tougher to operate a bouncy machine with sensitive controls electronically coupled to the actual machinery. Anyone with experience on both types of machines?
  2. Dirty Water

    Dirty Water LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,799

    pilot controls are awesome. You'll be hard pressed to find a loader without them in a few years.
  3. Scag48

    Scag48 LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,067

    If you run a Cat with the pilot operated joysticks you'll never go back to yank 'em sticks. Bobcats with the 2 lever steering and floor pedals for loader controls are outdated and VERY uncomfortable to operate all day long. The joysticks do not adversely affect the machine's performance, actually they make movements 10 times smoother than 2 lever steering, not the other way around. Actually, I have a hard time running a clutch and brake system smoothly, I don't see how there's any smoothness to the mechanical action of applying a brake and holding until told otherwise like a dozer. Pilot controls are the way to go.
  4. Squizzy246B

    Squizzy246B LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 837

    In a pilot controlled skid the right stick is exactly the same as a single stick control that you will find in most wheel loaders now. It controls the bucket. The left stick is "point and shoot" for travel controls. It couldn't be any easier and sure beats the hell out of having to work foot pedals all day. It also frees up a foot for an accelerator pedal further improving the control of the machine and supposedly improving fuel economy.

    Well designed pilot controls have the safety bar as an armrest which steadies the hand. It is not difficult at all...quite the opposite.
  5. Team_Yamaha

    Team_Yamaha LawnSite Member
    Posts: 43

    Personally I just traded a Bobcat 763 with hand controls for a S185 with foot controls. I bought it (763) because I heard how nice hand controls were, I didn't like them one bit, neither did the other guys. I(we) put 1400 hrs on the machine, there was only one of us that was sad to see the hand controls leave. I guess that I am just an "old fashion" type of guy.:rolleyes:
  6. Scag48

    Scag48 LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,067

    Apparently the advanced hand controls from Bobcat weren't very good as they weren't pilot controlled servos like Cat's joysticks. I hear they're going to change that or already have on their new machines so that might eliminate the lack of "feel" in the sticks.
  7. miacharger

    miacharger LawnSite Member
    Posts: 68

    Shows how little I know! The closest thing I ever got to hand controls was using a case loader years back, it still had sticks, but the grips would rock side to side to operate the bucket tilt and lift arms. The joystick system looks more like playing pac man..LOL Actually I heard that some joysticks had selectable functions, so you could operate them like the "yank em" sticks or the left , drive, right bucket style. I just am amazed that those plastic looking joysticks can hold up under years of dirt, rain and use. The old levers needed lubrication, are the joysticks maintenance free? Oh and what do you do with your feet now? Do you really think that anyone who used the new style controls will prefer them? Personally the old controls worked fine for me and I have never found them uncomfortable or outdated. No one sits in a skid loader for more than 30 minutes at a time anyway! Would like to give it a try under real world working conditions and see if they live up to the compliments I read here.
  8. Squizzy246B

    Squizzy246B LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 837

    The so called controls on the Bobcat are woeful. I have driven two and totally agree with the owners of those machines, they are crap.
  9. Gravel Rat

    Gravel Rat LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 9,544

    I would like to try a skid steer with pilot controls the old style bobcat controls wear you out. When I ran a 763 for about 5 hours or so I was exhausted my legs were sore you pretty much have a aerobic work out in a Bobcat with foot pedals and travel sticks. Then the bouncing around by the time I got out of the machine it felt like I was pushed onto the ground and stepped on and kicked all over.

    The problem I had I meantioned it a few times before I had the habit of pulling on the travel stick in my right hand trying to make the boom go up :blob1:

    With the machine lurched back it was okay brain bucket controls on the floor its I'am used to running rubber tired backhoe and excavators.

    The other problem was I kept pushing forward on both foot pedals to travel forward nope that doesn't work :eek:

    The new wheel loaders do have tiller steer the 988 I ran had tiller steer it takes some time to get used to especially when your acustomed to using a steering wheel.

    I got to try a new D9 its tiller steer gone are the days of brakes and clutch levers.

    Reducing operator fatigue is a big thing nowadays less tired you are less chance of a accident happening.
  10. GreenMonster

    GreenMonster LawnSite Silver Member
    from NH
    Posts: 2,702

    I thought the Bobcat joysticks were servo... I demo'd a used 863 with hand controls, which I liked. Dealer said they were servo, and definately had a different feel than the old style sticks. I also demoed a new ASV RC-60. Those controls are far superior.

    I ended up going with a used T190 though, with the old sticks and foot controls. It had everything else I needed. All in all, the controls aren't that important. More of a creature comfort than anything else.

Share This Page