Otherwise known as a skid-steer loader, Bobcat loaders are rugged, manually-operated industrial machines often used in landscaping or construction projects where larger tractors or other machines cannot fit. Designed to carry a heavy workload while at the same time having maneuverability and versatility, the Bobcat is powered by a diesel engine, a 4-wheel drive transmission, and a system of hydraulic pumps that operate the actual loader. As a machine, Bobcats need regular maintenance and repairs to keep them in prime working condition.

Step 1

Check the oil reservoir if the engine is "knocking" or acting sluggish. If the oil levels are low, you will need to add an appropriate level of oil to top off the reservoir (refer to your owner's manual for the exact specifics on how much oil is required for your make/model of Bobcat). If the oil is dirty, you need to drain the old oil out and replace it with new oil.

Step 2

Clean any excessively dirty spark plugs to keep the engine firing at its highest rate. Remove the spark plugs and wipe them clean with a shop rag or use an automated wire brush to clean the tips if they are excessively dirty. If they cannot be cleaned or are burned out, you need to replace them with fresh spark plugs to keep the engine operating at its peak efficiency.

Step 3

Check the air intake filter for the Bobcat. If it is excessively dirty or clogged, it can keep the engine from starting, or keep it from running at its peak levels. Remove the air filter from its mounting bracket and use an air compressor to blast air over it. Direct air from both sides multiple times until no more residue blows free, then reinstall the air filter.

Step 4

Check the hydraulic fluid hoses and reservoir of the Bobcat if the loader is sluggish or nonresponsive. Inspect the hoses of the hydraulic system to ensure that there are no leaks at the connections or any damaged sections of the hose that are leaking oil. Replace damaged sections or connectors, then refill the reservoir with hydraulic fluid.