Stay Agile with a Properly Balanced Skid-Steer Loader

Published on February 5, 2020

Having a properly balanced skid-steer loader is the key to quickness and productivity. It leads to improved turning, reduces engine power requirements, slows tire wear and extends drivetrain life.

Here’s a simple illustration: Stand up and put most of your weight on one foot. When you stand flat-footed, with your weight distributed equally between your heel and toes, it is difficult to turn or pivot. If you shift most of your weight to your heel, it becomes easier to move. You'll have similar results when you shift weight to the ball of your foot.

Bobcat skid-steer loaders use a similar approach to weight balance. With no load in the bucket, approximately 70% of the skid-steer’s weight rests on the rear axle. As a result, the machine turns easily on its rear wheels.
When Bobcat skid-steer loaders have a rated load in the bucket, the front axles become the pivot point. The ratio is reversed, with approximately 30% of the machine weight on the rear axle and 70% on the front axle. This enables easy turns with a rated load – and it reduces the need for a larger engine.

Interested in further optimizing your skid-steer loader? Make sure you’re using the right tire for the job.