Build Your Loader, Get a Free Price Quote

Customize your loader. Select the model, choose options, and submit to your local dealer for a free price quote.
Build & Quote

Tips for Operating Your Small Articulated Loader

Published on May 5, 2023

A new machine doesn’t have to come with a steep learning curve. Bobcat® small articulated loaders offer intuitive controls, including a steering wheel and twin pedal design so you can go from purchase to finishing a day’s work without skipping a beat.

The L28 and L23 small articulated loaders are a great choice for easy-to-use, maneuverable equipment. They excel in hard-to-reach places and uneven terrain. However, tackling your usual projects with new equipment can be daunting. Here are some tips for how to operate your small articulated loader simply and efficiently so you don’t have to waste a minute after purchase. And, as always, make sure to refer to your Operation and Maintenance Manual for more information.

Best Applications for a Small Articulated Loader

Heavy-lifting ability meets quick-turn agility with Bobcat small articulated loaders. The L28 and L23 small articulated models are a great choice for landscaping and grounds maintenance projects, material handling, warehousing, and anywhere capable, agile, and turf-friendly machines are advantageous. Small articulated loaders provide precise maneuverability with minimal ground disturbance and operator comfort in an easy-to-use and powerful yet compact package. The unique design helps enhance productivity on a wide range of job sites.

Here are some tips for how to operate your small articulated loader simply and efficiently so you don’t have to waste a minute after purchase. And, as always, make sure to refer to your Operation and Maintenance Manual for more information.

Get a Free Price Quote From Your Local Dealer

Find A Dealer

Simple Articulated Steering Operation

Operating a small articulated loader is similar to a pickup truck or car. Simply turn the steering wheel in the direction you want to go.

For forward and reverse movements, use the travel direction pedals. Press the travel direction pedal smoothly, avoid sudden starting and stopping, and always look in the direction of travel.

Automatic Parking Brake

To stop the machine, gradually release pressure off the travel direction pedals. When the travel direction pedals are moved to the neutral position, the hydrostatic transmission will act as a service brake and stop the machine. Always be sure to press the parking brake switch to engage the parking brake when the machine is stopped.

Drive Modes: Two Options

L28 and L23 small articulated loaders have a drive system that minimizes turf disturbance and maximizes traction when needed. This is done by alternating between two modes: turf-safe mode and high-traction mode. The machine switches between these two modes automatically so the operator can focus on the task at hand.

Turf-Safe Mode

Turf-safe mode, all four tires turn independently to minimize turf and ground disturbance. This mode is engaged when the steering wheel is turning, or the machine is articulated.

High-Traction Mode

High-traction mode automatically engages when the steering wheel is held steady. Here, all four wheels travel at the same speed to maximize traction. 

Traction Assist

Traction assist is an optional feature to aid machine movement in low-traction situations.

You’ll find the traction assist switch on the right panel, and you use it to momentarily override the automatic drive modes to enable the traction drive function. When you push the switch, hydraulic fluid flows equally to each wheel, enabling each to provide traction as you travel through momentary, adverse conditions – like mud or snow.

To operate the traction assist switch, press and hold to enable traction drive. When you’ve cleared adverse terrain, release the switch to deactivate the traction drive. That’s it!

Request a Demo From Your Local Dealer

Request a Demo

Changing and Using Attachments

A highly versatile machine, choose from over 32 Bobcat small articulated loader attachments. Popular attachment options include buckets, angle brooms, snowblowers, and pallet forks. Bobcat small articulated loaders include auxiliary hydraulics with a maximum flow of 12 gpm and up to 2900 psi, giving you powerful performance and superb work results. There are two options for connecting attachments, including the Bob-Tach® attachment mounting system and the Power Bob-Tach® system.

The Bob-Tach attachment mounting system comes standard and allows you to use a variety of attachments. The optional Power Bob-Tach system allows you to change non-hydraulic attachments without leaving the comfort of your cab.

Bob-Tach Attachment Mounting System: Comes standard and allows you to use a variety of attachments.

Power Bob-Tach System (Optional): Allows you to change non-hydraulic attachments without leaving the comfort of your cab.

Both systems feature pressure-release quick couplers to relieve system pressure for easy hydraulic hookup and removal.

When it comes to operating attachments, the convenient, intuitive, and ergonomic controls on the joystick allow you to control attachments without the need to look away from your work. Small articulated loaders make it easy to run hydraulics with a flip of the detent switch on the joystick.

Time To Get To Work

While new equipment often comes with challenges, Bobcat small articulated loaders make it easy to hit the ground running. For further help, check out your Operation and Maintenance Manual or see your local Bobcat dealer for advice and answers to any questions you may have along the way.

Explore More Loader Resources

View All Articles
  • Small Articulated Loaders Productivity for Grounds Maintenance Bobcat L28 Small Articulated Loader with Bucket Attachment Moving Rock

    Small Articulated Loaders Productivity for Grounds Maintenance

    Learn about how versatile and powerful small articulated loaders increase productivity and their advantages for ground-maintenance and landscaping professions.
  • Top Attachments for Mini Track Loaders Bobcat MT100 Mini Track Loader with Log Grapple Attachment Working in Wooded Area

    Top Attachments for Mini Track Loaders

    Discover the top attachments from the 24 available for the Bobcat Mini Track Loaders for job-specific landscaping, grounds maintenance and forestry challenges.
  • How Compact Loaders are Beneficial for Forestry Work Bobcat T86 Compact Track Loader with Drum Mulcher Attachment Operating in Wooded Area

    How Compact Loaders are Beneficial for Forestry Work

    Learn how Bobcat compact track loaders and skid-steer loaders provide versatility with attachments and machine power to increase your productivity for forestry work.
  • Landscaping Attachments for Compact Loaders Bobcat T66 Compact Track Loader with Auger Attachment Drilling Into the Ground

    Landscaping Attachments for Compact Loaders

    Explore the top landscaping attachments for your compact loaders, like compact track loaders for versatile productivity and power on the job.
  • Bobcat Attachments for Concrete Work with Compact Loaders Bobcat S76 Skid-Steer Loader With Nitrogen Breaker Attachment Working on Concrete Surface

    Bobcat Attachments for Concrete Work with Compact Loaders

    Learn why Bobcat loaders are the machines of choice for concrete contractors with the productivity increase of Bobcat attachments specifically for concrete work.
  • How to Choose Compact Track Loader Tracks Closeup Image of Bobcat Compact Track Loader Working on Muddy Jobsite

    How to Choose Compact Track Loader Tracks

    The right compact track loader tracks can improve your machine’s performance, minimize ground disturbance and extend your working season in wetter months.
  • Bobcat L23 vs. Avant 423 Small Articulated Loaders Bobcat L23 Mini Track Loader vs. Avant 635 models in head-to-head comparison

    Bobcat L23 vs. Avant 423 Small Articulated Loaders

    When choosing a small articulated loader, it can be overwhelming from the options. Explore this comparison of two popular options: the Bobcat L23 and Avant 423.
  • Bobcat MT100 vs Kubota SCL1000 Bobcat MT100 Mini Track Loader vs. Kubota SCL1000 models in head-to-head comparison

    Bobcat MT100 vs Kubota SCL1000

    Every feature and specification matters, to obtain maximum production and output from a mini track loader. Compare the Bobcat MT100 against the Kubota SCL 1000.
  • Bobcat L28 vs. Avant 635 Small Articulated Loader Bobcat L28 Small Articulated Loader vs. Avant 635 models in head-to-head comparison

    Bobcat L28 vs. Avant 635 Small Articulated Loader

    Small articulated loaders provide impressive lifting capabilities. When looking at the Bobcat L28 compared to the Avant 635, here are some factors to consider.
  • Bobcat MT100 vs. Toro Dingo TX 1000 Bobcat MT100 Mini Track Loader vs. Toro Dingo TX 1000 models in head-to-head comparison

    Bobcat MT100 vs. Toro Dingo TX 1000

    When choosing a mini track loader, it is important to examine key features and benefits. Explore how the Bobcat MT100 stacks up against the Toro Dingo TX 1000.