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Understanding the Five Drive Modes of Bobcat Telehandlers

Published on September 20, 2023

Bobcat® telehandlers are ideal for jobs where you need the capability to carry more, lift higher and reach farther than other material-handling machines. Even with this specialization, telehandlers offer extreme versatility, especially in their five different drive modes.  

In this article, get details on the five different drive modes that come standard on the entire lineup of Bobcat telehandlers. Use this information to improve the efficiency of your work and take full advantage of your machine’s power. 

Eco Mode 

Simply put, Eco Mode helps you improve fuel efficiency without sacrificing power. It allows you to maintain hydraulic performance while working at a lower engine rpm. This means less noise and less fuel use while you’re doing tasks that rely on hydraulics.  

You can easily toggle on or off Eco Mode from the control panel within the cab.  

Smooth Drive Mode 

Smooth Drive Mode is specifically designed to maneuver across jobsites while carrying loads. It offers mild acceleration and deceleration, focusing on travel stability. This mode is ideal for operators who are doing lots of material carrying tasks. 

Dynamic Drive Mode 

As a companion to Smooth Drive Mode, Dynamic Drive Mode allows operators to rapidly switch the responsiveness of the machine’s acceleration and deceleration. Ideal for quick loading and carrying tasks, this mode takes full advantage of the high productivity of Bobcat telehandlers.  

Flex Drive Mode 

Flex Drive Mode brings operators a new level of control and customization. Use the engine speed level in the cab to manage travel speed independently of engine speed. This allows for added precision and efficiency. For example, if you’re doing tasks in a small area, you may want a slower, more controlled travel speed to use your power for lifting or hauling. Similarly, if you’re doing a job that requires a constant slow speed, you can get a better level of control. On the other hand, if you’re moving across greater distances, it may be better to use all your travel speed. 

Advanced Attachment Control Mode 

Just as the previous mode allows for precision in travel, Advanced Attachment Control brings that level of control to the use of telehandler attachments. When engaged, you can control the engine and travel speeds independently. Set the drive speed in increments from 1 to 99 to get the ideal movement and control for your attachment and task. You can increase engine rpm with the engine speed lever and maximize productivity. This is especially useful with tasks that require slow, consistent travel speeds, such as grading or snow removal.  

Mix and Match for Maximum Efficiency

The beauty of having all these drive modes is learning to use them to your advantage. As you gain experience, you’ll learn the nuances of each.  

If you ever have questions about the operating features on your machine, contact your local Bobcat dealer. Dealers can offer information, resources, training videos and much more.