Bobcats may be best known for their skid-steer mechanism, but it is possible to hire ones with all-wheel steering systems instead. If you need a bobcat for a landscaping project, then an all-wheel model may be better. Why?
What's the Difference Between Skid Steer and All-Wheel Bobcats?
Skid-steer bobcats don't have traditional steering. When you operate this kind of bobcat, you turn the wheels on each side of the machine at different speeds to make it change position.
These wheels are locked in pairs; the speed you apply to each side dictates how the bobcat turns. Rather than running smoothly over the ground, the bobcat drags its wheels along in skid-like movements, hence the name.
Bobcats with all-wheel steering work differently. All the wheels turn independently on these models, so the steering and movement are more normal. The bobcat runs over the ground rather than skidding itself along.
Why Use an All-Wheel Bobcat on a Landscaping Job?
While skid-steer bobcats are great when you don't have a lot of room to play with and need to make tight turns, they aren't always the best option for some landscaping projects. The way that these machines skid across the ground can tear up turf pretty quickly.
This might be great if you're looking to dig up turf as part of the job. It's not good if you need to leave it intact. Just driving this kind of bobcat across a lawn can do significant damage to grass that you'd then have to fix.
Skid-steer bobcats also damage some paving. For example, if you've got decorated paving and drive a skid-steer bobcat across it, the skids may leave dark tyre marks on the surface.
These drag marks can be hard to get off. In some cases, the bobcat may also damage the decoration pattern on the paving. This is not likely to impress your customer and, again, you may end up having to fix the damage.
An all-wheel bobcat doesn't have these problems. You still need to be careful when you drive across a lawn — this is a heavy machine — but it won't cut up grass. Its wheels are running on the surface rather than being dragged across it.
So if you're doing landscaping work where you need to be careful, then an all-wheel bobcat may be the best option. If the tight manoeuvring capabilities of skid-steering would be useful, then you might be able to hire a model that combines both types of steering. To find out more, talk to your bobcat hire company.