Latest in Skid Steer Loader Safety: Protecting You and Your Farm

by New member BarnCat on ‎05-27-2016 11:30 AM

blog-border-image.jpgSafety is especially important on the farm or ranch, as it not only protects your livestock, but also your machine operators and family. Equipment damage and accidents can mean potential injury, reduced production, decreased performance and lost revenue. In agriculture, four factors are particularly important to consider regarding skid steer loader safety: visibility, the exhaust system, emergency and everyday operation safety features.


1. Enhanced Visibility Is Essential on the Farm

Today’s advanced skid steer loaders are equipped with visibility enhancing features that help prevent injury to nearby workers and livestock. They also help minimize damage to buildings, fences, pens and the machine itself. Some of these include:

  • Narrow lift arms that reduce blind spots.
  • Window surfaces that extend all the way to the floor of the cab, allowing you to see clearly out of both sides of the machine. They also provide a clear view of the machine’s wheels and surrounding terrain.
  • Rearview mirrors that provide a panoramic view of the rear and sides of the machine.
  • Rearview cameras that allow operators to be fully aware of their 360-degree surroundings without having to turn their head.

2. Exhaust Systems Designed for Accident and Injury Prevention 

Many older model skid steer loaders and several current makes are equipped with exhaust systems that direct exhaust to exit out of the machine from the side and rear. It is easy to imagine the injury and damage this can cause, as these extremely hot exhaust fumes can harm people or livestock standing near the machine. They can also ignite airborne debris such as hay, bedding, feed and silage.


With the close working quarters on today’s farms, it is important to find a skid steer loader with an exhaust system that cools the engine exhaust gas and directs it up and away from ground level. All air flow should exit the machine vertically exit the machine vertically rather than to the side or rear to avoid disturbing or harming people or animals.


3. Safety Features to Protect the Operator in the Event of an Emergency

In the event of an unexpected engine shut down, it is important to have more than one method of lowering the lift arms so the operator can safely exit the machine. Hydraulic accumulators can allow the operator to lower the loader arms if electrical power is available and the accumulator is charged. If the accumulator is not charged or if there is no electrical power, a dead engine lower valve allows the operator to manually lower the arms so the operator can safely exit.


4. Improving Safety During Everyday Operations

On today’s advanced skid steer loaders, safety features activate before the engine is even turned on—starting with the operator presence system, which requires the operator to be in the machine with the arm bars lowered before the engine will start. Once the engine is started, the parking brake will remain set and the hydraulic system locked out until you depress a switch to activate the machine. Additionally, a spring-applied hydraulic release parking brake will engage and lock the hydraulics out automatically when the arm bars are raised or when the engine is not running.


Fully sealed and pressurized cabs equipped with an air filtration system can help minimize inhalation of contaminants and dust that mix in with the air during everyday operations. These cabs are also quieter, which allows operators to focus on the tasks at hand and reduces their fatigue at the end of a long day.


Bottom line: Skid steer loaders should always be equipped with proper safety features to ensure operator and machine safety. This is why it’s a good idea to research the latest safety guidelines, procedures and feature advancements when spec’ing or purchasing a new machine.


To learn more about safety on the farm or ranch and the latest safety features available on today’s advanced skid steer loaders visit Cat Resource Center or contact your local Cat® dealer.


We’d like to hear more about how you manage skid steer loader safety on the farm or ranch.  

  • Do you currently own or operate a skid steer loader? If so, which safety features on your current machine(s) do you find especially important?
  • Are you considering purchasing a skid steer loader? If so, which safety features are most essential for your operation?
  • Have you ever brought in an equipment dealer or manufacturer to provide safety training?
  • Do you find safety training videos helpful?
  • Do you have a preference on video length? 15 minutes? 30 minutes? 60 minutes?
  • Would you be interested in online safety training for your employees?
  • How can Caterpillar help you operate more safely?

by Dominic S
on ‎05-28-2016 07:46 AM

Was looking for someone's option on the backhoe attachment for my brand new 259D ?

by New member BarnCat
on ‎06-01-2016 11:17 PM



Thanks for the question! Cat offers a couple different backhoe attachments for your 259D! Below is the link to our attachment webpage. If you have any other questions, please let me know or contact your local Cat dealer!

by Visitor shravi12
on ‎03-16-2018 02:20 AM


About the Author
  • I’m an Attachments Product Application & Sales Support Specialist for Caterpillar in North America. I have been with Caterpillar for five years including roles in the field as a dealer sales support representative and marketing support in the skid steer and small wheel loader product groups. I graduated from Iowa State University with degrees in Agricultural Business and Economics. Our goal is to provide a full portfolio of attachments for our customers to be more productive and versatile with their machines.
  • I am an Industry and Application Rep for Caterpillar. I graduated from NC State with a dual degree in Agriculture Business Management and Agriculture Science, concentrating in Leadership and Environmental Technologies. I focus primarily on the relationships between customers, dealers, and the product specialists for the Building Construction Products division. Growing up on a tobacco and beef cattle farm, I have several years of machine operation experience and agricultural knowledge. Thomas Jefferson said it best in that, "Agriculture is our wisest pursuit, because it will in the end contribute most to real wealth, good morals, and happiness."
  • My passion is in storytelling and thought leadership, helping people connect with the brands they love and helping brands connect with their audiences. At Caterpillar, I get to work with a variety of industries and customer solutions, supporting our customers who are making huge impacts in our world every day. It's not just about the yellow iron - it's about understanding the problems our customers face, and being a part of the total solution.
  • I’m a Compact Wheel Loader Product Application Specialist for Caterpillar in North America. I have 11 years of experience, including roles in the field as a dealer technical support representative, and as a distributor business model consultant.  I graduated from North Carolina State University with a Mechanical Engineering Degree, and wanted a job where I didn't have to sit in front of a computer all day.  This job allows me to get out and get my hands dirty, with the goal of providing solutions to customers’ machine needs.
  • I am a Marketing Communications Specialist for Caterpillar with over twelve years of experience marketing the Cat brand to customers in Latin and North America. My goal is to arm customers with the information needed to make well informed purchase decisions; to maximize the value of Cat machines by using an array of Cat Work Tool attachments; and to minimize the total cost of ownership by using Cat parts and Cat Dealer service.
  • I am an expert Operator and Application Specialist for Caterpillar concentrating on products used in the construction trades industry. I operate, evaluate and train on Cat machines and Work Tool Attachments worldwide. I have a Degree in Agricultural Engineering, Craftsman Certified and was named Apprentice of the Year 1981 at the University of East Anglia, UK.
  • I am the National Association Manager for Caterpillar and have responsibility for customer associations and partnerships in multiple industries for Caterpillar. I have 12 years of experience at Caterpillar, and have spent most of those years in the field with dealers and customers around North America. I have always had a passion for equipment and find myself fortunate to be able to work with dealers and customers almost every day.
  • I am a Product Application Specialist with 16 years of experience in the industry. As a Building Construction Products Global Trainer, I focus on training dealers and customers on machines, attachments and applications as it relates to the construction, agriculture and landscaping segments.
  • I have been with Caterpillar for more than eight years, working in various roles including a materials engineer, a filters product manager and my current position as a parts consultant. My job allows me the opportunity to work with Cat dealers and customers providing insight on how the use of quality filters and fluids results in better equipment performance and lower owning and operating costs.
  • I am a marketing and sales support professional for Caterpillar. In this role, I work with our marketing and customer service teams to support or dealers and customers, concentrating on our Small Wheel Loader, Skid Steer Loader, Mini Excavator and Dozer product groups. The exchange of ideas, information and opinions about equipment and how it’s used in various industries on forums such as this blog helps me fulfill my role at Caterpillar to the best of my ability.
  • I am the commercial/market consulting expert for all Caterpillar tires and rims with 14 years of experience. I provide guidance in the harsher work environments of mining and industrial/waste applications. Our goal is to turn our dealers and customers into knowledgeable and trusted resources with respect to tires and rims. Our group offers training, technical support and resources to develop a level of expertise within the Caterpillar value stream that is ordinarily reserved for tire companies and local tire service providers. Ultimately, we want to provide our customers with a total Cat solution from the ground up.
  • I am a Sales Support Manager for Cat Financial and have responsibility for ensuring that the right financial products are available to Cat customers who purchase, lease or rent to own. 8 of my 10 years with Caterpillar Financial have allowed customer and/or dealer interaction as part of my daily responsibilities including over 3.5 years as a Territory Manager. I take personal satisfaction in finding financial solutions that work for our customers and CAT dealers.
  • I’m a Telehandler Product Application Specialist for Caterpillar in North and South America. I have 13 years of experience, including roles in the field as a dealer service operations and technical support representative, and as a distributor business model consultant. My telehandler passion and focus is working with dealers and customers to maximize the versatility of the product through machine and operator training.
  • I am a Product and Application Specialist with over 35 years experience at Caterpillar. I focus on helping you to determine the best Cat machines, work tool attachments, and services for you to use in the building and general construction, landscaping, specialty trades, and agricultural industries.
  • I am a Senior Regional Insurance Marketing Manager with 16 years’ experience at Caterpillar Financial Insurance Services. I have the opportunity to work with 18 North American dealers providing risk management products and services that helps the Caterpillar Enterprise ( Caterpillar, Dealers and Customers) manage their business risk. Caterpillar Financial Insurance Services offers Extended Protection Plans for machines and engines, Physical Damage Insurance, Inventory Protection Plans, Dealer Property and Casualty, Risk Management, Marine Transit Insurance and Dealer Bonds.
  • Jeff Brown is a marketing professional for Caterpillar Skid Steer, Multi Terrain and Compact Track Loaders. Over Jeff's 12 years in the industry, he has visited with and studied the needs of customers across landscaping, construction, and agriculture segments. Delivering innovative solutions that solve customer's problems is Jeff's main focus.
  • I am a North American Product and Application Specialist for Caterpillar. In this role, I have had the opportunity to represent Caterpillar at various trade shows and train customers on new Small Wheel Loader content. I graduated from Purdue University in 2001 with a Mechanical Engineering degree and have spent the past 15 years with Caterpillar in various engineering roles. Growing up in the Mid-West, I have always loved the cold and the unique activities winter enables. Unfortunately, I had to give those up when I moved to North Carolina. I don't care what people say, you never get used to a hot climate.
  • I am a Filter and Fluid Marketing Consultant with over 14 years experience working at Caterpillar. My focus is to ensure customers understand the importance of using superior filtration and lubrication products in their equipment.
  • I am a Sales Support Manager with over nine years of experience in a variety of roles with Caterpillar Financial Services Corporation. Throughout my career, I have had the opportunity to gain experience in matching financial products and tailoring funding strategies to the specific needs of customers. This includes more than three years as a Territory Manager in Seattle partnered with N C Machinery, an authorized Cat dealer covering the states of Washington and Alaska.

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