What to Look For When Renting a Bobcat

Doing your own earthmoving for a new landscaping feature or the installation of a pool doesn't always mean having to hire someone to get this work done for you; homeowners can actually rent or hire a bobcat and use it for digging, tree removal, and the like. Most bobcats that are rented to homeowners will have simple controls that you can figure out quite quickly and are small enough to fit onto a residential property without causing damage. When you are looking to rent a bobcat, note a few things to consider and discuss with the rental agency so you know you get the right type and can manage its operation properly.

Note if the bobcat will dig through your soil

If you haven't had the soil tested before renting a bobcat, it's probably a good idea to do this. A soil test means checking the condition of the soil under the topsoil; if it's very rocky or even solid rock, a bobcat probably won't be able to dig through it. You may need to rent a rock crusher of sorts. Also, if the soil is overly moist and wet, it may simply leak out the bucket of the bobcat and you won't be able to complete your dig; a hydrovac, which actually vacuums the soil and all that moisture, may be needed.

Check the arm reach

A bobcat for use by homeowners needs to be very compact so it can easily fit on a residential yard, but this might also mean that the arms of the unit won't reach far enough to dig the pit you need. Note the arm reach for a bobcat and the depth of a pit it can dig, but remember too that this means the arms may be extended that far overhead when you move the bobcat to dump a load. In turn, you need to be extra cautious about overhead wires and tree branches.

Get a bobcat with a cage

A cage around the cab of the bobcat can keep you protected from debris falling back into the cab, and from falling out if the bobcat should tip. This can be very important for homeowners who are not accustomed to operating a bobcat; it may be more expensive to choose a unit with a cage, but it can also mean added safety during its operation. Consider that the cost of a hospital bill can far outweigh the cost of a bobcat with a protective cage, and invest in this added protection for yourself.