Can You Convert Bobcat Standard Controls to Joystick?

can you convert bobcat standard controls to joystick
can you convert bobcat standard controls to joystick

Skid steers are one of the most versatile and compact construction and landscaping equipment that helps with digging. The skid steers are extremely lightweight and the arms can be connected to different attachments for different landscaping and construction jobs.

Bobcat is one of the most popular brands with a wide range of skid steers and is known for standard controls. However, many people still prefer a traditional joystick. For this reason, it’s important to discuss the possibility of converting the standard controls into a joystick.

Can You Convert Bobcat Standard Controls To Joystick?

The answer is both yes and no. This is because the conversion from standard controls to joystick completely depends on the Bobcat model you own.

Usually, the older skid steers are challenging to convert but the skid steers with electric controls can be easily converted from standard controls to joystick.

It is recommended to read the manual or contact customer support to be certain about the model, the control system (manual or electric), and if the conversion is possible.

In case your skid steer has pilot-based controls and operates on oil, it won’t be possible to convert the control system. Usually, the landscapers and construction workers are accustomed to using a joystick, which is why they have a hard time using the standard controls.

For this reason, it’s recommended that you purchase the joystick-based skid steers as the recent Bobcat models have exceptional joystick designs. This is because even if you convert to a joystick from standard controls, the maintenance will be challenging and expensive.

Benefits Of Shifting To Joystick Controls

Using a skid steer with the preferred control system can directly impact productivity. For this reason, the manufacturers have been offering various hydraulic control systems.

For instance, the compact loaders have had hand and foot controls but joystick controls are equally popular. The joystick promises low-stress levels in operators and adjustable settings.

The joystick control allows the operators/drivers to shift between H-pattern and ISO pattern, which maximizes the productivity and comfort level.

In addition, it allows various attachments, such as tree spade, planer, and trencher, which can be operated and activated with hands. Joystick control also allows adjustable responses for operating in specific terrains.

  1. Customization


If your skid steer is designed with the speed management system, a joystick will also help you adjust the travel speed without changing the engine speed – it helps achieve optimal speed and setting for the specific attachment you are using with the skid steer.

For instance, with the side-shifted attachments, the skid steers deliver steering drift compensation, which helps maintain the travel path in reverse as well as forward directions.

Joystick control allows the operators to adjust the drive torque, so you can perform different functions on uneven terrains without having to change the path too much.

In simpler words, the control and customization of joystick control are exceptional and cannot be achieved through standard controls. It can control the attachments pretty comfortably and easily.

Joystick controls promise convenient management of horsepower and speed. In addition, the control pattern is very selective and provides steering drift compensation.

Overall, the controlling and skid steer’s management will be effortless as hand and wrist movements are minimal, so you can operate the skid steers for a longer time.

  1. Effortless Alignment & Response

The joystick controls are usually integrated with thumbwheel shifting control to deliver convenience. This is because it can automatically align with the articulation angle during the vehicle startup and has an articulation capability.

In addition, the skid steer with a joystick control delivers an active force system that promises maximum accuracy of the controls.

Joystick controls are low-effort systems that promise smooth and instant control response, leading to maximum control and top-notch comfort.

It’s safe to say that joystick control promises a hand-to-power control ratio, which promises an amazing feel. It’s controlled by a hydraulic system and you can switch between the foot pedals and hand actuators.

  1. Less Need For Maintenance

Less Need For Maintenance

The best thing about using joystick controls is that it’s sealed, which eliminates the need for servicing and maintenance as there is no need for greasing. In fact, the electronic joysticks promise a low-effort control, with which the hand and wrist movements are made comfortable to perform the routine functions easily.

Functions Of Joystick Controls

Functions Of Joystick Controls

The joystick controls provide skid steers and loaders access to multiple functions that deliver accuracy and productivity. The loaders integrated with joystick controls help with the adjustment of the drive system to ensure maximum digging and pushing power.

In addition, it maneuvers the vehicle at a slow speed to ensure precise attachment without much effort. The operator can adjust the responsiveness of the steering system and drive while operators can set the throttle positions.

With the ISO joystick, the left controls are responsible for driving functions and the right controls are responsible for tilt and lift functions.

On the other hand, the H-pattern joystick helps with backward and forward movement – the left controls help with left-side drive but the side-to-side movement can help with the movement controls.

To Conclude

It is possible to convert from standard controls to a joystick system as long as the skid steers are designed with electric controls.

However, if you are using a skid steer with hand and foot control or have pilot-based controls, the conversion won’t be possible.

It is recommended that you purchase a new loader with joystick control to have a seamless experience, particularly when you have a budget because the converted skid steers need regular maintenance and servicing.

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