How to Operate a Mini Excavator - Bobcat E50 September 23 2016, 0 Comments

How to Operate a Bobcat Excavator 

Many of you watching this probably aren't experienced operators but thats okay. It's never to late to start learning a skill that'll pay off. Operating a machine takes some practice and at first look it may seem confusing with all the switches and levers.

Its important to realize the basics behind any machine or heavy equipment pretty much revolve around controlling hydraulic cylinders that move one component or another. At one time these components were mechanically driven and some parts of a machine still can be but for the most part your looking at a diesel engine and hydraulic pressure so its a good idea to get familiar with both. 

While you don't necessarily need to be a diesel mechanical to operate rate or know how to work on the equipment it helps to have an idea of how it all works together.

Learning the Controls

The way controls function depend on the Brand of Excavator and different machines may allow for you to change the settings of the controls. In this video the Guys over at Dirt Ninja show you how to operate a Bobcat E50 Excavator. 

If you just purchase a Bobcat Excavator and want to make operating it really simple check out an Excavator Thumb Attachment from It'll make things a lot easier.

First thing is to make sure the Safety lever to the left near the door of the cab must be down to operate any controls.

Center Levers or Foot Controls - Operate the Tracks of the machine , pushing forward will move you toward the blade of the machine.

Fare Right Lever - Moves the Blade Up and Down

Most machines offer control pattern options. To switch between control patters look under the seat ( this depends on the machine but most have a switch or valve to set pattern)

ISO Control Patterns 

Left Control - Rotates Machine Left and Right (Move Stick Left for Left Right for Right)

Left Control - Moves arm Up and Down ( Forward for Down,Pull Back for Up)

Right Control - Operates Stick of Machine ( Forward extends the Stick out, Pulling back brings the stick in toward the machine)

Right Control - Moves the Bucket ( Push left to curl bucket in, push right to extend bucket out) 

Standard Control Pattern 

Left Control - Rotates Machine Left and Right (Move Stick Left for Left Right for Right)

Left Control - Moves stick of machine ( Forward extends the stick out, backward pulls stick in)

Right Control - Moves Arm Up and Down ( Push forward arm goes down, pull backward arm goes up)

Right Control - Moves the Bucket ( Push left to curl bucket in, push right to extend bucket out) 

To move the entire BOOM( The entire arm of the machine) Left or right there may be a toggle switch on the floor or one of the control sticks. 

While operating a Mini Excavator isn't rocket since it can be difficult at first and like anything practice makes all the difference. One thing I can't stress enough is take your time and be safe. Always keep in mind that there are people and things around that you can damage. 

Hope this video helps get you on your way to becoming an experience operator and feel free to drop an questions or comments below.