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What to Remember When Planning on Renting a Bobcat for Home Use

A bobcat can be a great piece of equipment to have when you need to do any type of digging, removing landscaping features, and the like. Rather than trying to manage all this manually, a bobcat can make it quicker and easier for you, and many home improvement stores have small bobcats for rent that are meant for residential use. When you are ready to rent this type of equipment, note a few things to remember and check with the rental agency first.

Ask how it needs to be returned

This refers to the condition of the bobcat after you're done using it. Like a rental truck, the agency may require you to refuel it completely before you return it. You might also be required to wash it down, at least with a garden hose. Mud, sand, and other debris might mean losing your deposit on the equipment. Be sure you understand this before renting.

Note how to operate the bucket

Operating a bobcat means more than just steering it and lifting the arms attached to the bucket. Usually the bucket itself tilts up and down so you can easily unload the dirt or other debris inside. It's good to understand how to control the bucket; a common mistake homeowners make is forgetting that the bucket tilts, and having it turn up or down while the arms are extended. This can make a mess of what you're digging up and also be very dangerous, if the dirt or other items were to spill backwards toward the cab. Be sure you understand all details of operating the bobcat, not just steering and lifting the arms.

Note that it may have more than a bucket available

Bobcats are often rented for digging and moving things like logs or fallen trees, but some will have attachments that do much more. You might opt for a bulldozer plate to make it easier to push fallen trees out of the way, to move walls of dirt on your property, or to even collapse a retaining wall you want to remove. Brush cutters might attach to the front and easily cut through thick brush and vegetation, like a heavy-duty mower. Trenchers make quick work of creating long trenches for planting, underground sprinklers, and the like. Discuss your job with the bobcat rental agency and note if they have suggestions for better attachments that might make the work easier for you.