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This information applies to smaller, front-end loaders or skid steer loaders.
"Smaller" is a relative term; compact is another name for smaller loaders. Different manufacturers may rate their loaders up to 40 - 80 horsepower (or about 30 - 40 kW) as compact loaders. Some manufacturers use the term "compact loader" to mean what is usually called a skid steer loader or skid steer loader used in landscaping.
More commonly, "compact loader" refers to an articulating wheel loader; i.e., a loader that has two sections connected by a flexible joint and that can be steered by "bending" at the joint. Although many of the main safety principles for skid steer and compact front-end loaders apply to articulating wheel loaders, there are additional safety practices that relate to the operation and maintenance of articulated vehicles that are not covered in this OSH Answers document.
Before starting the engine, conduct a pre-operational check. Some workplaces may have developed a checklist or other methods. At a minimum, do a circle check and check the following before starting the engine:
Follow the manufacturer's recommendations about how often to lubricate all the "lube" points.
There are many tips in other Landscaping OSH Answers documents.
Make sure you are trained and authorized before using any machinery or mobile equipment.