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washing/cleaning bobcat.

Discussion in 'Heavy Equipment' started by rob_cook2001, Feb 22, 2010.

  1. rob_cook2001

    rob_cook2001 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,171

    How do you guys wash your skids?? I have had my machine for about a year. I wash it after every storm with a wash mitt and dawn dish soap. It cleans up well but I cant seam to get all the little grease spots off ( I must grease it to much lol). I only have a little over 300 hours and want to keep it looking good.
    Thanks guys
  2. andrewlawnrangr

    andrewlawnrangr Senior Member
    Messages: 339

    whipe all excess grease off, use salt away if you load salt with machine, and then spray it down with simple green. clean with steam pressure washer. good luck

    DGODGR Senior Member
    from s/w co
    Messages: 639

    Hand washing is, by far, the best way to keep a machine clean and looking good. Unfortunately it takes a lot of time. I used to hand wash my 416 (when it was my only tractor) and I was able to keep it looking new to about 6,000 hrs. It would take about 6 hours to wash.:dizzy: Power washing (even with a steam cleaner) would only splatter grease to some other location on the tractor (especially crappy when it's on the windows and handles). This was the case for me even when using Simple Green (or similar). What I found works best is to start with some paper towels (blue shop paper towels worked best for me) and wipe off the excess grease. I would, and recommend, removing the grease at the joints as well. Whatever is on the outside (and not on the bearings/bushings) is not serving any purpose anyway. Do not feel the need to be frugal with these paper towels as you can end up spreading grease instead of removing it. You don't have to get down to dry paint at his stage. Just remove the majority (a little film of grease is OK) as the remainder will come off at the next stage. Next, have the normal stuff required for hand washing ready. Take a terry cloth towel (like the kind you can get a Costco or Sam's Club) and dunk it in the soapy water bucket. Ring it out slightly (only so that it won't let drips run down your arm). While it is still wet soak a portion of it with your degreaser (Simple Green or Double Barrel, etc). Make sure that the towel you use is not important to anyone, because it is sacrificial. Have a hose ready because you don't want this stuff to dry on the paint (especially if you are using Double Barrel). Do a small section at a time and it is best if you can do this with the tractor in the shade. Add more degreaser to the towel as necessary. If the towel gets too dirty, blast it clean with a pressure nozzle and re-soak it with soap and degreaser. Remember that you will want to keep the portions that you have cleaned wet until you are ready to dry the whole tractor (unless you have very soft water). Use the soaked towel to spot clean the areas that have grease , or other stubborn stains. I found that dried pine sap was always the toughest. Once the spot cleaning is completed you can wash that section like normal. Sometime streaks of broken down grease will dribble down from the joints. Just wipe this off before they dry. If you don't get it before it dries, just spot clean. I found that I could usually use some Windex, on one of the blue towels, to get these little boogers without as much fuss as going back over the area. Make sure that the "degreaser" towel is used only for degreasing. Have another one for the soapy water washing. I would use (2) terry towels for drying (one in each hand). One would be damp and the other completely dry. The damp one would help with the water spots and the dry one was the final wipe. I never tried this, but it was suggested to me that I wax the tractor. I'm sure it would help keep crud from sticking but would add a lot more time and probably would'nt stand up to the degreaser on the next washing. After drying the tractor I would use touch up paint for all the scratches and dings. I don't know about other brands, but the Cat paint worked very well. It was not as good as the original but it would cover and blend well. Color match was perfect then but, now that I don't keep it up like before, the original paint has begun to fade some. I found the Double Barrel to be the most effective but was harder on the paint (if you let it dry on there) and your hands. You will need some lotion when you are done as the degreaser is not good for you skin, especially when it's on there most of the day. I used to use exam gloves but they would not always keep everything off of your hands, and they would break down after extended exposure (so have a few pairs handy). As you can imagine it was a lot of work and took some dedication. I was able to keep it up until I got to many tractors and the appearances took a back seat to regular maintenance. If you don't want to go to all that trouble the degreaser soaked rag is still the best way to get those pesky dried grease spots off of your tractor. The downside to the Bobcat is that the white paint is more prone to stains and obviously does'nt hide them well.

    DGODGR Senior Member
    from s/w co
    Messages: 639

    I forgot to mention that it's important to grease your machine after washing, either by hand or (especially) by pressure washing. This will force out any water that may have entered into the bushings.
  5. rob_cook2001

    rob_cook2001 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,171

    Thanks, that write up is great. I am going to do it tomorrow afternoon.
  6. LoneCowboy

    LoneCowboy PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,760

    You're supposed to wash it? :laughing:

    Get outta here.
  7. rob_cook2001

    rob_cook2001 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,171

    Ya I have issues. I even change my oil HAHAHA
  8. LoneCowboy

    LoneCowboy PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,760

    ohhh, oil, grease, maintenance, etc
    I'm completely anal about.

    but washing it?
    bah, that's what the rain is for.

    Although I will admit to doing the window once in a while (since after a while you just can't see).

    Thanks for reminding me to grease it though, been so crappy for so long I kinda forgot. But it took grease nicely. Back to that regular maintenance.

    Although I will admit, if i was back east where there is all the salt, I would wash it. But out here and on anything I drive it on, no salt.
  9. shooterm

    shooterm Senior Member
    from Midwest
    Messages: 260

    You guys will rip me a new one for this but try normal auto wax. You can just hand wipe the grease off with shop rag with ease. I got this from one of are really anal "catskinners" that liked to clean his dozer more then work.:p
  10. R1200R Rider

    R1200R Rider Junior Member
    Messages: 1

    When I clean my LS 180, I use Castrol Super Clean to get the grease and dirt off. If I have been loading salt, I treat the whole machine, including the engine compartment, with Salt Away. I also remove the fenders and clean out the debris that collects behind them. If you don't do this, the metal hydraulic lines get encased with salt, mulch, dirt, etc. and may corrode. After washing, the machine gets greased and lubricated and the windows get polished.

    With a clean machine, it's easier to see if something is wrong and if other people operate it, they might show it a little more respect while at the controls.
  11. Gutter Runner

    Gutter Runner Junior Member
    from MN
    Messages: 4

    I agree with this 100%. How often do you guys raise the ROPS and clean inside? About 2 weeks after I bought my JD 270 it blew a line that had been wearing on one of the drive motors. The undercarriage was full of about 6" of dirt and about 5 gallons of hydraulic fluid. That was not a fun cleanup. I still need to get in there again and degrease.