Bobcat S850 Problems: A Farmer’s Experience and DIY Solutions

The Bobcat S850, a powerful and versatile machine, has gained popularity in various industries due to its impressive performance and capabilities. However, like any piece of heavy machinery, the Bobcat S850 can encounter its fair share of problems and challenges.

In this article, we will explore some common issues that operators and owners might face while using the Bobcat S850 and discuss potential solutions to keep this workhorse running smoothly.

The Bobcat S850 is a robust skid-steer loader that excels in construction, landscaping, and agricultural tasks. Its robust design and range of attachments make it a go-to choice for tackling various projects with efficiency and precision.

However, even the most well-engineered machines can experience glitches and malfunctions over time, affecting their performance and causing downtime. In the following sections, we will delve into some of the common problems that users might encounter with the Bobcat S850 and delve into strategies to address these issues effectively.

Whether you’re a seasoned operator or a new owner, understanding these challenges can contribute to maximizing the machine’s potential and extending its lifespan. Join us as we explore the ins and outs of troubleshooting the Bobcat S850.

Bobcat S850 Problems and Solutions:

The Bobcat S850 is a compact track loader designed to handle heavy loads, making it ideal for various tasks on the farm. Its high lifting capacity, comfortable cabin, and easy-to-use controls have made it a favorite among farmers and construction workers alike.

Summary of the Bobcat S850 Model: The Bobcat S850 is a robust and versatile machine, featuring a lifting capacity of up to 3,950 lbs (1,792 kg) and a vertical lift path for efficient material handling. Its powerful engine and hydraulic system allow for smooth operation even in demanding conditions.

With a spacious operator’s cabin, it offers comfort and visibility, enhancing productivity during long hours of work. However, as with any heavy machinery, it is not without its quirks. Let’s dive into some common problems and their solutions.

1. Hydraulic Hose Leaks: Problem Overview:

One of the most common issues I’ve faced with the Bobcat S850 is hydraulic hose leaks, which can lead to reduced performance and potential fluid loss.

DIY Solution: Inspect the hoses regularly for signs of wear, such as cracks or bulges. Replace damaged hoses with new ones from reputable suppliers, ensuring they are the correct size and type for your tractor.

Professional Solution: Hiring a professional mechanic or taking your Bobcat to a certified garage is essential for complex hydraulic issues. They can identify the source of the leak, fix it correctly, and ensure the entire hydraulic system is in good shape.

Costing: Hiring a professional mechanic may cost anywhere from $100 to $300, depending on the extent of the damage and the mechanic’s hourly rate.

2. Engine Overheating: Problem Overview:

Operating in hot weather or under heavy loads can sometimes cause the Bobcat S850’s engine to overheat, leading to potential engine damage if not addressed promptly.

DIY Solution: Check the coolant levels regularly and ensure they are at the recommended level. Clean the radiator and cooling fins to remove any debris that may obstruct airflow. When operating in high-temperature conditions, take breaks to give the engine time to cool down.

Professional Solution: If your tractor consistently overheats, consult a professional to inspect the cooling system thoroughly. They can diagnose the issue and recommend repairs or adjustments as needed.

Costing: Hiring a professional to diagnose and fix engine overheating issues may cost around $200 to $500, depending on the complexity of the problem.

3. Track Tension Problems: Problem Overview:

The tracks on the Bobcat S850 need proper tension to function optimally. Over time, track tension can loosen, affecting machine stability and performance.

DIY Solution: Regularly check the track tension using the manufacturer’s guidelines. Adjust the tension as needed, ensuring it’s neither too tight nor too loose. Proper track tension ensures even wear and extends the track’s lifespan.

Professional Solution: For those uncomfortable with adjusting track tension or experiencing persistent track-related issues, hiring a professional is the way to go. They can precisely adjust the tension and identify any underlying problems.

Costing: Hiring a professional to adjust track tension typically costs around $100 to $200.


Q: How often should I perform maintenance on my Bobcat S850?

A: Regular maintenance is crucial for keeping your tractor in top shape. Follow the manufacturer’s recommended maintenance schedule, which usually includes checks every 50-100 operating hours and periodic fluid changes.

Q: My Bobcat S850 is emitting black smoke from the exhaust. What could be the problem?

A: Black smoke usually indicates incomplete combustion caused by excess fuel. Check the air filter, fuel injectors, and fuel filters for clogs or issues. In severe cases, consult a professional mechanic to diagnose and fix the problem.


And there you have it, my fellow farmers and tractor enthusiasts! I hope this blog post has helped shed light on some common problems with the Bobcat S850 and its DIY and professional solutions.

Remember, maintaining your tractor regularly is the key to ensuring its longevity and peak performance.

If you’ve enjoyed reading this article, I encourage you to explore my other blog posts, where I share more real-life experiences and practical tips for tackling agricultural machinery challenges.

Feel free to drop a comment below, sharing the problems you face regularly, and what topics you’d like to see covered in my future posts.

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