View Full Version : Hand vs. Foot Controls

08-10-2010, 08:20 PM
In Ag class at school, we have a New Holland LS180 that uses the normal foot controls to carry out the boom and bucket functions.

However, I was invited last weekend to join a friend to help him and our friends clean up his recently-purchased property. His stepdad acquired an LS170 that I got the opportunity to operate several times. When I tried to dump the first load of stumps, I was surprised to find that the pedals were locked. They showed me that the wheel control levers tilted left/right to control the boom/bucket instead of the pedals.

After figuring out how to use them, I took a liking to the hand controls over the pedals, especially since I was having knee problems that day. They were also very handy when it came to backblading and grading Now, which ones do you like better and why? :beatsme

08-10-2010, 09:15 PM
I like the ISO or Cat hand controls. Your right hand controls direction and steering. The left controls the loader/bucket. These contolls take less effort to use, I think.

08-10-2010, 09:18 PM
I like the ISO or Cat hand controls. Your right hand controls direction and steering. The left controls the loader/bucket. These contolls take less effort to use, I think.

my cat controls are different than yours....left steers right loader bucket?

08-10-2010, 09:47 PM
I only have experience with Bobcats. Our A300 has pilot controls (left joystick controls movement, right controls bucket and arm movement) and I'm not a big fan of them, i find it is a lot harder to do fine grading and small movements with pilot controls. Our T300 has sticks and foot pedals. I find its a lot easier to do grading with these controls because you can feel the resistance on the pedals and sticks. With pilot controls it's all electronics. I could also be because i ran Bobcats with foot pedals for 10 years before we got a machine with joysticks so i have a lot more experience with foot pedals.

08-10-2010, 10:02 PM
I think hand controls are for sure better than foot controls (personal opinion being what it is). I think the CASE pattern (or H pattern) is by far the best pattern for a skid steer. Separating the drive between the two controls makes it more precise I think.

08-11-2010, 05:02 AM
I used Case controls for a few years, then went to Komatsu. It has a changeover valve so you can run Case or Cat config. I thought I'd have to change that over to Case when I got it. But after not too many funky moves (mainly trying to turn & crowding the bucket out instead & digging in) I got the hang of it & now wouldn't have it any other way. Being tall, foot controls suck!

Also the Komatsu controls are pretty good with no lag. Some electric over hydraulics I've operated before are woefull!

Plus I'm with Grandpa, ISO controls are left hand for drive, right hand for bucket. Cheers

08-11-2010, 01:21 PM
After running Bobcats with hand/foot controls for 25 years.....it ain't pretty when I get into a machine with something different.
The worst ever was a JD crawler loader, it had foot steering. I spent about 30 seconds on that before bailing off.


08-11-2010, 01:57 PM
I like Bobcat's ACS hand controls you still have the resistance on the sticks but everything is done with the hands. No sore knees.

08-11-2010, 02:58 PM
I think the "Cat" style controls are the best I hate the old school Bobcat and Case controls. I just wish the bigger track loaders had that option like the 953's and such.

08-12-2010, 11:01 AM
I think joystick control is better. It is easy and comfortable.

08-12-2010, 11:33 AM
Sorry, I got mixed up on wich hand was which. You guys are right.

08-12-2010, 12:18 PM
Always had machines with hand/foot control. However, recently added a Deere 326d with EH controls (hand) and hope to have all our machines that way soon. Smooth, easy to use and as far as feeling, I always figured it's in your butt not feet when running machines.

08-12-2010, 01:48 PM
Hand pilot controls is the way to go if you have to run a machine for hours on end. If its a rental and your not the operator hand and foot controls are cheap and very accurate but they are harder on the operator . My machine has ISO drive and bucket controls and the AUX has a foot pedel for optional attachemnts

08-12-2010, 06:08 PM
I must be falling behind on skid news, I didn't know there was such thing as joystick controls for them too. :dizzy Hopefully I'll get to try them within a few years, most skids around here are Bobcat or NH with the older hand lever or pedal controls. Thanks for the opinions! It's been great hearing what everyone thinks.

08-12-2010, 09:28 PM
I like the ISO or Cat hand controls. Your right hand controls direction and steering. The left controls the loader/bucket. These contolls take less effort to use, I think.

After owning/operating a Case 455c track loader for years, I could never get the hang of both hands steering while using feet for bucket control.
I have been on a job for some time now where I have clocked up around 400hrs on a Cat 226. The ISO controls were very easy for me to get used to and I am very impressed with the Cat for power and smoothness of operation, although compared to a track loader it is very unstable.
Last weekend I had to use a Toyota SDK4 and severely embarrassed myself as I could not undo what was now second nature to me and had to consciously stop and think about every move I made. Holding two joysticks that do the opposite of what you are expecting is a horrible experience.

08-13-2010, 02:09 AM
I used to thing that foot and hand levers were the only way to go untill i got my excavator. After you get used to doing everything with you hands you take more of a likeing to the pilot controls. I have 2 NH skid steers. 185 pilot with VTS tracks and a 180 hand/foot wheeled. I find myself more and more using the 185 skid to get some work done.

08-13-2010, 04:12 AM
I think it's really what ever you're used to. Some guys swear by foot pedals, others joysticks...

I'm partial to joysticks myself.

08-14-2010, 02:16 PM
Hand controls only for this boy.

08-14-2010, 02:44 PM
Pilot/Joystick is the only thing i will buy, work is hard enough without fighting against the machine just for "feel" :rolleyes:

Me and my guys have no problem grading or precision work with pilot controlls.....maybe it's just the operator tho ;)


08-14-2010, 05:58 PM
ISO Joysticks are the ONLY thing I can operate both on skid steer and excavator. I am glad that the industry is now starting to standardize control layouts. While I have seen other operators jump out of one machine and operate another that had completely differently oriented controls:notworthy, it is something I have never managed to do successfully.:spaz