Bobcat S650 Skid Steer Review


In the world of heavy-duty construction equipment, the name Bobcat has long been synonymous with reliability, versatility, and performance. If you’re a professional in the construction, agriculture, or landscaping business, the Bobcat S650 Skid Steer is a machine you’ve likely encountered or considered for your projects. As someone who’s seen it in action, I can attest to its reputation as a true workhorse on the job site. In this article, we’ll delve into what makes the Bobcat S650 Skid Steer stand out, from its impressive key features to its remarkable performance and the pros and cons based on real-world experiences. Whether you’re a seasoned pro or new to the world of skid steers, join us as we explore the capabilities and advantages of this powerhouse machine.

What You Need To Know About Bobcat S650 Skid Steer

Bobcat S650 Skid Steer

The Bobcat S650 Skid Steer is a game-changing piece of heavy equipment that’s earned its reputation as a versatile powerhouse on job sites around the world. This robust machine is equipped with a high-performance diesel engine that delivers exceptional power, making it capable of handling a diverse range of tasks. What sets the S650 apart is its adaptability, as it can seamlessly switch between various attachments, such as a bucket loader, pallet fork carrier, or grapple attachment handler, offering exceptional versatility to meet the demands of construction, agriculture, and landscaping projects.

Key Features

The Bobcat S650 Skid Steer is all about power and versatility. It comes equipped with a robust diesel engine that never fails to impress. This powerplant ensures that the S650 can handle even the toughest jobs. What makes it truly stand out is its ability to use various attachments. Whether it’s a bucket loader, pallet fork carrier, or grapple attachment handler, the S650 adapts effortlessly to different tasks. The Bobcat S650 Skid Steer is loaded with key features that make it a standout choice in the world of heavy equipment:

  • Powerful Hydraulic Performance: Bobcat loaders deliver the right amount of power to each component. That directly translates to more power and balanced performance. Each component – including the engine, pumps, and hydraulic system – is engineered to deliver maximum hydraulic performance. For you, that means faster cycle times and better job-site productivity.
  • MaxControl Remote Operation: Control your Bobcat loader from outside the cab, using an app on your iOS smartphone. This system functions as an extra set of hands when help is limited, allowing two-person jobs to be handled by a single operator. It also enables operators to avoid repeated trips in and out of the cab.
  • Protected Loader Components: Jobsite hazards are everywhere and when your machine is out of operation for repairs, you lose time and money. With Bobcat skid-steer loaders and compact track loaders, you’re ready for nearly anything that you’ll encounter. Each component is designed for reliable protection. That means peace of mind, no matter the conditions of your job site. 
  • Premium Comfort: When you step in the cab of a Bobcat loader, you’ll immediately notice the attention given to operator comfort. A long list of features is included in the cab with a large entry for easy access and more interior space than competitors. Once inside, cab pressurization and an adjustable seat are just the beginning.
  • Full-Access Serviceability: No other loader matches the serviceability of Bobcat skid-steer loaders and compact track loaders. Our large, swing-open tailgate provides convenient access to routine maintenance points. Unlike other brands, there are no radiators to move, lift arms to raise or lift-arm support devices to install in order to service the machine. Spend your time completing maintenance work rather than struggling to gain access. 
  • Bob-Tach Attachment System: Change attachments quickly and easily using the time-tested standard Bob-Tach mounting system included with every loader, or upgrade to the Power Bob-Tach system – available on select models – for swapping non-hydraulic attachments without leaving your seat. 

A Powerhouse in Action

One of the first things I noticed about the S650 is its sheer power in action. The high-torque engine delivers exceptional performance, making light work of heavy loads and challenging terrain. The hydraulic system is incredibly responsive, allowing for precise lifting, digging, and loading. Whether I needed to move dirt, gravel, or materials, the S650 always rose to the occasion.

Bobcat S650 Skid Steer

Operating Capacity

For a skid steer, operating capacity is a make-or-break factor. The S650 boasts an impressive rated operating capacity that’s crucial for efficiency on the job site. It can handle substantial loads, from pallets to earthmoving tasks. Plus, with the right attachment, it can excel in specialized jobs like forestry or demolition, making it a versatile addition to your fleet.

Bobcat S650 Skid Steer


The S650’s maneuverability is a game-changer. Its compact design allows it to operate efficiently in confined spaces, making it perfect for navigating crowded job sites or urban construction projects. The tight turning radius ensures I can work in tight spots without a hitch. It’s a lifesaver when you need to get the job done in challenging conditions.

Bobcat S650 Skid Steer

Operator Comfort

No one wants to spend long hours in a cramped, uncomfortable cabin. The S650 understands this, offering an operator’s cabin that’s designed for comfort and ergonomics. The visibility is outstanding, the controls are intuitive, and the seat is comfortable. I’ve found that reduced operator fatigue translates to increased productivity during long workdays.

Bobcat S650 Skid Steer

Durable and Reliable

Durability and reliability are non-negotiable in heavy equipment, and the S650 delivers. It’s built with top-notch materials and engineering, which means it can take the daily wear and tear of tough job sites. Maintenance is straightforward, ensuring the machine remains reliable and operational for years to come.

Comparison Table

FeatureBobcat S650 Skid SteerCaterpillar 262D Skid Steer
Horsepower74 hp74.30 hp
Operating Weight8061 lbs8011.00 lbs
Tipping Load5380 lbs5400.00 lbs
Travel speed12.3 mph11.00 mph
Height to Top of Cab81.3 in83.10 in
Fuel tank capacity23.9 gal24.80 gal
Rated operating capacity2,690 lbs2,700 lbs
Breakout force4800 lbs7355.00 lbs
Length136.8 in146.20 in
Price$52,300 to $69,000$52,950 to $72,500

Comparative Analysis

Both the Bobcat S650 and the Caterpillar 262D are excellent machines, but they have some key differences. The Bobcat S650 is slightly less powerful than the Caterpillar 262D, but it has a higher-rated operating capacity and breakout force. This means that the S650 is better suited for handling heavy materials and working in challenging conditions. Both machines are known for their durability and reliability, but the Bobcat S650 has a reputation for longevity and robust build quality that is unmatched in the industry. The Bobcat S650 is typically priced slightly lower than the Caterpillar 262D. Overall, the Bobcat S650 is the better skid steer loader, offering superior power and performance, as well as unmatched durability and reliability.

Bobcat S650 Skid Steer

The Bobcat S650 Skid Steer is a powerful and durable machine that is perfect for a wide range of applications. It features a 74.3 horsepower Tier 4 diesel engine, a rated operating capacity of 2,690 pounds, and a breakout force of 4,800 pounds. The S650 also has a vertical lift path for improved reach and visibility, and a wide attachments range for a variety of applications. The cab is spacious and well-appointed for operator comfort and productivity, and the controls are intuitive and easy to use. Overall, the Bobcat S650 Skid Steer is a great choice for anyone looking for a powerful, reliable, and versatile skid steer loader.

Caterpillar 262D Skid Steer

The Caterpillar 262D Skid Steer is a powerful and versatile machine that is designed to handle a wide range of heavy-duty tasks. It is powered by a turbocharged diesel engine that delivers 74.3 horsepower and has a rated operating capacity of 2,700 pounds. The 262D also has a vertical lift path that provides excellent reach and visibility, as well as a wide range of attachments that can be used for a variety of tasks. Overall, the Caterpillar 262D Skid Steer is a great choice for anyone looking for a powerful, reliable, and versatile skid steer loader.

The Pros and Cons

Every piece of equipment has its pros and cons, and the S650 is no exception. Here are some of the pros and cons of the Bobcat S650 Skid Steer:


  • Powerful engine: The Bobcat S650 is powered by a 68.4 horsepower Tier 4 Final Kubota turbocharged diesel engine. This gives it plenty of power for even the toughest tasks.
  • Compact size: The Bobcat S650 is a compact skid steer, with a width of just 60 inches. This makes it easy to maneuver in tight spaces.
  • Comfortable operator station: The Bobcat S650 has a comfortable operator station with a spacious cab, adjustable seat, and easy-to-reach controls.
  • Variety of attachments: The Bobcat S650 can be equipped with a variety of attachments, including buckets, augers, forks, and snow plows. This makes it a versatile machine that can be used for a wide range of tasks.


  • Expensive: The Bobcat S650 is a relatively expensive skid steer.
  • High maintenance costs: The Bobcat S650 can be expensive to maintain, due to the cost of parts and labor.
  • Fuel consumption: The Bobcat S650 can consume a lot of fuel, especially when working hard.
  • Noise: The Bobcat S650 can be quite noisy, especially when operating certain attachments.

Tips on How to Maintain Bobcat S650 Skid Steer

  1. Perform Daily Inspections: Check for loose bolts, hydraulic leaks, damaged hoses, and unusual sounds or vibrations.
  2. Lubrication: Regularly grease all pivot points and grease fittings as specified in the owner’s manual.
  3. Engine Oil: Check the engine oil level daily, change the oil, and replace the oil filter as recommended.
  4. Air Filter: Inspect the air filter and replace it as needed, especially in dusty conditions.
  5. Fuel System: Ensure the fuel system is free from contaminants, and drain the water separator regularly.
  6. Hydraulic System: Check hydraulic fluid levels, inspect hoses for leaks, and replace them if damaged. Change hydraulic fluid as recommended.
  7. Track and Tire Maintenance: Inspect tracks or tires for damage, proper tension, and wear. Replace damaged components and adjust tension as required.
  8. Battery: Check battery terminals for corrosion and ensure they are securely connected. Clean and tighten as needed.
  9. Coolant System: Regularly check the coolant level and inspect the radiator for debris or obstructions.
  10. Grease Moving Parts: Lubricate moving parts and components as specified in the owner’s manual, including the lift arm, pivot pins, and other critical areas.
  11. Filters: Replace fuel, oil, and hydraulic filters at regular intervals as recommended.
  12. Safety Inspections: Regularly inspect safety features like lights, backup alarms, and fire extinguishers to ensure they are in working order.
  13. Keep Records: Maintain a comprehensive maintenance log to track all maintenance and repairs.
  14. Professional Servicing: Periodically schedule professional servicing by a certified technician to ensure all components are in proper working condition.

Final Verdict

In my final take on the Bobcat S650 Skid Steer, this machine has certainly earned its stripes in the world of heavy equipment. It’s a real powerhouse, designed with the needs of professionals in mind – from construction to agriculture and landscaping. Its gutsy diesel engine, adaptability with various attachments, and impressive operating capacity make it a go-to choice for a wide range of tasks. What’s even more impressive is its ability to maneuver in tight spots, which can be a game-changer on crowded job sites. Plus, the operator’s comfort is a significant advantage, especially during those long, grueling workdays.

But, it’s not all sunshine and roses. The S650’s price tag might give you a moment of pause, and its size won’t fit everywhere. That said, if you’re looking for reliability and efficiency in a heavy-duty machine, this Bobcat Skid Steer is a smart investment. It’s proven itself time and again as a reliable workhorse that can help you get the job done.


  1. What makes the Bobcat S650 Skid Steer stand out from other models?
    The S650 stands out for its exceptional attachment versatility, high-torque engine, and impressive maneuverability, allowing it to excel in a wide range of tasks.
  2. Can I use the Bobcat S650 for landscaping projects?
    Absolutely, the S650 is well-suited for landscaping with its adaptability to different attachments, making tasks like grading, digging, and moving materials a breeze.
  3. How does the operator’s cabin contribute to comfort during long workdays?
    The operator’s cabin is spacious and ergonomically designed, with excellent visibility, user-friendly controls, and a comfortable seat, reducing operator fatigue and boosting productivity.
  4. Is the Bobcat S650 easy to maintain?
    Yes, maintenance is straightforward, which contributes to its reliability. Routine maintenance can be easily performed to keep the machine in top working condition.
  5. Can the S650 navigate tight spaces efficiently?
    Yes, the S650’s compact design and tight turning radius enable it to operate effectively in confined areas and crowded job sites, making it ideal for urban construction.
  6. What is the S650’s fuel efficiency like?
    The fuel efficiency of the S650 is commendable for its power. The engine is designed to deliver the necessary performance while still being fuel-efficient, which can save you on operating costs.
  7. Does the S650 have a good resale value?
    Yes, Bobcat equipment, including the S650, often retains a strong resale value due to its reputation for durability and reliability, making it a wise investment.
  8. Can the S650 Skid Steer handle snow removal tasks?
    Yes, with the right attachment, such as a snow bucket or snow blower, the S650 is a valuable asset for snow removal, making it a versatile machine for various seasonal tasks.

As we wrap up our exploration of the Bobcat S650 Skid Steer, it’s clear that this machine is more than just a piece of heavy equipment; it’s a dependable partner for professionals in various industries. With its impressive engine, adaptability to multiple attachments, and operator-focused design, it’s a reliable workhorse on the job site. Its knack for handling tight spots and intricate tasks adds to its allure. While cost and size should be considered, the S650’s established reputation for efficiency and reliability makes it a smart investment for anyone in need of a robust and versatile machine. In the end, the Bobcat S650 Skid Steer is a testament to the ingenuity and power of modern heavy equipment, always ready to tackle the next challenge.

Benjamin Brooks
Benjamin Brooks
Forestry Author

Greetings! I'm Benjamin Brooks, and my journey over the past 15 years has revolved around the fascinating realms of content creation, expertise in snow clearing, and the intricate world of lumberjacking and landscaping. What began as a simple curiosity about the natural world and heavy machinery has evolved into a passionate profession where my love for crafting words intertwines seamlessly with my lumberjacking and garden skills.


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