How to Use Joystick Steering on Your Excavator

Have you considered using your excavator’s joystick steering function? By using your left joystick to steer, you can control your attachment at the same time. There’s no need to move back and forth from travel controls to joysticks, cutting down on fatigue and keeping things on the go. And it’s easy to enable your joystick steering function.

Estimated read time: 2 minutes

Joystick Steering for Cat® Excavators

Estimated watch time: 2 minutes

To turn on joystick steering on your Cat® excavator [00:31]:

  1. On your monitor, enter the Setting menu, and then select Machine Settings.

  2. Scroll down to find the Joystick Steer Setting menu. Here, you can click to enable joystick steering.

  3. Click OK, which will take you to the Joystick Steer Button Assignment menu.

  4. Set which button on your joysticks will activate joystick steering.

  5. When you’re ready to move, press that button on your joystick and get going.

When joystick steering is activated, you will see a notification on your monitor, letting you know it’s on. Joystick steering also works in cruise control and blade control modes.

If the cab of your excavator is facing forward [01:12], joystick steering works just as you expect. Push the joystick forward if you want to travel forward, right if you want to turn right, etc. You can also still use your thumbwheel to swing your attachment left and right. But if your excavator cab is facing backward, both your joystick steering and travel speed pedal functions are reversed.

Remember: Always refer to your Operation and Maintenance Manual for any questions, and practice safe operating procedures.


To learn more about joystick steering and how to use other features on your wheeled excavators, Caterpillar offers extensive operator training through Equipment Training Solutions. Learn more here.


What can the full family of Cat® excavators do for your fleet? See what a difference they can make.