Heavy Construction Equipment: Safety Tips and More

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20 Important Safety And Productivity Tips When Operating A Backhoe

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You may be renting a backhoe for a specific job and as a consequence may not be used to dealing with this type of machinery on a regular basis. To ensure that your project is conducted as efficiently as possible and with a keen eye on safety, you need to operate the machine carefully and professionally. What do you need to bear in mind?

  1. First, conduct a thorough examination of the machine to ensure that all parts are in working order. While you should expect the backhoe to be in tip-top condition upon hire, you must nevertheless double check everything before operation.
  2. Be sure all people and objects are clear before starting the engine.
  3. You should let the engine idle until all gauges indicate "normal."
  4. Before moving off, check to make sure that the swing brake is working correctly.
  5. You must never allow anybody to ride in the cab for any reason, unless your model is equipped with safe seating for that purpose.
  6. While it may seem obvious, never use the basket as a means of transporting workers!
  7. As you move off, keep the machine under control throughout and ensure your speed is consistent with the outside conditions.
  8. Whenever you swing the machine's boom you must ensure that obstacles and people are not in its path.
  9. You should never swing the machine too quickly and always be aware of its lifting capacity before trying to extract something from the ground.
  10. Always ensure that the machine has a stable footing before proceeding with the task and be particularly alert for any trenches or holes in the area.
  11. Look up at all times. There is a significant risk of electrocution should the boom touch an overhead power line you may not be aware of. Keep your distance from any overhead lines, especially if you're not sure what they conduct. Call utility companies to assist you first if needed.
  12. On the subject of utility companies, be very sure of the location of underground sewers, gas lines or buried cables to mitigate the risk of damage, fire or explosion.
  13. When about to transfer materials to a dump truck, make sure you do not proceed until its driver is in a designated safe place.
  14. Only load from the rear or the side of a dump truck and load the vehicle evenly.
  15. Never drop material into a truck from an unnecessary height and never swing the bucket above any workers, or over the cab of the dump truck itself.
  16. Whenever working on the side of a hill make sure you only cross the slope at an angle and very slowly.
  17. When moving from point to point, the boom should always be stored and positioned in the direction of travel, to control the centre of gravity and to avoid the risk of overturning.
  18. Whenever you are travelling to or from the job site, lock the boom and set the swing brake to keep the attachments in place.
  19. Always remember that if you do have to park on an incline turn the wheels inward or outward towards an embankment and use wheel chocks if needed.
  20. Finally, before shutting down the engine it is best practice to leave it idling for a short period. This will help with the motor's longevity.

For more information, contact a company like E & R Bobcat & Excavator Services.