Written by: Safety

What To Know Before Operating an Excavator

Heavy machinery and other large vehicles require safety and working knowledge to prevent incidents. Be aware of what to know before operating an excavator.

What To Know Before Operating an Excavator

Excavators have a wide range of applications, but however you use them, what to know before operating an excavator remains the same. They’re substantial pieces of heavy machinery, and untrained operators can cause significant amounts of damage if they don’t know what they’re getting into.

Even after receiving the proper training, operators can forget small details or overlook safety concerns by accident, making it necessary to constantly refresh their minds on how they must prepare to use their machinery.

Before You Get in the Driver’s Seat

Before starting work, make sure everything in the excavator’s cabin is in order. This means checking the controls to ensure they function correctly and cleaning off any debris from the mirrors. You need complete control and visibility once you begin; losing either one of those will put you and others in significant danger.

Contact the work site’s utility service to ensure you won’t encounter any underground cables or structures. The job may not always call for digging up the ground, but it behooves you to know just in case.

During Operation

While working, never allow anyone into the driver’s compartment or on the excavator’s attachment. The compartment’s design only allows for one person, and you must use the attachment to move only materials, not people.

When driving, always attempt to move the excavator over flat surfaces. If the terrain isn’t flat, take the drive slowly to reduce the risks of instability and tipping.

You’re going to need to fill up truck beds with material on occasion, and when you do, you must load the truck from the back instead of over the cab. Materials will spill from your excavator’s arm, and it’s better to let them fall to the ground instead of on the truck’s cab.

Once You’re Finished

When you’ve finished the job, park the excavator on stable, level ground. The machine’s weight may be too much for softer surfaces, leading to shifting ground, which can topple the vehicle.

Inspect all the attachments on your excavator to ensure nothing sustained damage. Know how to maintain your attachments to preserve their durability and keep them in operation for longer.

Remember to lock up the excavator and return any extra equipment you used. Letting things lie out or leaving doors unlocked can attract potential thieves.

Make It Known When You Can’t Operate Equipment

The safety procedures and other things you need to know before using an excavator will keep you and others safe, but you must know your own limits. Even if you have the proper training, if you’re not feeling well enough to use heavy machinery, let your supervisor know. Never use anything dangerous when you feel your faculties aren’t sharp enough for the job.

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Last modified: July 8, 2021