As a business leader who uses heavy equipment on a regular basis, taking the time to review safe handling and operating practices for these valuable pieces of machinery is an important consideration.
Let's look at some guidance for safely moving and using heavy equipment on and off the worksite.
Heavy equipment generally isn't meant to be driven long distances on public roads. While there are some exceptions, like trucks designed and rated for operation on such surfaces, the majority of heavy machinery should be transported to and from work sites via a dedicated carrier vehicle or towed in some cases.
Preparing heavy equipment for safe transport is critical to the early success of a project. Damage or delays caused by a careless approach to transporting machinery to the jobsite can cause financial troubles for your business, but that's not the only concern to keep in mind. Your company's reputation can also suffer, and the potential for liability in case of an accident during transport is the last thing anyone wants to deal with.
Equipment transport specialists Heavy Haulers offered some key recommendations for making the transport process safer for you, your staff and everyone the machinery encounters on the way to the jobsite. Wrapping and securing small, easily dislodged pieces of equipment, even items within the cab of the machinery, is especially important for businesses. Equipment faces different stresses when being hauled to a jobsite at high speed than it does while working on the jobsite. Be sure to thoroughly inspect each piece of equipment that requires transportation and secure everything that could become dislodged. You can also use this process to make a checklist of items to secure for each subsequent trip the equipment makes, reducing the time spent on planning going forward.
Machinery should also be cleaned prior to transport to increase the effectiveness of the restraints used to secure it to the trailer, disconnect the battery and ensure doors, hatches, hoods and other parts that could open while traveling at speed are firmly secured. Perform a thorough walkaround when the equipment is delivered before you put it to work on the job site.
Heavy equipment's size and power means it can create many dangers on the jobsite, both when being driven to the area its needed and actively operated. Keeping employees, materials and the work site itself safe is a top priority on every job. One of the best ways to do this is through defined processes that ensure heavy equipment is only transported, driven and used when specific elements are in place.
Remember these helpful tips when transporting and driving equipment on the job site:
Creating a system of paths that allow vehicles to move throughout the area as safely as possible is a straightforward way to limit exposure to hazards. Because jobsites come in all shapes and sizes, it requires careful planning for each project. A review of a site map or blueprint can help you identify areas where heavy machinery, delivery trucks and other vehicles can safely circulate. By having a complete route into and out of the work site, your employees and other workers on site can avoid backing up machinery, which reduces visibility for the driver and can create additional safety risks.
You already understand the value of safety training for your staff, both in general and for heavy equipment in particular. Providing additional reinforcement can only help your employees remain aware of and engaged for each project. Consider running a refresher course focused on the machines that will be on site at each project, highlighting specific hazards and clearly detailing considerations like a limited-access area around each type of equipment.
You can also review your records related to training and certification for operators and spotters well before each project starts – some Cat dealers offer operator training courses. This ensures everyone involved in driving, operating and guiding the equipment on site has the necessary education and background before work begins.
The first step to safely transporting equipment to and driving it on the worksite is having the right machinery for each job ready to be loaded onto the trailer or towed. Cat Financial helps businesses just like yours with a variety of flexible financing solutions for new and used equipment. To learn more about how we can help your business, get in touch with us today.
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