Buying or hiring an excavator is an excellent choice for anyone involved in undertaking a land-moving project. However, this machine can be dangerous if not used and cared for correctly, so it’s vital that you have appropriate training and are aware of government safety standards before you attempt to operate one. However, even those who have been in the building and construction trade for many years need a refresh on the basics now and then, so here are some tips to help you use and maintain your excavator safely.
Trial Your Equipment
Not all excavators are the same, so if you’re using a new piece of kit, you should do a trial run first. Even if you’ve been using excavators for decades, it’s best to get used to driving it around your construction area so you can get used to the way it works. When you buy a new machine, take note of any tips or advice you’re given at the point of sale, and be sure to read any manuals or instructions that come with the product.
Secure the Area
When the excavator is in use, it’s essential that you section off the area so no one can enter the construction site. Be sure to abide by construction site safety standards and make sure each person on the site is wearing protective gear at all times. You also need to be sure that members of the public cannot access the site.
Choose the Right Bucket
Selecting the right bucket for your excavator will allow the machine to run smoothly and productively, so it’s important you spend time on this decision. While many construction workers gravitate towards a standard bucket in all applications, it’s best to choose a bucket with soil conditions in mind. You also need to make sure that the bucket does not exceed the machine’s operating capacity. For example, if you are using a mini excavator in a small area, you might decide to find a mini digger bucket online. However, if you are handling abrasive materials or undertaking heavy-digging with your excavator, a severe-duty bucket would be recommended.
Maintain the Undercarriage
At the end of each day, you should clean out dirt and debris from the undercarriage of your excavator to prevent buildup. If the excavator is not cleaned regularly, persistent use will lead to premature wear and make the excavator less safe. What’s more, by properly maintaining the undercarriage and other components of your excavator, you’ll get a far better life and performance out of the machine.
Inspect the Cooling System
It’s important to check your excavator’s cooling system on a daily basis to prevent heat damage to the internal components. This is because it’s easy for coolant leaks to happen over time when the system isn’t properly maintained, but this can result in a build-up of debris, slowing the passage of air and causing the machine to overheat. Over time, this could lead to an inefficient cooling system, which can cause engine failure if left unchecked.
Excavators are integral to a number of construction projects, but it’s essential that you abide by health and safety tips before, during and after operation to protect yourself and those around you.