Heavy Construction Equipment: Repair, Troubleshooting and Maintenance

Heavy Construction Equipment: Repair, Troubleshooting and Maintenance

How To Operate An Excavator Safely

by Clifton Barnes

Excavators and mini excavators are useful for homeowners carrying out major renovations on their property. The excavators can be hired out to take care of the otherwise labor-intensive task of digging. Many homeowners will be in a situation where they would like to hire an excavator, but have no experience of operating one. This article looks at some of the key safety tips to remember when operating an excavator for the first time.

Avoid Undercutting

This is perhaps one of the most dangerous actions an excavator operator can perform. Undercutting means that the operator has allowed the bucket to cut or dig away the earth from close to the tracks of the excavator. As a result, the excavator is at risk of caving into the hole. It is a good idea to keep continually looking left, right, up and down as you dig; this enables you to see a full picture of what is going on outside the cab of the excavator. If you do make a wrong cut, carefully back the excavator away, and continue from another angle.

Take Your Time

Sometimes, if you hire an excavator and are running behind schedule, you can be tempted to work quickly to get the job done before taking the excavator back to the hire shop. However, this can lead to safety issues. For instance, you may think that you can fill the bucket of the excavator with as much soil as you can, helping to save some time. This is very dangerous, as the excavator may tip over if filled even just a little over the recommendation, especially if you are moving over uneven ground. If you do feel that the excavator is tipping, cut the engine immediately, and allow the machine to stabilize. Then lower the bucket and remove some weight from it.

Keep It Fuelled

When carrying out renovation work, it can be easy to really focus in on the work you are doing and forget about some of the small details. One such detail is fuel. It is surprising how many people forget to refuel the excavator, causing it to shut down midway through a job. Although this doesn't sound dangerous, it actually is. If the operator needs to get rid of a load in an emergency, and the machine cuts out, there are obvious safety risks with this.

Similarly, if the machine cuts out while at the lip of a hole, it can cause issues with the stability of the excavator. In this scenario, the operator should quickly exit the excavator and help to stabilize the machine. Once more fuel has been added, allow the engine to idle for a few minutes while you wait outside the cab. After this time, enter the cab and reposition the excavator so it is in a safe position.

You should spend some time practicing—on level and open ground—with the excavator before starting to work. Practice moving the machine as well as the arm. For more information, contact a company like A & R Portables.


About Me

Heavy Construction Equipment: Repair, Troubleshooting and Maintenance

If you want to save money and have your business run efficiently, you need to take care of your heavy construction equipment. You need to know how to service it, how to spot issues, when to hire versus buy equipment and many other issues. Hi, my name is Russel, and welcome to my blog. I have loved heavy equipment since I was a child pushing a toy dump truck up and down my carpet, and although I do not work in that industry, I remain extremely interested in it. This blog is my chance to "play" with heavy equipment. I thank you for reading, and I hope that you learn and enjoy!