Skid Steer Safety Overview
I would think that if you are reading this article you are aware of exactly what a skid steer is. You know also they are workhorses, and very versatile with the many skid steer quick attach attachments. These attachments can range from skid steer buckets to grapples, augers to blades, tree shears to brush cutters and log splitters. If you can think of it then there will be an attachment for it. These machines can get into places where the big boys can’t.
What we need to address however is the safety aspect of these machines. Whether you’re on a farm, construction site, manufacturing or landscaping location, junk yard, or a weekend warrior in the woods, it’s important that you understand your equipment. You need to understand what it is capable of and what it’s not capable of, and the dangers it represents. Skidsteers by their nature are designed to be compact with the center of gravity at the rear of the machine. The terrain and size of the load however can change that center of gravity, and should challenge the operator to be constantly aware of their surroundings and conditions. Below we offer a few other rules which should be carefully considered before you fire up your workhorse:
-Check the owner’s manual for instructions and machine limitations and be familiar with them
-Are you properly trained and authorized?
-Passengers are not an option
-The seat belt is there for your protection, use it
-Keep your load low
-Understand the capacity of the bucket or attachment
-Make sure the area is clear of pedestrian or personnel traffic.
-If you want to go home with your head, hands, arms and legs then keep them in the operators cab.
-Safety devices are built into most of these machines DO NOT modify them
-Sudden starts and stops need to be avoided, plan ahead
-Do a site safety check before you start your project, look for overhead wires, and know where the underground utilities are., Any other obstructions, rough or soft terrain?
-What you wear is important; wear snug fitting sleeves etc that will not catch a lever, hi-vis clothing should be considered and a hard hat, slip resistant work boots are recommended to protect your feet and ankles while mounting and dismounting your machine.
-NEVER get into the cab if you are under the influence of drugs, alcohol, or medication which can impair your ability to react or operate.
This list is the minimum you should consider, and is not meant to be complete. Add your own safety tips to this list and share it with other operators. Make sure you get back home to your loved ones safe and sound. If you have any questions about the operating capacities of your loader please don’t hesitate to call us here for help at 866-315-3134.