4 Excavator Safety Tips to Follow While on the Job

Posted By On 29 Jun 2023
4 Excavator Safety Tips to Follow While on the Job

Operating most types of heavy equipment comes with various risks and hazards when you are inexperienced or unaware of proper operational practices. The case is no different when it comes to excavators. 

For this reason, it is crucial that anyone who operates an excavator on your job site has a thorough understanding of what they must do to thwart these risks. If someone who lacks experience or knowledge of proper operational methods tries to work with an excavator, it can lead to many liabilities that will cause you problems and hold up your business.

When you and your crew know a piece of equipment better, not only will it make operating that equipment safer, but it will also help with boosting productivity and optimizing performance.

The better you understand your excavator, the easier it will be to complete the job in a fast and efficient manner. For instance, you can make use of various modes that the equipment may have. In doing so, both you and your construction projects will benefit.

The Best Safety Tips for Using an Excavator

Whether you are adding an excavator to your fleet of construction equipment for the first time or have not used one in a while, it is crucial to understand their operational safety practices. Maybe you don’t even have an excavator in your fleet yet, but you’ve noticed Bobcat compact excavators across Southern Ontario, and this has piqued your interest in getting one.

Regardless of your situation, if operating an excavator is in your future, it is of crucial importance that you know the following common excavator safety tips:

1. Regularly inspect its components

Like a lot of other machinery, excavators have many different parts, and it is important to regularly inspect them. This includes the inspection safety devices, such as horns, lights, guards and shields, fire extinguishers, glass, and wipers, as well as the boom, stick, and bucket. It is equally important to check the machine’s engine and hydraulic fluid levels so that you are aware of any potential leaks that may arise.

Similarly, you should check the excavator’s belts for proper tension and wear, observe its radiator hoses in search of cracks, and look for worn or cracked teeth in the drive sprocket. To get the best efficiency out of your machine, you should conduct most of these inspections on a weekly basis and others on a monthly basis. 

Of course, if you encounter any problems during these inspections, it is important that you address them as quickly as possible. Address any necessary repairs before the problem escalates, as putting off the issue with your excavator is when things can really start to get dangerous.

2. Stay on top of cleaning and maintenance procedures

Another best way to avoid safety hazards with an excavator is to regularly clean and maintain it. If you do not keep the cabin clean of dirt and grease, clean the glass of the cab regularly, and grease the bucket hinges when needed, this could interfere with the safe operation of your excavator.

The excavator’s hydraulic oil should also be changed at regular intervals, typically between the 2,000 and 4,000-hour mark. 

By keeping your excavator clean and well-maintained, it will perform much better. This will benefit you in a number of ways, including the fact that it will be much safer to operate.

3. Maintain a high degree of awareness at all times

Maintaining a sense of awareness of both your excavator and your surroundings is extremely important whenever you are operating it. Every time you get into or out of the cab, it is vital to use the standard three-point method, which involves keeping two hands and one foot, or two feet and one hand, on the equipment at all times. You should also always ensure that you face the excavator when you enter or exit it and never jump out of it. 

In addition, you should stay aware of your physical state before operating an excavator. If you believe your fatigue, hunger, emotional state, or physical health could negatively impact your focus or ability to operate the machine, you should refrain from using it.

It is equally important to be aware of the other people on or around your job site at all times so that you can operate your excavator safely without putting anyone else in danger.

4. Follow proper excavation procedures

Of course, as you operate your excavator to serve its purpose—digging holes and moving earth around—there are certain procedures you should follow to ensure imbalances and cave-ins are avoided, which will keep your jobsite safer. 

For instance, you should always place material that has been excavated a minimum of two feet away from the edge of the trench or even further, depending on the soil type. You should also ensure that the soil pile does not have too much of a slope so that it does not slide back into the trench. 

Another thing that you must be cautious of is undercutting, meaning you should always be aware of the position of your excavator in relation to the edge of the trench. To be safer, your excavator’s tracks should be perpendicular to the trench at all times. You should also understand your excavator’s limits, as it can tip over or become unstable if you overload the bucket.

Why Oaken Equipment Is a Reliable Retailer of Excavators

Now that you know how to safely own and operate an excavator, you are ready to add one to your fleet. If you are looking for a quality mini excavator in Toronto, Oaken Equipment has many great models to choose from with regular, long-arm and extendable arms options on most models.

We are a certified Bobcat equipment dealer – one of the most reliable brands of heavy equipment available, manufacturing durable and tough machines for over 70 years.

We carry a significant inventory of both new and used Bobcat equipment, including everything from loaders to excavators and tractors to mowers. Our team of experienced equipment experts can help you find the exact machine you need to meet your needs and those of your operation. You can also bring your excavator back to us for top-notch servicing for your Preventative Maintenance service intervals or whenever you require repairs. 

For more information about our mini excavators or to learn more about our extensive inventory of top-quality heavy equipment, call Oaken Equipment at 1-888-861-1447 or contact us here.

Steve Hacker - Bobcat of Muskoka

Steve Hacker

Territory Manager - Bobcat of MuskokaSteve started with Oaken in 2020 as the Rental Coordinator in our Bobcat of Toronto Brampton branch. When we opened Bobcat of Muskoka, his knowledge & dedication made him the ideal candidate to be Muskoka’s Territory Manager. Since taking this role, Steve has helped drive business, build new partnerships and get more Bobcat gear on jobsites all across the District of Muskoka. Steve’s performance over the years has also won him numerous awards at Oaken Equipment including the Grounds King Award in 2021, the Bell Award in 2022 & the One House Award in 2023.Connect On LinkedIn

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