In the construction industry, there are two critical goals: protecting life and protecting property. Working with hazardous materials, heavy machinery, and various weather conditions make these two goals a constant focus for crews and supervisors alike. The issue of safety preservation is substantial enough to have its own article, so for our purposes here, we will solely focus on protecting property. More specifically, we’ll look at ways to protect construction equipment from damage.
Preventing damage to heavy equipment and other machinery used on a construction site is critical. Damaged equipment can threaten the safety of the crew, cost the company or freelance contractor extensive financial losses, and lead to repeated downtime or mistakes due to failing or broken-down machinery. Fortunately, there are steps companies and contractors can take to reduce the chances of sustaining damage to heavy machinery. Some best practices to prevent damage to construction equipment are as follows.
Don’t Push It
Heavy machinery is designed with very specific limits in mind. Operators must take care to use the equipment within its intended design limits. This could mean avoiding lifting objects heavier than the machine’s maximum capacity. Another example is avoiding operating the machinery in an unsafe manner.
If the operator isn’t properly trained in the equipment they’re operating, opportunities for damage abound. On a similar note, the result of an operator who isn’t comfortable operating their designated machinery can be just as disastrous. Accidents occur frequently from undertrained or inexperienced operators.
Use the Right Equipment
Many times, an expensive piece of construction equipment sustains damage because it was not outfitted with the right components. For example, in order to remove a tree stump, crew should use a skid steer with stump bucket attachment – not a root rake. Or, while transporting materials across a delicate floor, crew should use a forklift outfitted with non-marking rubber tracks rather than traditional tracks.
Take Your Time
One of the most important ways to protect construction equipment from damage is also a simple one: take your time. Workers who rush to get the job done make more mistakes than workers who take a few extra minutes to complete the job safely. Part of taking your time includes thinking carefully about the task at hand before tackling it. It also means checking the equipment over before using it.