Productivity and safety are always on the minds of equipment owners, especially when new operators are on the job. Now you can train new operators and update experienced operators in the safe and efficient operation of Bobcat skidsteer loaders, compact excavators, loader backhoes, and other equipment using a series of 10-minute videos just released by Bobcat. Also available is an operator and service safety training course that reviews the fundamentals of proper and safe operation, service, and maintenance procedures.
For safe operation of a skidsteer loader, the video begins by stressing that an important reason to watch is to improve the ability to recognize potentially dangerous situations. Some important points that are covered include:
- Don't wear overly loose clothing that could catch on a control or a moving part.
- When mounting or exiting the loader, always use the three-point contact system.
- Inspect the control interlocks prior to operation to make sure all interlocks are working.
- Note that the cab has falling object protection (FOP) and rollover protection (ROP) with the cage that surrounds the operator.
- Move the machine smoothly and operate at a reduced speed until sure of safe operation.
- When starting the machine, make sure the brake is on and there are no bystanders nearby; make sure you as the operator are sitting in the seat with the seat belt on.
- Be sure to use the correct attachment and that it is properly attached.
- Always carry the load as low as possible.
- Never get out of the cab when the engine is running or attempt to operate the machine from outside the cab.
- Never lift a load over people's heads.
- Never give rides on the loader.Watch out for power lines and gas pipes.Always put the lift arm flat on the ground before getting out of the machine.When transporting the skidsteer, make sure it is properly tied down.
To safely operate a compact excavator, many of the same rules apply, but the video for excavators has a few specific cautions. One excellent part of this video is a thorough review of the operation of all controls, in both standard and ISO patterns. The video cautions the operator to make sure he or she knows in which pattern the excavator is set to operate. A few additional things to watch out for include:
- Make sure the attachment on the arm is properly seated before use.
- To get into the excavator, always face the machine and step onto the track and a safety tread, while holding onto the grab handles. When exiting, also face the machine.
- Always lower the blade first, then the bucket prior to shutting off the machine and removing the key.
- If parking on a slope, never park with the tracks downhill.
- Before lifting objects, check the rated lift capacity decal that is on the machine to make sure you won't exceed the lift capacity.
- If the excavator must be operated in an enclosed area, make sure you have adequate ventilation.
- Note that pushing the levers forward always moves the excavator in the direction of the blade, regardless of the direction of the cab.
- Beware of slopes, especially those more than 15 degrees. Keep attachments low and pointed downhill if possible.
Bobcat has eight modules (in both English and Spanish) of safety videos on a single DVD. In addition to skidsteers, and compact excavators, there is safety training for all-wheel steer loaders, mini loaders, utility work machines, telehandlers, and backhoe loaders. For more information on operator and safety training, go to www.training.bobcat.com.