In an empty parking lot, a nervous 15-year-old puts the family car into gear. The vehicle lurches forward, and the student’s first driving lesson is under way. It’s a scene familiar to anyone who drives. Everybody has a first time behind the wheel—everyone has to learn to drive.
Operating construction equipment requires training, too. No one should ever be expected to sit at the controls of a backhoe loader or any other machine for the first time and immediately go to work—at least not safely or productively.
Before putting equipment in the hands of your operators, it is critical that you provide training on how to run the machine properly:
- The first—and most important—step is to have your operator read and understand the Operation and Maintenance Manual (OMM). The OMM details the work capabilities and proper use of the equipment.
- Pay close attention to the manufacturer’s rated load capacity. Never overload buckets or other work tool attachments.
- When members of your crew begin operating a piece of equipment that is new to them, be sure they pay close attention to their surroundings. Be especially aware of power lines, tree limbs, building eaves and other overhead obstructions.
- Equipment dealerships are a good place to go for hands-on training to prepare operators to safely and productively work machines that are new to them. Our experts will carefully review proper operating procedures with your staff to help your crew work effectively and safely.
Do you have tips for training operators on new equipment? Please share your comments below.
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