Tips To Keep In Mind While Operating Skid Steers
A skid steer is a very versatile machine and can be used to complete a variety of different jobs. Whether you are a farmer, landscaper, or municipality, skid steers can offer the support you need in a compact unit. Skid steers can be adapted with a long list of attachments including buckets, forks, brooms, asphalt planers, mowers, trenchers, and the list goes on. This is what makes a skid steer the machine of choice for many different situations.
While these are very versatile machines, caution must be used while operating them. Always do a thorough inspection of the skid steer prior to using it, you never know who used it last and how they left it. Inspect the machine for any damage and ALWAYS make sure attachments are securely locked on the machine.
Here are a few additional tips to help keep you safe:
- Always plan your work. Know your jobsite and the obstacles that are around you. Know what material you will be moving and where it will be moved to. Always operate at a safe controlled speed and make sure to carry your load low (if using a bucket).
- Use caution on slippery terrain. Always raise and lower the bucket at a even steady rate and be ready to lower the load quickly if the skid steer is in an unstable situation.
- Do not drive across slopes. Always travel straight up and down on slopes.
- Know your center of gravity. The center of gravity on a skid steer changes when you raise and lower loads. Never travel too fast of make sharp turns with a raised load. Never overload the machine.
- Proper shutdown. Never leave the machine while your boom is in the air. Always make sure loader arms are lowered and your attachment is on the ground before exiting the machine.
Skid steers are a great machine, but like many machines, following safety procedures greatly improves the safety of you and your crew.