Most Dangerous Way To Unload A Compact Track Loader
There’s the right way of doing things, and then there’s the exact opposite of it. Just mention the letters O-S-H-A on any construction work site and see foremen and managers roll their eyes. We all know the Occupational Safety Hazard Administration is theoretically there to enforce the law on safe workplace conditions but it’s becoming increasingly common for OSHA inspectors to look the other way. Featured is a pristine John Deere 333D Compact Track Loader – the sort of equipment used in large terraforming projects – being offloaded in the most unconventional way possible.
It’s no secret that loaders and anything with a crane attachment are tempted to find gray areas while getting off a trailer. But here’s the thing: pictured here is probably a cumulative of over a million dollars net worth between maintenance, insurance, manpower, and actual equipment. You’d think they’d be willing to drop another couple thousand to have an actual ramp in place to offload a $400,000 piece of essential equipment. Apparently, the job site manager has complete faith in the abilities of this John Deere load operator to use a dinky chain for leverage in getting this CTL off the trailer and onto the ground.
Forklift Trucks And Heavy Equipment Operators Bending The Rules
We’ve seen it all before – forklift operator or a backhoe needs to get his rig on the ground and moving. The only problem? Someone forgot to pack a ramp. Instead of doing it the safe way, heavy equipment operators can often be guilty of finding creative maneuvers to leverage their cranes or fork lifts to hold their own weight.
This gets sketchy quick. And here, you see a single chain be the only thing in between disaster and success. That’s just crazy! It’s one thing to offload a Bobcat Mini Excavator off a grounded trailer – that involves next to no effort. But taking a massive CTL down a ten foot drop is just asking for trouble.
That’s a shame, too, because John Deere makes some fantastic heavy construction equipment including bulldozers, skid steers, and excavators. It’d be a shame for a person to g
That’s a shame, too, because John Deere makes some fantastic heavy construction equipment including bulldozers, skid steers, and excavators. It’d be a shame for a person to get hurt or a piece of that type of equipment to be needlessly lost due to poor planning and really horrible execution.
Renting Heavy Equipment Like CTLs? Check The Fine Details
Whether it’s a CAT 299D or a John Deere 333E, you want to take a close look at the heavy equipment you intend to use prior to signing a lease or rental agreement. Renting heavy equipment like CATs and Deeres makes perfect sense if you’re only working on a site for a short amount of time. Heck, from an insurance perspective it almost makes more sense to lease equipment than outright own. That said, take a hard look at the type of wear these machines have sustained prior to taking them off the trailer the right way.
Walkaround Inspection Of A Compact Track Loader
No documents should get signed until you walk around the compact track loader you intend to lease, borrow, or buy used. The first thing you’ll probably want to check out is the cab. Just stepping up into the cab, you’ll be able to see if the non-skid material on the steps is still intact. If it isn’t, your operator will be in for a heck of a trip if he needs to hop in or out in a hurry. Heck, if you’re operating in rainy, muddy, or snowy conditions, non-skid material is pretty much all that keeps the operator’s boots on those steps. A lot of bad injuries have resulted from the non-skid material on the steps not functioning correctly.
Look for major cuts and gashes on the track. Check to see how far the skids on the track have been worn down. Not all contractors use their CTLs like they’re supposed to and replacing a track is an expensive ordeal. How you use your Compact Track Loader will also affect how long the tracks have left before they need to be replaced.
• Non-factory welds and cracks on the frame
Sure enough, if you see signs someone has been welding onto the frame, you can bet your bottom dollar that machine has been heavily tinkered with. Even in a heavily used Compact Track Loader, you’re looking to make sure no one has taken non-OEM parts and tried to swap them in for parts dictated by the manufacturer. Seeing signs of this should be a clear “no go” — or at the very least, a hard renegotiation on the price.
• Bucket tilt cylinders, hydraulic hoses, and lift arms
A busted hydraulic hose will grind your work to a standstill in no time. Similarly, if the tilts are visibly damaged or scarred, you’re looking at costly repairs – generally needed in places where mechanics don’t like to do work.
Ultimately, if you have a heavy equipment mechanic familiar with the make and model of the CTL, you’ll want to bring him with you. He’ll be able to take an accurate assessment of the equipment and tell you what needs fixing, what’ll likely need fixing later on, and how much all of that will likely run.