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11
Mar
Best Practices: How to Maintain Trench Safety?

How to Maintain Trench Safety?   Working in and around trenches is a regular part of many construction and utility projects. It’s so common that crew members can sometimes forget that working near trenches can be dangerous if the right precautions aren’t taken. The good news is that most jobsite accidents involving trenches can be easily avoided. Follow this guide to help prevent dangerous, costly situations on your next excavation job.   Common trenching hazards   Insufficient safety precautions surrounding trenches can lead to problems on your jobsite. Some examples of potentially dangerous consequences of not monitoring trench areas sufficiently are: ·         Slips and falls into the trench ·         Cave-ins and collapse of the trench walls ·         Heavy equipment sliding into the trench ·         Flying rocks and other debris from above the trench ·         Nearby structures collapsing into the excavated area ·         Striking underground utilities, resulting in gas leaks, electrocution, flooding, or explosions Below are tips and best practices that will help you avoid hazardous conditions surrounding trenches.   Trench safety tips 1.      Install protective systems – When your trench is deeper than 5 feet, protective systems are required. One way to accomplish this is through sloping and benching, which involves cutting back the trench wall at an angle to create a slope, then developing steps to travel in and out of the trench. The other way is by using shoring and trench shields. These systems use metal supports for the trench walls to help prevent cave-ins. 2.      Routinely inspect your trenches – All trenches should be carefully checked before work begins for the day and then rechecked several times throughout the shift to look for signs of collapse or any other dangerous conditions. Signs of danger include cracking, sagging, or bulging of the trench walls or bubbling on the floor of the trench. If it is raining or snowing, then trenches should be inspected even more often. 3.      Have an OSHA Competent Person on the job – A Competent Person is responsible for noticing and identifying potential hazards on the jobsite, as well as taking necessary steps to maintain safety. This role is required on every job by OSHA regulations. 4.      Ensure your crew is well trained and uses proper protection – All excavation workers should be able to identify and respond to potential trenching threats, and they must wear the proper personal protective equipment (PPE) at all times, like hard hats, eye protection, and long sleeves and pants. 5.      Know your jobsite – Underground utility lines can be hazardous to construction workers. It’s important to know if there are any gas, electricity, or water lines running through your work area. Their locations should be identified and clearly marked for the excavation crew. 6.      There needs to be a way out – Any trench more than 4 feet deep must have simple access and egress routes within 25 feet of every worker. These routes may be ladders, ramps, or stairs. 7.      Keep a safe distance – All workers should keep a safe distance from excavators digging a trench, in order to avoid injury from falling loads or debris. You should also keep supplies, equipment, and excavated materials stored at least two feet away from the trenching edge to avoid the possibility of having them fall into the trench. 8.      Test for dangerous substances – Trenches must be tested for oxygen levels as well as potentially toxic gases like methane and carbon dioxide. Safety First  Trench safety is important to avoid injuries and downtime on the job. You can help prevent accidents and maximize the efficiency of your project by understanding and implementing these tips and best practices for working in and around trenches.

19
Jan
Best Practices: Equipment End of Life

What Can You Do with End of Life Equipment?   To ensure optimal performance on the job, you sometimes need to get rid of even your most trusted and longest serving heavy equipment. No matter how well you take care of and maintain your machines, they will eventually deteriorate with regular use. To minimize unexpected breakdowns, you must replace end of life equipment before the risk of failure becomes too high. The question is, what can you do with your old machines when it comes time to part ways? You don’t want them sitting around taking up valuable space or degrading even further if they still have some value to offer you. Below are the four primary options for properly disposing of end of life equipment.   Sell it Just because your operation is ready to stop using a piece of equipment doesn’t mean that there isn’t someone who can use it. If it is still in usable condition, you can try selling the machine directly to a buyer. The drawback to this end of life equipment disposal method is that it can take a lot of time and effort to sell directly to a buyer. You have to act as a sales rep in addition to running your operation. The other option is to contact your dealer or manufacturer and see if they are interested in purchasing it.   Trade it in Some equipment dealers (Burris Equipment Co. included) or manufacturers will gladly accept your old machine as a trade in. This route is easier than selling, because they are used to refurbishing or remanufacturing old equipment, then reselling it. Plus, most dealers and manufacturers have an established process for reselling used equipment. While this option could help you save money on new a new machines, what you receive for your equipment will depend on what the dealer or manufacturer estimates is a fair trade in value.   Recycle or scrap it  Recycling or scrapping may be your only option if your end of life equipment is well beyond restoration and cannot be sold or traded in due to its poor condition. Although you won’t receive as much money as you would if you were selling a machine in better condition, scrap and recycling centers may help you recoup a small amount, and it is certainly a better option than leaving it to rot on your lot or behind your shop.   Auction it If your end of life equipment is a popular model or for some reason is in high demand, then auctions can be a great alternative to selling to a dealer, even if the machine is in poor condition. Auctioning old equipment using online bidding sites requires less effort than direct selling and also broadens your reach to an extensive list of potential buyers.   Final notes  Old equipment does not need to sit idle and take up wasted space in your facility. There are ways to dispose of it while potentially recouping some of your costs. Whether you have one machine reaching its end of life or several, the options we listed will help you determine the best approach to disposing of any equipment that is no longer useful in your operations.

7
Dec
Introducing OAT Coolant

New Organic Acid Engine Coolant Technology OAT coolant is required for new CASE Tier 4b engines with ≥ 56 kW emissions. Use OAT coolant to avoid the risk of serious engine damage through overheating. About OAT Coolant ACTIFULL™ OT EXTENDED-LIFE COOLANT is CASE's OAT coolant Supplemental Coolant Additives (SCA) are not necessary with OAT coolant that meets MAT 3624 It's yellow in color When should you use OAT? All new CASE Tier 4b vehicles with Flat Power Train (FPT) engines that are in the ≥ 56 kW emissions category require OAT coolant Look for one of the ACTIFULL™ OT decals shown before you add or change the coolant OAT Coolant Part Numbers Case Akcela ACTIFULL OT® extended life coolant concentrate 1 GAL - 73341735 55 GAL - 73341736 Case Akcela ACTIFULL OT® extended life coolant premix 1 GAL - 73341738 2.5 GAL - 73341739 Best Practices for OAT Coolant Never Mix OAT with Regular Coolant Mixing coolants can cause a loss of stability in the corrosion inhibitor, cavitation erosion, and gelling damage. This type of damage is not covered by your warranty, and repairs can cost thousands of dollars. Adding as little as 10% of regular coolant in an OAT system is enough to cause damage to your machine. Look for the OAT decal before adding or changing coolant to ensure you don't mix coolants and cause gelling inadvertently. Selecting Coolants Do not risk using OAT coolants from other manufacturers, unless they specifically meet CASE's MAT3624 material requirements. Use the ATSM number, not the coolant color, for reference when selecting your coolant. Mixing OAT with Water Mix half OAT and half water ratio, which will protect cooling systems to -35° F (-37° C). Only use de-ionized water with OAT coolant. Tap, hard, softened or sea water will reduce the coolant life and can cause deposits to form, creating hot spots and cavitational corrosion. Avoid Machine Damage Do not use anti corrosive additives in an OAT cooling system. Although these additives are commonly used in ethylene glycol fluids, they can cause premature wear in your machine. Only use machines with chemical resistant hosing. OAT coolant will react with PVC, rubber and Viton seals, creating leaks over time. Note: Use of OAT is not recommended for older machines. If you choose to run OAT in an older application, the cooling system must be flushed. The nitrate level must not be higher than 20 ppm. Oil Requirements Engine oil requirements may have changed, too, due to Tier IV emissions technologies. Low-ash CJ-4 oil is required for machines with DPF Non-DPF machines can run either CI-4 or low-ash CJ-4 oil There is no industry standard for CJ-4 oil additives. Don't risk premature engine wear by using oil that is not formulated for your machine.

23
Nov
Diesel Exhaust Fluid (DEF) Tips

When to refill the tank On Case equipment, there is a DEF gauge, just like the fuel gauge. It shows the fluid level and indicates when it’s time to refill. When fluid level becomes low in the DEF tank, a series of warnings will alert the operator after DEF reaches less than 10% of capacity. If the DEF tank contains less than 5% of its capacity, the equipment engine power will de-rate. Enough power will be available, however, to travel a short distance, so you can add DEF to the tank. The DEF tank needs to be filled once every 3 to 4 times that you refuel with diesel fuel in Case machines. The frequency will vary with operating conditions. How to fill the tank The opening of the DEF tank is sized to accept only a DEF fill nozzle. This constraint ensures that only DEF can be pumped into the DEF tank. A standard nozzle for diesel fuel will not fit into the DEF tank opening. DEF tanks will hold between 15 and 50 gallons, depending on the equipment size and horsepower. About DEF Composition Diesel Exhaust Fluid (DEF) is non-toxic and is made up of purified water and urea. It is stable and colorless. DEF is similar to baking soda in its alkalinity (pH). It is not a fuel but is used to reduce the level of nitrogen oxides in the emissions to meet emissions control standards. Purpose In the Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) system, DEF is injected into the exhaust. It converts the NOx into nitrogen gas and water vapor, which are harmless components of air. Storing Keep DEF out of direct sunlight. The ideal temperature range for storing DEF is 32° F to 86° F, and its average shelf life is 3 years. DEF begins freezing at 32° F. The DEF tank on the vehicle has a heater that will thaw the DEF quickly. Freezing and thawing does not change its effectiveness. Because of its alkalinity, it can cause oxidization in the same way that oxygen rusts raw steel, so it needs to be stored in plastic or stainless steel containers. Burris Equipment also offers a complete line of DEF transfer pumps and meters, including on-site bulk storage equipment options. All Case DEF meets ISO Standards for purity and composition and is an American Petroleum Institute (API) certified diesel exhaust fluid. These standards are the highest for quality and safety and ensure optimum SCR system performance.

26
Oct
Maintenance for Skid Steer Tires

A few simple maintenance routines can extend the life of your skid steer tires dramatically. Clean your Tires Hose down your tires routinely so they are easy to inspect. Look for bubbles, bumps, cracks, and anything that might be lodged in the rubber. Check the Tread A quick visual inspection will also reveal any uneven wear. On skid steers, one set of tires may wear faster (the front or rear), depending on how they are operated. Rotate the tires as soon as you notice any uneven wear, which will extend the life of all four tires. Operate with All Four Tires Engaged There is less wear on the tires and the machine when the skid steer is operated with all four tires engaged on the ground. When the bucket is too far beneath a load, the front tires may lift slightly off the ground, placing stress on the back tires. Keep the Tires on the Ground Skid steer tires are designed for operation on ground, not on road surfaces. Consequently, the tires will wear out faster when they are driven on roads rather than on the ground. Watch for Debris Skid steers are operating in areas that are often full of debris. Drive carefully and avoid litter. Pneumatic tires can go flat, and foam-filled tires can leak if punctured. Protect the Rims Avoid popping off retaining rims, which can occur by catching the rim on an object. It’s inexpensive to replace a rim, but the downtime associated with unnecessary maintenance can be quite expensive. Look for tires with rim protectors built into the design. Monitor the Pressure With pneumatic tires, if the tire pressure is too low, you will waste fuel, and if it’s too high, you increase the chance of flats. In either case, uneven wear can result. Keep a reliable tire gauge handy and check the pressure every day or once a week, depending on how often you are operating the skid steer. Check your owner’s manual for the acceptable tire pressure range. Store Properly Constant exposure to sunlight can cause tires to expand and crack. Store tires in a cool, dry place. Buy Consistent Brands Avoid installing different brands or models of tires on the same machine. Each brand has its own distinct design and combining brands can cause uneven wear on both your tires and your skid steer.

5
Aug
Track Tension: Best Practices

Adjusting Tension Improper tension Loose tracks can detrack. Over-tightening can cause power loss, excessive roller and idler wear, and could tear the tracks. Refer to your operator's manual for track inspection and tensioning procedures. How to adjust Track tension is controlled by a track adjuster located behind the front idler. Tension adjustments are made by pumping or draining grease through the track adjuster valve. Even small adjustments in track sag have a big impact on tension. A change in sag from 1'' to 0.5'' increases tension by about 3,000 pounds. Refer to your operator's manual for specific information on how to adjust the track tension of your machine. Inspect adjuster valve periodically Make sure your adjuster valve is working properly by visually inspecting it periodically. If the valve shows signs of leakage, bring your machine in for repair as soon as possible. Leakage can lead to a loss of track tension and increased wear. Match Tension to Operating conditions Adjust track tension on-site Make tension adjustments on the job site rather than in the shop. Track tension may increase if the sprocket and chain are packed with mud or other materials. A track that is properly tensioned in the shop may become too tight when packed with mud. Test packing conditions before adjusting To match track tension with the specific packing conditions of the job site, run your machine for a short while on the job site, then make the necessary adjustments. Make frequent adjustments Changes in weather can alter the packing conditions of the job site throughout the day. Making tension adjustments in response to these changes can help reduce track wear and costs. Do not operate your machine if the tracks are frozen Wait for the weather to improve if your tracks become frozen. If you try to use power to force the tracks to move you might destroy them. Operation Avoid abrupt turns and high speeds Do not make abrupt turns, because they place unnecessary stress on the track and undercarriage. Continuous turning to the same side can cause asymmetrical wear. Higher speeds cause more wear on the undercarriage. Use the slowest possible operating speed for the job. Avoid excessive reverse operation Do not operate in reverse unless necessary. Reverse operation wears tracks up to three times as quickly as forward operation. Highspeed reverse is particularly destructive to tracks and undercarriage components. Inspection Have your undercarriage inspected annually by a trained technician to catch problems early before they lead to unnecessary damage. For questions or additional information, please contact the branch nearest you.

14
Jul
Sanitizing Heavy Equipment: Best Practices

Properly sanitizing heavy equipment is essential for maintaining the health, safety, and productivity of your team. Truck and machine cabs can be ideal environments for harboring and transmitting viruses and other illnesses. Despite the fact that operators are typically alone in the cab, all it takes is one mechanic, supervisor, or second shift operator to hop in there, touch a surface, and potentially be infected or leave traces of a virus. Since the COVID-19 pandemic, many companies have a heightened sense of awareness when it comes to maintaining cleanliness. Follow these heavy equipment sanitation tips to protect your team from corona-viruses, the flu, and any other pathogens that may strike. Find the right disinfectant Before you start actually sanitizing your construction machines, you have to find a disinfectant that is effective at eliminating the majority of viruses without damaging your equipment interior. To avoid harming or discoloring vinyl, plastics, leather, or other surface materials, we recommend using cleaners designed for automotive interiors, not general household. Isopropyl based cleaning products can be used to sanitize the majority of hard and interior surfaces. When using an alcohol based cleaning solution, the CDC recommends concentrations of 70% or above. Follow the instructions on the product for concentration, application method, and contact time. If you are trying to deactivate or kill a specific virus, check the EPA-approved disinfectant list for detailed descriptions of which types of cleaners to use for certain pathogens. You should consult your owner's manual for directions on how to clean monitors, touch screens and other sensitive surfaces without damaging them. Wear personal protective equipment (PPE) Once you have the proper cleaning solution, it's time to move into the cab. The person handling the sanitation should always wear latex or synthetic rubber gloves and a mask or face covering. Wearing personal protective equipment will ensure the team member is shielded from the cleaning chemicals, as well as prevent them from leaving traces of a virus on the surfaces they just wiped down. Clean all interior surfaces likely to be touched The most important parts of the cab to sanitize are the ones that we touch a lot. Those areas should be cleaned before each new person enters the machine and typically include all handles, joysticks, steering wheels, knobs, buttons, seat belts, seat belt latches, windows, and even floor mats. Spray surfaces with the cleaner and use a highly absorbent microfiber cloth to scrub and wipe dry. For sensitive electronic or display areas, use an EPA approved contact-less product, which you can spray and let dry without needing to wipe off. Other surfaces to pay attention to Just as important as sanitizing interior hard surfaces are exterior surfaces. Spray, scrub, and wipe all machine touch-points, including the dipstick, gas cap, engine access points, handles, latches, and anywhere else likely to have contact. Although it typically does not have to be sanitized as often as hard surfaces, it's a good idea to clean your upholstery at least every week, if not more frequent. You will find a variety of upholstery products at any auto parts store. If applying your own solution, avoid using anything that contains bleach, as it will cause discoloring. Wash surfaces before sanitizing Before using your sanitizing solution to disinfect equipment, ensure all dirt and dust are washed off. Washing before disinfecting is especially important for your machine's exterior, but also for floor mats, handles, and anywhere else that is visibly dirty. Clearing dust and debris will make the sanitation process more effective. Contact the store nearest you for any questions.

2
Jun
Cutting Edges: Best Practices

Avoid back dragging Back dragging reduces cutting edge life by causing it to break before it wears down. Minimize excessive down pressure Buckets last longer if the operator minimizes the amount of pressure applied when the bucket is engaged with the ground. Avoid using blades in wet conditions Blades wear faster in wet conditions. Equipment Tips Use corner attachments Corner guards increase the bucket's strength. Not using corner guards can cause premature wear. Use a thicker edge More powerful machines can use thicker edges, and, in most cases, they should. For grader blades, consider using single bevel curved blades instead of double bevel curved The leading bevel on double bevel curved blades wears out quickly, turning it into a single bevel curved blade. Single bevel curved blades last longer and are more cost effective. Use proper bolts and nuts Loose bolts and nuts cause the cutting edge to be loose on the moldboard, which can lead to breakage. Use Grade 8 bolts or higher; lower quality may stretch and loosen. Rotate the cutting edge consistently Flipping the blade regularly can double the blade life. The flipping interval depends upon what type of material it's used for, and the application. Protect snowplow cutting edges with a standard flat blade The steel in carbide snow plow blades can erode, causing the carbide inserts to fall out. Inspection Tips Inspect loader edge position The base edge is the primary support for the bucket system, while the primary engagement edge should be the bolt-on cutting edge. If the base edge is worn out, the bucket is not as stable. Inspect loader wear plates and replace when needed Increase the life of the bucket and cutting edge by replacing wear plates regularly. Routinely inspect and secure bolts Loose cutting edges can easily be damaged and may fall off and damage surrounding equipment. Contact your local branch for more information

18
May
CTL and Skid Steer Operation: Best Practices

The versatility of skid steer and compact track loaders makes them a staple on almost any jobsite. Follow our best practices to make sure you are getting the most out of your equipment by completing work efficiently and safely. Always Wear Your Seatbelt Rollover accidents are a leading cause of injury and death in CTLs and skid steers, often because the operator wasn’t wearing a seatbelt. Even if your equipment features a ROPS system, seatbelts are an important component to assure safe operation. No matter how light the load or how short the distance, fasten your seatbelt before you begin operation. Don’t Travel Across Slopes If you need to go up or down a slope in your machine, make sure the heaviest end is positioned uphill and travel in a straight line up and down. This position maximizes stability and greatly decreases the risk of rollovers. When no load is being carried, the rear of the machine is usually heavier. Never Leave The Operator’s Station While The Engine is Running or When The Arms Are Raised Another leading cause of injury or death involving skid steers and CTLs is hitting or crushing someone with moving parts. Buckets can unexpectedly lower or loads can be dropped without notice. Never start the machine or make adjustments from outside the cab, and never allow someone walk under raised arms. The Proper Technique For Stopping The Machine Is: Lower the arms and attachment flat on the ground Stop the engine and remove the key, or lock the keyless panel Engage the parking break Move the controls until they are locked or in a neutral position Never Transport Personnel In The Bucket Or On Attachments No more than one person should ever be involved in operating a skid steer or CTL. Falling off these machines can result in serious injury or death. Never lift the hydraulics or drive a machine with another person riding along the outside of the machine.

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Most Recent
Best Practices: How to Maintain Trench Safety?
3/11/22
Best Practices: Equipment End of Life
1/19/22
Introducing OAT Coolant
12/7/20
Do you have any questions or need any professional advice on selecting equipment? We would be happy to help. Please contact a store nearest you and our experts will guide you in selecting the right equipment.