Dealing with Changing Tire Pressure During the Winter Underinflated tires are a drain on your business. Low tire pressure increases fuel usage and wear. Follow these best practices to get optimal performance from your equipment. Check tire pressure regularly You can't check tire pressure with a visual inspection. Many tires will look properly inflated even if they're not, which is why it's important to check regularly with temperature changes. In the winter, check tire pressure weekly. The best time to ensure an accurate reading is before you operate the machine or three hours after shutting down. A general rule of thumb is that 10° F air temperature change correlates to a tire pressure change of 1 psi. Measure tire pressure at the working temperature Don't measure tires in a warm shop if you'll be working in the cold. Make sure you're taking accurate tire pressure readings in the setting that the equipment will be used. Inflate tires with nitrogen To combat pressure fluctuations, consider using nitrogen to fill your tires. There's no added risk of combustion or fire and it prevents ice crystals from forming that could hold open the tire's valve stem. When inflating your tires with nitrogen, continue to fill the tire to the manufacturer's recommended psi. Slowly roll tires if they have been sitting for long periods in cold weather When first using a machine after it has been parked, gradually move the machine at first. Cold temperatures can cause the contact surface of tires to go flat against the ground and this will allow the tires to return to their correct shape. As temperatures warm, continue to keep an eye on tire pressure Don't let your tires over inflate as temperatures increase. Faster, irregular wear can occur, shortening the tire's life. Measuring tire pressure regularly throughout any temperature fluctuation ensures you'll be working at optimal pressure.
How to Get Your Equipment Out of the Mud! When you're operating heavy equipment off road, there's a possibility that at some point you could get stuck in the mud, especially on wet, soggy jobsites. Almost any type of equipment can be vulnerable to ending up in this situation, including skid steers, CTLs, wheel loaders, and excavators. Below are some procedures to follow to help avoid this potentially time consuming problem. Better to avoid getting stuck in the mud in the first place Removing equipment from mud can be an arduous task that wastes time and money on the job. Here are some best practices to avoid having your equipment stuck in the mud. Before you start work for the day, thoroughly examine the jobsite to get an idea of the terrain you will be working on. Clearly mark off dangerous areas full of mud or sticky soil to avoid taking the machine in that direction. Use wide tracked compact track loaders and excavators to minimize ground disturbance on your worksite. As wider tracks enhance flotation and traction, they are ideal for working in softer soils and muddy areas. Remove mud or debris from your equipment's tracks, tires, and undercarriages between jobs and at the end of each workday to help improve traction in wet conditions. Tips for extracting equipment from mud No matter how careful you are, your equipment will probably get stuck in the mud at some point. Here are some suggestions on how to handle those situations: Make sure you have robust straps, ropes, chains, or cables handy in your toolkit to pull your equipment out of the mud in the event that it gets stuck. To make the process of getting your equipment out of mud easier, remove anything from the machine that can be removed to make it lighter. This way, you will be able to pull it out more easily. Place planks behind its wheels to assist with traction when you set up the machine to extract it from the mud. To avoid damaging your machine, attach your straps to a tow hook or the frame itself. Doing so will give you the best chance of getting your equipment out without breaking anything. Sometimes, the chains snap during towing, and the tow hooks transform into deadly projectiles that fly through the air. To ensure they fall towards the ground instead of flying up, insert them with their tips up. Similarly, it's important to keep a safe distance away from towing chains or straps in case one breaks. Chains and hooks can launch through the air at a high rate of speed and will cause serious injury to bystanders. Removing equipment from the mud is a difficult and dangerous task. Follow our tips and best practices to avoid getting stuck in the first place. If you do, though, our tips for removing machines effectively will be helpful.
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.