A bobcat or skid steer can be a useful piece of equipment. It can hold all kinds of attachments from digging buckets to log splitters to forklift tines. Regardless of the attachments you use, you need to ensure you're being safe. Utilise these tips for your next bobcat hire:
1. Use the Built-in Safety Mechanisms
Before you start to use your bobcat, take some time to acquaint yourself with the safety elements. Most new models have built-in restraints, and you can't even start the bobcat until the restraint is engaged. If your bobcat has a roll cage, make sure to use that as well. It can be a lifesaver if you tip over.
2. Wear Personal Protective Gear
You should also dress for the occasion. Make sure that you wear hearing protection as the motor can get loud. On top of that, wear sturdy closed-toed work boots and a hard hat if necessary.
3. Plot Out Your Work Area
Before you start using the bobcat, walk through your work area and plot out what you plan to do. If there are any ledges or drops, make sure that you plan a route so that you can avoid those areas or put up flags so you can see the drops. Also, move any obstacles and make sure there are no humans in your path.
4. Have a Spotter
Even if you have walked through the area where you plan to work, it still helps to have a spotter. This person should be on the ground directing you. They are especially helpful if you need to back up. Work out a series of hand signals so that you can communicate easily over the sound of the motor.
5. Check the Weight Capacity of the Attachments
Always double check the weight capacity of the bobcat's attachment and make sure that you aren't overloading the attachments. Adding too much weight can force your bobcat off balance and lead to an accident. Even if you don't get hurt, you may damage the bobcat if you overload it.
6. Test the Attachments
Before you start working, test out the attachments. Do they go up and down or move as expected? If not, make sure to repair them before you start using them.
7. Work Slowly and Steadily
Now that you've got the right safety elements in place, it's time to start using your bobcat. Ideally, you should work slowly and steadily. Rushing through the job can lead to accidents or rollovers.