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Backhoe Loader Usage Tips

By Author: Devesh Singh
Total Articles: 26

The backhoe loader is the most widely used construction equipment across the world. Nevertheless, this multi-function machine while offering a huge utility also requires fair attention in terms of safety. The overall life of the equipment is heavily dependent on its correct and proper usage. Here are some useful handy tips to use the backhoe loader efficiently and safely:
1. The equipment should be operated only by an experienced operator, who is well versed with the functions and controls of the backhoe loader. Also, it should be made sure that the user manual and specifications are read and understood prior to usage.
2. Before the actual usage of the backhoe, a thorough inspection of all the parts and controls should be done. Special attention should be given to brakes, hydraulics and safety devices. Apart from this, the lubrication and tires should also be checked. Any leaks under the machine should be taken care of too. One crucial part is the swing system as it is heavily loaded. Hence, it should be made sure that the swing bearings and pins are properly greased.
3. Along with the equipment, the operation site should also be inspected. The terrain should be free of other workers and the site should be inspected for other activities in the vicinity. Extra attention is needed if the job is around underground utilities such as gas and water pipelines.
4. The operator should make sure to fasten the seat belt positively once inside the cabin. The seat should be in a position where all the controls are within comfortable reach. It should be noted that it is dangerous to leave to the seat at any time during the operation of the equipment. Also, prior to operation, appropriate safety gear and clothing should be provided to the operator.
5. During the operation, the stabilizers should be wide and firmly down and the lower should be in contact with the ground. This is essential to ensure the stability of the equipment. Before dropping off the stabilizers the backhoe should be in neutral to avoid any sudden movements. Another point to note here is that the ground under the stabilizers should be solid and even. In addition to this, the ground clearance between the tires and the ground should be around six inches.
6. The operation of the boom, dipper and bucket should always in sync with each other. The machine will run most efficiently when the power of all three is combined. Also, the angle of the bucket is crucial in effective use of the machine.
7. Before actual lifting, the operator should be aware of the amount of load the machine can lift at any angle. Usually this is given in the specifications sheet. However, it is a good practice to do a test lift before the actual lifting.
8. While transporting material, speeding should be avoided as it might compromise safety. One basic thumb rule is that the lower is the center of gravity the more stable is the equipment. Hence, during transportation, the load should be kept as close to the ground. Also, during an uphill or downhill movement extra care should be given to speed and the weight lifted. The best strategy is to always move the machine slowly and steadily. Another safety precaution is to lock the boom and the spring prior to any movement.

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