At any time, with any heavy machinery, safety should be the highest priority. From operation to maintenance, it is important to follow all safety guidelines to ensure that no one is at unnecessary risk. As equipment operators or individuals overseeing others who are operating equipment, following a few safe operating procedures can reduce risk of harm. Whether your using a bobcat skid steer loader or a New Holland skid steer loader, you will always want to make sure that all the safety precautions are taking place.
When operating a skid loader, always operate from the interior compartment rather than the outside and stay seated when operating the controls with seat belt fastened and restraint bar in place. To maintain stability, move and turn with the bucket in the lowest position, operate only on stable surfaces and try to plan to load, unload and turn on level ground. Safety can also be exercised while entering and exiting the loader. Never use a hand or foot control as a step or handhold when exiting or entering and only enter when the bucket is flat on the ground. When leaving the vehicle, be sure to lower the bucket, set the parking break and turn off the engine. Skid steer loaders, used or new, deserve the same treatment when it comes to safety procedures. Remember to read the manual and take note of the components that are specific to the vehicle you are working with.
Safely operating machinery is one way to prevent accidents, but ongoing maintenance of equipment can also keep mishaps from happening. It is always a good idea to first read the guidelines provided by the manufacturer to ensure that you are operating a skid loader correctly.
Some universal guidelines to follow include keeping the interior compartment and foot and hand controls free from mud, snow and anything else that might interfere with safe operation. If service must be performed, first set the parking brake and lower the bucket so that it is positioned flat on the ground. Turn off the engine and then, as an extra measure, remove the key from the switch. Reinforcing safety measures with a construction team or other group is important when operating skid steer loaders. Used loaders may require even more safety precautions. Be sure to check manufacturer guidelines.