5 Safety Tips for Earthmoving With a Skid Steer
If you've bought a plot of land and you need to level it so that you can build a home, you may be able to do this earthmoving project on your own. You don't even need extra-large heavy machinery. Instead, you can simply hire a skid steer to do the work, but to protect yourself, you need to keep the following safety tips in mind:
1. Check for Underground Utilities
Even if the lot is uninhabited, there may still be underground utilities leading to other properties. To ensure that you don't accidentally hit a gas or electrical line, you should contact the utility companies in the area and ask if they can check for wires and pipes underground. Ideally, you should never break ground unless you have done this check.
2. Know the Load Limits
Before you start moving earth, check the load limits on the skid steer. Then, you may want to find out how much soil and rocks it takes to get up to that weight. If you have a sense of the weight of the items you are moving, you should be able to visually assess each load to make sure it's not over the limit.
3. Carry Loads as Instructed
Make sure that you understand how you are supposed to carry loads to stay safe. For instance, some skid steers shouldn't be moved with a raised load. Instead, you may need to carry the load so that it's relatively low and parallel to the ground. Raising a load of soil when you're not supposed to could cause the skid steer to tip over.
4. Wear the Safety Restraint
When you're working, always wear the safety restraint. If the skid steer tips or rolls while you're driving it over a hill of soil, the safety restraint ensures that you don't fall out and get crushed by the equipment. Ideally, when hiring this earthmoving equipment, you should make sure that the skid steer has a roll bar and that all the other safety features are intact.
5. Remember Your Blind Spot
While working, keep in mind that you have a blind spot. Before you start moving earth, get into the skid steer and assess your visibility. Figure out where your blind spot is. Then, thoroughly check your work area before you start working. If there are other people on site with you, set up a communication system so that you can easily check whether or not they are in your blind spot before you start moving.
To really be safe, hire a professional to help you. They can bring in the earthmoving equipment and handle the dirty work for you.