Posted on: October 19, 2017 3:53 pm
CAT® Backhoe Loaders are the most versatile Building Construction Product Machine that you can have on your jobsite. The Backhoe is part wheel loader, part excavator and is an extremely stable machine able to perform numerous applications.
One of the key factors that make a Backhoe a popular workhorse on a jobsite is its light footprint on ground surfaces, making it able to get into areas that tracked machines of similar weight class cannot, and the machine can handle heavy or complex work tool attachments. Making the Backhoe one of the cost-effective pieces of construction equipment you will own, able to move dirt, gravel, snow like a wheel loader and dig like an excavator – and able to use the attachments from both machines.
To help increase your productivity using a Backhoe, here are some safe handling tips for using this machine on your jobsite.
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Moving The Backhoe
The Backhoe is a fairly compact machine for its class and can safely move around most tight jobsites. As with all machine operation make sure you are secure with the seat belt on and all controls within easy reach.
The machine is capable of maintaining a road speed, so its acceleration is different to most other construction machines – it is also fully capable running at road speed over rough terrain, which can be a surprise to some operators. However on the jobsite you will need a more subdued speed. Keep the Loader in second gear while moving loads on a jobsite to maintain a safe speed.
While the cab and operator position gives you excellent visibility double check the backup alarm. If the Operator has to take the Backhoe out onto the open road to move between jobsites, make sure the independent brake pads and the driver’s seat are locked. In addition check your boom arm and that the swing lock system is in place.
Lifting Heavy Loads
Due to its stability the Backhoe can lift and carry heavy loads. During these tasks the Loader has to maintain a strong grip on the ground. The best practice is to operate the machine on level ground, with the stabilizer engaged and rear wheels at least 6 inches off the ground.
If you have to move the load slow and steady wins the race, drive to your conditions and load, and if you are carrying the load in the front bucket, keep the bucket close ground level as possible. Do not lift the bucket until you ready to tip the load.
Preparing For Excavation
The Backhoe has an excavator arm, which operates pretty much in the same way as an excavator. Make sure when the machine is in position that the stabilizers are engaged before commencing any digging operations. As the operator you are responsible for the dig, place your overburden site in an appropriate location, be aware of your environment and who is working in the trench with you.
Always Be Safe
The Backhoe Loader is a piece of construction equipment, do your daily safety and maintenance checks and follow your company’s safe practices and jobsite safety rules. Remember safety starts with you.