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One of the most important considerations when using new heavy equipment is visibility. It’s not just a safety concern, it is also an important aspect of the efficient operation of the heavy equipment. Let’s face it, the operator can’t avoid what he can’t see and he cannot work on effectively if he cannot see the work area. Before actually getting on with the job, have a test drive and check any areas of low visibility â€“ particularly when using a scoop or digging arm.
The controls are another area that needs a careful examination particularly if you are upgrading from a rather old piece of heavy equipment. Many of the latest models use twin joystick controls; one for controling the overall movement of the vehicle and one that operates the hydraulics for the arm, scoop, or blade. These controls require much less force to operate than mechanical controls of old. In fact, if your current equipment is really old, you may find the newest models controls are over sensitive. You will need to spend a little time becoming accustomed to their sensitivity.
If your lucky, the heavy equipment will have adjustable controls. These allow the operator to adjust the sensitivity and control pattern to match their own preferences.
Finally, check the ergonomics of the cab, particularly seat adjustments. Ensure you sitting in comfortable enough to reach all controls, read all meters and see the work area with little or no obstructions.
New equipment can be tricky and will take some time to get used to. Receiving training on equipment that is fairly recent can help, however the reality is you may end up working on a site that has fairly ancient equipment. At some stage that equipment will be upgraded, or you may change employer and suddenly you are confronted with the latest piece of equipment. Don’t hesitate, remember these guidelines and you will be as right as rain.