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Winter Challenges Operator Skills

This has been a weird winter so far. Many parts of the country are dealing with more snow than they are prepared for, and the fact is that everyone relies on heavy equipment operators to get things moving again. Hazardous conditions challenge operator skills because you have to add an extra level of attention to a job you are already familiar with.

Check your machinery frequently. Drastic changes in temperature, like hot liquid gushing through freezing cold pipes and lines, cause stress from sudden expansion. It’s not unusual for breakdowns to occur. Maintenance is vital this time of year. If your equipment is out all the time, this is especially important.

Pay attention to your mirrors and windows — you need to see your surroundings in order to react fast. Slippery conditions mean longer stop times. If you are lucky enough to be in a climate-controlled cab, it’s easy to forget the way the weather has affected your job. A lot of operators get hurt after they stop the engine and start to get out…that first step can be icy, and if you aren’t holding on, your feet can go out from underneath you quick.

The biggest difference between a heavy equipment operator and a professional, expert heavy equipment operator is their attitude about training. The best in the business respect their training, remember their training, and apply what they know to their job every day. Good training has included safety procedures, including those for hazardous winter conditions.

Winter can challenge operator skills, but being well-trained prepares you for it. ATS Heavy Equipment Operation Programs will get you there.

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