Compact loader transport safety tips
Transporting compact loaders involves several steps that should not be overlooked in order to protect the machine and ensure the safety of those involved, writes Bobcat Company loader product specialist MIKE FITZGERALD
Selecting the right transport and towing vehicles, properly loading the skid steer loader or compact tracked loader and practicing proper fastening techniques are steps that should be followed by you and your employees when transporting a compact loader.
The right transport
Be sure the transport and towing vehicles are of adequate size and capacity for the weight of the machine and attachments being transported.
Adequately designed ramps of sufficient strength (wood ramps can break and cause personal injury) are needed to support the weight of the machine when loading onto a transport vehicle.
Loading the machine
Always disengage the auto idle feature (if equipped) when loading or unloading the machine on a trailer. Make sure mud, sand and any other debris are removed from the loader before loading the machine.
When you are ready to load the machine onto the trailer, travel up the ramp with the heaviest end up. The loader will be heavier in the rear than the front unless it is connected to an attachment, such as a breaker or planer, which will make it heavier in the front.
The rear of the trailer must be blocked or supported when loading or unloading the machine to prevent the front end of the trailer from rising up.
Then, position the loader onto the trailer by the manufacturer’s guidelines.
Securing the loader
Once the machine is on the trailer, operators should lower the attachment to the floor of the trailer, stop the engine and engage the parking brake.
Install the chain at the front and rear loader tie-down positions as identified by the Operation and Maintenance manual, then secure the chains and binders using recommended practices.
Following these steps and all instructions in your Operation and Maintenance manual will help minimise issues or problems the next time you transport your equipment to a jobsite.
Mike Fitzgerald is a loader product specialist with Bobcat Company, a compact equipment division of Doosan Infracore Construction Equipment America.
With over three decades of construction industry experience, Fitzgerald coordinates North American customer and dealer product development efforts, and conducts training for the company’s skid-steer and compact track loaders and attachments.
Fitzgerald’s expertise leverages his experience as an operator, mechanic and service manager. He is a former chairman of the Association of Equipment Manufacturer’s Compact Loader and Excavator Council. A current member of the Society of Automotive Engineers, Fitzgerald holds one European and two US patents.
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