Operating heavy equipment in the winter poses its own set of challenges. This is one reason why proper training is so important for heavy equipment operators. Heavy equipment training programs can help prepare operators for working in all conditions — including operating heavy machinery in the cold winter months.
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What to Consider in Operating Heavy Machinery In Cold Weather
Working in the winter can be challenging at times. Heavy equipment operators should be aware of the following three things when working on a job site in the winter.
- Different Conditions
The conditions in winter can be harsh on job sites that use heavy equipment machinery. Ice, snow, sleet, and frozen weather can mean more logistics are required than in warmer months. Plan ahead knowing how these conditions will affect the roads and the ground you’re working on.
- Understand the Data From Machines
Telematics is how companies keep track of their machines and know they’re running efficiently. This helps managers track productivity and monitor engine temperature, among other important data. This data is important to know when machines need maintenance or repairs.
- A Higher Importance of Safety
Winter means less daylight and reduced visibility. Add lights to the job site or machines to improve visibility. Safety should be at the forefront to prevent accidents and keep the job site operating smoothly.
Why Safety Is Important
Safety is important year-round but is especially pertinent during the winter. Be aware of the conditions you’re working in to help keep safety priority number one.
- Dress for the weather. Your machine’s cab may be warm but the temperature is low outside, and you’re going to have to get in and out of the cab.
- Conduct the proper maintenance checks. Ensure tires, oil, and wiper fluid are all up to standards.
- Let the machine warm up when you first turn it on. The hydraulics can become distressed in the cold, so give your heavy machinery time to warm up before you get working.
- Be prepared for tough conditions. Snow and ice can lower visibility and impact the ground you’re working on.
- Take proper breaks. Part of staying safe is knowing when you’re overexerting yourself and taking care of your body.
Start Your New Career Now
If you’re interested in a career in heavy equipment operation, now is the best time to start. Operator demand is at its peak during the spring and summer. The winter then is the optimal time to begin training for your new career. You’ll receive training and hands-on experience in your field. By the time spring rolls around, you’ll have the experience necessary to confidently tackle more jobs.