Monthly Archives: June 2018

Tips To Keeping Your Equipment Up & Running In The Heat

Maintaining Equipment in the Summer Months

For equipment owners/users, warmer temperatures present unique challenges which require seasonal maintenance routines. Hugg & Hall Equipment Company is dedicated to supporting their customers through the equipment renting, owning and/or maintenance process. As such, here are some tips for keeping equipment operational amid sweltering temperatures.

 

  • Check your engines!

When it’s warm outside, engines are warm, too. In warmer temps, it’s essential that engines have the correct coolant and oil levels. To prevent damage to your radiator and engine, make sure to regularly check that water, coolant and oil remain at manufacturer recommended levels.

  • Check for leaks!

Equipment should be regularly checked for leaks. Remember to regularly check for hydraulic/oil leaks around seals and bolts.  

  • Check your brakes!

It’s especially important to check your brakes in the warmer months. Brake friction is less reliable when it’s hot outside because brakes are adjusting to the additional heat. Make sure to check your brakes often… you may prevent a disaster!

  • Properly store your equipment!

It’s important to give equipment reprieve from direct sunlight. Because the heat can have negative effects on some equipment components, consider storing your equipment outside of direct sunlight or, at the very least, use tarps for sun protection.

  • Check your coolant!

It’s essential to use the correct concentration of coolant in the summer. Operators are typically advised to use a 50/50 concentration of coolant to water. Too much water can lead to decay, a lower boiling point and further damage.

  • Check your belts!

If you’re concerned about overheating, make sure to check for discolored hoses and loose belts. These are often early indicators of an overheated machine and regularly checking for signs can keep you out of a pickle.

  • Remember to grease!

To keep your engines up and running, don’t forget to properly grease. Check the machine’s manual to confirm you’re using the appropriate grease, and as often as advised. Since dirt and grime can mix with grease and catalyze wear and tear on equipment, it’s suggested to regularly clean machines.

  • Cool your jets!

During the summer heat, it’s especially important to ensure your cooling system is operating effectively. Machines should be regularly inspected for debris to optimize air flow. It’s advised to habitually clean cooling systems with compressed air and to check radiators, inlets and outlets for grime and debris.

  • Check your tires!

Summer heat adds extra stress on tires. It’s essential to check tire pressure often. Tire pressure can increase with the temperature so regularly check that tires aren’t over-inflated.

  • Continue regular preventive maintenance!

In congruence with these extra steps, don’t forget to continue all standard preventive maintenance procedures. Consult machine’s manuals to confirm your maintenance routine covers all the bases!

 

Hugg & Hall is dedicated to supporting their customers. For any maintenance question, contact our service department. Our service representatives are willing, and happy, to assist you.

National Forklift Safety Day: Tips to Remember

National Forklift Safety Day_ Tips to Remember

 

  • Load Distribution

 

Load distribution is an essential aspect to safely operating any forklift. Each make and model of forklift has a different load capacity and it is crucial that forklift operators are aware of the capacity of the forklift they are operating and how to ensure loads are distributed effectively. Size, shape, position and weight distribution are all factors to consider when calculating whether loads are distributed properly and if lifts can safely be executed. Overloading a forklift can result in the machine tipping, the rear wheels raising, steering control malfunctions or the load falling off the forks. Any load distribution error may result in accidents which have the potential to result in serious injury. Always consider load distribution when operating a forklift. Learn more.

 

  • Proper Preparation

 

Proper preparation is required of any forklift operator. Operators should remember to dress appropriately: including any safety equipment, hi-visibility jacket, safety shoes or hard hat required per environmental factors and company policies. Loose clothing should be avoided to prevent clothing becoming caught on the truck and interfering with controls. Hands and shoes should be dry and not greasy so as to avoid sliding off controls and creating an accident. Operators should ensure that all controls, mirrors and seating are adjusted and are within easy reach of the operator. Forklifts should never be operated unless the driver is seated in the designated operator’s seat and all ligaments are within the confines of the truck. Safety belts should always be fastened throughout operation. Machines should be switched off while recharged/refuelled and refuelling should occur in well-ventilated and flame-free areas.

 

  • Visibility

 

Maintaining clear visibility is a necessity in order to safely operate a forklift. To ensure clear forward visibility, operators can carry loads closer to the floor. Operators are encouraged to ensure that there is adequate visibility when positioning a load and to operate equipment in reverse when a load restricts visibility. If visibility is obstructed, operators may need a second person to assist or must otherwise confirm it is safe to proceed.

 

  • Equipment Inspection

 

Forklifts should be inspected for safety regularly, per industry standards and regulations. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) provides checklists for forklift inspections. The checklists are provided as part of OSHA’s ongoing effort to assist employers and employees in ensuring that a safe and healthful workplace is provided, according to the OSHA website. The lists serve as a guide only and may not be totally inclusive. Each type of powered industrial truck is unique and checklists pertinent to each type of vehicle should be modified accordingly. It is recommended that the manufacturer’s instructions on vehicle maintenance and owner’s and operator’s responsibilities also be consulted. Read the checklists.

 

  • Hazard Avoidance

 

An obvious way to safely operate forklifts is to avoid all known hazards. Operators should follow all job site policies and only operate equipment in designated areas. All warning signs should be observed and safety should remain a precedent. Operators must always look in the direction of operation and remain aware of their surroundings. Forklifts should not be driven over bumps, holes and materials as load stabilization may be affected. Extra caution is required when floors are obstructed or wet. Operators should reduce speed and utilize warning applications when in proximity of corners, exits, entrances, stairways, doors and known pedestrian walkways.

 

  • Environmental Factors

 

Operators should always be aware of load heights and heights of any entrances/exits. Extra precaution should be taken when operating equipment on ramps/bridges. Operators should always ensure that ramps/bridges have the capacity to withstand the weight of the machine and load. A safe distance from edges should be maintained to avoid accidents, injury and load loss. All warning signs regarding maximum floor weight and clearance height should be observed with special attention.

 

  • Speed

 

Forklift operators must operate machines safely, abiding by all speed restrictions and taking responsible action when necessary. Turns and corners should be taken with extra precaution and especially slowly. Sudden stops, starts or turns should always be avoided.

 

  • Operator Qualifications

 

To avoid hazard and/or injury, only those who have been trained, authorised and licensed should operate forklifts.

 

Accident Checklist:

If an accident does occur, it is important to keep in mind the necessary steps to take in order to properly assess and respond to the the event.

  1. Assess. Quickly assess the situation in order to respond appropriately. If an injury has occured, that is the foremost priority.
  2. Seek medical attention. Immediately seeking medical help is essential. It is important to do so quickly to address any injury and to also protect any workers’ compensation claim.
  3. Take photos. Photograph the accident in order to document the scene, equipment and any injuries suffered. Include any contributing factors in the documentation. The photos may prove helpful in potential workplace investigations or insurance claims.
  4. File a report within the organization. Ask a supervisor or human resources manager how to properly report the accident. Most organizations maintain proper protocols on how to report accidents and injuries.