Monthly Archives: December 2022

How to Safely Use Heaters on Your Construction Site

Winter weather is here to stay, and it can put a damper on your jobsite productivity. Heaters can be a great option to keep your project on track, but they aren’t without risks. Use these tips to keep your team safe and warm this winter. 

Heater Safety


General Tips

Hugg & Hall-stickered generator outside a large brick house with a pool.

Tips to keep your team safe include, but aren’t limited to: 

  • Place heating unit on stable, noncombustible ground. 
  • Schedule regular inspections and preventative maintenance on heaters, hoses, and fuel tanks. Maintenance should be performed by a qualified service company. 
  • Secure fuel tanks and protect them from moving equipment. Post “No Smoking” signs in the storage area. 
  • Use American Gas Association (AGA) rated piping for gas-powered units. Never let equipment drive over flexible fuel lines. 
  •  Keep flue stacks far away from combustible materials. Never direct flue stacks into a building. 
  • Ensure spaces are well-ventilated.
  • Install carbon monoxide detectors in the area. 
  • Never leave heaters running unattended. If the heater has an LP gas supply, shut it off at the cylinder valve when you’re not using it. 
  • Always keep a fire extinguisher nearby. For more information about preventing fire risks, check out this fire safety article from Travelers. 


Machine-specific Tips

Always follow the tips listed above for any heater. For machine-specific tips for direct-fired, indirect-fired, and electric heater safety, check the following sections. 

Direct Fired Heaters

Direct fired heaters (AKA “salamanders”) convert 100% of their fuel to heat and can’t be ducted. Salamanders have a fan that pushes air across an open flame. 

Direct fire heaters are more effective and cheaper than indirect heaters, but they do have greater risks. 

Tips to keep your team safe include, but aren’t limited to: 

  • Only use salamanders when there is plenty of ventilation. The open flame poses a carbon monoxide risk. 
  • Ensure electronic flame sensors or pilot safety valves are in place. 
  • Shut down and cool off the heater before refueling. Never refuel indoors or within 50 feet of the building. 

Indirect Fired Heaters

Indirect fired heaters are usually fueled by propane or diesel. The flame is contained in a burn chamber, where cool air passes over and around a heat exchanger. The warm air is ducted into the building. 

Heater Safety: Heater ducted into workspace

Indirect fired heaters have a lower potential to cause carbon monoxide poisoning, but they have a higher cost and lower efficiency during general use.

Tips to keep your team safe include, but aren’t limited to: 

  • Keep fumes away from work areas. Aim the flue stack away from any work areas, doors, open windows, or air intake areas. 
  • Protect fuel tanks by storing away from work areas and the heater itself. Place physical barriers around the fuel tanks. 
  • Conduct regular inspections for blockages and leaks. 

Electric Heaters

Electric heaters are a great option when no open flame is permitted or carbon monoxide is a concern. They don’t require ventilation and provide combustion-free heat, making them useful once a project’s electrical work is completed. 

Tips to keep your team safe include, but aren’t limited to: 

  • Use units only in a dry environment. 
  • Make sure the electrical circuit is rated for the size of the unit. 
  • Locate away from combustible materials. 


Visit our website to learn more about the temporary heaters we offer. Contact us for a quote! 

Want more winter weather tips and tricks? Check out our resources section


Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in December 2022. We updated it for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness in November 2023.

Employee Spotlight: Austin Pitchford

Austin Pitchford

Meet Austin Pitchford, Rental Equipment Yard Manager at our Oklahoma City Branch!

Austin has been with Hugg & Hall for five years and has become a master of multiple positions. He started as a Field Service Tech for the rental department before transferring to Rental Fleet Parts Specialist. In December of 2022, Austin accepted the position of Rental Equipment Yard Manager. As the Rental Equipment Yard Manager, Austin ensures equipment is rental-ready, maintains yard organization, coordinates maintenance, and ensures safety policies are followed.

Austin’s experience with the rental fleet team has prepared him for his position as manager. As Parts Specialist, Austin handled the parts orders for the rental fleet. He’s still a great resource for his old service team: you can find him helping out in the shop. He prides himself in lending a hand where anyone needs it: “I love everyone I work with. I worked hard to show them what I’m worth, and they helped me out.” He loves working with a team willing to roll up their sleeves and get the job done.

Austin’s technician experience goes way back. “I’ve been wrenching on stuff since I was a little kid. I had a cousin who worked here at Hugg & Hall, and he was the only tech they had at the time. The company was expanding and needed help. We were at my house one day when he saw some work I’d done on my car, and he suggested I apply.” 

During his first few months, Austin had to learn the ropes. He said he had to call tech support quite a bit, but he caught on quickly. He appreciates the diversity of equipment he gets to work on at Hugg & Hall: “It could be anything from a plate compactor to a 135-foot boom lift, so it keeps it fresh.” 

When he’s not working, Austin enjoys drifting, motocross, and working on cars. You can also find him spending time with his family and his three dogs: Waylon, Violet, and Honey. His favorite quote is from Joe Dirt: “Life’s a garden. Dig it.” 

Austin Pitchford standing next to a tan-colored van in the snow. He is holding a medium-sized black dog. A smaller white terrier is looking out the passenger window of the van. There are mountains in the background.

We enjoy sitting down to talk with our fellow employees! Visit our website for more employee spotlights!

Kardex: A New Way to Organize Parts

Introducing the Kardex Remstar Storage Stacker, a vertical automated Parts Stacker! 

How does it work? 

Kardex Parts Stacker

The Kardex Parts Stacker saves time and space by keeping our stored parts organized and easily accessible. Our Oklahoma City Parts team has been hard at work pulling inventory and organizing it into the vertically arranged trays. 

You can think of Kardex as a smart elevator for your parts storage. It scans the height of parts and finds the ideal storage location to maximize space in the unit. The Kardex also programs its movement speed for the weight of each product: it uses slower speeds for heavier parts and faster speeds for lighter parts. It even keeps the parts that are ordered most often on lower levels, so it takes less time for them to be lowered. 

When a customer places a parts order, the Kardex machine connects to our system. It selects the tray with the product and lowers it. The shutter doors open, and out comes the tray and the product. 


90% of our parts inventory will be stored in the Kardex. Only especially large parts will need to remain on racking. 

The machine went live August 15th. Oklahoma City is the first of our branches to have this equipment and we hope to see it at all locations soon! 


How does the Kardex machine help our customers?  

Kardex is a more organized method of storing and organizing in-stock parts. It will help us be more efficient getting these parts to you. Faster order fulfillment = less time waiting. 

Contact our Parts department for more information on which parts we have in stock! 

To learn more about the Kardex machine and other products, visit Kardex Remstar Warehouse Software Solutions.