If equipment operators are not mindful of how they treat the machines, it can harm productivity and efficiency on the worksite. Understanding the common mistakes construction machine operators should avoid can help prevent maintenance issues, increase productivity, and improve efficiency. Be familiar with the mistakes below so your workers can avoid making them on the job site.
Not Conducting Regular Maintenance Checks
Maintenance is a highly essential component of your work routine. Performing daily maintenance on your quality construction machines will help prevent breakdowns, keep production moving, and save time and money. As an operator, take the time at the end of your workday to ensure everything runs smoothly on the equipment—this means topping off fluids, exchanging broken parts, inspecting components, etc.
Changing Gears Without Stopping
You would never switch from forward to reverse while your car is in motion. The same is true of construction vehicles. You can ruin the transmission if you do not stop the machine before switching gears. Having to replace the transmission in the equipment is extremely expensive for companies, so operators must stop completely before shifting into another gear.
Shutting Down the Machine Immediately
Did you know that you should let your equipment sit idle for a few minutes before shutting it down for the day? Idling the engine can reduce the work rate of the engine, prevent wear to the turbo charger, and avoid unplanned maintenance. Let the machine sit idle for two to three minutes before turning the engine off.
Not Using the Retarder on Slopes
Another common mistake construction machine operators should avoid is not using the retarder going downhill and overusing the brakes. When an employee constantly uses the brakes or hovers their foot over the pedal, it can cause excess wear on this component because it needs to work harder to maintain its speed. Use the retarder braking system when going downhill, so the machine can work more efficiently and to avoid unnecessary wear.
No matter what, a machine operator should go through training to learn how to use the equipment properly, so the business can avoid spending extra money on repairs that could have been prevented. On top of the mistakes the operators should avoid above, ensure they receive an update on their training to operate the construction vehicles more efficiently. Remember, treat your equipment with respect; it will last you much longer.