Updated January 1, 1 . AmFam Team
The skid-steer is what farmers and ranchers point to when the heavy lifting’s got to get done. From handling landscaping projects to moving silage, the skid-steer is a workhorse that can’t be replaced. With so many attachments and uses, the skid-steer gets important work done all year long. Because your business depends on these vehicles every day for so many important tasks, take a look at these operator’s tips to be sure everyone on your farm is operating your skid-steer safely.
Even if you’re a well-seasoned operator, a full review of the how your skid-steer is designed to work can pay off. You may be surprised what you learn. Make time to get familiar with the machine. You’re going to be better informed — which can mean less accidents, less down time and a safer farm.
Find the owner’s manual. It can teach you things about the skid-steer you never knew. Try reading it again, this time looking for safety tips and suggestions. And you’re likely to find links to videos on how to run the skid steer safely on the manufacturer’s website.
Get certified. Skid-steer certification trains you so you’re taking on each job safely. Look online for training courses on the specific type of skid steer and attachments your farm uses. Many courses are online and satisfy OSHA’s in-classroom portion of operator safety training. With quizzes along the way, and a written final exam, a practical hands-on operator’s test completes the training.
It’s key that you know the limits of the skid-steer so that you don’t risk breaking the machine or hurting others by misusing it. Here are some basics to keep in mind when running a skid-steer.
As simple as this sounds, one misaligned bolt or un-hooked point can result in problems and sometimes injuries. Go through these simple safety checks to review each time you get into the cab of a skid-steer.
Every day, farms call on their skid-steer to take on different jobs which often means swapping out the bucket for other attachments. From clearing snow to grading roads, there’s a lot that can get done with the right attachment.
Some of the mishaps with skid-steers happen when you don’t look around and verify it’s safe to move the machine. When working with others, visual awareness is key. And children are of concern here, because they’re smaller and less visible. Check out these safety tips to better protect children while you work on the farm.
As you’re working on training your employees, contact your American Family Insurance agent (Opens in a new tab) and learn about the many ways your farm or ranch can benefit from custom-designed coverage that perfectly matches the needs of your farm. You’re going to find that with it, the work they’re doing across the year — on and off the skid-steer — can be better insured. And you’ll feel great knowing your farm is safer and that your operation is protected.