Compact track loaders (CTLs) are amazing earth-moving machines, offering lots of power in a relatively small package. Plus, they have the ability to use so many attachments and handle so many applications as a sort of hybrid of a skid steer loader and a bulldozer. They’re used in construction, agriculture, landscaping, utility work, and other environments, but no matter what type of job site you’re on, the below tips for compact track loader safety are so important.
Even as a smaller machine, compact track loaders can pose serious dangers to the people and property around them. This is of course true of any heavy equipment. It’s up to every CTL operator—as well as everyone else who works around them—to be aware of compact track loader safety.
So, review these tips for compact track loader safety and keep yourself, your fellow crew members, and all the materials and equipment around you safe!
Compact Track Loader Safety Tips
- Only people who are trained to operate a CTL should do so
- Always perform thorough pre- and post-operation inspections of a compact track loader
- Check that the attachment is secure while making a machine inspection
- Remove a machine with any potential problems from operations; never operate the CTL if there’s any sign of damaged or malfunctioning components, controls, safety features, etc.
- Only enter and exit a compact track loader when its engine is off and its attachment is lowered to the ground; maintain three points of contact with the machine while getting in and out
- Never attempt to operate a compact track loader from outside its cab
- Cabs are for one person only, and the operator should always wear the seat belt or engage the safety bars
- Nobody should ever ride on the exterior of a CTL or in its bucket, or be beneath an elevated attachment
- Review the compact track loader’s specs and the planned application to select the appropriate attachment for every job
- Never attempt to lift a load that’s over the machine’s maximum capacity
- Make sure loads are evenly distributed in the bucket or other attachment, and lift them slowly and smoothly
- Keep the bucket as low to the ground as possible while moving a load
- Maintain slow, safe speeds, and reduce speed on uneven or unstable ground conditions, slopes, and during turns
- Remain at a safe distance from the edge of trenches
- Keep up with preventive maintenance to identify and address problems that can jeopardize the machine’s performance and safety