Heavy Equipment Parking Mistakes – A Guide on What NOT to Do

  • Written by Luis
Arrow points to raised boom on a parked John Deere excavator

Heavy equipment such as excavators have specific steps to use when parking the vehicle. Whether you are parking it at the end of the day, when going on break, or when performing other tasks at the jobsite, incorrectly parking heavy equipment can cause damage to the machine and a dangerous working environment.

Avoid the following parking mistakes and learn what to do to correctly park heavy equipment.

Leaving Hydraulic Attachments Suspended

It is a common mistake for operators to leave the attachments suspended into the air. Many workers believe that it is okay to do this since the machine is turned off. However, you should never leave the attachments suspended for two particularly important reasons.

All the weight is on the boom cylinders: With the attachments suspended, all the weight is on them from the boom, arm, and bucket. This weight could cause the hydraulic arm to malfunction and come downward, making it very unsafe for people to walk around or underneath it.

Never trust the hydraulic system: There could still be energy in the system even when it is turned off. No one should walk under the suspended equipment if you have to leave it in this position or if the machine is, for some reason, stuck in this position.

Best Way to Avoid this Parking Mistake

Step 1: Turn the machine back on and bring all the attachments down to their rested position. You want to bring the thumb down on the bucket attachment as well as the blade.

Heavy equipment technician puts a JD excavator into a rest position for parking

Step 2: Discharge the energy from the hydraulic system. The pilot circuit is normally charged by the accumulator which still may have energy inside of it for the excavator. This energy could cause the hydraulic system to move even when it is turned off. So, you want to turn the heavy equipment off and turn the ignition key to the “on” position. Then cycle the pilot controls for about 30-60 seconds. This step will help to discharge all the energy from out of the machine.

When it comes to heavy equipment, you want to make sure that it is parked in a safe manner to avoid workplace accidents.

Learn more about keeping your worksite safe when using heavy equipment, and how to obtain the machines and parts that you need, by contacting Fortis HD.

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