Easy Ways to Avoid a Skid Steer Rollover
Skid steers are versatile machines that are popular in many industries from construction to agriculture. Because they can carry heavy loads, skid steers can tip over if they’re driven incorrectly or overloaded. Here’s what you need to know about avoiding a rollover.
Stability is the most important element of avoiding a rollover accident. Loads can shift as they’re being transported, causing the machine to roll. If you pick up an uneven load, carry a load that is too heavy, or lift the load too high, you could damage the skid steer or injure yourself.
It’s important to know the limits of your machine and how to work within them. Always carry your load low, and don’t lift items that could easily roll or fall off. When driving a skid steer, try to avoid sudden stops, starts, or turns, as well as excessive speed. Remember, the skid steer is not your dirt bike!
Besides the stability of the machine, other conditions contribute to skid steer safety. These include the condition of the ground, the weather, and any existing hills or slopes. It’s important to stay within the manufacturer’s limits for your machine when operating in these circumstances.
You should inspect the condition of the soil and the slope of the terrain you’ll be working on before you operate the skid steer. Look for potholes, areas of soft soil, or other obstructions that could cause your machine to tip over.
Notice how the weather changes the soil. Watch for ice, mud caused by heavy rains, or any rough ground. These elements could affect the stability of your machine and cause it to sink, slide, or tip. Is your work area prone to high winds? Be aware that gusts of wind can affect the balance of a skid steer.
Skid steers are counterweighted, so working on slopes of any kind can lead to a rollover. Check the operator’s manual for limits on your machine’s wheelbase, dimensions, weight, and other important measurements.
Try to load, unload, and turn on level ground whenever possible. Slow down, and don’t drive across steep slopes. Instead, drive straight up or down the slope with the heavy end of the loader pointed uphill and the bucket lowered to the ground.
According to OSHA, anyone who operates a skid steer must receive training before using the machine on their own. Check out our Skid Steer Operator Safety Training if you or your crew need training, and visit our Hard Hat Training series website for a variety of other heavy equipment trainings.
Construction work can be dangerous, but most accidents can be avoided by paying attention to safety. Make sure you’re aware of stability and operating conditions to avoid a skid steer rollover.
Good luck and stay safe!