Do your new operators need to know how to operate a Bobcat machine? Education is an important first step to keeping your employees safe and your equipment intact. Train your operators with these six steps for proper operation and maintenance of compact equipment.
The Operation & Maintenance Manual is your best friend when training for Bobcat equipment. The manual is your primary guide for compact machines, so it’s a good starting point for machine operator training. Review additional safety and instructional decals on the machines, which are strategically placed inside and outside your machine for quick reference.
Your operators learn in different ways. Some prefer videos, while others may want in-person training. For best results, provide training and resources in multiple formats to match a variety of learning styles: in-person, print, video, visual or text. Bobcat Company offers online operator training courses available in English and Spanish. Bobcat also offers Operator training course kits with video instruction, classroom exercises and hands-on instruction. The Association of Equipment Manufacturers offers resources for proper operating practices as well.
One way to build a safety mindset is to remind your operators during training of basic guidelines. While jobsite requirements vary, every operator should follow the personal protective equipment (PPE) requirements before work begins. PPE may include:
Other recommended guidelines include wearing a seat belt, using the grab handles and steps when entering and exiting equipment, and wearing tight-fitting clothing that cannot get caught on the machine.
Before work begins, allow your operators to get a feel for the work area. Point out potential dangers, such as utility lines, narrow roadways, sharp curves and soft ground conditions. Call 811 to have a trained professional on-site to clearly mark underground utilities. Set up barrier tape, traffic cones or gates to keep other individuals and equipment out of the work area.
These precautions alert your operators to the work and hazards on the site. They can work comfortably and safely after getting the lay of the land.
Make visual inspections a part of your operators’ daily routine. While training for Bobcat equipment, have your operators take a few minutes to walk around the machines and check for potential problems. Show your operators what issues to look out for (reference the Operation & Maintenance Manual for the specific items to inspect daily for your machine):
After your operators know the ropes, they’re ready to enter the cab. They’ll be chomping at the bit to run the machine, but there are some critical steps before they can get started. Show them to their new “office” and the proper procedures to start up.
Preventive maintenance is part of the routine for every operator. They must know their way around the equipment to keep your machines – and your projects – running smoothly. Before performing any maintenance, teach your operators the skills to complete the job correctly and keep these maintenance reminders handy:
These steps will get your machine operator up to speed so they don’t endanger themselves or others. But training for Bobcat equipment is never over. Even as manufacturers add new features, worksite safety is the responsibility of the people on the job. Keep resources on hand, stay on top of new regulations and provide refresher courses to maintain a safety-minded crew.
And if you regularly rent your equipment, make sure your green operators know the proper way to operate a rental.