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Working Safely Around Machines

Laura Rourke, Tigercat‘s safety manager talks about how to stay safe when working under or around hydraulically powered machinery.

Hydraulically powered equipment has many benefits, but also some significant inherent risks. Unintended and unanticipated movements of machine parts can cause people working on or around machines to be injured or killed.

Working under suspended loads is very dangerous. Adjusting pressures, disconnecting hydraulic hoses, or the failure of a component in the hydraulic system could cause a boom, blade or attachment to suddenly drop. Due to these risks, many countries have passed laws against working under suspended loads. Tigercat has designed several tools to assist workers when servicing machines to prevent this type of accident from happening. These tools, components or structures are always painted red.

Cylinder Lock

A cylinder lock acts as a block, preventing movement of the cylinder and the boom – or whatever component the cylinder is controlling – in the event of a failure in the hydraulic system.

Cab tilt safety bar

Many of the operator’s cabs on machines like skidders and loaders tilt – either for transport or to access valves and other components located underneath the cab. Some product groups like skidders, forwarders, loaders and loggers are equipped with cabs that tilt over centre. It is critical to ensure that the machine is parked on level ground and that the cab has tilted over centre before working in the area underneath the cab. Conversely, the new TCi 920 dozer does not tilt over centre and thus requires the cab tilt safety bar to secure the cab for service work underneath.

Safety pins

Tigercat material processing machines like the 6900 grinder use safety pins that are inserted under raised elements like the hog box to prevent the components from dropping while workers are performing service underneath.

Tilt frame lock

Tigercat harvesting heads have two locking points to prevent unintended movement. The tilt frame lock bolts can be installed one of two ways. In the upright position, the tilt frame is locked to allow for lubrication and service. In the down position, it allows for access to the hydraulic control valves and components that are located at the back of the head.

Articulation locks

In addition to lifting, many Tigercat machines articulate for steering. Tigercat provides an articulation lock to prevent the machine from articulating, safeguarding work around the centre joint. Additionally, the articulation lock also prevents unintended movement during transport.

Key Takeaways

If we all take a moment to think through how to perform work in a safe way, we can help prevent accidents and get home to our families at the end of the day.

Always Refer to the Operator's Manual

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