Tag Archive for 'Training'

Goodbye Snow, Hello Spring

By Greg Sitek

RMG aNo snow today or for the immediate future. That means spring has sprung and orange cones should start blooming everywhere. That means the sounds of construction equipment should be filling the air replacing the sounds of snowplows and salt spreaders – at lease in a majority of the country.

Are you ready? More importantly, are your employees and machines ready?

Spring is a good time to refresh everyone’s understanding and knowledge of safety on the jobsite, around the equipment and while operating the equipment. Most equipment manufacturers have machine-specific safety information available. This is a good time to make sure that this information is available. If not, contact your local equipment dealer or the manufacturer and get copies. Hand it out to the concerned or involved employees. Don’t depend on them picking it up on their own.

If you need generic safety materials The Association of Equipment Manufacturers has a library of safety manuals covering virtually all the equipment you use. They also have a selection of videos both of which are available in languages other than English. You can visit AEM online at: www.aem.org and click on the store button or scan: (Insert aem safety qr scan code). The equipment manufacturers who produce the equipment have developed the AEM safety material.

So much for the personnel, after you make certain that they are properly dressed and supplied with the required safety for the job. Let’s talk about the equipment.

Most equipment owners have been spending the winter months repairing, updating and getting their equipment ready for the job. Even so there is always the final check before a piece of equipment is loaded on a trailer headed for the job.

Two things come to mind that are often forgotten: the first is making certain that the operator’s manual is onboard; the second is that the ground engaging tools have been serviced and are ready for the first job.

Since I have your attention, let’s add and another item to the list… the prestart check list. You know, the walk-around inspection list.

It’s difficult to remember what every button, switch, lever, light, warning buzzer means. It’s easy to forget where something is, especially if you change machines with any regularity. Beside the operator’s manual is loaded with useful information, hints and even tips that can help you do the job better. It’s good to have it on hand for quick and easy reference JUST IN CASE.

What about the ground engaging tools? For years there has been an argument about what is the most important part of a piece of equipment – the machine itself, the engine, the electrical system, the hydraulic system, the operator’s station.

The correct answer is the “tool.” Without it the machine has nothing to do. And the tool depends on its ground-engaging component for its effectiveness whether it’s teeth, blade or piercing tool. Dull, worn teeth, blade or leading edge on a bucket hinder a machine’s ability to do its job. Dull worn ground engaging tools minimize a machine’s productivity and maximize its fuel consumption – a perfect combination for lower productivity and less profit.

Pre-start checklists are almost always provided by the machine manufacturer in the operator’s manual or service manual. Some equipment owners, based on experience, develop their own inspection routines. If you’re looking for information relative to equipment maintenance and management you should visit the Association of Equipment Management Professionals (AEMP) by visiting: www.aemp.org

In any organization or on any construction projects the two most important components are the personnel and the equipment. Take care of both…

This articled appeared as an editorial in the April 2105 issues of the 13 ACP publications.


Attachments Safety & Training

Attachment Safety and Training

3 Sure-Fire Investments

sitekEditor’s note: This article appeared in the October 2013 issues of the ACP magazines

Whenever an investment is made it is done with the expectation of getting a positive return. This doesn’t always happen. Often the results are less than anticipated. The most recent recession proved the point.

For the construction contractor, no matter how small or large, here are three investments that are always a sure thing and will always give you a positive ROI.

Safety is the best investment you can make for your company. Anytime an accident, injury or worse is prevented you get a measurable return.

All construction sites are accidents waiting to happen. Your challenge is to survey job sites and find as many potential hazards as possible and then do something to prevent accidents. There are an endless string of safety slogans, signs, warning devices, training materials and programs designed to help you deliver safety messages to you crews. Visit www.site-kconstructionzone.com “Digging For Dirt” and read the guest blog by Penny Olmos — for a quick trip scan here Insert Safety Scan Code.

A couple of other resource sites are Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM) www.aem.org and safety.cat.com. There are dozens of other resources starting with the equipment manufacturers. The AEM safety materials are the result of a cooperative effort by all the member manufacturers and available in several languages. The time effort and capital pout into safety programs and training always give you the highest return when you can go to bed at night knowing that all your employees, every single one, went home at the end of the day tired and uninjured.

Training needs to be a critical part of your operation even if it’s only you and your brother-in-law. Employees should go through a training program designed to familiarize them with company practices, programs and protocols.  Even seasoned operators can use periodic update training. And don’t forget the all important safety training.

Most equipment dealers have some type of training available for the equipment they handle. Many of the equipment manufacturers also provide operator training. If you’re buying a new piece of equipment you can include training as part of the deal. You would want to include maintenance training in the arrangements.

In many cases training becomes a two-way learning experience. The trainer can always learn from the new employees especially if the individual has years of experience.

The use of the team analogy ihas certainly been overworked but the reality is that it does apply. A team is a grouping of people working together to achieve a common goal each has a specific function for which they are responsible. The key to a team’s success is the result of extensive training. If all the members of a team execute their individual responsibilities as they’ve been trained to the result is the achievement of the objective or goal effectively, efficiently, safely and profitably.

Maintenance insures that the equipment, tools, attachments and safety devices are all functioning as effectively as they were designed to. A machine delivers its greatest level of productivity when it’s in its optimum operating condition. A piece of equipment can’t deliver peak performance unless it’s in peak condition. The only way to keep equipment at a like-new performance level is through a comprehensive maintenance program consisting of routine daily inspections, safety checks, scheduled service intervals, oil analysis, before-failure component replacement, and don’t forget the ground engaging tools. Dull, blunt or worn teeth and cutting edges will cause a machine to use more fuel, accelerate wear and reduce productivity.

Safety and training are both critical components of a maintenance program. Working on and around equipment has its own set of safety hazards that need to be addressed. The maintenance staff needs to be trained to be efficient. Investing in integrating these three component into your operation will always give you a positive return that will be reflected in your employees attitudes as well as your bottom line.

KIRBY-SMITH MACHINERY, INC. Announces Its First Webinar

KIRBY-SMITH MACHINERY, INC. Announces Its First Webinar

We are very excited to announce our first webinar, which will focus on National Boom Truck Maintenance. The webinar will be on December 11, 2012, at 7:30am. I hope that you and any of your coworkers who are interested will join us for this webinar. Also, if possible, I would really appreciate it if you could feature a story about our webinar in an upcoming edition of your magazine.

Here’s a link to the webinar’s registration page: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/46702102778485760

Holt Cat® Invests In Dubiski High School’s Technical Skills Program

HOLT CAT and Caterpillar®, as part of the Dealer Excellence Fund, have made an investment of $8,800 to Dubiski Career High School in Grand Prairie to support its technical skills program and the career development of technical students. This morning, Dallas WFAA’s Daybreak program featured HOLT CAT Regional Service Manager Tony Spalding presenting the check to Grand Prarie Superintendent Dr. Susan Hull, and Jose Sanchez, a high school senior in the Diesel Technician Training Program at Dubiski High School. Sanchez plans to get training to re-build diesel engines after completing high school. A number of Grand Prarie Independent School District Representatives and Dubiski High School students were in attendance.

HOLT’s Tony Spalding presenting the donation check to a number of Dubiski High School Students

The Caterpillar Dealer Excellence Fund (Est. 1989) is a program to strengthen curriculum and faculty development in technical schools and increase the pool of qualified service technicians.

“The goal of the Dealer Excellence Fund Program is to help schools develop state-of-the-art technical training programs,” explains Shaun Manning, Technical Training Director, HOLT CAT Pro Tech! “When a Cat dealer supports a school’s technical skills program by making a donation, the foundation matches it.” Therefore, the Caterpillar Foundation matched HOLT’s original donation of $4,400 to produce a combined donation of $8,800.

Dubiski High School seniors and juniors in the Ag Power Systems Program with teacher Rick Elmore and HOLT’s Tony Spalding (left)

Rick Elmore, Automotive Program Facilitator and Instructor at Dubiski Career High School, detailed how the school plans to use this donation. “The funds will be used for a hydraulic training system for the diesel mechanic program, which will help prepare students for entry-level positions in the heavy-duty equipment repair field. Hydraulic systems are extremely important and an integral component of construction/agricultural equipment.”

In addition to the investment, HOLT CAT is currently interviewing Dubiski High School students for paid internship positions.  The programs begins in December and eligible student interns will receive top level industry training and could qualify for the National Safe Tractor Operator Certification, which will help these young people develop a competitive edge in the market place.

HOLT strongly supports the training and education of technical students and hopes to increase the pool of qualified technicians to meet industry needs for these specialized employees. The donated funds may be used for scholarships, faculty development, training aids and equipment. Dubiski Career High School was evaluated and selected based on the strength of their current infrastructure and program.