There is much more to loading a mini excavator onto a trailer than you might imagine. Your first assumption is that you simply need to line em’ up and load it…surely it can’t be more complicated than that? Well, it depends on how much you value your safety (and your equipment).
You can keep it really simple and just go for it and hope for the best; however, if you’d like to load your mini excavators safely and without issue every single time, then you’ll need to go about it a little differently.
You see, the process itself really isn’t complicated at all. All you really need to do is follow a simple set of guidelines to the letter, to ensure that no unnecessary accidents occur. Yes, you’ve heard it before countless times, but the fact remains that accidents do happen, and they happen more often than is necessary. This is simply because people get cocky and complacent after many years of experience. You may well be able to do it with your eyes closed, but you only need to mess up once, and it can cost you your job, a limb, or a life.
But of course, we don’t need to worry about that, because in this article, we’re going to list a remarkably simple and thorough guide on how to safely load your mini excavator onto a trailer.
Preparation Stage (Loading a Mini Excavator onto Trailer)
1 – Carry out a risk assessment
Urgh, OK so this might sound like overkill, but it shouldn’t take you long to carry out a quick (but thorough) risk assessment. Dot your I’s and cross your t’s, it really is that simple.
2 – Always be wearing personal protective equipment (PPE)
You are fully aware of the benefits of wearing PPE, so wear it. Like we said before, all you need is to mess up once, and if you aren’t wearing PPE on that occasion, you’ll be in for a pretty rubbish day.
3 – Make sure the trailer is in a suitable condition
And by suitable, we mean perfect. Loading a mini excavator onto a sub-standard trailer is bad news. Here’s what you need to look out for:
- Check your tyre pressure (loading regularly will diminish it over time)
- Check your front and rear brake lights (day or night the must be fully functional)
- Inspect your brakes (they too can diminish through regular use)
- Go over your tie-down points and check for damage
- Double-check the weight capacity (is this your first time loading a mini excavator? Can your trailer definitely take the weight?)
4 – Check your loading ramps
What condition are your loading ramps in? Have they seen better days? Will they be able to support the weight of your mini excavator? In any case, you really cannot go wrong with Australian made aluminium loading ramps!
Action Stage (Loading a Mini Excavator onto Trailer)
Once you’ve successfully acted out the preparation steps, it’s time to move onto the action stage.
1 – Designate your duties
Before proceeding with the loading process, make sure that you are clear on how is doing what. You’ll need someone to operate the mini excavator and someone to spot and help with the navigation (at the very least).
2 – Clean your ramps thoroughly
This is an essential stage. You want to ensure that there is no residual debris on the loading ramps (e.g., oil or dirt). This will enable you to get sufficient friction during the loading process and avoid slipping or skidding.
3 – Clear the area and ensure that it is level
Clear the area for loading and make sure that the ground is as level as possible. This is particularly important if you are loading on grass or dirt.
4 – Line up your mini excavator
Before proceeding with the loading process, take a moment to line up the mini excavator so that it is perfectly in line with the loading ramps (and straight). Approaching at even the lightest angle can be grounds for disaster.
5 – Begin loading the mini excavator
Once lined up you can begin the loading process. Your best bet is to back the mini excavator up onto the loading ramp as opposed to driving it up head on. When climbing up the ramp, the centre of gravity for the mini excavator is going to shift significantly, but so long as you keep inching up steadily, you shouldn’t have any issues.
6 – Secure your heavy machinery
Once you have successfully loaded the mini excavator onto the trailer, be sure to position it properly with the bulk of the weight towards the front of the trailer. Following that, you must begin the fastening procedure and tie everything down properly.
- You need tight and secure fastenings (zero slack).
- Properly tie down at all recommended tie-down points (different manufactures and models may have different recommendations based on the size, weight, and specifications).
- There must always be at least four chains in use.
Voila! That about sums up the process of loading a mini excavator onto a trailer. Provided you follow each of these steps carefully, you will be able to load your heavy equipment onto your trailer every single time without issue. Again, all you need to do is rush the process once and make a single mistake, and much can go wrong.
If you are not feeling entirely confident in the quality of your loading equipment (i.e., the trailer or loading ramps), then find a local and reputable supplier like SureWeld. There you can purchase all of the equipment that you will need to carry out the successful loading and transportation of a mini excavator every time.