The skip loader is capable of handling and lifting massive loads, ranging from 7500kg to 18,000kg. It is a highly specialized vehicle that has been engineered to load and offload skips securely and reliably with meticulous precision before moving the load to its final destination for processing. The use of hydraulic arms and technology, which allows the operator to shift even the largest skips with grace and ease belying their size and weight, makes this dangerous activity appear much simpler than it is.
It is strongly recommended that you hire a skip loader from a trustworthy hire company that provides high-quality vehicles that are subjected to routine maintenance checks to ensure the operator’s and everyone else’s protection. If the vehicles are going to be used often, however, some people tend to buy their own skip loaders and handle their own maintenance.
Protection is paramount when operating any heavy machinery or truck, such as a skip loader, not only for the individual operating the vehicle but also for any members of the general public or other employees who may be present.
There are a variety of dangers that people who operate skip loaders or are in the vicinity can face, including:
- Lifting hoists are breaking down or being trapped.
- Unbalanced loads cause vehicles to overturn.
- Striking or catching on overhead wires or other obstacles is a possibility.
- Loads in skips that have been improperly secured blow off during transportation, striking pedestrians or other vehicles, or simply posing a hazard on the road.
All of this is in addition to the usual risks associated with driving any car, such as traffic accidents.
Until traveling with their skip operator, a skip loader operator, or driver, can perform a number of tests. These include, but are not limited to, the regular vehicle inspections that any driver should perform, such as inspecting the brakes, lights, tyres, and mirrors.
Arriving at the job site
Skip loaders are large vehicles that can carry heavy loads. This ensures that access to the site where they would be installed must sometimes be carefully considered. Any problems that can arise when approaching a construction site or property should always be communicated to a driver in advance, and if no information has been provided, it is a good idea to double-check. This will help to ensure that the delivery goes as smoothly and efficiently as possible for all parties involved. When working with a skip loader, always wear high-visibility clothing and appropriate boots.
There are some good practices that a skip loader driver can follow, just like any other piece of heavy machinery. These involve minimizing the amount of reversing needed and using any available reversing aids. To reduce the probability of an accident, banksmen should be used wherever possible. When exiting the cab and on any construction site, extreme caution is recommended.
When unloading a skip, make sure the vehicle is parked on as level as possible and firm rather than soft ground. To ensure optimum protection, shocks and stabilisers should also be used. The skip loader’s chains should also be taken into account. These should not be twisted or knotted because it is important that they do not snag during the lifting process, which may result in an injury.
Health and Safety
Skip loaders play an important role in waste management and are used to process domestic and industrial waste on a daily basis. They are also dangerous machines to run, as improper maintenance and operation can lead to injury and death. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is aware of the risks of skip loaders and has produced a detailed leaflet with instructions on how to use them safely.