Know your equipment limitations
by Allison McNeal
October 3, 2017

the slowest speed and with a wide turning radius. Other factors to consider in pick-and-carry applications include the following:

  • Use the shortest lifting radius distance possible.
  • Keep the load as close to the ground as conditions permit.
  • Attach strong ropes, otherwise known as tag lines, to prevent the load from swinging back and forth.
  • Travel at speeds determined by jobsite conditions.
  • Avoid sudden starts and stops.

Practice What You Preach

Understanding all the factors that go into safely lifting equipment can be difficult for owners, but not impossible. Jim Linhart, owner of Omaha, Nebraska-based Linhart Construction, has followed correct lifting practices for more than 30 years, leading to a very profitable business. In fact, Linhart owns approximately 100 pieces of construction equipment.

Although his business has made quite a few changes since its inception, expanding employees and equipment, Linhart’s emphasis on safety has never wavered.

“My excavator operators are frequently handling various structures, including concrete blocks, asphalt, wood and gravel weighing up to 10,000 pounds,” Linhart said. “It was extremely important that I train them on the fundamentals of properly lifting materials, especially in our line of business, when they may be lifting less familiar objects in a confined space or jobsite.”

Linhart’s excavator has a lift eye attached to the hydraulic quick coupler. When his excavator operators want to lift and place objects, they simply remove the bucket and connect the lifting mechanism to the lift eye.

It is a process that allows Linhart’s operators to remain productive on their busy construction jobsites without sacrificing the safety of the entire crew. In addition to training resources, Linhart holds morning safety sessions to remind his operators to keep safety at the forefront while on the job.

Overall, the best way to fully understand how to properly lift materials or objects is to follow the excavator lift chart. If you have questions about how to read the lift chart or properly lift material, refer to your owner’s manual or visit your local dealership and get help from a sales specialist.

Get Help from a Crane Scale

If you are unsure about how much an object weighs, and you want to know if your excavator can lift it, a crane scale is a good option. Attach the object to the crane scale’s hook, and the scale will tell you the weight of the object in either pounds or kilograms. This is usually shown on a digital screen. Some scales come with a remote control to easily change units and clear measurements.