Rainy Days Ahead
No one can deny that the winter months in Australia present a challenge for land moving and mining companies. Wet weather can prevent quality work from being done for substantial amounts of time, which can lead to serious delays. With a bit of early preparation, an adequately trained team and the right tools for the job, tricky weather can be manoeuvred to ensure excellent results all year round.
Knowing when to stop
Hazards arise for heavy machinery operators when rains impact the ground material they work on. Gravel, soil, and other loose materials become difficult to work with once it has been saturated by rain. The ground can turn muddy, meaning it will not retain its shape and could become quite dangerous for workers to navigate work sites and excavation efforts in any capacity may be futile. Not only does texture change underfoot, becoming more slippery and difficult to navigate, it also increases in weight by three or four times its normal amount. While some may be tempted to shrug off rain events as “just a bit of rain”, it is vital to pay attention to the changing conditions of the ground being worked, otherwise tremendous strain could be put on the machinery in use which can result in some costly delays.
To prevent damage to machinery in events of rain and high winds through the cold months, a planned maintenance service should be conducted every year before the turn of the season. A regular service will identify technical weaknesses in a piece of machinery that would only be exacerbated in cold months if left untreated. Old batteries, stiff and rusty joints, damaged bearings or worn out tyres could all add to the risk of malfunction and add to delays caused by bad weather. Contatore Engineering provides a large range of services catered to the needs of clients. Our experts in the trade are well accustomed to providing high quality repairs, maintenance servicing and fitting of all mechanical and hydraulic components.
Daily Safety Checks
When workers get called in from site due to severe weather conditions, the machinery stays out. Doing a daily walk around can assist in identifying any external obstacles that may have occurred because of wind and rain, like felled power lines, soft edges and large debris surrounding the machinery intended for use. Daily checks may also provide a chance for operators to notice any abnormalities that may have appeared on the equipment in their absence: rust, broken attachments and other external damage may be the first indication of further internal damage. Taking the time to assess one’s surroundings and equipment will ensure that the site is as safe and successful as possible. To check out more safety tips, read our blog: 8 Safety Tips When Handling Heavy Machinery.
While changes in the seasons and weather conditions are inevitable and cannot be helped, having an experienced team paired with the best equipment for the job will help to minimise delays. A foreman can make informed decisions to ensure as much work can be conducted as possible, with a call to cease and return to work when conditions change. While lighter rains and winds might not pose as much threat to a work site, having suitable equipment and protective gear (such as gloves, boots, and anti-fogging safety glasses) will make sure work conducted in mild conditions is safe for all involved. Equipment made from high grade metal alloys are more resistant to corrosion than pure metals, so having a fleet of heavy machinery made of these stronger materials will prepare you for any inclement weather conditions and serve you throughout the whole year.
The winter months might be intimidating for some, but don’t let a few dark clouds throw off your plans! Get in touch with the team at Contatore Engineering today to see how we can help you get in best shape for the rainy days ahead.