When you’re operating heavy equipment off road, there’s a possibility that at some point you could get stuck in the mud, especially on wet, soggy jobsites. Almost any type of equipment can be vulnerable to ending up in this situation, including skid steers, CTLs, wheel loaders, and excavators. Below are some procedures to follow to help avoid this potentially time consuming problem.
Better to avoid getting stuck in the mud in the first place
Removing equipment from mud can be an arduous task that wastes time and money on the job. Here are some best practices to avoid having your equipment stuck in the mud.
- Before you start work for the day, thoroughly examine the jobsite to get an idea of the terrain you will be working on. Clearly mark off dangerous areas full of mud or sticky soil to avoid taking the machine in that direction.
- Use wide tracked compact track loaders and excavators to minimize ground disturbance on your worksite. As wider tracks enhance flotation and traction, they are ideal for working in softer soils and muddy areas.
- Remove mud or debris from your equipment’s tracks, tires, and undercarriages between jobs and at the end of each workday to help improve traction in wet conditions.
Tips for extracting equipment from mud
No matter how careful you are, your equipment will probably get stuck in the mud at some point. Here are some suggestions on how to handle those situations:
- Make sure you have robust straps, ropes, chains, or cables handy in your toolkit to pull your equipment out of the mud in the event that it gets stuck.
- To make the process of getting your equipment out of mud easier, remove anything from the machine that can be removed to make it lighter. This way, you will be able to pull it out more easily.
- Place planks behind its wheels to assist with traction when you set up the machine to extract it from the mud.
- To avoid damaging your machine, attach your straps to a tow hook or the frame itself. Doing so will give you the best chance of getting your equipment out without breaking anything.
- Sometimes, the chains snap during towing, and the tow hooks transform into deadly projectiles that fly through the air. To ensure they fall towards the ground instead of flying up, insert them with their tips up.
- Similarly, it’s important to keep a safe distance away from towing chains or straps in case one breaks. Chains and hooks can launch through the air at a high rate of speed and will cause serious injury to bystanders.
Removing equipment from the mud is a difficult and dangerous task. Follow our tips and best practices to avoid getting stuck in the first place. If you do, though, our tips for removing machines effectively will be helpful.
If you have any questions about stuck equipment, contact our team today!