Best Practices for Evening Construction Work

evening construction work, night construction, construction best practice

Conducting construction work at the night has its benefits. For one, it's less of a disruption to motorists since there are fewer cars on the road. The weather is also cooler, which is a big plus in the summer. However, lower visibility is an important factor for evening construction. Here are some best practices for evening construction work.

Visibility Is Key

From sunset on, you have far less natural light to work with. You will need to supply ample lighting at the worksite. The American Traffic Safety Services Association recommends a minimum illuminance of 108 lux if the site contains excavators and other construction equipment.

Light positioning is also important. Be careful not to point the illumination directly at private property or on the road where it can blind drivers.

Wear Reflective Clothing

Require all crew members to wear reflective vests or high-visibility clothing during evening construction work. Flaggers should definitely have some form of reflective material on them. According to the Worker Visibility Final Rule, a provision of the Federal Highway Administration, crew members should don class 2 apparel. This is the minimum requirement; ideally, workers should wear class 3 gear. This is highly recommended for high-risk environments, such as roadways and other heavily congested areas.

Plan for Noise

Safety issues aside, you also have to be mindful of noise disturbances, especially if your site is near a residential area. One best practice is to implement noise barriers that reduce the noise level and vibrations. This includes acoustical enclosures that fully encompass the work zone. For excavator attachments like breakers and hoe packs, add mufflers and silencers.

Increase Productivity with Evening Construction Work

Nighttime construction activity can increase the amount of work completed and ensure that deadlines are met. Contact Active Excavator Rentals for excavator and attachment rentals. Learn about us and our inventory. Evening construction work requires more diligent safety practices.

Excavator and Attachment Rentals

Serving Monroe, Anacortes, Arlington, Bellingham, Bothell, Burlington, Mt. Vernon, Stanwood, Sedro-Woolley,  Marysville, Granite Falls, Everett, Mukilteo, Edmonds, Snohomish, Lynnwood, Woodinville, Mountlake Terrace, Mill  Creek, Shoreline, Seattle, Redmond, Woodinville, Bellevue, Sammamish, Issaquah, Renton, Kent, Des Moines, Fife, Tacoma, Milton, Puyallup, Bonney Lake, Auburn, Covington, Maple Valley, Burien, Tukwila, Olympia, Lakewood, Lacey, Kenmore

Summer Excavator Maintenance: Keep Your Equipment Running Under High Temperatures

Engine overheating is common in residential vehicles during the summer. The same goes for construction equipment; the excavator is no exception. Summer excavator maintenance is important for ensuring continued operability and avoiding downtime. Check Fluid Levels Coolant and hydraulic fluids are extremely important during the summer. The coolant expansion reservoir should always be full. This prevents too much air from entering the cooling system. Finally, check the coolant fill location; some bear the label

Engine overheating is common in residential vehicles during the summer. The same goes for construction equipment; the excavator is no exception. Summer excavator maintenance is important for ensuring continued operability and avoiding downtime.

Check Fluid Levels

Coolant and hydraulic fluids are extremely important during the summer. The coolant expansion reservoir should always be full. This prevents too much air from entering the cooling system. Finally, check the coolant fill location; some bear the label "Newer OAT." This stands for 'organic acid technology' and is a type of coolant recommended in newer excavators.

Add Antifreeze

A neat trick is to add antifreeze. Contrary to belief, this fluid isn't just for winter use. It actually keeps the water in the excavator from boiling when the machine is operating under high temperatures. Stick to a single antifreeze solution; do not mix different brands because the mixture may corrode the engine's cooling system.

Lubricate Frequently

Oil begins to soften under high temperatures. This reduces its adhesion and lubrication ability. Apply lubricant often to the excavator and attachments like the breaker and hoe pack. Be sure to use a brand with high heat resistance. 

Clear Debris

Most excavators have an auto-reverse fan function. Operators can also manually reverse the fan. This is important for removing debris and keeping the radiator and cooling packages clear. Also check the engine hood's inlet and outlet pipes for obstructions. 

Remote Monitoring

Thanks to smart technology, many modern construction vehicles have telematics, allowing workers to assess equipment health remotely. With this technology you can monitor the engine temperature and other components for defects.

Don't Eschew Summer Excavator Maintenance

Call Active Excavator Rentals if you require an excavator and/or attachment for an impending project. Learn about us and our commitment to Monroe contractors. Summer excavator maintenance is vital this season for consistent and reliable operation.

Summer Excavator Rentals in Monroe

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Common Causes of Excavator Breakdown

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An excavator breakdown in the middle of the job can be disastrous. You may have to halt all operations, leading to downtime. What are the leading causes of the sudden breakdown of an excavator, and how can you prevent this from happening?

Contaminated Hydraulic Oil

One of the primary causes of excavator breakdown is hydraulic oil contamination. The oil lubricates the moving parts that enable the transfer of power throughout the hydraulic components. Elements like dirt, dust, and water can contaminate the oil, thickening it and causing it to turn to sludge. The pistons and valves become abraded as the contaminated oil surrounds them. Deterioration sets in, and attachments like the breaker and hoe pack can cease functioning altogether.

Regularly check the oil by removing the engine cover and inserting a clean dipstick in the fluid reservoir. If the stick shows grainy particles in the oil, then an oil replacement is long overdue.

Undercarriage Contamination

Excavators typically run on dirt surfaces. As such, the undercarriage is often exposed to pebbles, gravel, and other debris. The debris can get lodged in the idlers, rollers or sprockets, causing premature wear. In some instances, this can cause the wheels or tracks to seize up. 

Though a cumbersome process, operators should clean the undercarriage after each use or at the end of the work day. You can't simply hose down the area. You need a pressure washer to dislodge embedded debris. If a pressure washer is not available, manually scrub the undercarriage using water and a hard-bristle brush.

We Minimize Excavator Breakdown

At Active Excavator Rentals, we maintain all of our excavators before renting them out. Nevertheless, contractors still need to do their part to prevent an unexpected breakdown. Learn about us and the inventory that we keep in working condition. You can prevent excavator breakdown with diligent care.

Excavator Rental for Monroe Contractors

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How to Maintain an Excavator Undercarriage

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At Active Excavator Rentals, we keep our excavators in good operating order. This is especially true of the excavator's undercarriage, which contains multiple moving components. However, while the machine is in their hands, renters should still have a baseline understanding of excavator undercarriage maintenance.

Keep the Undercarriage Clean

We recommend that operators clean the undercarriage at the end of each workday. Use a shovel and/or a pressure washer to remove dirt buildup. Dirt can accelerate wear, especially in cold climate areas. The dirt can freeze and lock up the bolts and rollers.

Check the Undercarriage

Inspect the undercarriage before starting the excavator at the beginning of the day. Inspect the drive motor, track tension, rock guards, drive sprockets, main idlers, and rollers.

We inspect these parts on all of our excavators before renting them out. However, operators should still perform these inspections, especially when working under harsh conditions.

Follow Best Operating Practices

Improper maneuvering can expedite undercarriage wear. Follow these operating guidelines.

  • Avoid sharp turns when possible
  • Minimize time on slopes. If you must spend prolonged sessions on a slope, be sure the drive motor is facing the rear of the machine.
  • Pick the right number of grousers. More grousers increase the track's contact with the floor, thereby reducing vibration and undercarriage wear.

Use the Right Track Tension

Is the track tension appropriate for the surface condition? As a general rule, the tracks should be a little loose, rather than extremely tight, when working in muddy conditions. With steel tracks, the tracks should never be too tight or loose. Otherwise, you run the risk of slipping a track.

Don't Eschew Excavator Undercarriage Maintenance

At Active Excavator Rentals, we maintain all of our excavators and breakers and hoe packs. Nevertheless, operators still need to maintain all of the equipment under their care. Learn about us and our inventory. We adhere to strict industry standards regarding excavator undercarriage care.

Excavator Rentals for Monroe Contractors 

Serving Monroe, Anacortes, Arlington, Bellingham, Bothell, Burlington, Mt. Vernon, Stanwood, Sedro-Woolley,  Marysville, Granite Falls, Everett, Mukilteo, Edmonds, Snohomish, Lynnwood, Woodinville, Mountlake Terrace, Mill  Creek, Shoreline, Seattle, Redmond, Woodinville, Bellevue, Sammamish, Issaquah, Renton, Kent, Des Moines, Fife, Tacoma, Milton, Puyallup, Bonney Lake, Auburn, Covington, Maple Valley, Burien, Tukwila, Olympia, Lakewood, Lacey, Kenmore

Why Excavator Operator Training Is Important

excavator operator trainingAdequate excavator operator training is important from a safety standpoint; that's a given. However, it also makes sense from a financial standpoint. A competent operator reduces operation and other overhead costs. We explain why this is so.

Reduce Fuel

One of the best ways to reduce overhead is by cutting down on fuel use. Beginning operators have a tendency to use the highest excavator setting, regardless of the task. This often results in a setting 200 to 300 RPMs higher than necessary. Training operators to adjust settings can cut down on fuel usage by around 10%. Attachments like breakers and hoe packs do not require maximum RPM to operate at their maximum capability.

Most modern excavators also have fuel-saving features, such as auto engine shutdown and auto idle. Make sure operators are acquainted with these features. Continue Reading '

Steel Vs Rubber Excavator Tracks: Which Is Better?

excavator tracks, steel excavator tracks, rubber excavator tracksContractors have to take into account many considerations when renting an excavator. This includes tail swing options and the various attachments. Another is deciding between steel and rubber excavator tracks. Which is the better type for this project?

Steel Track Pros and Cons

Steel tracks are far more durable and can hold up better under rough working conditions. This is especially the case when dealing with hard and sharp surfaces. Steel is also far more resistant to chemical contact.

In addition, steel provides better traction on muddy surfaces. The tracks have a firmer "bite" that allows them to hold on to the loose surface. Rubber tracks are vulnerable to spinning when traversing muddy and wet surfaces. Steel is also slacker than rubber, enabling it to expel small rocks and debris. Continue Reading '

Prevent Damage and Theft With Site Storage of Construction Equipment

construction equipment storage, site storage, equipment theftYou can't haul every piece of equipment back to your warehouse at the end of the work day. Some items need to remain overnight at the construction site. Construction equipment storage is essential for safeguarding your investment. Explore these methods for secure site storage of your construction equipment.

1. Invest in Site Storage Cages

We recommend a welded mesh cage for storing construction equipment, such as power tools and safety gear. These items are vulnerable to theft because thieves can sell them for lucrative prices on the black market. Mesh storage cages with a bi-folding lid are an economical investment that you can use again and again.

2. Install Fencing

Install temporary fencing that cordons off the public from the construction site. Include signs that warn the public of the legal consequences of trespassing. Fencing serves multiple purposes; it keeps civilians out of a danger zone. It also deters vagrants from entering the zone at night. While hijacking an excavator is unlikely, they may spray graffiti or smash a bat through the cabin window. Continue Reading '

Best Practices for Winter Excavator Maintenance

winter excavator maintenance, excavator maintenanceCold weather can be hard on construction equipment, much the same way it's hard on a car. Equipment malfunction can cause serious delays and downtime. Follow these winter excavator maintenance tips to minimize the risk of equipment failure at the most inopportune moment.

1. Apply Oil and Lubricant

Check the oil dipstick just as you would on a civilian vehicle; the process is more or less the same. As a rule of thumb, if the oil is fluid enough to drip from the dipstick, then it's good to go. We perform oil checks on all of our excavators before renting them out, and we top them off if necessary.

2. Inspect Hydraulic Hoses

Hydraulic hoses last for about 7,000 to 9,000 hours of use. However, frigid temperatures can degrade the rubber tubing, making it brittle and stiff. Hot hydraulic oil running through the tube's interior can cause further stress. Check for cracks and brittleness before operation. Continue Reading '

Pay Attention to the Excavator’s Bucket Capacity

excavator bucket capacity, excavator bucket weight limitA bucket is a common excavator attachment. Buckets, however, have a weight limit. Scooping up more debris than the bucket can handle can place undue stress on the excavator. This is also a dangerous practice. Be mindful of the excavator bucket capacity's limits.

Safe Excavator Bucket Handling Practices

Whether you own or rent the bucket attachment, know its weight limit before use. Exceeding weight limits increases the risk that the excavator will tip over. This can cause serious injury to the operator and surrounding crew. At the least, it can temporarily render the excavator inoperable, leading to increased downtime.

In addition, you need to know the excavator bucket's weight limit at different points of the boom's working range. The bucket's manufacturer should have a lift chart that you can look up in a manual or online. The manual may come with illustrations depicting weight limits at different points in the lifting arc. The weight capacity also changes when swinging the cab. Larger excavators have greater capacity in this regard due to the counterweight in the cab's rear. Continue Reading '