Motor graders are different and difficult to operate and there is no doubt about it. Further, they are highly costly equipment and hence, they need to be properly maintained and all the safety tips that boost the life of the equipment should be followed at all times. If you are a contractor or a construction company owner, then you might agree that adherence to the safety and maintenance tips not only keep the equipment in the good condition but give you a peace of mind too that your equipment will not show signs of depreciation too early and can be used efficiently for years together.

Now, you may wonder as to what are these safety tips. Well, here are the key motor grader safety tips...

Motor grader safety tips before operation and at the time of starting the equipment

1. Read the operators’ manual to get familiar with the controls of the equipment.

2. Pay heed to the warning labels and stickers as well as maintenance information, specification charts and other important information posted around the machine.

3. Visually inspect controls, engine, compartment, cooling system, gear boxes, hydraulic parts and other parts.

4. Listen for unusual noises and vibrations before starting.

5. Walk around the equipment and check loose bolts, trash build-up, oil or coolant leaks and damaged tires.

6. See and ensure that there is no one next to, under or on the machine.

7. Check all the signals, lights and flags on mouldboard and cab.

8. Check all the attachments of the motor grader if they are in proper place.

9. Check and ensure that all the safety equipment are working and clean.

10. All the brakes, steering and accelerator should be tested before starting the equipment.

11. Before opening the fuel cap and refuelling the vehicle, loosen radiator cap slightly, pause to relieve pressure slowly and then remove the cap.

12. Understand that the controls should always be in the neutral position.

13. The electric starter should not be operated for more than 30 seconds. If you do so, then you should give two minutes for cooling before starting again. This is because an overheated starter could cause a fire.

Motor grader safety tips during operation

1. Look behind the machine before moving and while backing up, even when the backup alarm is engaged.

2. Make it a point to know and understand the width of the machine in order to maintain proper clearances from surrounding obstacles and obstructions.

3. Always wear the hardhat and seatbelt.

4. Wear safety gloves and appropriate safety gear.

5. Be aware of overhangs, electric wires, slide areas or other dangerous conditions.

6. Watch for overhead dangers.

7. Get full information about your work area i.e., make it a point to check weight limitations, types of surfaces and clearances.

8. Match speed with job conditions.

9. Drive at a slow speed in congested areas or on a rough terrain.

10. Stay in proper gear when travelling downhill. Never coast in neutral and use engine RPM to help maintain control.

11. Be very careful when working on slopes and never turn on the slopes as the motor grader is least stable in such a situation.

12. Make sure that the machine is not left on a slope with the engine running as this may put the machine into motion.

13. While working on top of a slope or a side hill, keep away from the outer edge. Make it a point to extend the blade out to the side to move material near the edge.

14. In case of carrying or working the blade at a sharp angle, always be careful when articulating to avoid puncturing the tire.

15. Use proper hitch equipment and technique when towing the grader.

16. Communicate with the traffic effectively while operating the motor grader. This includes, using flashing safety lights when blading and keeping headlights on whenever operating.

17. Report defective equipment immediately.

18. When you stop the equipment, lower all the raised equipment parts.

Motor grader safety tips after operation

1. Choose the right parking place. In fact, choose a level ground.

2. Set park brake.

3. Shift blade to centre and lock it when parking.

4. Allow engine to cool gradually.

5. Keep the transmission neutral.

6. Always lower the blade or any other attachment to the ground before leaving the motor grader.

7. When leaving the grader, remove the ignition key.

8. Secure the machine to prevent unauthorised starting and movement.

9. Be aware that boarding and exiting grader may put you in danger of slipping, tripping or falling. Thus, make it a point to use a three-point (two feet and one hand or one foot and two hands) approach when entering or exiting the cab.

10. If the grader is disabled and cannot be moved from the roadway, then put out flags and flares (flares are mandatory at night and during periods of poor visibility).

11. Have the grader removed from the roadway as soon as possible.

Hence, if you wish to increase the lifespan of your motor grader and prevent dangerous injuries to men and machine, then you must follow the above mentioned safety tips. These small but important tips can help to increase productivity as well as efficiency of the machine to a very large extent. Also, it is to be noted that regardless of the amount of experience an operator may have, one small mistake can result in an injury or worse. Hence, these before, during and after operating a motor grader safety should be always kept in mind and followed religiously by every motor grader operator or owner.

Last but not the least, it is to be noted that apart from following the given safety tips, it is extremely essential to stay alert at all times as even a brief distraction can be very harmful. In a nutshell, an alert mind and adherence of all the safety tips can help the contractors or construction companies as well as the motor grader operators to live peacefully.