A dozer is an incredibly heavy and powerful piece of machinery. Dozers have tracks, which help distribute their weight so that they don't stink into muddy ground, and also give them excellent traction. Dozers are frequently used to clear areas of debris, move earth, carve roads, level ground, and move timber. In other words, dozers tend to be used in situations that are inherently dangerous. The most important thing when it comes to how to operate a dozer is safety first: It is often through inadvertent application of a dozer's powerful force that accidents happen.
- Always operate the dozer with the protective cage on.
- Operate at moderate speed so that you can stop quickly if necessary.
- Avoid hitting obstructions of any kind, even ones that may seem minor. Check out this Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation Program report from West Virginia for a cautionary tale of how even a seemingly small obstruction can prove deadly.
- Obtain digging permits before digging. Learn if there are underground electric or gas lines in the area you will be working.
- Always wear the seatbelt.
- Always sit (rather than stand) as you operate the dozer.
- Never allow anyone to ride on the dozer drawbar while the dozer is operating.
- Be alert to preventing the edge of the dozer blade from digging into the ground.
- Climb steep slopes slowly. Be especially careful near edges or cuts as the edge may give way.
- Never attempt a turn a dozer on a steep slope.
- Should the dozer jackknife, stop immediately, back up and reposition the dozer.
- When using a dozer to take down trees or perform demolition, prevent falling objects from striking yourself or other workers.
- Stop and secure the dozer before attempting to attach any trailing equipment or attachments
- Wait for the dozer to be in position at a site before positioning in relation to it.
- If the dozer has a blade, lower it when the machine is parked.
- Always take the dozer key out of the ignition when parking.
These are only the most basic of precautions to use when operating the powerful piece of machinery known as a dozer. To truly learn the dynamics of how the dozer operates require many hours of time at the wheel along with patient instruction by a skilled driver. Finally, it is also important that your supervisors enforce safety precautions strictly. Whoever is supervising the dozer work needs to ensure that workers are spaced adequately and that there is enough of a system that the actions of one equipment operator do not create hazards for other workers in the area. Please take dozer safety seriously.