This toolbox talk topic is focused on a Skid Steer Loaders. A skid loader, also known as a skid-steer loader (SSL) or skid-steer, belongs to a category of compact heavy machinery featuring lift arms capable of connecting to various buckets and other efficient tools or attachments.

What is a skid steer loader?

The skid steer is named for its steering method — right-side wheels are controlled by a joystick
in the operator’s right hand for forward and reverse motion, while the left side is managed by a joystick for the corresponding movements.

Operating Safely

  • Operate the loader exclusively from the operator’s compartment—avoid external operation.
  • Maintain a seated position while manipulating loader controls.
  • Ensure the seat belt is secured and the restraint bar is in place during operation.
  • Keep arms, legs, and head inside the cab while using the loader.
  • Opt for level ground when loading, unloading, and turning, whenever possible.
  • Enhance stability by traveling and turning with the bucket in the lowest position.
  • Adhere to the manufacturer’s recommended load capacity; never exceed it.
  • Restrict operation to stable surfaces only.
  • Avoid traversing slopes; move straight up or down with the heavy end uphill.
  • Always face the direction of travel for optimal control.
  • Maintain a safe work area by keeping bystanders at a distance.
  • NEVER alter or bypass safety devices—follow manufacturer guidelines rigorously.

Entering and Exiting from the Loader Safely

  • Only enter when the bucket or attachment is flat on the ground or when lift-arm supports are engaged.
  • Utilize supports provided or endorsed by the manufacturer.
  • Avoid using foot or hand controls as steps or handholds.
  • Ensure all walking and working surfaces are free from debris. Before leaving the operator’s seat:
    • Lower the bucket or attachment flat to the ground.
    • Engage the parking brake.
    • Turn off the engine.
  • In case exiting through the front is not possible, use the emergency exit located on the roof or at the back.

Download the full Toolbox Talk document on Skid Steer Loaders below:

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