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    Free Essay
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    Forklift

     

    Forklift Sometimes called a forklift truck, the forklift is a powerful industrial truck that is used to lift and transport material by steel forks that are inserted under the load. Forklifts are commonly used to move loads and equipment that is stored on pallets. The forklift was developed in 1920, and has since become a valuable piece of equipment in many manufacturing and warehousing operations. Types The most common type of design with forklifts is the counter balance. Other types of designs include the reach truck and side loader, both of which are used in environments where the space is at a minimum. Control and capability Forklifts are available in many types and different load capacities. In the average warehouse setting, most forklifts have load capacities of around five tons. Along with the control to raise and lower the forks, you can also tilt the mast to compensate for the tendency of the load to angle the blades towards the ground and risk slipping it off the forks. The tilt will also provide a limited ability to operate on ground that isn't level. There are some variations that allow you to move the forks and backrest laterally, which allows easier placement of a load. In addition to this, there are some machines that offer hydraulic control to move the forks together or further apart, which removes the need for you to get out of the cab to manually adjust for a different size load. Another forklift variation that is sometimes used in manufacturing facilities, will utilize forklifts with a clamp attachment that you can open and close around a load, instead of having to use forks. Products such as boxes, cartons, etc., can be moved with the clamp attachment. Safety Forklifts are rated for loads at a specified maximum weight and a specified forward type center of gravity. All of this information is located on a nameplate that is provided by the manufacturer and the loads cannot exceed these specifications. One of the most important aspects of operating a forklift is the rear wheel steering. Even though this helps to increase maneuverability in tight cornering situations, it differs from the traditional experience of a driver with other wheeled vehicles as there is no caster action. Another critical aspect of the forklift is the instability. Both the forklift and the load must be considered a unit, with a varying center of gravity with every movement of the load. You must never negotiate a turn with a forklift at full speed with a raised load, as this can easily tip the forklift over. Normally, to drive a forklift, you'll need to pass a basic test. They aren't difficult to operate, although you'll need to be safe when you operate them. Once you have operated one for a while, you'll have no problems being safe. (word count 471)

         
    Front loader

     

    Front Loader Also known as a front end loader, bucket loader, scoop loader, or shovel, the front loader is a type of tractor that is normally wheeled and uses a wide square tilting bucket on the end of movable arms to lift and move material around. The loader assembly may be a removable attachment or permanently mounted on the vehicle. Often times, the bucket can be replaced with other devices or tools, such as forks or a hydraulically operated bucket. Larger style front loaders, such as the Caterpillar 950G or the Volvo L120E, normally have only a front bucket and are known as front loaders, where the small front loaders are often times equipped with a small backhoe as well and called backhoe loaders or loader backhoes. Loaders are primarily used for loading materials into trucks, laying pipe, clearing rubble, and also digging. Loaders aren't the most efficient machines for digging, as they can't dig very deep below the level of their wheels, like the backhoe can. The deep bucket on the front loader can normally store around 3 - 6 cubic meters of dirt, as the bucket capacity of the loader is much bigger than the bucket capacity of a backhoe loader. Loaders aren't classified as excavating machinery, as their primary purpose is other than moving dirt. In construction areas, mainly when fixing roads in the middle of the city, front loaders are used to transport building materials such as pipe, bricks, metal bars, and digging tools. Front loaders are also very useful for snow removal as well, as you can use their bucket or as a snow plow. They can clear snow from the streets and highways, even parking lots. They will sometimes load the snow into dump trucks which will then haul it away. Unlike the bulldozer, most loaders are wheeled and not tracked. The wheels will provide better mobility and speed and won't damage paved roads near as much as tracks, although this will come at the cost of reduced traction. Unlike backhoes or tractors fitted with a steel bucket, large loaders don't use automotive steering mechanisms, as they instead steer by a hydraulically actuated pivot point set exactly between the front and rear axles. This is known as articulated steering and will allow the front axle to be solid, therefore allowing it to carry a heavier weight. Articulated steering will also give a reduced turn in radius for a given wheelbase. With the front wheels and attachment rotating on the same axis, the operator is able to steer his load in an arc after positioning the machine, which can come in quite handy. The problem is that when the machine is twisted to one side and a heavy load is lifted high in the air, it has a bigger risk of turning over. (word count 465)

         
    Harvester

     

    Harvester The harvester is a type of heavy machinery that is employed in cut to length logging operations for felling, buckling, and cutting up trees. Normally, a harvester is employed alongside a forward that will haul the logs and trees to a roadside landing. Harvesters were developed in Sweden and Finland, and today they do nearly all of the commercial felling in these countries. They work best for less difficult terrain for the clear cutting area of forest. For steep hills or removing individual trees, chain saws are normally preferred. In the nordic countries, small and agile harvesters are used for thinning operations and manual cutting is only used during extreme conditions or by self employed owners of the forest or wooded area. The leading manufacturers of harvesters include Timberjack (which is owned by John Deere) and Valmet, which is owned by Komatsu. Normally, harvesters are built on a robust all terrain vehicle, which can either be wheeled or tracked. Sometimes, the vehicle can be articulated to provide tight turning around obstacles. A diesel engine will provide power for both the vehicle and the harvesting mechanism through a hydraulic drive. An articulated, extensible boom that is similiar to that of an excavator, will reach out from the vehicle to carry the head of the harvester. There are even some commercial harvesters that are adaptations of excavators with a new harvester head, while the others are purpose built vehicles. The normal harvester head may consist of: 1. A chain saw to cut the tree at the base and also to cut it to length. The saw is hydraulically powered rather than using a 2 stroke engine of a portable version. It offers a more robust chain and a higher output power than any saw carried by man. 2. Two curved de-limbing knives that can reach around the trunk to remove branches. 3. Two feed rollers to reach out and grasp the tree. The wheels will pivot apart to allow the tree to be embraced by the head of the harvester, and pivot together to hug the tree tight. 4. Two more curved knives for de-limbing. All of this is controlled by an operator who sits in the cab of the vehicle. A control computer is used to simplify mechanical movements and keep the length and diameter of trees that have been cut. The length is computed by counting the rotations of the gripping wheels. The diameter is computed from the pivot angle of the gripping wheels that hug the tree. Harvesters are normally available for cutting trees up to 900 mm in diameter, built on vehicles that weight up to 20 t, with a boom that reaches up to a 10m radius. The larger, more heavier vehicles do more damage to the forest, although a longer reach will help by allowing more trees to be harvested with less movements required by the vehicle. (word count 481)

         
    How the equipment has changed

     

    How The Equipment Has Changed There are many different opinions as to what machines should actually be classified as earth moving equipment. There are many different types of equipment that fall in this category, such as excavators, backhoe loaders, dump trucks, and even loaders. Other machinery that falls in between are articulated trucks, wheel and track tractors, and even scrapers. The thin line is normally drawn at motor grades, which are more than capable or light duty excavation, although they are mainly used to level lots and grade roads. If you take a glance at any equipment literature from leading companies such as CAT, Komatsu, or Case, you'll see right away that they believe the biggest and most important change over the last several years is increased productivity. This is normally followed by greater comfort and safety. The increase in productivity is the result of many different advancements. CAT (Caterpillar) cites that more powerful engines with a faster rise in torque which allows machines to respond faster to increased power demands. Even though this new generation is far more powerful, it has a reduced impact on the environment as well. Electronics Most of the newer machines have electronic control systems that will optimize both engine and transmission performance, as well as fuel consumption and hydraulic system performance. Take for example the CAT mid sized G series wheel loaders that feature electronically controlled powershift transmissions. Each and every transmission offers autoshift capabilities that ease the pressure on the operator, and an electronic clutch pressure control that smooth shifts the gears for longer life. Comfort In the industry, good operators are getting harder and harder to find. Manufacturers find themselves stressing that operator comfort and convenience need to be taken into account not only to make the job easier, but also more efficient and productive as well. The new cab designs offer better visibility, reduced noise and vibration, and improved comfort as well. The new control systems will require low operator effort while also improving the control of the machine for both the experienced as well as the in-experienced operator. Easier maintenance Almost all new machinery offers electronic monitoring systems that will provide constant information on the health of the machine for the operator. These types of systems provide information to technicians, including service modes that will help them to diagnose conditions quickly. Now days, machines are designed to make routine maintenance easier. With CAT's wheel loaders, regular service points are easy to access from ground level, with site gauges making it easier to check the fluid of the radiator, hydraulic oil, and transmission - without having to use dipsticks. Changes for the better If you compare the excavation equipment of today with the machines of the past, you'll notice that the changes are better. The machines of the past relied more on operator skill and technique, as very few of them had electronic features. Today, almost all types of heavy machinery offer electronic features. Electronics are a great thing, as they can make the life of an operator easier than ever. You don't need to get out and check the fluids anymore, as all you need to do is take a look at your instrument panel, which can help to save you a lot of time. Operators who have a lot of experience know first hand that machines of the past can't begin to compete with machines of today. With technology always getting better, it just makes you wonder what is in the future for heavy machinery. Years from now, one can only begin to wonder just great heavy machinery will get - and what other features will make the life of an operator even easier than it is now. (word count 612)

         
    Hydraulic machinery

     

    Hydraulic Machinery Hydraulic machinery are machines and tools that use fluid power to do the work. Almost all types of heavy equipment is a common example. With this type of equipment, hydraulic fluid is pumped to a high pressure then transmitted through the machine to various actuators. The hydraulic pumps are powered by engines or electric motors. The pressurized fluid is controlled by the operator with control valves and then distributed through hoses and tubes. The increasing popularity of hydraulic machinery is due to the large amount of power that is transferred through small tubes and flexible hoses. The high power density and wide array of actuators can make use of this power. Hydraulic power The theory that lies behind hydraulic equipment is fluid pressure. 1. A force that acts on a small area can create a bigger force by acting on a larger area by hydrostatic pressure. 2. A large amount of energy can be carried by a small flow of highly pressurized fluid. Pumps A hydraulic pump will supply the fluid to the components in the system. Pressure in the system will develop in reaction to the load. Pumps have a power density of around ten times greater than an electric motor. The pumps are powered by an electric motor or engine, which is connected through gears, belts, or a flexible elastomeric coupling to reduce the heavy vibration. The common types of hydraulic pumps for hydraulic machinery applications include: 1. Gear pump - the gear pump is cheap, durable, and simple. It is less efficient, simply because it is constant displacement and suitable for pressures that are below 3,000 psi. 2. Vane pump - vane pumps are cheap, simple, and reliable. They are good pumps for higher flow low pressure output. Hoses and tubes A hydraulic hose is graded by pressure, temperature, and compatibility of fluid. A rubber interior is surrounded by multiple layers of woven wire and rubber. The exterior of the hose is designed for resistance against abrasion. The bending radius of the hydraulic hose is designed very carefully into the machine, since a hose failure can be deadly, and violating the minimum bend radius of the hose can also cause failure. A hydraulic pipe is thick enough to have threads cut into it for connections. It's rarely used for high pressure systems though, which prefer to have tubes or hoses. The pipe itself lends to weldings and can also be used to fabricate the manifold. Hydraulic pipes on the other hand are preferred over hoses whenever possible, as they are simply more durable. Tubes are also preferred over pipes, as they weigh a lot less. Hydraulic tubes will normally have flared ends and captive nuts to make connections. They can also be steel welded with floating nuts and face seal fittings on the ends. Both tubes and pipes for hydraulic applications traditionally haven't been plated or painted, since the temperature and oil they operate under drive away moisture and reduce the risk of rust. Fittings The fittings with hydraulic machinery serve several purposes: 1. To bride different standards, such as the O-ring boss to JIC or pipe threads to the face seal. 2. Allows proper orientation of components, as a 45 or 90 degree, straight, or even swivel fitting will be chosen as it is needed. They are designed to be positioned in the correct orientation and then tightened as needed. 3. To incorporate bulkhead hardware. 4. A quick disconnect fitting may be added to a machine without having to modify hoses or valves. (word count 585)

         
    Operating a backhoe safely

     

    Operating A Backhoe Safely A skid steer loader with backhoe attachment or a backhoe loader in general can be very productive if it is operated safely and efficiently. The best way to get the job done safely and efficiently is to know yourself, the job site, and your equipment. Even though the models of backhoes will vary, there are safety features with all of them that include steps and grab handles for getting on and off of the machine. Backhoes also feature frame lock levers and attaching levers to keep the backhoe securely fastened to the loader frame during operation as well as transporting. In addition to these standard safety features, there are some backhoes that provide a safety chain. The safety chain will prevent the backhoe mounting frame from rotating backwards and unexpectedly trapping the operator, which can result in serious injury or death. Therefore, it is always important to know and check all of the mounting and attachment points and the safety chain before you operate the backhoe. If you've attached the backhoe to the loader, you should take a moment to inspect it and perform any necessary maintenance. Check for broken or damaged parts, also making sure to check for leaks, cracks, excessive wear, and check the control levers. The warning and safety signs and instructional decals are very important and will help you to avoid injury. You should always take them seriously and replace any damaged or missing decals. Every 8 hours or so, you should grease all of the zerk fittings, and check the hydraulic fluid and oil and a daily basis. If the fluid is low, the backhoe will not operate. Therefore, you should always take the time to check your machine. Anytime you have to leave the operator seat of the backhoe, you should lower the bucket or attachment to the ground, turn the engine off, remove the ignition key, then exit the machine. When the time comes to drive to the next job site, you should always make sure that you have fully raised both the front and rear stabilizers and make sure you've put the backhoe seat into the "down" position for better visibility. Before you drive off, make sure that you've installed the transport locking pin. Here are some other things to keep in mind: - Always select the right size bucket for the job. - Stake out the work area that is going to be excavated and use flags to mark the area. - Never work in areas that have inadequate overhead clearances. Always make sure that you keep bystanders or other workers out of the swing area. If anyone gets in the way of the boom swinging, they can very easily get injured. The machine has no feelings, therefore you should always be aware of who is around you and where they are standing. (word count 469)

         
    Renting versus owning equipment

     

    Renting Versus Owning Equipment There are always going to be times when, no matter how carefully an excavation company plans out a project, there simply isn't enough equipment on hand to handle the requirements of the project without running out of time. The choices at this point are clear - rent the machines you need or go ahead and make the purchase. It is however, not easy to make these types of decisions, thanks to several factors that you'll need to consider. Rental pricing Its no secret that rental companies make a killing with the equipment they rent out. Most companies will rent on a daily or weekly basis, which is good for them but can be bad for you. Depending on what area you work in, the price can be very high or just right. Depending on what type of equipment you need, the price to rent will vary. Excavators and off road dump trucks are among the highest to rent, as they can cost as much as 12,000 dollars per month! This may seem a bit outrageous at first, although if you own a profitable company and are working on a big project, you'll have problems meeting the price. Buying When you need more equipment and don't want to rent, you can buy your equipment. Buying is the way to go if you plan on using the equipment more. If you work on large projects on a frequent basis, you may want to look into buying the equipment you need instead of renting. Buying will save you money in the long run, providing you are going to be using the equipment again. If you need the equipment for one or two projects, you may just want to rent. Sure you won't own the equipment, although you certainly don't want to buy something you won't be using. Servicing One of the great things about renting is the fact that company you rent from is responsible for fixing anything that breaks. Your company won't be responsible for repairs, as you don't own the equipment. If something breaks or goes wrong, simply call the company and they will come out there and fix the problem, as the price for repair is included in the rental contract. If you choose to go ahead and buy the equipment, then your company will be responsible for the repair of the equipment. As you probably know with owning other equipment, you'll need to do regular maintenance and service on the equipment. Making that final choice on renting or buying is ultimately up to you. You should always think about finances, and if you can afford the machinery. If you don't have the finances or capital to buy what you need, you should go with renting. Either way you go, you'll get the machines you need to complete your job and stay ahead of schedule. (word count 474)

         
    Skid loader

     

    Skid Loader The skid loader is a rigid frame, engine powered machine with lift arms that are used to attach a wide variety of labor saving tools or attachments. Skid loaders are normally four wheel drive with left side drive wheels that are independent of right side drive wheels. With each side being independent to the other, the wheel speed and direction of rotation of the wheels will determine which direction the loader turns. Skid loaders are capable of turning in their own tracks, which makes them very maneuverable and valuable for jobs that require the use of compact, agile loader. Unlike conventional front loaders, the lift arms lay beside the driver with the major pivot points located behind the shoulders of the operator. Due to the operator being in close proximity to moving booms and buckets, earlier models of skid loaders weren't as safe as conventional front loaders, particularly during entering and exiting. Skid loaders today have fully enclosed cabs and other safety features that will protect the operator from injury. Just like other front loaders, the skid steer can scrape material from one location to another, carry material in a bucket, or load material on a truck or a trailer. Operation A skid loader can sometimes take the place of a large excavator by digging a hole out from the inside. The skid loader will first dig a ramp that leads to the edge of the hole. Then, the loader will use the ramp to carry material out of the hole. The skid loader will then reshape the ramp by making it steeper and longer as the excavation gets deeper. This method is very useful for digging under an overhead structure where the overhead clearance doesn't allow for the boom of a large excavator, such as those situations where you are digging a basement under a house. The bucket of most types of skid loaders can be replaced with several specialized buckets or attachments, many of which are powered by the hydraulic system of the loader. History The first 3 wheeled front end loader was invented by two brothers, Cyril and Louis Keller in their machinist shop in Minnesota back in 1957. The Kellers built the loader to help a nearby farmer clean turkey manure from his two story barn. The light and compact loader, with the rear caster wheel, was able to turn around within the length of itself, while performing the very same tasks as conventional front end loaders. Down the road, the Melroe manufacturing company in Gwinner ND, purchased the rights to the Keller loader in 1958 and hired the brothers to continue their loader invention. Resulting from the partnership, the M-200 self propelled loader was introduced at the end of 1958. The loader featured two independent front drive wheels and a rear caster wheel, a 12.9 engine and a 750 lb lift capacity. Two years later, they ended up replacing the caster wheel with a rear axle and introduced the M-400 loader, which was the first four wheel skid steer loader in the world. In 1962, the Bobcat name was added to describe the key features of the machine - touch, agile, and quick. The M-440 was powered by a 15.5 HP engine and offered a 1100 lb rated operating capacity. In the mid 1960s, the skid steer loader progressed with the introduction of the M600 loader. Years later, the Bobcat skid steer loader experienced quite a few changes, including the development of a hydrostatic drive system, enforced cab structures, radius and vertical lift arm configurations, deluxe instrumentation, and even heating and air conditioning. In addition to the rubber tire skid loaders of today, there are now all-wheel steer loaders and even compact track loaderspact track loads offer less ground disturbance and feature better traction and control in soft, muddy, wet, and even sandy ground conditions. (word count 643)

         
    Trench digging

     

    Trench Digging Digging trenches is one of the oldest types of work with both construction and excavating. Prior to World War 2, trenches were dug by hand. As workers dug the trenches deeper, the sides needed to be shored or supported, to keep the walls of the trench from caving in. Following the World War, several innovations were made in backhoes, and trench digging seemed to fade away as a profession. By 1950, hydraulically actuated backhoes were developed, which make it possible to rapidly dig very deep trenches. Resulting from the innovations with backhoes, and because there were no workers inside digging the trenches, the walls no longer needed to be shored. All types of trenches have what's known as a stand up time. This time is the amount of time that elapses from the time the ditch is dug until the time the trench walls start to collapse. The stand up time is dependant on many factors, which include the type of soil, water content, trench depth, weather conditions, and whether or not the soil has been disturbed. The stand up time can be as short as zero seconds or as long as several months, as they are very difficult to predict. Before the trench can be dug, someone must take soil samples as way of estimating the stand up time. Keep in mind that the soil conditions can be dramatically different only a few feet from where the sample of the soil was taken. After the trench has been dug, workers will go down into the trench, and perform whatever work is needed, such as laying pipe or installing telephone lines, welding pipe, or installing valves. If the trench walls aren't supported, there is the possibility of the walls collapsing and trapping the workers in the trench. Throughout history, there have been 100 - 300 people killed in the U. S. each year due to trenches collapsing. The public has become very aware that industrial progress will often have negative side effects as well. The place of engineers protecting the public from these types of side effects is a very controversial issue. The use of trench boxes on the site, will help to ease this debate. The trench box, also called a trench shield, may be placed in the trench to prevent failures from injuring workers. The trench box consists of two large plates, normally made from steel, which are parallel to the walls of the trench, and horizontal cross members which will hold the two plates apart. The lower edge of the trench box rests at the bottom of the trench, with the top edge of the box extending above the top of the trench. The workers will stay between the plates of the trench box, so that if the trench does collapse, the dirt will be stopped by the outside of the trench box. As the work progresses, the trench box is pulled along in the trench with a backhoe or other machine. When a project calls for a large excavation such as digging the foundation for a tall building, the supporting structure for the excavated walls will be specified in the plans. The big problem with not using trench boxes occurs in cities, when water or sewer lines are being installed or repaired. The engineer doesn't specify for the trench box in the plans, but instead leaves it up to the contractor. Anytime you are going to be digging trenches or working in them, you should always use common sense and take your time. Trenches can be very deadly, especially if trench boxes aren't used. To be on the safe side, you should always use a trench box if you need to be in the trench. If you don't need to be in the trench - do the smart thing and let the machines do all of the work. (word count 639)

         
    Trenching and plowing equipment

     

    Trenching And Plowing Equipment When trenchers were first introduced to the residential and commercial contractors, they rapidly became the backbone of the crew. The time and labor trenchers saved when they replaced the pick and shovel was simply incredible. The contractor was able to double the number of jobs his crew could complete in the same amount of time - or less. The standard types of trenchers, whether dedicated units or attachments, they are versatile machines for contractors to have with them on the job. They can be used for many different purposes, from digging valve box holes to trenches for drain pipes. In areas that contain rocky soil, large roots, or other problems where the other machinery can't access the soil, the trencher will minimize downtime that was once spent digging by hand. The many types of vibratory plows will offer even more labor saving options. These plows eliminate the hand labor of having to lay the pipe and backfilling on numerous jobs. Even though vibratory plows have taken their market share and are great for pulling pipe, trenchers are still very important for many different types of applications. The impressive company Bobcat offers three different trenching attachments that are designed for use on the smaller skid steer loaders. The attachment models LT102, LT203, and LT304 all have digging depths from 2 - 4 feet. Mini trenchers The mini trenchers have been re-designed and finely tuned from the same concept that made standard trenchers so popular. As the name suggests, they are lightweight, with the largest models weighing less than 400 pounds. They are also compact, allowing you to put them in the back of an average pickup truck. They will also dig a trench around 4 inches wide, and up to 13 inches deep, neatly laying the soil on side of the trench. Without any trouble at all, you can cover pipe with the backfill, leaving a barely visible seam in the soil. With time being money, these types of mini trenchers are the answer when working in tight or small areas, or on jobs that have a lot of trees or shrubbery. Mini trenchers have a turning radius of less than two feet and they will easily fit through most garden gates. Jobs that would normally need a lot of manual labor will now save you a lot of time and man power. If you do construction or excavation work, even gardening, you'll find trenching and plowing equipment to be essential to your work. If you've never used these types of equipment before, you'll be amazed at just how much time you can save. If you are just starting up your business, you'll find this type of equipment to be just what you need. You won't need a lot of labor with a trencher, as you can do most of it yourself. For saving time, money, and effort, trenching and plowing equipment is the way to go. (word count 484)

         
     
         
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