Blog

19.07.2013

Preventative Maintenance – Check Your Oil

On top of your daily engine maintenance, there is a variety of other important maintenance your engine requires on a less frequent basis. Whether it is weekly, monthly or annual maintenance, these checks, to be done throughout the year, will help maximise the life of your engine and retain it’s performance. These checks should be done in conjunction with the recommendations in the owners manual.

To ensure that routine maintenance is completed, it is recommended to use a log book. It may also be helpful to run an hour-meter. This is a device that can be used to digitally keep track of the hours your engine/equipment.

Oil is the life blood of your engine, cooling and lubricating it. On top of being Oil-Canchecked daily, bimonthly oil changes are recommended, as over time, potentially harmful sludge (usually made up of fine particles of metal and dust) can build up inside your engine. For that reason, it is important that you change the oil twice a month or every 100 hours. As a side note – after an engine is first purchased, the oil should be changed after the first 20 hours. This is to remove assembly lubrication and metallic particles created during the initial run in.

To keep your engine healthy and ready to work when you are, check out the next blog post where we will look at more maintenance tips.

Read more
4.07.2013

Preventative Maintenance of Your Subaru Robin Engine (Daily Maintenance)

If you work hard then no doubt the engines on your equipment are also running hard. Most contractors are busy with work so quite often regular maintenance can be overlooked. Sure, they get fresh/clean fuel and an oil change every now and then, but for all their hard work, they deserve more.

Preventative engine maintenance helps keep downtime to a minimum, saving you time and money down the road. Some tips for preventative maintenance are below.

Often the most overlooked, daily maintenance is usually the quickest andEX21-CR easiest to perform. Most people know that checking the oil before each use is the first step to preventing serious engine problems, however, most people don’t realise that in an air-cooled engine, it isn’t just air that does the cooling. Since the engines don’t use a liquid coolant, the oil works as a cooling medium. It is for this reason that it is important to regularly check the oil.

Another important part of daily maintenance is checking the air filter. Clogged, wet or damaged filters can reduce the power of your engine and even shorten the life of it by allowing dirt and water into vulnerable areas.

The easiest step when it comes to daily maintenance is cleaning the engine. This not only helps prevent rust but also gets rid of harmful mud and dirt that clog up the engine, preventing proper air flow and in turn causes the engine to run hot. Cleaning the engine also gives you an opportunity to check for leaks and loose or damaged components.

To clean your engine, first spray with a non-petroleum based degreaser. After allowing the degreaser to start breaking down the dirt/grease, hose off (be mindful of the air-cleaner and spark plug). Once clean, dry the engine and let it run for a few minutes.

We will take a look at regular maintenance steps in our next blog post – stay tuned…

Read more
25.06.2013

Storage of Scaffold Components

Proper storage of scaffolding equipment helps to ensure that scaffolding is safe and fit to be used. Improperly stored equipment can result in damage, loss of equipment strength, and loss of safe operation. Whether the storage is in a rental building, a scaffolder’s warehouse, or at the job site, the following conditions should always be met:

• Store equipment so that it is easily accessible.

• Allow for the safe movement of trucks, forklifts or other handling equipment.

• Do not obscure access/egress points, emergency exits, safety signs and warnings or emergency equipment with scaffold components.

• Provide adequate support to keep scaffold components off the ground.

• Provide support between layers so that suitable materials can be handled by the forklifts.

• Store different size parts in separate stacks.

• Clearly mark part numbers on all stacks.

• Provide boxes or bins for small parts.

• Segregate and isolate any component parts that are in need of repair. Store damaged components in a clearly marked area until repaired or disposed of to ensure they do not go back into the general inventory.

• Discard or destroy damaged parts following appropriate and legal disposal procedures.

• Do not stack equipment so high, that it becomes unstable. Unstable stacks can fall and cause serious injury or death as well as damage to component parts.

• Provide blocking to prevent tubing from rolling when being handled. Unsupported tubing may become damaged or roll onto personnel causing injury.

• Keep storage areas in a clean and orderly condition.

• Do not put scaffold components (especially planks) into storage when wet. Always dry component parts before storing away.

• Planks that remain wet for long periods of time (months) are likely to mildew and decay. Any plank showing evidence of mildew should be allowed to dry and tested for verification of strength before use.

• Wet planks should be stacked on level bearers well clear of the ground with spacers between each layer. Locate the stack in a dry, well ventilated location and align spacers with bearers. A minimum of three spacers per layer is recommended.

• Dry Planks should be stored under cover.

Scaffold-Storage-Frames

Scaffold-Storage-Tube

Pictured above are good practices for storing scaffold components

Read more
12.06.2013

Scaffold – Setting Up The Work Area

Step 1: Check the unloading site and ensure safety measures are implemented

  1. Check into the site, advising the site manager or supervisor of delivery of scaffold components.
  2. Check with the site manager or supervisor the location of the unloading zone. This should be in close proximity to the erection site to reduce manual handling.
  3. Undertake site induction if this is the first time on the site. Seek information about the worksite and conditions to verify scaffold requirements.
  4. Proceed to the unloading area.
  5. Check the area designated for unloading. Ensure the unloading procedure and placement of scaffold components does not:
    • Interfere with the movement of site traffic.
    • Block emergency access and egress points (people and vehicles).
    • Place site workers or drivers of other vehicles at risk.
    • Place visitors to the site or the public at risk.
    • Block thoroughfares.
  6. Be conscious of the work area and take the necessary precautions to safeguard personal health and safety and that of your fellow workers. Take into account the activities of fellow workers and any plant or vehicles operating in the vicinity.
  7. Put on any personal protective equipment (PPE) required. This should include safety boots and scaffolder’s gloves as a minimum. The site risk assessment may require other forms of PPE such as hard hats, hearing protection, safety eyewear. If unclear of the PPE requirements, check with the site manager or supervisor before commencing work.

Step 2: Unload scaffold components

  1. Using correct lifting and carrying techniques, commence unloading the vehicle of scaffold components. Remove topmost items first.
  2. Stack the components into groups of like pieces to optimise efficiency of the erection process.

IMG_0840-Cropped

When stacking components:

  • Do not stack heavy items on top of lighter items – there is a risk of damaging components and therefore destabilising the scaffold once erected
  • Do not stack anything on top of ladders – ladders can be easily damaged which will reduce their load bearing capacity
  • Lay frames flat to prevent bending or distortion, which will reduce the load bearing capacity of the erected scaffold

IMG_0833-e1371003536839 IMG_0835-e1371003472793
IMG_0834-e1371003515606

Read more
30.05.2013

Scaffold Foundations

The foundation is the supporting structure on which a scaffold is erected. To ensure scaffold stability, the scaffolder must first ensure a sound foundation. Scaffold foundations must be adequate to carry and distribute the loads imposed at each standard and of the whole loaded scaffold. An inadequate foundation can cause a scaffold to collapse.

To ensure an adequate foundation, consideration should be given to the intended use of the scaffold and the environment in which it is to be erected.

To work out whether the supporting surface or foundation is adequate, consideration should be given to the load the foundation will be required to bear.

IMG_1103

An example of a safe and solid foundation


IMG_1103

An example of an unsafe foundation

The purpose of a good foundation is to spread the leg load over a wide area. Consideration should be given to the ground or structure on which the scaffold is to be erected as well as the live and dead loads to be carried. The use of baseplates and soleplates are necessary to stabilise scaffolds and their foundations.

A sole plate is a member used to distribute the load through a base plate to the ground or other supporting structure. A base plate is a plate that is able to distribute the load from a load bearing member to a supporting structure. The foundation conditions will determine the requirement for base plates and soleplates and the dimensions and specifications of each.

The total load and the conditions of the supporting soil or floor determine the size of the foundation.  When soil conditions are poor or frozen,  it may be necessary to dig down to an adequate base material. If this is not practical, then the leg load must be spread over a much larger area using larger soleplates or continuous decking under the scaffold legs. To support scaffolds, backfilled soils must be well compacted and leveled.  Mud or soft soil must be replaced with gravel or crushed stone that has been well compacted.

Read more