When you’re operating your construction equipment off road, there’s a high likelihood that you’ll deal with muddy conditions and get stuck at some point. All it takes is a little bit of rain or snow for jobsites to become wet, soggy messes. Almost any type of machine is vulnerable to becoming stuck in the mud, including your tracked and wheeled equipment.
To help you avoid time consuming issues related to muddy working conditions, follow our tips for not getting stuck in the first place and for getting unstuck as quickly as possible.
Don’t become trapped in the mud
Removing your equipment from the mud is a difficult task that wastes your time and money. Here are some best practices for not getting stuck in the first place:
- Prior to beginning each shift, carefully check the jobsite to get an idea of the terrain you will be operating on. Clearly mark sections of the work area with excessive mud or soft, sticky soil.
- If you’re working on soft terrain, we recommend using wide tracked compact track loaders and excavators to minimize ground pressure and disturbance. Wider tracks enhance flotation and traction, making them the best choice for driving through muddy areas.
- Always remove mud or debris from your machine’s tracks, tires, and undercarriages between projects and at the end of each workday to help improve traction in wet conditions.
How to get out of mud if you’re already stuck
Despite your best efforts, sometimes you will become stuck in muddy conditions. If this happens to you, follow these tips:
- Always have strong straps, ropes, chains, or cables with you on every jobsite. They will be very useful if your equipment is stuck, and you have to pull it out.
- If your machine is stuck, remove anything you can to make it lighter. This way, you will be able to pull it out more easily.
- Place planks behind the machine’s wheels to help with traction when you’re removing it from muddy conditions.
- To avoid damage to your equipment, attach your straps to a tow hook or the frame itself. This method will give you the best chance of getting your equipment out of mud without breaking any components.
- Always take caution when pulling machines out of mud. Chains can snap during towing, and the tow hooks will fly through the air, creating a dangerous hazard. To ensure they fall towards the ground instead of flying up, insert them with their tips up. Plus, always maintain a safe distance away from towing chains or straps in case one breaks.
Removing your heavy equipment from muddy conditions can be a difficult and dangerous task. Follow these tips and best practices to avoid getting stuck in the first place. If you do, though, review our tips for removing equipment effectively.
If you have any questions about removing equipment from mud, or equipment maintenance in general, contact our team.