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Safe Operation of a Rented Skid-Steer Loader
As the operator of a rented skid-steer loader, you bear the responsibility for the safe operation of the equipment. Do not operate the equipment until you know how to use it properly. The material below offers general instructions on how to operate a rented skid-steer loader safely. Your local, ARA-affiliated rental store professional can provide you with complete instructions. You sometimes also can view how-to video instructions at a rental store for information on using the equipment safely and effectively.

Safety tips.

  • Read all manufacturer warnings and instructions prior to using a rented skid-steer loader.
  • Properly secure the rented skid-steer loader when you transport it.
  • Follow safe practices when you hook up and tow a rented skid-steer loader.
  • Wear appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE), such as a hardhat, safety glasses and ear protection.
  • Always wear your seat belt when operating a rented skid-steer loader.
  • Do not remove or modify any built-in safety features, such as the rollover protection structure (ROPS), on a rented skid-steer loader.
  • Use skid-steer loader only in areas that offer adequate ventilation.
  • Keep onlookers away from the jobsite while using a rented skid-steer loader.
  • Do not allow anyone to ride in rented skid-steer loader other than the operator.
  • Do not lift anyone using the bucket of the rented skid-steer loader.

Preparation tips.

  • Mark the areas where you will dig.
  • Before you dig, call 811 — the national “Call Before You Dig” phone number — to notify utility companies of your digging plans, so that they can send out a locator to mark underground lines for free. You must wait a few days after calling before digging. The exact time requirements for waiting vary by state.
Usage tips.
  • Rent the appropriate skid-steer loader from your local ARA-affiliated rental store. See Can a Rented Skid-Steer Loader Lift the Load? for a description of possible features available on rented skid-steer loaders.
  • Check and, if needed, service fluid levels in the rented skid-steer. Shut off the skid-steer loader’s engine before refueling.
  • Select an attachment — approved by the manufacturer of the rented skid-steer loader — that suits your intended application. Make sure to secure it to the skid-steer loader properly.
  • Perform a worksite inspection, taking note of all overhead electrical lines or obstructions, as well as soft ground, drop-offs and steep slopes. Maintain a minimum clearance of at least 10 feet from overhead electrical lines.
  • Follow manufacturer’s recommendations for starting and shutting off the rented skid-steer loader.
  • Only operate the rented skid-steer loader from the operator’s seat.
  • Operate the rented skid-steer loader at reduced speed until you know exactly how it handles.
  • Avoid quick, jerky movements of the rented skid-steer loader or any of its attachments.
  • When moving the rented skid-steer loader on slopes, go up and down the slope and not across it.
  • When moving the rented skid-steer loader, keep the bucket or attachment low to the ground.
  • Do not exceed the lift capacity of the rented skid-steer loader.
  • Never use the rented skid-steer loader to lift a load over anyone.
  • Always lower the attachment to the ground, lock it, turn off the engine and set the parking brake prior to leaving the rented skid-steer loader.
Contact your local, ARA-affiliated, rental store for information on available rental products and services to meet your skid-steer loader needs. To locate the rental store nearest you, use the Rental Store Quick Locator above.

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