Use That Rented Trencher Safely
Almost everyone has heard about the dangers associated with chain saws. Picture then a chained blade — several times larger than a chainsaw blade — that cuts into the ground and you have a trencher. This comparison underscores the need for safety when using a trencher. The following suggestions provide information to help you use a rented trencher safely. Your local, ARA-affiliated rental store can provide you complete instructions for using your rented trencher. You sometimes also can view how-to video instructions at a rental store to inform you how to use the equipment safely and effectively.
- Read all manufacturer warnings and instructions prior to using rented trencher.
- Follow safe lifting practices when loading and unloading a rented walk-behind trencher.
- Secure rented trencher when you transport it.
- Follow safe practices when you hook up and tow a rented trencher.
- Wear appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE), such as a hard hat, safety glasses, ear protection and protective boots.
- Never wear loose clothing or jewelry that can catch on the rented trencher during use.
- Always wear your seat belt when operating a rented ride-on trencher.
- Do not allow anyone to ride in a rented trencher other than the operator.
- Keep onlookers away from the jobsite while operating the rented trencher.
- Mark the areas where you will dig the holes.
- 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.
- Rent the appropriate trencher from your local ARA-affiliated rental store. See The Many Sizes and Types of Rental Trenchers and What to Look for in a Rental Trencher for a description of types of rental trenchers available.
- Check and, if needed, service fluid levels in the rented trencher. Shut off the trencher’s engine before refueling.
- Before use and regularly during operation, check a rented trencher’s chain tension to make sure that it is neither too tight nor too loose. If necessary, adjust its tension according to the manufacturer’s recommendations.
- Perform a worksite inspection, taking note of all obstructions, drop-offs and steep slopes.
- Follow manufacturer’s recommendations for starting and shutting off the rented trencher.
- Only operate the rented trencher from the operator’s position or seat.
- Operate engine of rented trencher at full throttle while trenching.
- Start rented trencher before lowering slowly moving cutting parts to the ground.
- Avoid making sharp, sudden turns with the rented trencher when trenching.
- Always lower the attachment to the ground, turn off the engine and set the parking brake or use chock blocks prior to leaving the rented trencher.
Contact your local, ARA-affiliated, rental store for information on available rental products and services to meet your trencher needs. To locate the rental store nearest you, use the Rental Store Quick Locator above.