Landscape Contractor / Design Build Maintain

OCT 2018

LC/DBM provides landscape contractors with Educational, Imaginative and Practical information about their business, their employees, their machines and their projects.

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Page 55 of 103

56 LCDBM continued from page 54 Left Inside the cab of the SSV series are a suspension seat, ISO pilot controls, a 12V socket that can be used for recharging mobile phones and powering other small electronic devices, a wide mirror in the middle of the cabin and nine air vents. Switch panels on the front posts provide access to impor- tant functions. A dial throttle lets you set a constant engine speed, instead of trying to maintain one with the foot throttle, for jobs that require it such as cold planning, trenching, and snow blowing. Right The ZW50 wheel loader has access to the cab on both sides of the machine. A rubber-mounted operator frame contrib- utes to reduced decibel levels. Above Controls on the Kubota U55-4 excavator feature a two-pattern selection system – a switch under the seat lets the operator shift between ISO pattern and SAE backhoe pattern. The entrance (on left-hand side) is 1' 10.4" wide. The front window slides up with the help of a gas-assist mechanism. Innovative display technologies give operators the ability to, via onboard screens and dashboards, "review and adjust set- tings and reduce machine failures. Some manufacturers offer a split-screen mode that can display machine information and the rearview camera simultaneously." Working in a high-tech surrounding is seen by the equipment manufacturer as a way to reward employees. Another feature attractive to experienced operators are smooth, low-effort controls, whose responsiveness and func - tionality have been continually improving. Also, video-type con- trollers – multiple buttons that can be controlled with either a finger or a thumb, are appearing more and more. "As young operators enter the construction workforce, fleets with this type of equipment can be a strong selling feature for your company," reports the manufacturer. "Similarly, invest - ing in these types of features can be one way to keep the most skilled operators on your team." And of course, all the cab comforts possible, which they say is so important that some employers promote it in their operator recruiting and employment communications. Taking Control A little extra advice comes from a compact wheel loader product applica- tion specialist for the equipment manu- facturer (known as the blogger Com- pactLoader) that all operators can heed. "The simplest way to help alleviate end-of-day aches and pains is to adjust your seat and cab controls to allow for full range of motion, lumbar support and comfortable positioning before you begin operating," he relates. "This is es - pecially important if you're operating a machine that is used by other operators throughout the work week, as they may have changed the settings." Some of his specific suggestions: • With seat adjustments – some air suspension seats have an indicator that shows if you are properly adjusted or not. And the blogger recommends adjustable armrests, lumbar support and recline capabilities. • The positioning of joysticks, which allow operators to do so many tasks these days, is very important for comfort; it should feel "natural to how your hand typically sits." • Steering should not require much force at all. And a 'quick steer' feature "boosts the steering flow so you only have to turn the knob about 15 percent in either direction to turn the machine." • He also recommends a 'ride control' feature to provide an easier ride and better material retention, and 'cylinder snub - bing' (also known as 'cylinder damping') that "slows down the implements before you hit full stroke or kick-out position to eliminate any jerking motions." CompactLoader concludes "Having numb legs and an aching back should no longer be an inevitable part of your day. We hope machine ergonomics is (now) a priority." LC DBM

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