Navigating Winter: Operating Construction Machinery and UK Snow Clearance Services

Winter’s arrival transforms construction sites into snow-covered landscapes, introducing a set of unique challenges for operators of heavy machinery. The combination of freezing temperatures, snow accumulation, and icy surfaces requires a strategic approach to ensure both productivity and safety. In this blog post, we’ll look into the essential considerations and safety measures for operating construction machinery in snowy conditions. If you’re due snow in your local area, or other parts of the UK then don’t forget to keep H. E. Services at the forefront of your mind for UK snow clearance services. 

Preparation is key

Reduced visibility, slippery surfaces, and the added weight of snow accumulation can impact the performance and safety of machinery. If you know your local area is forecast snow then make sure your machines are prepped and safe to use by following our guide.

Equipment Inspection: 

In snowy weather, thorough inspections of construction machinery are essential to ensure optimal performance, prevent breakdowns, and enhance safety. Here are key components and areas that need close attention during inspections in snowy conditions: Hydraulic Systems

  • Engine
  • Tyres and Tracks
  • Brake Systems
  • Lights and Visibility Aids
  • Exhaust Systems
  • Filters
  • Cab Controls such as levers and joysticks plus ensuring the cab doesn’t have any gaps or openings
  • Undercarriage
  • Fuel Systems
  • Safety features such as alarms, cameras and proximity sensors

Before venturing into snowy construction sites, conducting a thorough inspection of the machinery and checking for any wear and tear is essential.

Cold Weather Considerations:

Cold temperatures can affect the performance of machinery. Before operating, don’t forget to make sure that all fluids, including hydraulic fluids and engine oil, are suitable for low temperatures. It is also advisable to consider using winter grade lubricants to prevent freezing.

Operational Best Practices

Speed and Caution:

Operating machinery in snow requires a crucial adjustment in approach, especially in relation to reduced speed and increased caution. When operating machinery on site during the winter, ensure you slow down when moving around. This in turn will help to maintain control and minimise the risk of accidents, ensuring a safer working environment.

Clear Communication:

Establish clear communication channels among team members. Use radios or other communication devices to relay information effectively, especially in situations with reduced visibility. It can become increasingly difficult to see fellow operators, especially when the snowy conditions increase.

Proper Training:

Operating construction machinery is an art in itself, but add wintery conditions to the mix and it’s a whole new ball game. Site managers should ensure that their operators have received specific training for operating machinery in winter conditions, or taking a refresher training course has proven to be beneficial. Familiarity with the equipment and knowledge of winter-specific safety measures are crucial. If you’re looking for a local plant training school, don’t forget to contact the Diggerland Plant Training School. Their highly skilled operators have years of experience, and are ready to answer any questions you may have. 

Safety Measures

Visibility Enhancement:

If you’re working on a construction site, then the health and safety will be carefully considered prior to any work being carried out. The Site Manager could look at potentially installing additional lighting on construction machinery to enhance visibility. This is particularly important in winter when daylight hours are shorter, and visibility can be compromised by falling snow.

Snow Removal:

Snow can accumulate very quickly on roads and entrances to construction sites, so it is incredibly important to keep on top of snow clearance. Make sure it’s common practice to also regularly remove accumulated snow from the machinery, including the roof and lights. This practice prevents excess weight, improves visibility, and reduces the risk of accidents caused by falling snow.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE):

In the chilly embrace of winter, prioritising personal safety through the proper use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) becomes paramount on construction sites. At H. E. Services, we emphasise the significance of wearing PPE specifically designed for winter conditions. Our workers are equipped with insulated clothing, gloves, and footwear to shield against the biting cold, ensuring they remain warm and comfortable throughout their tasks. This not only enhances their well-being but also minimises the risk of cold-related illnesses. Furthermore, high-visibility winter gear adds an extra layer of safety, enhancing visibility in the snowy and dimly lit environments. 

Snow clearance
H. E. Services JCB clearing snow
Snow Clearance Services

Need Snow Clearances Services in the UK?

At H. E. Services (Plant Hire) Ltd, our commitment to comprehensive solutions extends to the challenging winter weather with our specialised snow clearance services. Using our state-of-the-art equipment and skilled operators, we ensure efficient and thorough removal of snow from various environments, including construction sites, roadways, and commercial properties. Our fleet, equipped with advanced telehandler snow plough attachments and buckets plus backhoe loaders, allows us to tackle snow and ice effectively, minimising disruptions and ensuring safe access. Whether you need immediate response during a snowstorm or ongoing maintenance to keep your premises clear, our dedicated snow clearance services are tailored to meet the unique needs of each client. Trust H. E. Services to keep your operations running smoothly, even when winter weather tries to slow you down.

Get in touch with our team today for more information:

Call us: 0208 804 2000

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All information correct as of: 17th January 2024.

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