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Looking for Equipment for a Tight Access Job? Here’s What You Need to Know

Work on a construction site can always bring complex challenges. In this environment, getting the equipment you need to get the job done can be difficult, as construction sites are always experiencing ongoing changes.

That’s why it’s critical to have a plan in place if you’re looking to get some equipment on the job site for a tight access task. Arranging equipment for delivery only to find it can’t be used where you need it on the site can be a real headache. Here’s what you need to know about getting the right equipment sorted for a tight access job. 

Get a Lay of the Land

Arranging equipment for any tight access job first requires confirming the measurements of the tight space. This may sound obvious, but it’s crucial. It’s also important to check in with the crew to see if there will be any changes to the space between now and when the equipment arrives. If possible, check out the surrounding area to see if any crew could potentially end up overlapping with the tight access work to be done. Given the limitations of space, tight access jobs are ideally done with small equipment such as a 1.7 Tonne Excavator or a 3 Tonne Site Dumper, and when other workers are well-clear and won’t pose a safety risk, or cause any delays.

Understand the Benefits and Limitations of the Equipment

Every piece of construction equipment is different, and each has their own pros and cons. If any worker uses construction gear beyond the scope of its ability, the job won’t get done properly at best, and at worst it can result in a lot of damage and misery.

Just as a piece of gear like a 48T excavator really isn’t going to be a good candidate for any tight access jobs, it’s also essential not to use equipment like a 1.7T excavator — which is great for tight access jobs — on a task it’s not meant for.

Revise the Plan if Any Issues Arise

If you find despite your best planning efforts the equipment you’ve just had arrive at the job site won’t work in the tight access spot, it’s important to try to revise the plan. There are a couple of ways to do this quickly and efficiently. Start by confirming whether it’s simply a matter of the incorrect piece of equipment having been chosen by the team, or whether it’s another obstruction limiting the equipment’s ability to do the job. 

If it’s the former, keep in mind arranging for another piece of hire equipment can be done fast. If it’s the latter, have a chat to the site supervisor about the obstruction, as it may be possible to move it, or even deconstruct it if need be. 

In addition, keep in mind the equipment could find use elsewhere on the site. So even if the tight access job site doesn’t have enough space for the current piece of equipment to fit, it may be possible to start work on another tight access project elsewhere on the site with that piece of equipment. You could then hire another piece down the line to attend to the original job. 

Maximise the Output

It’s true by many measures Australia is looking in much better shape in early 2021 than it was during the hardest months of 2020. But even if a recovery can be seen on the horizon, we still have to deal with industry turbulence, and hope major projects like Victoria’s Big Housing Build that represents $5.3 billion worth of new work will help construction crews navigate these challenging times. That’s why in 2021 there’s never been a more critical time for efficiency on the job site. 

So when it comes seeking out equipment for your tight access job, remember the principle of ‘measure twice, cut once’. Do this by checking in with the site supervisor about the current measurements of the space, and whether there will be any changes before you hire the equipment. Look to learn the ins and outs of the equipment you hire to know its strengths and limitations. Also look to ensure the equipment doesn’t sit idle if there’s another job it can reasonably do when the tight access work is done, and be ready to revise the plan if any hurdles arise along the way. Follow these steps and you’ll be all set to successfully complete your next tight access job.

What else do you think is good to know when it comes to seeking out equipment for a tight access job? Let us know in the comments below.

Image: SPH

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