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Construction Equipment Storage the Right Way | Construction News

Construction equipment is expensive, and to protect your investment, you should strive to guard your gear against all manner of mishap and malfunction. On the site, that means ensuring your workers are trained and certified with various machinery, but even when your equipment isn’t in use, you should be certain it is safe and secure.

While you and your crew might be tempted to stash your tools at the site ― after all, you’ll be back in a few short hours to start again the next day ― leaving your expensive equipment out in the open is a major mistake. Instead, you should follow these storage standards for strong, safe stuff and staff.

Turn It Off

You know your construction equipment can cause harm, and your team knows it, too, but accidents can happen even when workers are experienced and cautious. Therefore, you should always practice lockout/tagout with your stuff.

Essentially, this process informs others that certain equipment is currently too dangerous to use and thereby keeps everyone safe. Ideally, equipment comes with lockout capabilities that physically prevent others from activating the machines, such as a seat bar in skid steer loaders, which locks the lift arm and bucket into place. These functions are beneficial in at least two ways: They lessen the likelihood of items slipping and causing harm, and they thwart theft. Some aftermarket lockout solutions are available for older machinery that does not come with integrated lockout functions.

However, when lockout is not an option, you should still enforce the tagout process, which serves to communicate possible danger to others. When a worker tags an item out, he or she should write a description of why the equipment should not be tampered with. Tags should be present on several highly visible areas of the equipment, including the cab door and drive controls, and they must be firmly attached and resistant to all sorts of weather. Implementing these strategies could save lives ― not just of your workers, but of curious laypeople who wander onto your sites ― and protect your expensive gear from destructive mishaps.

Take It Home

Though people often cause most of the damage to your machines, there are other dangers your equipment face on the construction site: contaminants. Construction is a dirty business, and the building process puts billions of dust, dirt, water, and metal particles into the air. Unfortunately, those particles can easily make their way into your machinery, causing irreparable damage.

Though it may be convenient to leave your heavy equipment on-site, you save yourself headache and heartache by relocating it to a safe structure when it isn’t in use. A dedicated home base for your stuff will keep it clean and safe ― and it doesn’t have to cost a fortune, either. One popular option is fabric structures, which can go up fast and be designed to fit your precise needs, but their materials are inexpensive and sustainable. With a fabric storehouse, you can rest easy every night knowing your gear is sheltered from the worst elements.

Lock It up

Still, your stuff is not entirely secure, even in storage, if anyone can walk in and tour your warehouse. Lockouts may dissuade workers and laypeople from tampering with heavy machinery, but unless your home base is outfitted with defenses, thieves will have open access to your most precious gear. Contrary to popular belief, heavy machinery is definitely not too big to steal; in fact, theft from construction sites has been rising steadily for more than a decade, so it is imperative that you protect your equipment as thoroughly as possible.

Some of the most exciting security options are smart locks. For the most part, these locks are keyless, instead requiring digital access though registered mobile devices, like smartphones or tablet computers. Many smart locks will inform you when they are being tampered with, so you can have real-time reassurance of your equipment’s safety.

Watch From Afar

Finally, because your construction equipment is so expensive, you might consider augmenting your storage facility with cameras. Security cameras come in all shapes and sizes, with various features to conform to your protection needs. Like smart locks, some security cameras link with mobile devices to give you visual access of your tools whenever you need it, while others connect to alarm systems which will notify authorities in the event of unauthorized activity.

High-quality video surveillance does not usually come cheap, but capturing video will certainly keep your stuff safest when it is in storage. Though storing your machinery and tools correctly is not always convenient or inexpensive, it is the right way to keep your people and your equipment intact.


Lift & Access is part of the Catalyst Communications Network publication family.