Author Archives: Dave Taff

Load King Premier 37' roofing conveyor
The History of Roofing and Roofing Equipment

Roofs and roofing practices have changed a lot over the years, evolving to include more cost-friendly and environmentally friendly options. The roofing industry has long since transitioned from days spent tediously cutting, measuring, and loading roofing materials.

Now, people can call up local companies and have a new roof installed in mere days using proper equipment. For more information on the roofing industry and how equipment has changed over the years, keep reading!

Evolution of Roofing

The history of roofing began thousands of years ago. Roofs provide shelter and protection from weather and animals. They can also help provide insulation and keep temperatures comfortable year-round.

Roofs were once very raw and constructed solely by whatever types of materials were readily available. Some of the earliest roofs used materials such as animal skins, clay, or rocks. Wood was also sometimes used, but it could sometimes rot and attract pests.

Clay Tile

One can find clay tile on roofs as far back as 10,000 B.C. Clay tile quickly spread from Asia through Europe. The Roman and Greek empire used clay tiles for most of their buildings, and this continued even up until the early periods of America.

While you can still fine clay tile roofs to this day, they are slightly different from their predecessors.

Wood Roofs

Wooden roofs were often used in Colonial America since wood was widely available. While it is still a common type of roofing today, it has better features that make it less susceptible to rot, pests, and more.

Wooden roofs in the early days were more prone to widespread fires. Most of these wooden roofs were completely handmade.

People chopped down and cut up trees. When transporting heavy logs, wheelbarrows or other simple modes of transportation were often incorporated.

Thatched Roofing

Thatched roofing was fairly common for nomadic tribes. It was easy to construct for temporary living conditions. Usually, water reeds were used for this type of roofing.

Yet, some people used other materials like wheat or long straw. Thatched roofing didn’t last long since it was not very durable. It was soon replaced with stone and other methods.

The benefit of thatched roofing was that it is more fire-resistant and easier to install. However, in extreme weather, these roofs were more likely to collapse. Like wooden roofs, most thatched roofs were constructed by hand with limitations in equipment.

New Roofing Materials

Present-day roofing has come a long way and includes durable materials and techniques that withstand harsh weather. Some of the modern materials one can pick for a new roof include:

  • Asphalt composite shingles
  • Metal roofing or shingles
  • Wood shingles or shakes
  • Clay tile
  • Slate shingles

These new materials and types of roofs have allowed some homeowners to keep their roofs for up to 100 years. Slate shingles are known to last someone’s entire life, although they can be a bit more expensive upfront.

Many modern homes have asphalt composite shingles, which can still last up to 20 or 30 years. Replacing them has also become easier with the invention of new equipment.

Green roofs have risen almost 10% during recent years and are becoming more popular options in heavily populated cities with flat roofs. These unique types of roofs incorporate gardens and vegetation on top of the roof, which can help reduce rooftop and air temperatures.

New Roofing Equipment

In the early days, roofing was constructed by hand and required manual transportation of heavy materials. Not only was this extremely time-consuming, but it also put a lot of workers at risk.

Some of the frequently used equipment by roofers are:

  • Pry bars/shingle removers
  • Retractable knives
  • Retractable tape measures
  • Hammers
  • Hammer staplers
  • Dump trucks
  • Roofing hatchets
  • Fall equipment
  • Roofing conveyors

Roofing conveyors are pieces of equipment that have helped the roofing industry tremendously. This modern equipment allows the seamless transition of materials from the truck to the roof.

Boom trucks and forklifts also assist with constructing a new roof. Boom trucks are frequently used for lifting or transporting heavy materials and can either be used in conjunction with roofing conveyors or independently.

Not only does this make roofers more efficient and productive, but it also puts them at less of a risk for injury, since the machine is doing the bulk of the transport work.

Construction and roofing trucks (new, used, or for rent) are critical in easing the process of bringing in new materials and disposing of older materials. The benefit of construction trucks is that they can improve the efficiency of construction.

Technology and Roofs

Advancements in technology have primarily driven the rise in modernized equipment for roofing. In earlier years, roofers cut and measured everything by hand, using hand saws and hammers.

While that is still true, to a degree, new pieces of equipment have made construction much more efficient. Materials have shifted over the years and have become more fire-resistant and resistant to harsh weather.

Nowadays, there are sealants, software, automatic tools, inspections, and other uses of technology that have driven advancements in the durability of roofs.

For getting roofing done in a productive manner, you need the right specialized truck. For any construction needs, contact us today for new or used heavy equipment.

 

Load King Roofing Conveyor
Types of Equipment Used for Residential & Commercial Roofing

If you’re in the building supply or construction industry, then you know that the equipment you use when roofing or carrying out another project can save you both time and money. When you’re in the market for roofing equipment, you might not know where to start. How do you know which equipment is best for your company? How do you know if it’s worth the investment?

If you aren’t sure, you may be stressed out. There are so many customers out there to do work for. According to Allied Market Research, the roofing industry market size in North America is expected to reach over $47,000 million by 2025? But you can’t make money without the right equipment.

That’s why we’ve put together this article. Once you know all about the different types of equipment you can use for your roofing projects, you can choose the right one for your company. Read on to learn more.

Boom Trucks

A boom truck is one of the most versatile pieces of equipment on the jobsite and can perform three important functions, when properly configured.

The boom truck’s primary use is for lifting.  Often a boom truck can take advantage of long boom lengths with a full-power proportional extension system and offer more maneuverability to do the work of larger cranes, especially at high boom angles.  A jib will enhance this feature offering even higher tip heights.  Some models come equipped with an offsetable jib that is useful for lifting over obstacles.

Secondly, the boom truck can help with the delivery of materials.  When axle ratings and spacing are chosen properly, the crane will be able to haul materials on its bed (stand-up configuration cranes, only).  Additionally, some companies will trailer towing options with their trucks to haul additional material.

The third, and possibly most interesting use, is as a personnel platform.  You should be aware of the requirements to properly set up and operate a crane as a personnel platform.  But once configured, you have the option of running the crane from the operators’ station or with a radio remote control.  Some boom tip mounted basket designs will allow you to reach a working height approximately six feet higher than the cranes maximum tip height.

Buying a stand-up style boom truck with a jib, man-basket, and remote-control package provides you the most flexible machine.

Load King cranes are available with maximum lift ratings from 10 to 80 US tons.  Boom lengths range from 47 to 160 feet.  Our experts can help you choose the right crane for your application.  Give us a call and we can help narrow your search with a few simple questions.

Roofing Conveyor Trucks

Roofing conveyors are also essential roofing equipment. Once you’re already up on the roof doing construction, it’s difficult and time-consuming to go back down to the ground for material. This is where a roofing conveyor comes in handy.

It works like this. When you’re getting your construction site ready, you set up the roof conveyor against the home or commercial area the same way you would a ladder. Then, once all your workers are up on the roof, you can get the materials you need at a faster speed. This means, instead of spending hours loading everything up on the roof, it only takes 25 minutes or so to transport all your materials on the roofing conveyor. This speed is thanks to the hydraulic technology used in the equipment. It powers the belt upon which the items are placed.

Roofing conveyor trucks come in different sizes. Lengths can be anywhere from 31 feet to 43 feet, depending on your needs.

Drywall Loaders

A drywall loader is another type of crane often used in the building supply industry. This type of crane is especially useful for commercial roofing. It’s used to lift solid, large pieces of material. It can also lift palletized material. This palletized material might be glass, wallboard, brick, or similar materials.

Because this crane can lift large amounts of material, it’s ideal for commercial construction. Additionally, if you’re doing a residential job where you’re helping a customer build their dream home, a drywall loader can be useful for lifting up a large number of materials for building the roof.

Knuckle Booms

A knuckle boom is another type of crane. This is similar to other types of cranes, except for one small difference: the “knuckle” in the middle. This makes it possible for you to bend the crane back, changing direction if necessary.

If you’re working on a complex commercial roofing job, then a knuckle boom crane can be perfect for the job. If you have roofs that are laid out at different angles or in different areas, it will be much easier to maneuver with this piece of equipment.

Forklifts

If you’re lifting broader pieces of materials when working on a roofing project, a forklift can be perfect for the job. It’s also useful for lifting pallets of materials up to where your workers are completing the project.

Because a forklift can lift a huge amount of weight, it’s important to use all the right safety precautions while operating it. Take a look at the Occupational Safety & Health Administration’s guide on operating a forklift to learn more.

A forklift is primarily used for commercial construction projects since you are not likely to have such heavy materials for a residential construction project.

Piggyback Forklifts

A piggyback forklift works similarly to the forklift, except that there is more room for carrying materials on it. If you have multiple projects or multiple sites that use the same materials, then a piggyback forklift can be perfect for this situation.

This is because of the use of loading and unloading materials with a piggyback forklift. The best piggyback forklifts will be able to lift over 5,000 pounds of materials reach heights of over 100 feet.

Heavy Haul Tractors

If you have a large commercial roofing project coming up, then you may need a heavy haul tractor to transport all your materials. This is especially important if you’re working with a client who is having you build multiple roofs in different cities or states. This way, you can get your materials where they need to be, no matter how far away the construction site is.

Hotshot Trucks

A hotshot truck is perfect for commercial construction jobs. This is because it can carry a large amount of equipment, but not so much that it takes forever for the driver to arrive at the site. These are usually under CDL trucks.

Flatbed sizes range from 12 feet to 15 feet. However, you can also get a custom build. These trucks are perfect for transporting heavy objects, such as bricks, to the worksite.

Service Trucks

A service truck is another vehicle that’s perfect for commercial construction jobs. If you’re doing a roof repair, this is one of the most common uses for this type of equipment. This is because service trucks are perfect for carrying tools and other small types of equipment related to repairs.

Some service trucks are also equipped with cranes. This means that it will be easy for your workers to access any item they need when completing a roof repair.

This is also safer for them since they won’t have to constantly go up and down a ladder to get what they need.

Looking for Roofing Equipment?

Now that you know about the different types of equipment used for residential and commercial equipment, you might be looking for roofing equipment. If that’s the case, then you should look no further than what we offer at Custom Truck.

 

navigator-on-flatbed-forklift-image-4
8 Benefits of Owning or Renting a Piggyback Forklift

What do you do when you need a forklift that easily transports from site to site? You get one that’s piggybacking on a truck! And that is exactly what a piggyback forklift is. It’s a forklift attached to an open, payload-carrying truck.

As you can imagine, this combo is a winning solution for a wide host of industries.

What Industries Use Truck Mounted Forklifts?

At congested construction sites, piggyback forklifts, also called truck mounted forklifts, are compact enough to maneuver around obstacles and deliver materials like bricks, roofing tiles, and drywall wherever they are needed.

Recycling centers are another crowded work environment where piggyback forklifts excel, lifting and shifting baled paper, plastic, metal scraps, etc.

At gas/LPG stations, they offer forklift operators the advantage of all-round visibility while handling containers. And at warehouses, dockyards, and farm operations, they’re reliable equipment for moving and stacking drums, crates, and pallets.

When the job’s done, the forklift re-attaches to the truck it rode in on. So, by combining material carrying and disbursing abilities, the truck-mounted forklift successfully completes two tasks at once.

It’s no surprise this equipment is so popular, with seemingly endless applications.

Considering buying or renting a piggyback? Here’s what you need to know about how they can increase your capabilities and cut down on both transport costs and task completion time.

8 Advantages of Piggybacks

  • The first and most valuable attribute of a fork-mounted truck is its load-carrying ability. The flatbed of the vehicle is at your disposal to stack up with goods, so both the forklift and the material will arrive at the job site at the same time.
  • Forklifts are usually mounted onto the rear of the truck, and don’t take up valuable load space on the truck bed itself. This leaves more room for hauling materials.
  • If you need to transport both material and a forklift over rough, uneven terrain, then a fork-mounted truck gives you all the facility you need without having to worry about weather or ground conditions.
  • Industrial forklifts are large, hefty equipment whose capacity may well exceed the scope of your needs. In that case, truck-mounted units are lighter and more compact. They are also more maneuverable.
  • These forklifts do not require traditional loading and unloading docks and can drop pallets and other material anywhere you want.
  • These units require just one employee to operate. A single individual can handle loading, transportation, and then unloading material, door-to-door.
  • As manual offloading is not necessary when the truck drives up with goods, there is a smaller chance for an accident and, therefore, for any payouts in medical costs from lifting-related injuries.
  • For transport companies, a piggyback truck offers a value-addition that the customer greatly appreciates and that you can add to pricing as an extra income source.

A ubiquitous piece of equipment, it is the large scale adoption of this 2-in-1 unit that testifies to how critical its services are across many different industries. And why it may be just the thing you need to scale up your own business at this time.

(Check out the industry’s best financing options offered by Custom Truck One Source by clicking HERE.)

roof with hail damage
Hail Damage: A Roof Repair Checklist for Homeowners and Roofing Companies

Did you know that 60% of all severe weather insurance claims are attributed to hail damage?

 

From May to the early weeks of September we experience our most severe hailstorm season, and financial losses from property and crop damage average about $1.42 billion in the United States each year.

 

When large hailstones come raining down, residential roofs are in the direct line of fire. Roofing companies have to struggle to keep up with damage repair requests pouring in from hail-hit neighborhoods and communities – especially in the “Hail Alley” zone, comprised of Texas, Oklahoma, Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska, and Wyoming.

 

Hail season coincides with the busiest time of year for most roofing companies (late summer through fall). This is when they are typically fulfilling orders to lay new roofs. Therefore, homeowners may have to wait up to a month to for somebody to survey and fix their roofs after a hailstorm.

 

To help both homeowners and roof repair companies tackle this situation, we have created a handy damage repair checklist that addresses their most urgent concerns:

For Homeowners:

• Firstly, if you are concerned about the condition of your roof after a hailstorm, you are right to be. Hailstones come in all sizes and larger ones can even weigh more than a pound! Smaller ones are no less damaging when traveling at speeds of 20 mph or more. The pressure they can exert on your roof is enormous.

 

• Safely do a visual check of the roof if you notice damage to other parts of your home and property. Chipped paintwork on decks, splatter marks on driveways, dents on a metal mailbox, and shredded plants in the yard for example.

 

• Check for dents on the roof vents, metal chimney covers, gutters, and downspouts.

 

• Hail damage can go further than visibly broken or blown off shingles. A hailstorm will often dislodge the protective mineral granules of asphalt shingles, exposing pockets of asphalt shingle substrate. To an untrained eye, these may look like “roof blisters” (heat bubbles pockmarking shingle surfaces). A professional roofer will be able to distinguish one from the other.

 

• Finally, watch for leaks. They are your worst enemy in a post-hailstorm scenario and require immediate attention. Take action right away if you notice water stains or slow drips. These are often found on the ceiling, around light fixtures, inside closets, in the attic, or in the garage.

For Roofing Companies:

• Beware of “storm chasers” who materialize after a major weather event and offer cut-rate roof repair services without having the necessary experience, tools, licenses, or insurance. While taking advantage of desperate homeowners, they are also cutting into your legitimate roofing business. You owe it to your community to make people aware of these unscrupulous operators.

 

• Be prepared for a long wait list. Hail-affected customers will be calling in with urgent roof repair requests. Your business has to be ready for this with sufficient staff and equipment to service them quickly. Plan in advance, as these requests will come on top of regular roof replacements jobs you have already agreed to take on.

 

• Invest in a roofing conveyor, if you haven’t already. Manual methods are not only unsafe, outdated, and sometimes illegal, they simply cannot keep up with increased job demands or help you grow your business.

 

A roofing conveyor will speed up the job and perform rooftop deliveries of shingles and other materials within minutes. The unit will reduce your accumulating labor costs as you will need less manpower onsite. Also, if made of fiberglass, it will be weather-proof and fire-resistant, and you can expect many years of efficient service.

 

As roofing is the 4th most dangerous job in the United States, safety is always an important concern. Within the construction industry overall, falls from roofs account for one-third of all fall-related fatalities. An automated roofing conveyor will alleviate this worry and let you concentrate on what you do best during the next hailstorm season: build and repair roofs!

 

Let us help you weather-proof your roofing business with a smart solution that will keep you on top of the job – no matter how hard the hailstorms hit!

Check out the Load King Premier Roofing Conveyor by clicking HERE.

To request a quote, click HERE. Or call us at 855-787-7819 for more information.

Load King Premier 37 Roofing Conveyor on International 7400 chassis
6 Ways to Keep Your Roofing Conveyor in Top Working Condition

There’s nothing like a roofing conveyor to accelerate the job of moving shingles, tools, bricks, and other material to your rooftop projects. You no longer need to physically carry these materials onto a roof anymore. Just lay them on the conveyor belt, and up or down they go!

But, like all equipment, roofing conveyors need proper maintenance to stay in prime working order. Nobody wants to deal with equipment failure in the midst of a project, so we’re going to help you avoid such a scenario with some proven maintenance tips:

# 1: Choose a Reliable Technician

When selecting a maintenance technician, don’t look for the cheapest option available. Your roofing conveyor is an expensive piece of equipment and the maintenance technician needs to know the workings of your roofing conveyor inside out and detect even minor problems before they escalate into something big and, maybe, beyond repair. Even better, you can have a maintenance technician on standby at your job site to deal with any technical issues in your roofing conveyor. Workers operating your conveyor should also have a basic idea of how to fix minor problems, where a simple twist of the screwdriver would do!

# 2: Be Ready for Parts Replacement

Machinery can break down at any time, often due to wear and tear. Machinery failure can delay work, and time is money. Keep critical spare parts for your roofing conveyor handy, just in case. Maintain a list of suppliers who also keep spare parts in stock.

# 3: Be Vigilant About Maintenance Checks

Just as you get your car regularly checked, the same principle applies for roofing conveyors. Regular checks, preferably before and after a job, will help keep your roofing conveyor in perfect working condition.

Again, just as with your car, follow the regular service schedule. Missing out on even one could have disastrous consequences, costing you time and money. The dealer or supplier can help you by chalking out a proper maintenance plan. Your maintenance technician or supplier can come in for periodic inspections of the equipment. They are experts and will be able to spot even the most minor problem through a system audit before it snowballs into something worse. It is also important to keep maintenance records for everyone’s convenience.

# 4: Be Aware of Industry Upgrades

Your roofing conveyor has been doing a great job for you, but before your know it, it may have become obsolete as upgraded versions have taken its place. You may find it is no longer being manufactured. If you feel your roofing conveyor may become outdated, keep plenty of spare parts in stock. While stocking spare parts may seem like a needless expense, you will find it is MUCH cheaper than replacing your entire rooftop conveyor.

# 5: Always Think Ahead

You may find your rooftop conveyor is not working properly due to a bearing problem. It is easy to simply replace the bearing, but it would be even better if you replace both bearings. One bearing going bad means the other one will, too, at some stage. Best to be one step ahead. Intelligent fixing is the catchphrase here.

# 6: Locate Problems Early

If your roofing conveyor starts emitting an odd sound, something is clearly wrong. You and your team need to keep your eyes and ears open for signs of your equipment acting up. Again, think of your car. That rattling sound should NOT be there. It’s no different for your rooftop conveyor.

Good luck!

 

Roofing Conveyor - Roof Repairs
After the Tropical Storms: Accelerate Roof Damage Jobs with Load King’s `Premier Roofing Conveyor’

It’s hurricane and tropical storm season. If you live in Florida or up and down the `Tornado Alley’ (Texas, Kansas, Oklahoma, Nebraska, Missouri, Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Indiana etc.), you already know what that means: possible roof damage.

How Storms Cause Roof Damage

Roofs are going to be under threat during severe weather events that can occur any time – or multiple times! — between now and November 30. High winds will tear, lift and curl shingles, breaking their seal bonding. This can subsequently leave the roof deck and underlayment exposed to the mercy of the elements. Hail will cause dents or dimples on the roof. It will shift the protective granules that were in place to protect against rain damage.  Additionally, there will be water damage, causing mold that can threaten a whole building’s structure.

The job of re-roofing not one or two but dozens of homes and commercial buildings after such natural disaster events is a massive task.

This is where `roofing conveyors’ come in.

 

Roofing Repairs - Roofing Conveyor

 

Roofing Conveyors

Using manual methods like platforms and pulleys to haul shingles, tools, bricks, fabric and other material to the rooftop is a thing of the past.

Roofing conveyors speed up the whole loading process making repairing damage quick, easy and safe. And bringing down heavy and unwieldy salvage is just as safe and efficient as placing new material.

Load King, the leading manufacturer and supplier of trailers and heavy equipment, has developed the Premier Roofing Conveyor in partnership with Richmond Conveyors and leading chassis manufacturers to deliver a state-of-the-art conveyor solution to the roofing industry.

The units range from 31 ft to 43 ft and come with a number of new features to complete a wider variety of applications.

Features and Benefits

  • Stabilizers: Vertical lift to reduce chance of surface damage.
  • Head Section: Stainless steel support plates & hinge cover remain free of rust. Sprockets are removable.
  • Head Section Pulley: All aluminum constructed drum style pulley with ¼” belt lagging.
  • Tail Section: All stainless steel constructed guard will not rust. Steel V-groove guided drum style belt pulley.
  • Head And Tail Pulleys: Heavy duty 4-bolt pillow block style bearing holder and bearing with grease zerk.
  • Cross Supports: Hydraulic hose routing through the frame structure are captive in a holder.
  • Paddles: Stainless steel paddle with rubber facing for better grip and less slippage.
  • Roof Stand: All stainless steel construction. Will operate smoothly over the life of the conveyor.
  • Hardware: All nuts, bolts and washers are stainless steel for longevity, appearance and ease of maintenance.
  • Valve Controls: Valves are located higher up on the post for comfortable conveyor operation.
  • Pocket Base Plate: Base plate is installed flush to truck bed for safer operator use.
  • Rotation Mechanical Components: Post is integrated directly into the frame of the truck bed, utilizing a fixed drive motor, grease points and less hose movement. Rotation components and drive motor are accessible via a removable plate for easy access.

 

Load King's Roofing Conveyor Infographic

 

“Load King’s Premier Roofing Conveyor accelerates any roofing project with fast and efficient material handling,” says Dave Taff, Vice President of Building Materials at Custom Truck One Source. “And right now, we are keeping units on standby for companies who want to be prepared for the upcoming storm season roof damage with the most critical pieces of equipment at hand.”

Get Your Conveyor From Custom Truck One Source

Let us help you weather-proof your roofing business with a smart solution that will keep you on top of the job – no matter how hard the storms hit!

Check out the Load King Premier Roofing Conveyor by clicking HERE.

To request a quote, click HERE. Or call us at 855-787-7819 for more information.

 

Frost Law - Custom Truck One Source
Frost Laws: With the Spring Thaw Comes Fresh Rules for Specialized Trucks & Heavy Commercial Vehicles

With the arrival of Spring, truck operators have a new concern on the roads. A set of regulations – known as Frost Laws or Seasonal Weight Restrictions — mandating the amount of load that trucks can carry, and the speed at which these heavy vehicles can travel, to make sure the roadways, freshly thawing out of ice and snow, are not damaged when they’re at their most vulnerable state.

With the onset of the Spring melt, the roadbed becomes increasingly soft from moisture trapped beneath the pavement. The presence of moisture weakens the support strength of roads until the excess moisture drains away in due course and the roadbed becomes strong and stable again.

The most obvious winter damage on roads that anybody can see is potholes. These occur when melted water freezes and weakens the top layer. Although modern road-building technology has advanced so much that moisture in the top layer can be controlled significantly, thereby reducing the occurrence of potholes, the base and sub-base layer of the roads are still affected by run-off moisture in the spring season – from March to mid-June. And unless a Frost Law controls the pressure exerted on them, roads can easily bend and warp, rendering commute for all vehicles unsafe.

Frost Laws not only differ from state to state, the allowances change every year as well. The mandates depend on the environmental conditions through the preceding winter. And while the Frost Laws typically begin on March 1, the start date may change as well. It could begin later if the winter was unusually long and cold, or earlier if the winter weather was exceptionally warm.

 

Custom Truck One Source Inventory

 

In general, during the spring thaw, restrictions can reduce maximum axle weights by as much as 35%. Every state that applies Frost Laws has established maximum axle and gross vehicle weights for key national and state trucking routes.

And while private car and van owners rarely have to come face-to-face with these Frost Law restrictions, they are a major concern for trucking, transportation and construction companies, for obvious reasons. To stay complaint with the current Frost Laws of each state, they need updated information as soon as possible.

At Custom Truck One Source, safety is our prime concern, which is why we’re alerting small fleet operators and other businesses that employ specialized trucks to check into the Frost Laws applicable in the following Northern states:

  • Idaho
  • Iowa
  • Maine
  • Michigan
  • Minnesota
  • Montana
  • Nevada
  • New Hampshire
  • New York
  • North Dakota
  • Pennsylvania
  • South Dakota
  • Vermont
  • Washington
  • Wisconsin
  • Wyoming

Seasonal restrictions can change on short notice. Therefore, it is wise to check each state’s laws and freeze-thaw postings prior to each trip.

Good luck!

Construction Worker in Winter
7 Ways To Ensure Worker Safety On Winter Construction Projects

Many construction projects go into hibernation during winter, but the construction industry doesn’t necessarily come to a standstill. Projects like emergency road repair for example, have to continue in spite of high winds, extreme cold temperatures, rain, blizzards and snowstorms and it is a priority for construction companies to make sure their workers are safe while working outdoors in inclement weather.

A lot of construction workers will tell you that they prefer winter jobs because you can bundle up in warm clothes to beat the chill, but in summer there is no way to find relief when working outdoors in the sweltering heat.

That may be the case, but it is also true that accidents, slips, falls, frostbites, hypothermia and a host of other unfortunate hazards come with winter construction work, and the following 7 protective measures are always necessary to make sure that the workforce is operating in optimal health and safety conditions when projects are forced to carry on through the winter months:

 

# 1: PRE-WINTER SURVEY

Check the construction site and fix potholes and uneven surfaces before the cold weather sets in. Once the ground freezes and surface hazards get hidden under a blanket of snow, it will be pretty hard to make the site safe for construction workers to operate in.

On-site checks should include a thorough analysis of the terrain as well to locate problems that typically arise in winter. For example, an incline may look quite harmless during any other time of the year, but it can potentially become a hazard for workers when there’s ice underfoot.

Any anomaly on the ground that cannot be filled or leveled should be clearly marked or closed off, so workers will know to avoid them even if visibility and weather conditions are poor.

 

# 2: ANTI-SLIP MEASURES

The most common construction site accidents are slips and falls. While they can happen at any time, the risk of on-site accidents increase exponentially during winter because of ice and wet, slippery surfaces.

Clear snow and ice regularly from walking paths, scaffoldings, roofs, handrails and ladders. Keep plenty of salt or sand on hand to melt ice, improve traction, and make the job site safer.

 

# 3: WEATHER WATCH

Keep an eye on the weather at all times. You need to prepare for sudden changes in climate and make sure workers can secure the job site and get home safely before blizzards and snowstorms make the commute impossible.

 

# 4: HEATED BREAK AREA

The break area – be it a tent, trailer or indoor space – should be kept heated at all times. Workers expend a lot of energy to maintain an optimal body temperature when they’re operating in extreme cold environments. Encourage them to rest, warm up, hydrate and get out of wet clothing in a break room that is temperature-controlled to give them a welcome respite before going back out again.

 

# 5: PERSONAL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT

Make sure every worker on the job site has the necessary Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), such as:

  • Gloves and mittens with enough flexibility and movement to climb ladders, roofs and scaffoldings, handle equipment and perform jobs without risking frostbite – a condition that can occur immediately when bare hands come in contact with freezing metal surfaces.
  • Safety glasses and facemasks treated with anti-fog spray to prevent vision obstruction.
  • Waterproof boots with non-slip soles and extra woolen socks to protect against the cold.
  • Hard hats with inner, insulated lining to protect against falling objects (like icicles) and head injuries in the event of an accident.
  • Reflective vests, so workers are visible on the job site during low-light conditions. Remember though, that reflective garments can only be washed a certain number of times. They ought to be replaced with new ones when the reflective attributes start to wear off.

 

# 6: EMERGENCY KITS IN WORK VEHICLES

The fleet of vocational trucks and vehicles on a construction job site should all have winter weather emergency kits with supplies that include:

 

  • Shovel
  • Ice scraper
  • Tow straps
  • Jumper cables
  • Emergency flares
  • Sleeping bag
  • Blanket
  • Flashlight
  • Potable Water
  • Non-perishable foods
  • Cat litter/sand
  • Batteries
  • First Aid kit
  • Fire extinguisher

 

# 7: COFFEE CONSUMPTION

The first thing most construction workers do during a break is reach out for some coffee. But caffeinated beverages can increase heart rates. They can also provide a `false’ sense of body heat when performing an outdoor task in the bitter cold.