How Many Operators Buckle Up on a Regular Basis?

Staff | September 28, 2010

User #1: How many of you fasten your seat belts when operating your equipment? I have a poor track record for this. Driving a truck, it is the first thing that I do. Grader and backhoe-loader, poor track record.

User #2: I always do. At my last company I almost got fired for not having it on, so I put it on all the time now.

User #3: Skid-steer suspension seats don't work unless you're wearing a seat belt, so running the skid I always buckle up. Same idea with the excavator, you just get trashed around if you're not wearing one. If I'm jumping in and out of the cab I'll leave it off, but for long periods of operating, especially if there's a lot of walking the excavator, I always buckle up.

User #4: A seat belt is an essential piece of safety equipment. I always wear the belt when driving or operating any equipment. My experience has been if you can stay in the seat and keep your hands on the levers, you can maintain some semblance of control. If the machine rolls over, you want to stay inside the machine; that's what ROPS are designed for.

All you need to do is clean the street with a [skid-steer loader] without your seat belt on and hit that manhole cover that is buried in dirt. It was like a Warner Brothers cartoon: I saw stars dancing around my head, after it slammed against the ROPS. The silliest thing I have seen is operators wearing hard hats inside a machine with ROPS and not wearing their seat belt.

User #5: 100 percent of the time. Not only is it our policy, but I have seen it save people. I recall one time, where I was only going to move [a small] dozer about 100 feet across pretty level ground, so I didn't buckle up. I went over a 4-inch drop, and that machine pitched me out of the seat and my head into the ROPS. I thought I was going to pass out it hurt so bad. is a user forum where professionals in the heavy-equipment industry can exchange ideas and post questions or comments. Users include owner/operators, operators, company owners, repair technicians, safety officers and others. Posts have been edited for clarity and content.