Best Practices

How to Deal with Muddy Working Conditions

When you’re using your heavy equipment off road, there’s a very good chance that you’ll become stuck in the mud at some point. Jobsites can often be wet, soggy messes. Almost any type of equipment can be vulnerable to getting stuck in the mud, including skid steers, CTLs, wheel loaders, and excavators.

To help you out, we’ve put together some tips to keep your from becoming stuck in the first place, and, if you do get stuck, how to get out.

Avoid becoming trapped in the mud

Removing your machine from mud can be a tough job that wastes time and money. Here are some best practices to avoid having your equipment stuck in the mud, so you can keep working:
  • Before you start a shift, closely examine the job area to get an idea of the terrain you will be working on. Clearly mark off dangerous areas full of mud or sticky soil.
  • If you’re on soft ground, use wide tracked compact track loaders and excavators to minimize ground disturbance. Wider tracks enhance flotation and traction, making them the best choice for working in sticky soils and muddy areas.
  • Remove mud or debris from your equipment’s tracks, tires, and undercarriages between projects and at the end of each workday to help improve traction in wet conditions.

If you’re stuck, here’s how to get out

Sometimes mistakes are made, and you can’t avoid becoming stuck in muddy conditions. Here are some tips for how to handle those situations:
  • Make sure you always have strong straps, ropes, chains, or cables on hand. They will be very useful if your machine is stuck, and you have to pull it out.
  • If your equipment is stuck, remove anything you can from it to make it lighter. This way, you will be able to pull it out more easily.
  • Place planks behind the machine’s wheels to help with traction when you’re extracting it from muddy conditions.
  • To avoid damaging your machine, attach your straps to a tow hook or the frame itself. Doing so will give you the best chance of getting your equipment out without breaking anything.
  • Sometimes, the chains snap during towing, and the tow hooks fly through the air, creating a dangerous hazard. To ensure they fall towards the ground instead of flying up, insert them with their tips up. Plus, always keep a safe distance away from towing chains or straps in case one breaks.
Getting your equipment out of the mud can be a very difficult and dangerous task, so it’s best to avoid having it happen in the first place. If you do become stuck, though, follow our tips for getting the machine out.

If you have any questions about stuck equipment, contact our team today!