Safety should be the number one detail covered when renting a chipper. And with customers ranging from homeowners to landscape contractors, you should never assume the level of experience of any operator.
"Customers should be instructed not only on the proper use of the equipment, but also how equipment can be dangerous if not used properly," says Jason Showers, commercial sales manager with Morbark.
Many suppliers offer a safety video that covers all these areas. "The first step to a safe chipper rental is ensuring that all your customers watch these 10-minute videos that cover basic, proper operating procedures," says Jason Morey, marketing manager at Bandit.
Operator dos & don'ts
While the supplier video is a great first step, customers should be given a clear list of instructions - either verbal or written - before they begin operating.
The safety presentation should include: how to dress and what type of clothing to avoid (i.e. loose clothing); where to stand; how to stage material; how to feed material into unit; how to properly operate the control bar and safety features of the equipment; how to safely discharge material; how to properly start-up and shut-down the equipment; and how to properly tow and transport the unit.
These instructions should also be included:
Personal protective equipment
While you can't be on the jobsite with your customers to ensure they're wearing the correct personal protective equipment (PPE), you can tell them what they should be wearing - and even provide them the opportunity to buy it from you.
Proper PPE for chipper rentals includes:
The final step to safe chipper rentals is thoroughly inspecting the unit before each rental. All inspections should be done with the key removed and the ignition in the OFF position.
The following steps are a brief outline of tasks to be completed for safe and maximum performance, but for detailed instruction the owner's/operator's manual should always be followed for proper maintenance procedures.