The operator needs to consider the dynamics of the machine with the long reach arm. Swing speed at the end of the stick needs careful attention.
“The speed of the bucket at a farther distance away from the machine will dramatically change,” says Wever. “The operator needs to use caution when he slows down. Many operators in standard machines have no experience in long-front machines. You cannot stop as fast. The biggest issue that we have with operator error is the operators using the pile as a brake.”
Another issue is not slowing the bucket down before it enters water. “When you are reaching out with a long-reach front machine and slam that bucket in the water, it is like slamming it into a wall of concrete,” Wever points out. “Dynamically, it puts loads into the stick that will affect its life cycle.”
It is especially important to even out turret bearing wear. “To get normal wear on the turret bearings, you are supposed to reach over one side and then, after a certain number of hours, reach over the other side,” says Wever. “Let’s say your normal turret bearing wears in 10 years. You could easily take that down to three years if you never rotate your lower unit. That is one of the more expensive components.”