-Hey, everyone in this training video.
This is going to be our beginner entry-level excavator training.
Check this out.
-Everyone, this is replacing our excavator 101.
If you’ve seen that, that’s one of our original training videos.
It’s almost two years old, so we thought we’d do a fresher one.
It’s 2020 right now. We want to do a beginner level.
I’ll caution you upfront, if you are an experienced operator,
this is probably not going to be the video for you because
we’re just going to go over very basic entry-level controls.
As with all of my videos, what I say, I am not an expert,
not claiming to be.
I’m just going to show you what I’ve learned.
I think it’s a really good overview.
We’ve also already done the site inspection,
so we know where we’re digging.
It’s our training area, so we know all the utilities that are here.
Then finally, the preop inspection.
Probably one of the most important pieces before
operating any heavy equipment is doing a pre-op, which again,
we have a separate video on that that covers that as well.
With that said, let’s go ahead and get into this machine.
Now the first thing on all heavy equipment,
every single piece of heavy equipment will have their door locks.
These doors are designed to lock open and whether it’s a wheel loader,
bulldozer, they all do that. It is important.
I know it sounds really like why does this really matter?
I’ll show you why.
What a lot of operators will do is they end
up swinging it open and without latching it, either, one,
a gust of wind comes and bangs that thing in the back of your head,
or two, if I try and grab this handle up here with this door not secured,
it’s not a very safe entry.
Make sure your doors are always locked open.
Then with all pieces of equipment,
they do have release levers right inside the door there.
You just have to know depending on the brand you’re running there.
The next piece is three points of contact.
Anytime you get in and out of equipment,
it’s always important to maintain three points of contact.
That’s where most incidents happen.
You want to grab both handlebars,
your foot down there and maintain that contact.
Once you’re in, it’s always important to put your seat belt on first.
Then that same door will lock right on the inside there.
There we go. After that, I’m going to key it on.
Today, we’re running a Komatsu PC 210.
There will be a link to this unit down in the description.
With all of our training videos, we like to keep it somewhat generic,
just so this can apply to really any excavator.
I’m going to go over the controls with the Komatsu one,
but also just keep it a little bit vague on it.
As you saw, I keyed it on.
First thing is always your display.
There’s always going to be some monitor
or something in there that does-- These machines are
pretty sophisticated, so making sure it goes through,
see if there’s any error codes or anything like that.
You obviously do not want to start it if you have any of those.
Then after I turn it on, beginning a shift,
you always want to make sure you have your fuel.
If it’s got diesel exhaust in one of the newer machines, we’ll have DEF.
There’s going to be a lever there and you’re
going to want to monitor all that. That’s that.
I have a machine idling right now. Seatbelt was on.
Outside of that, the most important safety piece
in a excavator is the safety lock lever.
There is a red little knob, the Komatsu has these little knobs
on the side that’s basically flipped down.
If I pull back on it, it raises the arm up.
It’s like a parking brake.
Any excavator you get into is going to
have that in some way, shape, or form.
I’ve seen-- I think a John Deere will have an arm that pushes forward.
It’s always going to be something near the door.
They like to make it where if it’s engaged,
you can’t get in or out of that equipment without stepping over it.
That’s a really good indicator for you.
If you see in the doorway or anything like that, that machine is live.
With that down, when those things are engaged, the machine running,
I can touch anything in here.
Nothing’s going to operate on this machine
until that lock lever is engaged.
Other than that, just basic thing. Climate control.
We’re in newer equipment, so we’re a little bit spoiled in there.
Also, things like just knowing your seat.
The newer machines are designed for comfort because
if an operator’s going to be in this machine for 8 hours, 10 hours,
12 hours, the more comfortable they are,
the safer and more efficient they are.
Just understanding it’s little things like that,
making sure you know the piece of machinery
you have on different options you can do there.
Then on the right side here, my throttle is over here,
it’s got my key to turn on everything else.
Then I’ve got lighting control for my Komatsu on the right.
On the left is where I have my stereo control.
Most of these are equipped with radios, things like that.
Put that down.
Now I’m going to go ahead and engage the safety lock lever.
Now with this again, I’m going to really dumb this down one at a time.
Right is your boom and bucket, left is your stick and swing.
Now we are showing you ISO standard controls.
You might hear them call it CAT controls.
I would say 90% of the people I see use ISO.
Personally, I think it’s the easiest.
Obviously, I learned ISO, CAT controls, standard controls.
That’s what I’ve used.
SAE is the other, some times we’ll call them John Deere controls.
Almost all newer machines will have
a valve in the back that you can switch.
We have a whole separate video on ISO versus SAE.
There’s a lot of confusion in the terminology.
Honestly, I really don’t care that much about that.
Just get comfortable with one way, because once you learn that,
that’s primarily going to be-- I can’t
run a machine in John Deere controls,
I look like riding a bike backwards.
You’re going to want to learn that.
Now with my right hand, boom and bucket.
If I pull back in this right joystick, that’s going to raise the boom up.
Throttle this up all the way.
If I go right hand forward, it’ll bring that boom back down.
If I go to the right, it’s going to open my bucket,
and if I go to my left, it’s going to close the bucket.
Right is your boom and bucket controls.
Left is your stick and swing.
Stick, sometimes they call it a dipper.
I’m trying to think of their terminology.
Especially around the world, there’s different terminology but stick is
basically the arm connecting the bucket to the boom.
If I push forward, push stick out
and if I pull back on that, it’s going to bring that stick back in.
Then left to right is your swing.
Swing, swivel again, one of those terminologies that can change.
If I go left, it’s going to swing the machine left.
If I go right, it’s going to swing the machine right.
Then there is no hard stop on these swings.
They will just go all the way around.
Now some little pieces there that I want to go over additionally.
Almost every machine-- You saw I did one at a time.
That’s how we like to start our training, is just really dumbing it down.
Obviously, we start getting in we’ll be using multiple,
but it’s always so good to know your limitations
on your machine from the very beginning.
Generally, most buckets will not be able to hit you and hit the cab,
they’re designed. If I bring this in right now,
you’ll see how it gets right there in front of this cab,
but it won’t hit it. Now use caution. A couple of things.
First of all, materials in the bucket, if you were to come in fast,
the single stop on its own, material could absolutely come out.
That’s how you can crack the windshield.
The other thing is this is under a standard circumstance,
standard bucket. If you have a quick attach on any other accessories,
I usually like to know the machine when
to get it if there’s that capability.
Sometimes I’ll actually test it before I get going just to know.
Sometimes I’ve seen where you can actually hit/touch the cab.
If it’s got a different shape bucket, if it’s got a quick attach-on it,
things like that. The other thing, as much as it can’t hit the cab,
it’s not true with the tracks themselves.
If you see this, if I dig off the corner here,
I absolutely can hit my corner of my tracks there.
That’s where you always want to be careful
if you’re digging at a 45 like that.
You absolutely could pull a track off there or damage your tracks.
That’s why generally we like to be a little
further out from the machine as much as possible.
The other thing is just knowing your limits
on your cylinders and everything like that.
They do have hard stops so if I go all the way on my bucket,
it’ll stop on its own.
Generally, you try and avoid hitting those.
The end of those cylinders with the hydraulics,
I don’t like to go all the way. It stops on its own.
Once you understand the machine better,
that’s where you’ll try and stop before you get to that point.
Now driving position.
Generally, these are your two-track pedals.
You see my left, if I push forward, it goes my left one forward,
but I pull back, left one back.
If I take my right, push forward, and I pull back.
They’re independent of each other.
They are connected to foot controls.
Now for a new operator, I really try and keep it simple.
Your hands with your joysticks, which are the top of the cab,
your hands then go over here to drive the machine.
That’s one or the other. It’s not both.
That is not how you’re going to operate longterm.
I just think for the beginning, it’s really easier to learn.
Otherwise, eventually, these are connected to foot controls.
That’s how an operator would do it.
I do recommend in the beginning just getting used to either this or this.
Now you do want to be squared up with your tracks.
Generally, I like to look out over the bottom window and I can
see if my lines are lined up with the tracks.
The machine, you can drive it at any configuration.
These things will work no matter what.
It just gets really difficult to
understand orientation when you’re driving.
It’s usually a lot easier,
just make sure you’re squared up to your tracks.
That way, you know it’s nice and centered on there.
The tracks are the longest part there so
if you have a counterweight behind you,
it’s going to limit your ability to hit stuff
if you’re going off the side and something like that.
Now driving position with the arm,
different-- You’ll even see it in comments.
I generally have my boom stick straight up and down, bucket,
a foot or two off the ground with the bucket horizontal.
It’s what I like to do. I feel like it gives me the best visibility.
If you’re on a job site with any potential overhead hazards,
a lot of guys will advocate to having this curl all the way in.
You could see how it can tuck everything and almost like this.
The problem, as you can see up my right side here,
I’ve lost all of my visibility on this side, so I can’t really see.
However, it is the safest from an overhead perspective,
so it really just depends.
There is no right or wrong to anything I’m saying here.
People have different methods.
Just learn the method you like, but generally,
you don’t want to be anything where you’re blocking right at head level.
You don’t really want to be up here or anything like that.
I want to be a few feet off the ground, something like that,
keep it low and tight, but that also to me is the safest.
I’m going to drive forward here a little bit.
We’ll just stay here. Now for digging, a couple of things.
I generally recommend, first of all, lining up to dig straight in line.
The machine is most stable when you’re in line with those tracks.
The moment you start digging off in 45 or 90, you’ll notice the machine,
it’s a lot easier to tip on there, so you have the most weight this way.
I generally recommend you should be digging over the idlers.
If you go over our pre-op or any other videos,
the track system in our excavator, the front are called the idlers.
It’s just a big sprocket basically there. The back is the drive motors.
That’s where actually the power or where the tracks move.
There’s a couple of reasons you want to dig with that in the rear.
One, that’s your most expensive part, the drive motors in the back.
If you were to do any damage, you want to protect it.
That’s why it’s in the back.
The second is just from a counterweight perspective.
You have the counterweight on the machine,
but if you add the weight from those drive motors,
that’s where you all got the weight in the back there.
That’s generally what I will advocate for.
It’s not going to be the solution every single time,
but if you can’t control it, to me, that’s the best.
There are some people who’ll talk about different
orientation whereas they were depending as they were logging.
I’ve seen some guys comment this.
I wouldn’t even thought about it, but it makes sense.
If for some reason an obstruction, something did come to that window,
you’ll notice it would actually push these things back.
That’s the other reason I have the drive
motors because it would actually push you away versus if something came
through that window and pushed on it, you’d be pushed into it.
Again, it’s funny.
Some of those things you that don’t really understand,
I don’t think of them, but other guys have seen that.
Now with that said, to dig,
I extend this all the way out and go stick out.
I’m just going to show you how to do these
really basic on brand new clients on our site.
I always recommend stick all the way out for a brand new operator.
This is not how an expert is going to operate, I’ll tell you that.
You’re usually going to have the stick maybe 45 in,
but I like to show-- To me, distance is your friend in the beginning,
so I like to start all the way out.
I come down then, I’m about a foot off the ground,
then I usually-- Again, this is not necessarily going to be the strategy.
To me, there’s phases of learning any piece of equipment.
Don’t think that the first way you learn it the first day
is going to be how you’re going to do it all the time, but right here,
I like to have my teeth straight down before I go into my first scoop.
When you get better at this,
you’re actually going to want those teeth at a 45 in,
and you’re going to take layers off once you get better at this.
If there’s any kind of utility or anything underground,
you have the potential to hit that if it’s down there,
so you want to try and be able to scrape small layers off.
Now I put the bucket down, teeth in, so that’s right.
You see I’m doing one motion at a time.
Right-hand curls it, right hand back, raises that boom up, get a,
I don’t know, 5, 6 feet off the ground, and then I’m going to swing left.
I could see left. I can’t see right.
Again, there’s a lot of people who disagree on what side to dump on,
it really depends on your site.
If I can choose, I like to be able to see to the left where I’m going.
Then you’re 5 or 6 feet over, and then I’m going to dump
right there. Come back.
Now this one, if I go a little bit more
aggressive with the teeth straight down--
Again, you would not do this on a job site just because you don’t want to
go too deep and maybe you’d find something that might be underground,
you want to do layers.
You’ll see this will actually pick my machine up,
so I can actually lift my tracks up off the ground.
You don’t necessarily want to have those
tracks off and then you just curl it up.
Now you’ll hear these things will normally get stuck.
They’re going to get to a point.
If you can, you hold that bucket curl and you’re pulling up.
I’m pulling back. I’m doing two at the same time here.
I’m pulling back and I’m curling.
We have a very soft sand, it breaks right through it.
A lot of times, depending on your material, it may not do that for you.
Raise that up, and then swing over, and then dump.
Then the final thing here, we’re going to have boom up,
and this is where you start bringing that stick in.
Those teeth are straight down about 90 degrees there
and then I curl that right in there.
It’s building a trench towards me but again,
I’m going through a large swath of an area right there.
Raise it up there, come over, and then to extend it out,
left hand forward, we’ll go out with it.
Trying to hit that, I’m going to bring the boom down.
Now you saw those were all one at a time.
Eventually, after you get better,
the thing you’ll practice is doing this in layers and doing multiples.
Now I have both hands on both joysticks, I’m coming in, see my stick up,
stick in, boom up, and I’m curling at the same time.
Eventually, this is what you’ll end up doing.
You’ll end up taking layers off.
There is no right or wrong here.
The best way to get good at this is just seat time.
The other thing I’ve seen if you are
trenching-- And we’ll do another video.
It gets a little bit more advanced but once you scrape,
you’ll see my teeth are more to 45.
You see how that first one,
I have a big old pile of dirt right in front of me.
The other thing that’s really valuable
is you back off your stick a little bit.
Let that material fall either in your bucket or down into the trench
versus building a big old pile like I did in the first one,
and then I’m out there. That’s digging.
Then real quick on some backfilling, same concept just reversed.
I’m going to take some scoops out of it.
The difference here is you don’t necessarily have to raise it.
I can try, you’ll see these things won’t.
They don’t have a ton of lateral force but if I raise it up a little bit,
you can swing material over as well.
I’m scraping through it, and I’m swinging at the same time.
Lateral force on an excavator, it’s not great.
It does the pins on your bucket.
It’s not something you want to get used to but to
do a fine grade or even some maneuvering at the end, that’s fine.
More of your power in an excavator is in that arm,
pulling it towards you.
You’ll see how I’m scraping in here, curling that bucket, and then over.
this is where you just want to flatten the bucket out
and I can use the side of the bucket like a dozer blade almost.
I slide through this.
You don’t ever want to do this with a lot of material.
Again, this will put a lot of strain on a side load in that bucket,
so it’s not great for maintenance
perspective on your pins and everything.
Again, if you’re just trying to finish it up at the end of the day,
this is most likely going to be your best bet at getting that.
Then the other thing is you can use
the back of the bucket to push material out.
If I use this, I call it raking where you push material out like that,
and that’s that. That’s again, beginner level.
I’m not going to go over a lot of the specifics here.
It’s very entry-level.
Then finally here, I’m going to go over parking real quick.
I always have that bucket any time, any hydraulic power,
or any hydraulics and equipment,
you want to have them resting on the ground.
You put that flat in the ground,
with the excavator then safety lock lever here, put that down,
nothing will move, throttle it down right there.
For the newer machines,
they really don’t recommend letting them idle very long.
Komatsu really says 30 seconds to a minute.
It’s not like the old days with the turbos
and everything where they wanted to run.
Because these run on diesel exhaust,
they burn that off best when they’re at workload.
They don’t do great at idle.
After that, turn that off, and then I’ll step out.
Again, always make sure that door locks like that so I have something.
Then I’m going to get out three points contact
and then my release.
Everyone, that was our beginner entry-level excavator training.
I hope you guys enjoyed it. Please put in the comments
below any tips or tricks you might have learned. Again, stay tuned.
We’ll do some updated and a little bit
more advanced skills in the next video. Thanks for watching.