How big is the problem of dropped buckets – really?
The Swedish Work Environment Authority receives about one report per month about incidents with dropped buckets, but the number of unreported cases is probably large, according Prevent. (A non-profit organization owned The Confederation of Swedish Enterprise and Unions jointly.)
During 2011 Prevent made the following film about the risks related to quick hitches.
Dropped buckets – an estimation?
We made a most unscientific survey during MaskinExpo 2012 and asked a large number of drivers if they ever dropped a bucket. Most drivers with a few years in the job affirmed that it had happened some time. We arrived at somewhere around a missed coupling per 10000 tool changes.
If then there are 8,000 excavators operating in Sweden a normal working day, and if you average change work tool about 15 times a day, it would mean that dropped about 12 buckets or work tools in Sweden – every day!
In our analysis 2012 we saw that accidents in principle only happen on two different occasions.
The operator connects the front pin of the bucket, but for some reason misses the connection in the rear axle bracket, ie the axis that the driver can not see from the cab. At the same time he forgets or makes a misstake in the physical verification that the bucket is secure, and the work begins.
The operator only want to move the bucket alternatively lift the bucket up on a wagon. The driver connect the front pin of the bucket but do not use the lock function since “the only intention is to move the bucket”. At this point the operator moves the bucket but since it is not locked it cag easliy drop if the operator for instance hits the side of the wagon.
The goal with Front Pin Lock has been to protect against both these risks.