Heavy construction vehicles, such as backhoes, forklifts, cranes and bulldozers, are robust machines built to withstand harsh working conditions. Unfortunately, even the most well-built construction vehicle isn’t immune to damage, and the windscreen that encloses a construction vehicle’s cab or cockpit can be particularly vulnerable to wear and tear.
If one or more of your construction vehicles has a damaged windscreen, you might be tempted to save time and money and put off repairing the windscreen(s) for as long as possible. However, damaged construction vehicle windscreens should always be repaired or replaced as soon as humanly possible. Discover three of the reasons why.
1. Keep Vehicle Operators Safe
The laminated glass used to create construction vehicle windscreens is significantly tougher than conventional auto or window glass, and for good reason. These ultra-strong windscreens are the vehicle operator’s first line of defence against dangerous flying objects, such as debris from demolished buildings or steel panels falling from a damaged warehouse roof.
Construction vehicle windscreen glass is tough enough to shrug off very heavy blows, but only if the windscreen is whole and undamaged. Even tiny, hairline cracks in a vehicle windscreen can dramatically undermine its strength and durability.
Small cracks and damages from previous impacts can also become much larger under repeated impacts or when subjected to stress (for example, when a vehicle moves over uneven terrain). In severe cases, a windscreen can shatter entirely, leaving the vehicle operator extremely vulnerable to injury and accidents.
Professionally repairing construction vehicle windscreen damage is the best way to prevent small, insignificant cracks from becoming huge problems. If the damage is relatively mild, you may be able to repair the windscreen with injection resin or other methods, but badly damaged windscreens may need complete replacement to ensure safety.
2. Maintain Visibility
A damaged windscreen can also be extremely difficult to see through clearly, especially if the damage is severe. However, small cracks and chips can also obstruct the vehicle operator’s visibility if they are within the operator’s immediate sight. Visible windscreen damage can also be very distracting for operators who need to concentrate on delicate tasks and manoeuvres, such as crane operators.
Preventing visibility problems from windscreen damage is even more vital if your stricken construction vehicle is road-legal, since driving a heavy construction vehicle on public roads requires both clear visibility and a lot of concentration. If any accidents occur involving a construction vehicle with a damaged windscreen, you may be liable for damages as the vehicle owner or operator.
3. Keep Your Project Moving
To be legally used in Australia, heavy construction vehicles have to meet rigorous safety and durability standards and must also provide clear, uninterrupted visibility. Construction safety inspectors from your local state authority can impound a construction vehicle if, in their view, its windscreen does not provide adequate visibility and protection for the operator.
At this point, you can’t legally use the vehicle on your job site until the windscreen is properly repaired or replaced and passes a repeat inspection. Waiting for an impounded construction vehicle to be repaired can lead to significant project downtime, especially if the impounded vehicle is a specialised vehicle that cannot be replaced easily.
Many contractors assume that safety inspectors will overlook minor issues, only to have their valuable vehicles taken out of service because of hidden structural damage from a tiny chip or crack. Repairing or replacing any damaged windscreens as soon as the damage is noticeable is a much more proactive approach that can save you a lot of time and money in the long run.
Always repair damaged construction vehicle windscreens as quickly as possible—and always with a professional glass repair service that specialises in heavy equipment glass repairs. If you have any more questions about repairing damaged construction vehicle glass, contact the experts at South Melbourne Glass.