How to Sanitize Construction Equipment

How to Sanitize Construction Equipment

Most responsible construction equipment owners understand the importance of keeping their machines clean. Removing all the dirt, grease and grime that accumulate at job sites or in garages helps prevent part failure and reduce heat buildup while enhancing safety. Clean equipment also promotes a positive image for your business.

Tips for Sanitizing Machinery and Keeping Workers Safe

In a time when communicable viruses pose a substantial health threat, it's essential to sanitize machinery, especially if several workers operate the same piece of equipment. Disinfecting your machines also protects the maintenance and repair technicians who keep them in peak operating condition.

The following tips can help you sanitize construction equipment and keep your workers safe:

  • Wear appropriate PPE: Before starting, put on personal protective equipment (PPE), including latex gloves and a face covering or mask. This step reduces your risk of exposure as you clean and prevents you from reinfecting surfaces during the process.
  • Disinfectant: Use an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-approved disinfectant to sanitize machinery. These products are effective for neutralizing the novel coronavirus and other potentially harmful substances, and they won't damage equipment components. A 70% isopropyl alcohol solution is also a powerful, virus-eliminating disinfectant that's safe to use on hard, nonporous surfaces.
  • Clean soiled surfaces: Before applying the disinfectant, remove dirt and debris from hard interior surfaces such as windows, joysticks, the steering wheel, knobs and other touchpoints. Use soap, water and a sponge or cloth for the cleaning.
  • Application: After cleaning the surfaces, spray them with the disinfectant. You don't have to wipe after spraying — you can allow the sanitizer to dry, although you can rub it off with a damp fiber cloth if you prefer.
  • Upholstery: If the seats in your equipment have fabric upholstery, you can employ the same cleaning process. If you clean the seat first with soap and water, rub it gently to prevent soaking into the material. Deeply penetrating soap can leave a musty smell and foster mold growth. Avoid using any product containing bleach, as this can damage the upholstery.
  • Final step: If you access the equipment at ground level, spray grab bars and door handles last in the sanitation process.

Equipment Surfaces and How to Approach Them

There are a few different surfaces on your equipment that you need to clean, and you'll need to approach each surface differently. Keep these tips for cleaning construction equipment in mind:

  • Upholstery: Weekly upholstery cleaning is a good habit to start, and you can find designated cleaners for these surfaces at auto parts stores. The best way to wash seats and other fabrics is to scrub them with the cleanser and water, then remove moisture with a shop vac. You should also make it a point to clean the length of the seatbelt. 
  • Hard surfaces: Use products recommended for automotive cleaning on all of your hard surfaces. All-purpose cleaners can usually handle most of the work, but be careful when cleaning around touch screens and other technology in the cab. Hard surfaces are where germs are most likely to land, so be thorough with these materials.
  • HVAC and ducts: Your HVAC system can collect mold and mildew over time, making cleaning essential to the health of the operators. Ozone machines are a common tool used to clean these systems. You might choose to buy one, or you can take your equipment to a professional to handle the task for you.

Rent From The Cat® Rental Store With Confidence

The Cat® Rental Store has implemented all the appropriate safeguards and precautions to ensure a safe work environment for our employees and protect our valued customers. We've increased the frequency of cleaning and disinfecting at our stores, and our workers follow all relevant social distancing and other applicable guidelines. We also ensure that we sanitize construction equipment before it leaves the store. You can rent from us with total peace of mind.

If it's time to rent a bulldozer, skid steer loader, excavator, motor grader or any other heavy machine, feel free to browse our current inventory of products from Caterpillar and other top manufacturers. Give us a call at 1-800-RENT-CAT or contact us online for more information and a fast quote.

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