Bauer Group has opened a dedicated training site for drilling rigs and operators to improve site safety. Operators are taught how to avoid turning over their rigs.
German plant manufacturer Bauer’s 6,000m2 facility close to its headquarters in Bavaria, Germany, has been teaching its machine operators and instructors since mid-April. Now the company is offering its “Operator Training - BG” programme to the entire industry.
“With our leading role in specialist foundation engineering, we want to - and of course must - set new standards in the area of machine operator training,” explains Thomas Bauer, chairman of Bauer’s management board.
“This will not only benefit our partners in the construction industry and our machinery customers, but ultimately also the entire industry.”
Safety is key
The object of the eight to 10-day training programme is to enhance safety on construction sites. By improving safety awareness and encouraging safe driving, the training aims to cut equipment repair costs and reduce downtimes.
The Bauer programme is divided into a five-day theoretical unit and a practical unit, whose length varies according to the participants’ experience.
Depending on their knowledge, the practical training generally lasts one week, or three days for machine operators with more than 10 years’ experience.
One of the biggest spin-offs of the training programme will allow operators to carry out comprehensive machinery inductions on the site.
This means that there will be no costly periods of inactivity on construction sites.
“Productivity can be increased without creating more time pressure on construction sites,” said Christian Jäkel from the Bauer Training Centre.
“Productivity can be increased without creating more time pressure on construction sites”
Bauer’s medium-term goal is to provide the first standardised machine operator’s licence for drilling rigs and pile drivers and the training site is currently undergoing certification as an accredited test centre.
Operator training courses have the following components:
- Equipment operation
- Equipment technology / engineering
- Equipment documentation
- Drilling methods
- Soil mechanics
There is also practical training for various aspects of plant operation which takes place in a purpose built practice areaThere, operators can practise loading and unloading machines onto and off low-loaders. The critical aspect in this is the tipping point - that is, the moment when the rig tips from the ramp onto the load space.
Operators are taught to develop a feel for precisely that moment.
The rigging and de-rigging station teaches operators how to safely assemble and dismantle a rotary drilling rig.
Driving up and down 15° and 10° slopes is practised on ramps.
The drilling station enables operators to carry out realistic drilling operations.
There is also a rig tipping test area where operators are trained to use a tip test to develop a feel for when the stability of a Bauer rig is compromised before toppling over. For this, the rig is placed sideways on a ramp tilted at an angle of 6°.
In the tip test, operators simulate lifting operations, picking up a weight and slewing the uppercarriage transverse to the direction of travel until the rig topples over.
On the training circuit, chains secure the BG. If the same happened on-site, the rig would be ruined and - much more importantly - the lives of all site staff would be placed in acute danger.