Minimizing Damage to the Operator Cab

16 April 2020

Minimizing Damage to the Operator Cab

Right now, the isolation of a Cab might feel like the safest place in the world, but have you considered who or what else might be sharing the cab with you?

Throughout the course of a shift, you might find many different people popping in and out of a cab, even just for short periods of time; operators working split shifts, service technicians, mechanics, supervisors or even your local sales representative.

With the potential for lots of people entering a cab, the enclosed space could easily harbor nasty virus’s and leave traces throughout the cab, on the door handle, handrails, joysticks, arm rests, upholstery or monitor.

So, how can you ensure that your cab stays clean without destroying your interior surfaces with excessive use of bleaching products?

Dan Ware, Customer Support Manager at Hastings Deering, said it was important to use the right cleaning products recommended for interiors as general household cleaners may damage the interior surfaces of the cabs.

“To reduce the risk of damaging contact surfaces in cabs and operator stations, Cat has recommended using caution with disinfectants.”

Caterpillar recommends using products that will minimize the adverse effect on component surfaces like the below:
Soap and water (used per Health Organization Guidelines)
70% Isopropyl Alcohol (Isopropanol - pre-packaged wipe cloth)
Non-bleach disinfecting wipes (preferred) or spray
Avoid solutions composed of household bleach or solvent-based solutions if possible.
Avoid using disinfectants at elevated temperatures (above 30° C)

cat disinfecting guide
“Making sure to thoroughly clean the cab between each use can really go a long way with preventing the spread of the virus, as current evidence suggests that the virus may remain viable for hours or even days on different surfaces.” said Mr. Ware.

“Things like bleach, and Clorox wipes are destructive to interior surfaces but they can be used to clean hard-metal surfaces like the handrails.”

“It is about remembering all the areas that you or someone else might come in contact with while in the cab, areas like; armrests, seats, consoles, displays, door handles, handrails, joysticks, steering wheels, switches and windows.”

When it comes to cleaning the display monitors it is important to remember that abrasive cleansers or solvents can damage the display windows.

“Make sure you’re not scrubbing or using brushes to clean the display windows and touch screens; they will often have anti-glare coatings that can be damaged by harsh cleaners.

Cat recommends operators follow the below procedure to clean displays,” 
Disconnect the power from the monitor at the power supply.
Use a clean sponge or use a soft cloth to clean the display. Clean the display with a mild soap or detergent.
Dry the display with a chamois or dry the display with a moist cellulose sponge.
Drying the display prevents water spots.

While the rest of the world is taking pause, the mining and construction industries are pushing ahead with vital works. The virus continues to be a threat to those still in the workforce every day, and it is critical that the right steps are taken for team safety.

Keep your cabs clean, keep your distance and stay safe.


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