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Rig Safety is Every Farrier's Business

From proper propane storage to solid driving practices, ensure safety when traveling from client to client

The slogan “safety is everybody’s business” is a common one, but if you’re the business owner, you can also add “the buck stops here” when it comes to shoeing rig safety. If you’re not paying attention to it, who is?

For self-employed farriers, rig safety’s not just a matter of protecting your equipment and preventing downtime for repairs. It also involves reducing the likelihood of career-ending accidents or costly and time-consuming liability lawsuits. An emphasis on safe operations can also be a selling point, inspiring appreciation and loyalty in clients. Making safety an everyday habit starts with looking at how you operate your rig, including maintenance.

A Well-Kept Rig Is A Safe Rig

According to Roger Newman, an AFA certified farrier and president of SomerSong Forge Trailers in Somerset, Wis., keeping up on rig maintenance is a combination of common sense and using a calendar.

“Always pay attention to the basic vehicle maintenance needs, such as oil, grease and tires,” he says, adding that it’s also essential to check the running gear equipment periodically. “Keep up on things like electric brakes and brake shoes, bearings and tires, according to manufacturer specifications. I suggest pulling and repacking bearings every year; you can check hubs, spindles and trace bearings and replace as needed.”

This type of basic maintenance not only enhances rig safety, it affects the overall longevity of a rig, reports Lou Sposito, president of Stonewell Bodies of Genoa, N.Y. He also recommends monthly inspection and lubrication of a rig’s latches…

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